Carla note: Id say, given the fantastic post below, Brandy IS a writer. I’m so grateful to her for chiming in here during National Adoption Month. You can connect with her and her husband on their Facebook page as well.
Wow, what did I just do. I’m not a writer!
In fact, I’m the furthest thing from it; I’m a banker.
So what am I doing writing a blog about the most intense, emotional, touching, sore, tough subject to me???
My son is adopted & I struggle with talking about it at times.
I hope this will help educate others and help me to become more composed and articulate when I’m questioned in the future.
November is National Adoption Month.
As I write this on November 9, we are celebrating the first ever World Adoption Day, so I’ve been thinking about the subject a lot lately.
Jackson is 18 months old and as we approach his adoption day, I feel more pressure than ever to tell him his adoption story.
We want to get it ‘right’.
Yes, he knows he’s adopted but he’s understanding more and more as he gets older.
I also think a lot about the first few moments after we met Jackson: how tiny he was, his cute red hair, his ferocious lungs!
My husband, Scott, melted my heart when he told me, ‘You know he’s always going to be my little buddy’.
We bonded with his birth parents and developed an undeniable love force surrounding our little boy the moment he came into the world.
We adopted Jackson through a domestic, infant, inter-state program.
We’re grateful to have met his birth parents which means we have a decent amount to share with him about his story.
Since he was only six months old last year, this was an easy story to tell; pressure free, in fact.
In most adoptive families, this is an important step in helping our children understand their beginnings, their identity, and how they feel about their adoption the. rest. of. their. lives.
No pressure, right?!
It’s no wonder I struggle at times with the curiosity of others.
‘Where does he get his red hair?’
Ugh is always my first internal response.
Then a series of options rush through my head while I’m sure I have an awkward smile planted on my face.
Option 1: His hair is from his birth parents. Jackson is adopted. That response is typically followed up by a series of follow up questions.
Option 2: It runs in the family. I really hate lying, no matter how irrelevant the lie is.
Option 3: Avoidance. Isn’t it beautiful? I love his red hair. It’s challenging to find the line between educating someone on adoption and feeding their curiosity, even when it’s coming from a good place.
I will talk your ear off about adoption in the absence of my son.
However, the second he’s within earshot, I get awkward.
Am I sharing too much? Am I being short in my answers or rude? Will the conversation take a quick turn into something I’m not comfortable with?
Why is this even a big deal?
Because it’s Jackson’s Story and he is the one who controls how much he shares.
Even our closest friends and family don’t know the inner details of his adoption story.
That was tough in the beginning but we’ve learned to keep our mouths shut.
There’s a difference between education and curiosity. Some questions and terms are simply off limits, and we get some bizarre comments.
Real Parents. What, am I not standing right here? Am I not real?
How much did he cost? How much did your c-section cost?
Was she a teenager? Is the dad on drugs? Where’s he from?
On the flip side, we’re NOT saints and we didn’t have a calling from a higher power to help orphans around the world. We just wanted to be parents. We’re not amazing, special people (well, yes we are but not because we adopted!)
We did what we thought was best to start our family and in turn, received the most precious gift from the best birth parents we could ask for. We love his birth parents so much for giving us something we couldn’t give ourselves.
It was a long road to bring Jackson home.
It took ten years including two failed attempts, one of those ending on my birthday. The second attempt turned out to be a couple scamming the agency in another state.
We were the unlucky couple that the agency had hand picked to parent their fictitious baby.
Regardless, I would go through it all over again, and more, if it meant bringing home Jackson.