Thursday, February 20, 2014

Every day I learn something new about raising adopted children...


So today, JayJay realized her nose was brown, just like her brothers. Just as quick as she told us her nose was brown her sister decided to ask me what color my nose was. My reply was "white kind of like vanilla, yours JayJay is brown kind of like chocolate". We sat there on the floor for 4 or 5 minutes discussing our noses. The truth is, for a moment, my heart sunk because I realized that she is starting to see herself as different not the same as mom. Thank goodness she is only 4 years old, and her attention span is that of a gnat. Here is the humor I found in our conversation... She only realized that her nose was brown, not the rest of her. At least I get to slowly work on the color difference topic.

There are many things I am learning (as we go) about raising adopted children. First and foremost, no two adoptive parents do things the same. There is no guideline or checklist on how to raise adopted children. What works for one adoptive parent may not work for another adoptive parent.

Share your childs story with them in age appropriate language. Before our conversations began I was a bundle of nerves not knowing how one can possibly dive into this conversation. Truly I would get so worked up about it that I would almost shut down. Now I realize its not that difficult. Start early with appropriate language. All of my kids know they are adopted, but lets get real... they don't REALLY know what adopted is. That doesn't mean we don't talk about it. We have made the word adoption a very common word in our home, not a taboo word. Hopefully this way it will not come as a complete shock to them.

Do not speak bad about your childrens Birth Parents. My husband and I really don't speak much about our childrens birth parents. When we do if the topic is not child appropriate we wait until they go to bed. Truly, we don't speak bad about them. If anything we think that their situations are very sad. The few occasions that we have spoken about them usually on the way to a visit or after a visit we speak very nicely about them.

If you have the opportunity to continue some form of a relationship with the Birth Parents, do it. We are lucky enough that two of our children get to see their mom two times a year. Our other daughter does not have that advantage. Our child gets to see all of us in the same room, all getting along respecting each other. Having a relationship with the birth family does not mean that child is not yours, it just shows that there are many people who love them.

Just because your child does not look like you does not mean they are not like you. Tell your child about your similarities. Both LeiLei and dad have the same eye color. Both JayJay and mommy have big feet. My childrens eyes light up every time we talk about similarities.

When asked if they are your adopted children. Always clarify that they are your children that happen to be adopted.

These are my children. I will forever love them, and forever let them know that I am here for them.

4 comments:

  1. I luv it... so what 'similarities do I have? umm,,, I can make funny faces while singing 'lil bunny foofoo'... lol!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Children are amazing. While we are worrying about how to broach a subject, or, how we will react to a subject, guess what? They bring it up. Only it's in a form that is different than what we thought. If we listen to what they ask, and not get it too complicated, we can answer their questions in a way they can understand. And then they will keep asking the same questions in different ways. As they grow their understanding grows. Inside, in your heart, they are like you. That's what really matters. In our family we have lots of different colored noses. Love, Aunt Linda

    ReplyDelete

We Love Hearing From You!