Wednesday, July 28, 2010

DADT Doesn't Work For Adoptive Parenting

Dawn Davenport at Creating a Family blog has a great post, "'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Doesn't Work for Adoptive Parenting, Either" [LOVE the title!] about the importance of talking adoption with our kids -- not just as toddlers, but as they grow older, too:

We know, however, from talking with teens and adult adoptees, that kids don’t stop thinking about being adopted when they outgrow their footy pajamas. In particular, they wonder about their birth parents: who they are, what they liked to do, what they looked like, why they didn’t parent them. Some kids think about this a lot, some think about it a little, but from what I can tell from talking to teens and adults, most think about it some.

There are some kids who will readily talk and ask these questions to their parents and birth parents, if they are in an open adoption. But lots of kids, my own included, might think and wonder, but never bring the subject up. And even the most curious and talkative child will steer clear of this conversation if they sense that it makes their parents uncomfortable. It is way too easy for parents to assume that if it isn’t spoken, it isn’t thought. If the kids don’t ask, then we don’t need to tell. This is mighty convenient since we just as soon not talk about it anyway. If we’re not careful, this can become a self perpetuating cycle. Our discomfort, keeps them silent, and their silence justifies our own.

So what’s a parent to do?
Go find out what savvy adoptive parent Dawn does.

1 comment:

thriftymomma said...

Very smart post. I am lucky my kids leave me giant openings and questions and topics just evolve, but were we a family that showed discomfrot over the topic or jealousy in some way then I think our girls would be a lot less forthright..