It’s complicated, isn’t it? Navigating these waters is challenging - more challenging than pretty much anything I've faced so far.
To start with, there’s the challenge of finding the truth. . . .
Then there’s the challenge of knowing what to do with the truth if you can find it. There are certainly adoptive parents, probably even adoption professionals, who still ascribe to the notion that we should protect our children from painful truths. I hope that these are few and far between, but my guess is there are more out there than I’d like to think. . . .
One of the things that’s completely absent in the information my family has about our children’s first parents is what they want our children to know about them. The information we have is delivered entirely in the third person, and was certainly not written by our children's parents. I know now that much of it is pure boilerplate: the same awkward translations appear in the files of many children adopted at the same time. Meaningless statements based on meaningless information make it far too easy for adoptive parents to fill in the gaps. I honestly think it’s impossible for APs not to spin the information we share, positively or negatively. Much as we may try to keep to the plain, simple, truth, the risk of filling in blanks in an effort to assuage our children’s sadness or to bind them closer to us is always present. . . .
It’s like walking a tightrope, blindfolded, with my children balanced on my shoulders. I’ve taken steps I hope are sound, and so far we’re still standing. But if I go down, they come with me - and they deserve much, much better.
Monday, September 22, 2008
ADOPTIVE parenting -- a balancing act
All parenting is a balancing act, but adoptive parenting is just that much more challenging, isn't it? Or at least it's challenging when it comes to adoption talk! I just came across this great post, Lies and truth both hurt, so tell the truth (click, then scroll down to last post, dated August 02, 2008) from Margie at Third Mom -- here's a taste, but read the whole thing: