Sunday, July 10, 2011

Talking About Adoption

With a very verbal little man in our midst, it's become more important for me to get adoption on his radar screen. I've always used the word casually around him and tried to pepper our conversations with things like, "The day we adopted you was the best day of our whole lives." We look at his baby book together and he shouts, "doption day!" every time we come to that page but I've been thinking lately that we need more. It seems important to at least begin talking about this aspect of our lives and how we became a family more, now that he's beginning to ask questions and attempting to make some sense of the world. I do want him to lead the conversations and discussions we have as the years unfold; however, I also want him to know that adoption is a safe subject in our household and that he can always ask any questions that come to mind. According to an article I read last week, openly talking about adoption now, while he's young and still forming a framework with which to view the world is one key way to make that happen.

So we've been reading the book, "I Wished for You" by Marianne Richmond a lot, and I try to tell him our (similar though still unique) story in simple terms too.  My good friend and fellow adoptive mama, Debbie has made several books for her little girl including their special story.  I know they have been good conversation starters for Debbie and other members of her family, and I'm thinking I'd like to do the same sometime soon. The thing is, like all parenting, this is all a learning process and I'm figuring it out as we go along.  It's sort of like an added dimension to his normal growth and development.  An added thing I have to consider as he gets older and picks up more of what we say and do.  All I know for sure is that I want our son to just know that he was adopted and that he had a special (though not better or worse) way of joining our family.





Richele said...

I Wished For You is my favorite on the shelf! Yet,I still can't read it without crying. The kids now say 'Why you crying, Mama? It's OK, Mama. Good girl, Mama.' Part of their framework is going to be Mama cries because she loves you.

Jamie said...

this has been so much on my mind these days.....especially since he is understanding so much more....i love that book as well. it's beautiful! i just wish my little man liked to sit and read books with me. ;) i'm still so very emotional when i "talk" with him about it......i like the above comment "mam cries because she loves you" ~ perfect ;)

TXMom2B said...

It is hard. It feels so forced for us, but our situation is different (same-race adoption with a sister through pregnancy). We aren't looking to adopt again until he's much older, if at all, and the word adoption just doesn't come up unless we say it out of nowhere. His "doption book" (life book) is so helpful. He loves the book with pictures of his family so he's started requesting it both for naptime and bedtime. I wrote it with all the details an older child would want but just ad lib it for his age. I love that picture book, to, you mentioned, and a couple others. I want him to never remember learning he was adopted, just always know, and it be a positive thing. However, I don't want to go on about it randomly and force it before he's developmentally ready. He is almost three and doesn't ask any questions about where people come from, pregnancy, etc., so I think we still have plenty of time.

Debbie said...

That's why I love reading with her on my lap, she can't see when I'm crying, which I've been doing a lot more of lately with books and questions. It gets so much more interesting when they start getting older.
Isabel has only said the word 'adoption' a couple times maybe. But she knows we found her. Like we are trying to find her brother and sister. I choose to do it that way for now do to our situation.

It's parenting plus for sure.