So this morning, I was reading the story of a couple who adopted a baby and finally got around to fulfilling their intention (when she reached the age of 6) to make this understandable to the child. They used this book to open their discussion.
What is interesting is that within this adoption discussion community it wasn’t the book or that they had “done the right thing” in making their child aware of the circumstances around her entry into this family, but the issue turned out to be no effort to remain in contact with the original mother. The couple’s response was – “Currently we do not have contact. When our daughter wishes to seek her out, of course.”
That did not sit well with this group. She was told – “You shouldn’t wait until your daughter asks.” And she was questioned as to why she had not. Furthermore, “If you wait, it could be harder to find her first mother or something could happen to her (there’s no shortage of adoptees who have searched and found a grave at the end of the search – and I will note here, that is what my own adoptee mom found and it broke her heart). Also, what if she goes on to have other kids and your daughter has siblings? It’s another important series of conversations you guys need to prepare to have with your daughter.”
Another adoptee goes on to share, “I was too scared to ever ask anything about my birthmom because I sensed how anxious that made my adoptive mom. So, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that your daughter may have that loyalty we talk about adoptees having and not want to upset you guys by asking questions.” I have seen this my self with my niece, who my sister gave up at birth for adoption. It is a real and deep concern for many adoptees. Very common.
Adoptees deserve their truth – however that looks – and however they process it. It’s the adoptive parent’s job to be ready to help their child navigate the issues and to be a soft landing place as the reality sinks in.