International Adoption Book

Friday, April 11, 2008

M's Thoughts

Kids are simply amazing. They are precious and beautiful... And they "say the darnedest things"! Bill Cosby had it right. Kids can come up with some amazing ideas that can simply blow the mind of an adult. But what they say can be so true, which makes it even more spectacular! Take M for example:

We openly discuss birth families with our children. We truly believe it is an amazing conection for them. And, since our kids are Asian and we're Caucasian, it's not as if we could truly hide the fact that they were adopted, even if we wanted to. We have this deep and abiding love for M's and C's birth parents. We don't know their situations, but have complete faith that they did what they thought was the best thing for their children... They gave them life and then gave them security through the selfless and loving act of giving their children a family through adoption!

M, in particular, will talk freely about his birthparents. He particularly feels the need to talk about his birthmom, who he calls his "new mommy". He regularly makes up stories about having an older brother and sister, having a blue bedroom, and the fact that his "new mommy" says his Mommy (me) is really his "cousin", which makes sense since we lived in Hawaii, where he was born, until he was almost 1-1/2 years old.

I was particularly surprised the other day, though, when M started telling me a story about his "new mommy". He claimed she was an Alien who had to leave for her home in the sky. She was going to come and get him when he grew up. He also claimed that she took people's brains, which is why she had to leave.

For me, this story was quite cute though a bit odd. But as I thought about it more I realized that it wasn't all that wierd after all. His birthmom is nowhere to be found. Nobody has any clue where she might be or when/if she may come around in the future. And there is absolutely no understandable reason (to a 5-year-old) why she left. So, by making her into something completely different than other people and having her do something that is a bit bad, which then sends her off into the great unknown, is a very ingenious way of determining why she "left" him. And then, M indicates how much he wants to see her again with the idea of her coming back for him one day.

I believe that many children who have been raised knowing they are adopted will have images of what their birthfamily looks like, acts like, and why they were left with a different family. The true difference in how well those children are able to process the scary information they are required to face is how well the adoptive family is able to present their child's individual information. How are we, as adoptive parents, going to allow our children to explore their own feelings about their particular sitation? It is a huge responsibility that is such a vital part of our children's inheritance from their birthfamilies. And it can be a scary project to tackle with your 5 year old!!! But it can be oh-so-fun to hear and interpret those words that come out of those amazingly active and imaginative little minds...

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