Monday, January 17, 2011

Double Stuffed

It is the tendency of adoption observers to view the day a family finally 
takes custody of their new child(ren) as that child's beginning. We know they 
have a past, but it is unapproachable, sometimes secretive, and we feel
that the best thing to do is to simply ignore their past and treat them like it doesn't exist.

The thing is, our kids had nearly 11 years of combined experiences between the three of them that we will never be able to fully unpack and retell for them. Sure, they may be able to tell us some stories, but we won't know if their facts are accurate or not because, let's face it - kids remember things differently than adults do.

Why do I tell you this?
Because adopted kids are like
Double Stuffed Oreos.
Here they are sandwiched with two sets of parents, 
and double the history and experiences.

Only addressing or taking into account one of those histories
will leave you thinking maybe the child is unruly, rebellious,
confused, not attaching well, or worse.

No, I am certainly not saying that I need to go 
around sharing my kids' history 
with every teacher, nursery worker, 
grocery store employee, or even friend...
but just know that there is something there... 
that there are experiences beyond 
anything you will ever comprehend.

And know that if you say something
about my child or something he or she did
that triggers that fear response
it's not you.
It's me,
my fears, 
my concerns,
and the floodgates that just opened
and made me unable to
control my facial expressions.
It's not you.

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