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Adoption Blog: Our Family Grows With Love
His Own Story
Recently, while talking about adoption with my husband, he looked at me with concern etched deeply on his face, and said, "My biggest fear is that, at some point, Max is going to tell me that I am not his real dad. Maybe when he's older, and angry with me for whatever reason -- I can feel my heart breaking just thinking about him saying that to me."
I know my husband was asking me this question because I am his wife, and we are raising our son together. He wanted my opinion as his partner in crime, so to speak. But my husband also knows I can respond from a different level of understanding because I, too, am an adoptee.
I don't remember ever telling my parents they were not my "real" parents. Honestly, I don't remember ever even thinking that. If I never said, or thought, that my parents were not my real parents, our son will not either, right? I realized that I had never imagined my son saying those words until my husband raised his concern. As I reflected further, I began to wonder if my own perspective as an adoptee could cloud my ability to see my son's personal adoption experience. Just as there may be some similarities in our experiences, there will surely be some differences.
My husband and I are striving to surround our son with love, openness, and an environment in which he is comfortable asking us any question and expressing any concerns or emotions he may have. We hope to provide him the answers he will need, or, at the very least, to be able to provide him with the resources to find those answers.
Though my son is likely to have some of the same questions I have had, he may be looking for a different answer than the one that satisfied me. My job as his mother will not only be to help him find the answers he needs, but to allow him to keep looking until he is satisfied. If his concerns differ from mine, my job will be to give him all of the reassurance I can, but also to allow him to find reassurance wherever, or from whomever, he needs. And if his emotions about adoption aren't the same as mine, I will need to help him understand and manage those emotions, and also to allow him to feel them in whatever way he needs.
For me to assume that my son's experience will exactly mirror mine would be incredibly irresponsible. He is not me, and I need to be able to give him the room to live his own experience.
I promise you, my beautiful son, to answer all of your questions, even if I never asked them of my parents. I promise to acknowledge the validity of your every concern and emotion, even if I never personally experienced the same concern or emotion. I promise to allow you to have your own adoption experience, separate and apart from my own.
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