Thursday, July 07, 2011

Telling your child they are adopted

I knew right from the beginning that being anything but 100% honest with Sarah about her birth was not acceptable.

I knew the statistics that said children who find out later in life that they were adopted struggle. They feel betrayed, ungrounded, and angry.

My plan was to talk to Sarah from the very beginning about her adoption. I told her she grew in my heart, not my belly. At the time, for a toddler there were no questions. She accepted my explanation of her existence with certainty.

Now as Sarah is getting ready to turn seven, the story of her birth has grown. She knows she grew in another womens belly. She knows the first name of that woman. She knows her daddy and I took her home from the hospital.

I know the older she gets the questions will get harder to answer. I know one day she will look at me and think that I am not "really" her mother. But as I look into her eyes now as she asks me about the belly she grew in, I know I made the right decision. It is her history and she has a right to know how she came to be.

I feel as though I am in more of a grey area because she was adopted through foster care. How much do I share? Will she be devestated? Will she think less of me because her biological parents did not intend to relinquish their child?

Only time will tell. I know that she will never doubt our love for her. I know she will grow up safe and secure and have every opportunity available to her that might not have been otherwise.

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