Saturday, August 23, 2008

Family Secrets

We went to dinner last night with some friends, and some friends of our friends. And something that we get asked A LOT came up.

Are you going to tell her?
Tell her what?
You know.
You mean that she was adopted?
Yeah. Because you know, she looks just like you guys so you don't have to tell her if you don't want to.

OK. Right. Practically perfect strangers know but I'm not going to tell my daughter. Are you nuts? Does that sound logical? Does it sound healthy? Does even sound nice?

How would you like to be told at eighteen or twenty-one or oops when you find some document somewhere that "oh by the way..." Every family has its crap, and even their secrets but this is not ours. I never not for one single second want my daughter to EVER feel like there is something wrong with being adopted. There is no secret. In fact there are days that I want to stand up and say "The church is true. Adoption is true. Amen." If you want me to go all preachy on you, it is even a Gospel principle.

Then comes, so how are you going to tell her? Do you remember the day or moment or conversation where you were told your parents were your parents? It's not a sit down discussion. It's a matter of fact. Little Miss has a tummy mommy and a mommy mommy. And all mommy's have to do what is best for their babies. And your tummy mommy loved you so much she wanted you to have a family that had a mommy and a daddy. So she made a very very hard choice when she decided to make a plan. When she is older we will explain about her birthmother and how she made choices. And how we all make choices and how she sacrificed what her desires might have been at one time to do what is right or what might be best.

People. This is not rocket science. Kids are amazingly open and receptive to the TRUTH. Go figure. What I've found is that it's adults that have the problems. Adoption is not a secret at our house. That doesn't mean I will share every last detail about our birthmother or our situation with every Tom, Dick, and Harry. And there are situations where I won't bring it up at all. There is a difference between privacy and a secret. If I could change one thing about the way the people perceive adoption is that it is something to be tiptoed around, or embarrassed or ashamed about, or worse- kept a family secret.


cambridgeclan said...

You were up early this morning. I am so with you on adoption not being a secret. I remember as a kid knowing that someone was adopted, but told not to say anything, because the child didn't know. Hello! I don't think people realize that they make something that can be perfectly normal and OK with a child into some terrible secret. I agree that it's the adults that have the problem. For some reason people seem to think it is OK to lie to their children about some things. In my experince it was telling my boys what was really in the vending machine in the women's bathroom. You know what they said after I told them the truth "OK" and they haven't really broght it up since.

undefined said...

I came across your blog while browsing the blogsphere (through a comment you made on Segullah, I think), and I just wanted to say that I appreciate your candor and your willingness to share your adoption experience. My husband and I are planning to begin the adoption process in the next few months; I'm as overwhelmed as I am excited and hopeful, and it has been good for me to see a little of what you went through. Congratulations on finding your daughter -- you have a beautiful family!

Holly said...

Amen sistah sistah!!

Casey said...

My brother adopted a baby girl 7 yrs ago...and she's always known about her tummy mommy, and still sends her pictures about once a year (that's the only contact). It is what it is, the way it's always been. Nothing to be secretive about, nothing to wring your hands over.
People should think before they speak!

BTW...I'd have to say dogs, however right now it's neither...I have 5 kids after all, I see no need to throw pets into the mix just yet...not until everyone is independently wiping their own back sides!

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