I’m not really sure how to ask this, or even if I should…
Recently, someone started a conversation with me in this manner:
Ummmm….I’m not really sure how to ask this, or even if I should….
My thought process: Oh sh*t, what are you going to say about adoption or loss? (Given there circumstances I knew they weren’t pregnant, so I didn’t have to worry about that). Please just don’t ask me questions about the colour of his skin or his time in utero, I’m so over those conversations and I don’t have the energy for it right now.
My actual answer: What is it? I’ll answer it if I’m comfortable answering.
Friend: Well, we are just wondering, when will Little MPB know about his adoption? We just don’t want to say the wrong thing as he’s growing up.
MBP’s: For us, the fact he is adopted is just a fact of life, and is definitely not a secrete. The best comparison I can think of is that just like your child will always know who is parents are, Little MPB will always know who all his parents are too – there’s just a few more of us in his life then in your child’s life. We don’t envision sitting down with him when he’s 10 or 16 or 21 to explain that he’s adopted. Instead, he’ll just always know and we’ll answer questions and talk about it when and however he wants to.
Friend: Oh, okay! We had no idea.
MPB’s: We are always happy to answer questions about adoption, if you have any. If you ask something we aren’t comfortable sharing, we’ll just tell we aren’t comfortable sharing. For example, we don’t discuss the choices we made when we were filling in our child desired form. And, we don’t discuss very personal things about Little MPB’s birth family, as we want to let him share one day if he chooses to.
Friend: Oh, that’s good to know. We just want to make sure we are saying the right thing. We usually say biological parent, is that okay terminology? And, what if he asks us questions about adoption as he grows up?
MPB’s: Yup. We usually say birth parent. But, biological parent is totally okay too. As for him asking questions one day, we’ve been told most adopted children do ask questions and do want to talk about their birth parents usually between the ages of 3 and 6. We figure we’ll let him lead those conversations and we’ll just answer everything truthfully, age appropriate of course. And, if he asks you questions or talks to you about it, we’d hope you’d be willing to chat with him about it too. The last thing we ever want is for him to feel like he cannot talk about his family dynamics and his adoption with others.
Honestly, it was a great conversation. I really appreciated their willingness to ask questions, to use appropriate language and to want to know how to best support our son as he grows up. Seriously, no-one else has ever asked us how they can best speak with and support our son in regards to his adoption!! I was shocked by the questions, but it was such a good shock! And I also loved that they asked us, not just me. No-one ever asks adoption related questions when Mr. MPB is around, it seems to be something that they only ask me. (We are told this is a common gender stereotype within the adoption world – people usually only ask questions to mom’s when the dad isn’t present).
These friends are truly amazing individuals and I am so glad that they are part of our lives.
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