I will never profess to be an expert in adoption language. In fact, I know I’ve gotten it wrong before. And I’m okay with people correcting me. In fact, so long as it’s polite and constructive, I’m always open to learning. And my theory is that anything I can learn to help my son navigate his feelings around adoption, can only be good for him and our family. And so, I expect this continual learning to be a life long endeavour.
Anyways, most recently I’ve been thinking about the normal comment of Little MPB is adopted or Little MPB joined our family through open adoption or any variant of these comments. While we don’t advertise Little MPB’s adoption with a sticky note on his forehead, it does come up in conversation from time to time. We are open and honest about his adoption, while also protecting some more confidential pieces of his story for him to choose to share one day. But, when it comes up it seems like we always say he is/was adopted. And in doing so, it feels like we always make it about him.
Which makes sense and yet doesn’t.
Yes, he was adopted, obviously. But, he had absolutely no voice in his adoption. In fact, it was as his birth mother, myself and Mr. MPB, who made all of the decisions around his adoption. In fact, as with all infant adoptions, he had absolutely no voice.
So, while I may be over thinking this, because I’m known to do that, I’m starting to wonder if always pointing a finger at Little MPB is going to ostracize him in some way, shape or form. As if somehow it will make him feel different every time it comes up. And while yes, his adoption makes him different, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. And, the last thing we want is for him to feel like he’s all alone in this, because he’s not. While Mr. MPB and I cannot pretend to understand the emotions he may face as he grows up and understands adoption, we can make sure he knows we understand our own set of complex emotions about adoption. And, we can make him understand that no-matter what, it’s the 3 of us who are in this together and we will always support him and love him, no matter what.
So, I’m thinking we should say something more like our family was brought together through open adoption. Something that binds the three of us, rather then isolates him.
Like I said, maybe I’m just over thinking this. But I also think, what’s the harm in using language that doesn’t make him the odd one out. Rather our family can be the odd ones out. and we can build our family narrative accordingly.
If you like this post, please feel free to share and please click the follow button on the side or return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.