Forewarning: these are only my opinions and what I have learned along the way. Every family is different. These things are just what has helped our family.
Tip # 2: Talk to your kids about adoption while they are little and keep an open dialogue going.
This is the best advice that I have ever gotten from multiple people. It’s crazy to think that even from infancy you can talk to your baby about adoption, but you can! Throughout our son’s life we have shared with him how thankful we are that he came into our family. We have shared with him how special he is to us. It really has started to to click for him around age three. We started to share with him his story in detail. We gave him an adoption book, A Mother for Chaco by Keiko Kaska. This book is amazing by the way! We also gave him things from his birthparents. We set up play dates with friends that are also adopted and we watched lots of movies that have elements of adoption in them.
After sharing with him, It’s like a spark ignited in him. He takes pride in being adopted. He loves that about him. He loves the color of his skin and he even shares with people saying, “I’m adopted!”with such pride. As a family we constantly try to keep an open dialogue about adoption with both of our children. You may be wondering why? Why did we decide to talk to our son while he was young? We made that choice because as he gets older we want him to feel comfortable to talk to us about it. Maybe even with the heavier side of adoption or parts of his story. This is at least our prayer as parents.
Every child has a story. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies. And one day our kids will see that or experience that. We also try to intentionally talk about birthparents with of our son but we try not to sensationalize them either. Just like I don’t want to sensationalize myself. I’m not perfect, neither is my husband so we try to always be upfront and honest with our children about everything. We are also very careful what we share based on the capacity to which they can understand and comprehend fully. We ask ourselves often, “What can they handle and not handle understanding right now?”. Every child is different and will respond differently but I believe that having an open dialogue can be both healthy and beneficial for everyone in the family.
At the end of the day it’s whatever you and your family chooses to do. I believe that times have changed and there seems to more of an open dialogue about adoption and a desire to adopt these days. The best thing you can do is research articles, ask other adoptive parents what worked for them and seek out other resources through agencies. This will help you and you mate make the best decision for your family. And more importantly pray about it. Ask for wisdom. Ask God to guide you and to give your family and your child strength. I really hope that these two tips have helped you. I am so thankful to be on this journey with you. And I’d too love to learn from you! What has worked best for you family? What tips have you learned along the way?
If you didn’t get a chance to read Tip #1 you can do so here.