Under the Microscope
Reading adoption blogs has taught me one important thing. No matter what choice I make as a parent, I will be criticized. Do I search for dolls that look like my daughter or is that sending the wrong message? Should I have kept her original name to honor that identity or should I have given a family name to claim her as a true part of this family? I can just imagine the field day some may have with the word “claim”. I use it simply as the name of an emotional parenting technique. I do not believe my children belong to me, but I am grateful they have been entrusted to me.
And that – respecting my children as individual personalities with emotional needs – is how I want to make all my parenting decisions. Children are all unique; adoption is only one factor in determining what is the best choice right now today. Today, my child may need to read books about his birth culture and country of origin. At Christmas, he may only want to celebrate traditions that his friends share. Having multiply identities is rough. Co-workers and clients do not need to be a part of my social world (for all of our mental health!), but they do want to connect on Facebook. Children that have been adopted have to balance out concerns about disloyalty and issues of loss and rejection. Adoption gave my kiddo a second chance at a family, but the fact that a second chance was needed is enveloped in sadness.
I read blogs by adoptees (I’m still not sure I like that term, but I will let them choose their own identifiers) and blogs by birth mothers and blogs by those who have reunited despite living on different continents. I read blogs by adoptive mothers I think are too big for their britches and blogs by adoptive mothers I want to hug and share a pot of tea with them – because tea seems nice and friendly and warm and loving, but truly black coffee is my drink of choice. I read as much as I can, trying to understand every opinion.
In one way I read so much because I don’t assume that I naturally know what is best for my children. I am human. I am flawed. I will make parenting mistakes. I know that is what parents do, even good parents. Yet, I also believe that I am a good parent, and ultimately, no matter what I read and what you suggest, I have to make the choices that I believe are best for my child right now today because I know my child and I am responsible to my child. I am responsible to meet my child’s emotional needs and understand the specific concerns that my child has with adoption. Each adoption story, like each child, is unique; so while there are many things that are never ok, there are also times when I can make a choice for my child that is best for my child even if you don’t think it is the best.
Boy howdy am I glad that I decided to start a completely anonymous blog. I am sure our non-traditional family already raises a few eyebrows. I can’t say I look forward to comments from haters, but I will try to learn something from them