This week I posted a status on I Am Adopted‘s Facebook page ranting on the fact that I couldn’t understand how in 2015 adoptive parents are still keeping it a secret from their child that he or she is adopted. I also couldn’t understand why parents still felt the need to wait until their child was ‘older’ to tell them they are adopted.
I thought we have progressed from this. I was wrong. I thought adoptive parents would have been educated by adoption agencies or other adoptive parents on the effects of keeping secrets from their adopted child about his or her adoption. I was alerted by adoptive parents that their agencies never gave them resources on this subject. Very typical of agencies. I am not surprised.
In 2015, there is no excuse an adoptive parent doesn’t know HOW to tell their child he or she is adopted nor should parents be waiting to tell their child. There is a plethora of adoption books written for children, teens, and adults about being adopted. Many of these books are written by adoptees, the experts on adoption.
The best way to introduce adoption to your child is by reading books to your children.
Start as early as they come home and into your lives. Read to them everyday even if they don’t understand word for word what is happening in the book about their adoption story. You keep on reading that book everyday even if it takes years until your child starts asking questions. What you want is for your child to come to you comfortably and talk to you about their adoption journey instead of keeping it to themselves which could lead to future destruction to your child and family. Besides reading being fundamentally great for your child, as an adoptive parent it allows you to bond with your child and to show your adopted child that you are with them on this journey and they are not alone. They can trust you and trust that you love them and care for every part of their life including where they come from and their biological family.
I understand every family is busy and so much going on, but I cannot stress to adoptive parents how important it is that your child know his or her truth right now. So no matter what you are doing right now put it down and go find your child and let the process of their truth begin. Follow up and continue with reading adoption themed books to your child (see my list below). Adoption talk need to happen continuously. Not just one time. Talk about it as often as possible until it is a part of your lives and it sounds normal. This isn’t going to change how your child will look at you because if we are going to REAL, I know many adoptive parents don’t want to have this talk because they fear their child will think of them differently. Far from the truth. I respect the fact that my adoptive mother and I can sit down at any time and talk about my adoption or adoption in general. I love her so much for that. It has shown me they type of love adoption provides because she never made my adoption about her; it was all about me and she was comfortable in her skin as my ‘adoptive mom’ even though to me, she is my mom. This is how adoption should be.
So even if you have to, hold off on a couple lattes or happy hours and purchase a book that will help you to introduce adoption to your child’s life you have no idea how much this will improve your relationship with your child in the years to come.
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