I mentioned previously that M and S have not told the boys about their being adopted. Yet. I absolutely and completely disagree with this. When we had our first meeting, R and I were told the boys would “grow up” knowing they were adopted. Silly us, we assumed that meant they would ALWAYS know. Apparently it means they will grow up a little, be told, and then continue growing up knowing. It is probably my only point of contention with M. I have some how, by the grace of God, been able to hold my tongue about this (for the most part. She does know that I do not agree with this). I say “by the grace of God” because I have a hard time not telling people how I feel about something. I am pretty opinionated, and I am not afraid to share my view/feelings/thoughts/opinions on things, especially things that really matter to me.
Someone once wrote, “A child should never feel like they are hearing about their life for the first time.”
Need I say anything else? I should think not, but I will anyway.
I first found out the boys wouldn’t know about their adoption any time soon way back in October (6 months after I placed Robbie), after Robbie’s first (and so far only) visit with his biological half sister Z. Unfortunately, M spoke with their pediatrician back when they were first adopting J, and she told them that “Children are not really emotionally ready to learn about their adoption experience until the age of five.”
The age of FIVE. Basically, she was telling me my son would have no idea who I was for 4 ½ more years. Now let’s think about this. First of all, is this woman a child psychologist? No. She is a freaking pediatrician. Does this woman have any experience with adoption? No again. Has she been trained in adoption, and it’s affects on adoptees? One more time, NO. So don’t you think that maybe she should keep her ideas of what children are emotionally ready for to her self, and stick with telling parents how tall their kids are going to be? Yes, I believe so. I mean, would you ask a plastic surgeon his advice on how to properly perform a kidney transplant? I sure as heck hope not!
I want so badly to send this woman a ton of books on open adoption, adoptees, etc. How ever, this could be seen as stalker-ish, so I will try to refrain from doing so. Honestly though, you would think that as a professional who now has at least two adoptees on her list of patients, she would do some research! It’s kind of her job, in my opinion. With out research, how can she offer them the best care?
Enough about the pediatrician though. Everyone knows the main issue is how this will impact the boys. Did any of you grow up believing in Santa Claus? Do you remember the crushing, devastating feeling when you found out Santa wasn’t real? That he was all made up? I bet you felt lied to, maybe a little betrayed, and definitely sad. Perhaps it planted a seed of distrust against your parents. I mean, they had lied about Santa Claus, what else could they be lying about? Now take all of those feelings, and magnify them by about 1000000. That’s how you would feel finding out about your life for the first time. “What? You aren’t my mommy? I didn’t grow in your tummy? I have a sister? So you mean, those people who randomly visit me and tell me they love me are my biological parents? I have a whole other family?”
Finding all this out for the first time will be confusing, devastating, and just plain HARD. I mean, could you imagine growing up thinking the sky was orange, and then one day you find out that it’s really blue? You would probably start to question other things in life. What else isn’t true? What else am I being lied to about? You may stop trusting the things people tell you. You may become resentful. Something like this could change you for life, and not in a good way.
How ever, let’s say you grew up like I did. You always knew Santa wasn’t real. He was just something that added to the fun of Christmas. You took pictures with him at the mall, you baked cookies for him on Christmas Eve, knowing it was really your dad who was going to eat them. You always knew that the sky was blue, the grass was green, and the Florida Gators were the best SEC football team (haha! Just had to throw that in there). These things were normal for you. They were part of every day life, they were common knowledge. It was no big deal! It was all a normal part of your life.
If a child grows up knowing something, that is their normal. They will be able to handle it. We need to realize that these kids are a lot smarter than we think, and they are capable of a LOT. We need to give them more credit. Hiding something, anything, from someone is NEVER a good idea. It doesn’t matter who or what it is. The truth will come out. It always does.
So if you are an adoptive parent and you haven’t told your child they are adopted yet, tell them. There is no right moment to do it. Don’t waste time waiting for that “right moment”, because it will never come. There is never a right moment to tell some one about their life for the first time. The only right time, is the day they come into your home.
So as Nike says, just do it!