Guest Blogger Regina Radomski is studying to be an Elite life coach and has written a book about her own family’s adoption journey, From Half to Whole. Regina is also launching, in the near future, a program in Adoptive Family Planning.
Being an adoptive mom of older children, I have dealt with the “talk” in many different ways.
Some talks are different from my friends, who adopted children at a younger age, but what it truly comes down to is one thing: We all need to keep the lines of communication open with our kids so they know they are not alone in their struggle.
Now, is that easy? Does it always work? NO! But don’t fret. As I’m learning, most times you get a second chance to explain or talk about things again. Also most times we don’t mess up as badly as we think we did. You may be saying you’re not so sure about that. But give yourself a break, as I always say, there is no handbook for this!
When your child starts to become inquisitive about why they are here, in this life, with you, and not with their biological parents, it’s time to start. They may ask why they didn’t come out of your belly because they have learned about it in school. Your answer needs to be simple.
Most people I have talked to let their children say something like this: “There was another mommy who loved you enough to bring you into this world. She was not able to take care of this baby so she looked to the stars and prayed to God for a new mommy to come along and love this baby unconditionally in her place. And that’s me — and I love you so much.”
As they get older the conversations will change. In our case, with older children who knew their parents before we adopted them, our conversations have been about things like, “What it would be like if I saw my parents again? What would I say to them, what would I want to do for them?” When we discuss this together, I then try to make them proud of how far they have come in their own lives and how they should value that. This is something, though, that I don’t always think they get.
Sometimes when we talk, it really hits home with me as to what their birthmother has gone through and the pain that may stay with her forever. We cannot push that aside — it’s a reality and I feel they need us to validate the difficulty their birthmother had in giving them up. I have come to believe that it may help our kids’ healing process.
Yet on the other hand, I wonder when we speak to them about their birthparents, if by putting them on a so called “pedestal” it makes our children feel that they were seen as bad children. Also I wonder if that makes us, the adoptive parents, the bad guys because we discipline and set boundaries, which they don’t like. We see this as love and the chance for them to grow up with the knowledge of right and wrong, but do they see it that way? Are we the bad guys because we have rules?
More importantly, we are always here; we pick up the pieces and guide them each day . We see them through thick and thin. We are the ones who don’t leave.
Regina Radomski is studying to be an Elite Life Coach and has written a book about her own family’s adoption journey. The book, From Half to Whole is due out soon. Regina is also launching, in the near future, a program in Adoptive Family Planning. More information can be found on her website, www.reginaradomski.com