I wish I could chat with each and every one off you individually. I wish I could express to you how strongly I feel about these things. I wish I could hear how much you love your children and see the sparle you have when you talk about them, but at least for today, I can't. So- there are a few things I want to share with you, that I would tell you if we were chatting over coffee...
1. You are not obligated to listen to every single opinion about adoption out there. Whether it is the voices of other adoptees, other parents through adoption, birthparents or anyone else- the ONLY voice you are obligated to listen to is that of your child! Am I saying you should not listen to anyone at all? No. As parents it is always good to know the possiblities of things that may come for us as parents or for our children, BUT do not lose your child in the mix. LIsten to YOUR child.
2. Do not listen to anyone who speaks in absolutes, or at least take it with a grain of salt. There is no ALL or NOTHING in adoption or any kind of parenting, for that matter. Your child may experieince a tad of what someone else does, alot off what someone else does or none of it. I personally do not connect with anything in some of the popular "adoptee books"- We are our own people. There are no 20 things I fall into that anyone else does on just about anything. To assume we are everything in some of those books would be like believing your child was going to follow everything in "What to Expect The First Year" to the "t". It is called being your own person- it is fine and it should be expected. Again- listen to YOUR child.
3. Do not live "in" adoption. Live your life. Enjoy your child. Everything he or she feels or does will not be led by adoption and neither should everything you do or feel. Address what needs to be addressed- goor or bad- addoption or not. Period. You are a parent and that is your job. Listening to your child will help you dictate better what their needs are. You are also not obligated to educate every single person about adoption, especially if it includes you sharing your child's story- it is theirs.
What do all three of these things have in common? LISTENING TO YOUR CHILD! I know the love is always there- having your ears open and letting he or she know your door is open for honest chats will help you with the rest. Give your self permission to be parents- because you know what- YOU ARE!
xo - madeleine