We’ve been working on talking to the kids more openly about their adoptions. We’ve been realizing how important having a firm grasp on their history is to them.
We’ve also been learning that since they didn’t have all the facts, they were making up their own. And that they think about their former lives and adoption a lot. A lot more than we imagined. And we’ve been pretty liberal in assuming they think about it.
Here’s a few things we’ve learned:
Simeon thought his mother has been angry with him this whole time, thus the lack of contact.
Raj thinks he never had a father. Immaculate conception?
Lyberty thinks her their dad was a man who was living with them for a few months. And that their mom is getting their house ready for them to visit (oh, boy…)
And there’s so much more misinformation they’ve been perpetuating in their little minds.
This explains so much of the big feelings we’ve been wrestling. Of course they have big feelings! If it wasn’t a lack of information, it was an overabundance of misinformation.
And how easy is it to assume we know what they’re feeling or thinking. Or to assume that it’s impossible to know.
When really, all we have to do is ask.
So we ask. Every morning. And sometimes at night, too. And we’ll continue to ask until they tell us to “STOP TALKING ABOUT IT ALREADY!!!”
Their story, their thoughts, their memories, their ideas; those are all really important to them and their mental health.
If you have a child who’s in foster care or has been adopted (assuming they know – if they don’t you may want to take, I don’t know, 27 steps back or so), then I’d encourage you ask. You know “do you ever think about your adoption (or first family, or where you lived before, or what happened to you, or whatever)?”
I bet you’d be surprised to see how much they do think about it. And how much they may be willing to share. And how much they really want to know. I mean, if you’re where we’ve been, then it really can’t get much worse, can it? ***
*** knock on wood, spin around three times, and spit on your shoes or something – I know it can always get worse, I’m just saying…