April 12, 2010

THE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH....

     I have wanted to write this post for some time now.  The one about adoption and the truth...  you know, nothing but the TRUTH!   But honestly, I felt how I feel  about it would not be accepted too well.  It does not seem to be the current opinion on how you should do it....


    Not that I need some ones approval to validate how I feel or think on a subject.  I know well enough that current trends of  "how things should be done" in adoption have certainly changed a time or two since we first started adopting.  The big one  I remember too well from the past collection of successful adoption theories  is that, "If you love them unconditionally everything will work out just fine."      Meaning, years later that if you really tried hard and it did not "work out too well"... then you just did not do it correctly or you did some thing wrong.  Say your very well loved adopted child ended up in prison  or no longer speaks to you after they grew up or you have not a clue even WHERE  they are  or they became a drug addict or even if they did not  follow in youth ministry as you wished .....   well, too bad for you. YOU did some thing wrong.  These are all things that actually happened to parents we used to know who first adopted children when we first did in the 80's.


    Guess what all of that is a lie!  That may all seem silly to you young adoptive parents but, in truth.  attachment disorders, sensory issues and pretty much the whole gambit of problems we now know kids can and do deal with after being adopted, and after being in orphanages,  before they are adopted  were not very well known about only 15 years ago.  We were told once," Just love her and she will be healed and be fine".  How unfair that was to her. And to us her family who do love her.  But it was all they had to give us...  No one meant any thing harmful or untruthful it was just what it was....   Spoken to us by very honest, loving and wonderful people who genuinely cared about our child and wanted her life to be better and good.


    Now to the point of this very long post.... telling our kids the truth about their beginnings.  As I have mentioned before I am an adoptee and a bio parent and an adoptive parent.  And I am a Christian and  all of this is important in shaping who I am but also how I view life and the world around me and others.  My adoptive mom was way ahead of the norm for adoptive parents when she and my dad adopted me. She never felt she should lie and say I was not adopted but was their own bio child. This was actually some thing that was done as "the norm" when I was adopted.  (Okay, yes, I'm old, but your missing my point!)  My mom even felt it was "MY RIGHT" to know every thing about my history and who my bio parents were!  That attitude was certainly not the current approved adoptive parent norm when I was adopted.  She even sorted thru some paper work on her attorneys desk and found the information she felt I should "own" as mine and got it for ME.  So from early on in my childhood,   I knew that I was adopted and I knew my own birth moms name and my birth fathers name.   Pretty cool mom huh? Ya, I always thought so too.


    Also we have a daughter who was adopted from Vietnam and we unexpectedly met her bio family at our adoption ceremony.... and they asked us to stay in touch with them.  So "tada" we also have an open international adoption.  Which is hard to explain and our agency was not aware of this turn of events but it has worked out well for us all...so far ..."not perfect" but we are all human beings and so I do not expect that. I am trying hard to teach my daughter to not expect perfection either from her birth family, or us or herself.  I guess perfection means that who we love or who ever loves us will never let us down.  We all know it is not realistic but inside it is there... we want it.  And learning to forgive those who love us and who we love is part of life.  Even the big things... like not being able to parent in a way that is good. 


      So here is it is....  I tell my children that their bio family loved them.  Yes, I do.  Even though I have not received a written report of that from them.  (Well, except my daughter from Vietnam does have a written statement to that effect over and over again in her letters from her birth family.) All of my 5 children adopted came from various circumstances that led to their adoptions. Just like all adopted  kids.  I have never had a child come into my family from foster care. If I had a child that came to me beaten and left for dead would I feel the same?  Yes, I would.  Would I  be angry for my child and possibly hate the bio family? You bettcha!!!!   But the truth is.... they are part of who my child is... just like I am.  And I can NOT hate them because that says to my child I hate part of who you are.....    I say to them your family loved you  just like all parents love their children.   Do I need proof to be able to tell them this?  No I do not....  And I am not lying.  Sorry folks  I am not.  I have to tell you that at different times in all (okay most) adoptees lives they say all kinds of things about their birth family. And some of them are: " I do not need or care if they loved me....  I hate them.... I will never do what they did.... they did not love me....  (spoken wanting to not feel this way at all but in anger).... I do not care about them ..... my life is now not then."  And it can vary and go on and on... on and on. But they do care very much.  All of us need to know where we started from so we know we did not get dropped by aliens on to the planet.  Sound simple but true?  Yep it is.
    
      I will tell  my daughter who was found abandoned in China all sorts of circumstances that are possible in China that could have lead to her birth mom  abandoning her out side an orphanage gate.  I will tell her about my own feelings about her country and the political climate and the way I saw men treat women in China and how I felt about Chinese men when I was there.  I will put myself into the shoes of her birth mother because now I am her mother (and just like her bio mom) I do what is best for her!  My opinions only? Sure they are...    Because this is part of my raising of my child.  They need me in many and various other ways to raise them to be healthy, happy people.  They need me to love them.  I "show" them what the love of a mother is like every day of my life....  and  because I am a Christian they need me to show  them the love of their  Savior.  Would I say to them sorry I have no proof in writing that you were loved by who ever gave you away ... and then you came to me and I do love you so much...  Sure this is truth as you know it. I lose nothing of my child's love by admitting that they also were loved by a family they do not know. 


     The truth and nothing but the truth.   MY opinion is.... No adoptive parent has the right to say to their child you were not loved by your bio family.  Because it is like saying this...Cause you see I (your parent, whom you trust to teach you a healthy, healing view of life)  never really have proof of this so I just do not know. However,  Dogs love their puppies, cats love their babies, horses love theirs.... it is natural.  But for some reason you did not get that....    Sorry people this is not my view.  Every parent loves their child... not in all the same ways or in the same volume or in the same amount as others.  Some parents are so disturbed they can not show that love..... But if they could they would.  And so I would say to my child who was beaten and left for dead  (if I had a child who did come to me under these circumstances).  If your birth parents could in any way have expressed the love they had for you deep down in their souls  (a love God put there for them to give you) they would have.  I am sorry they were not able to do that for you.  But I am here and now you are mine and I am loving you enough for both of us....


    It is not a lie.  It is the truth and nothing but....

3 comments:

Aus said...

Morning Dawn - I like how you got to your conclusion - I wouldn't have taken the same path - but I enjoyed the walk with you!

I look at it this way - coming from the perspective of 3 asian adopted kids, 1 Korean and 2 Chinese) - your bio parents obvously loved you - they 1) let you live (as frequently doesn't happen) and 2) placed you some where so that you could be found and cared for by someone. This happened at great risk to their own personal safety and freedom by the way!

And now you are mine - and a part of our family - just as it was Ordained by the God in Heaven - born into our family....by way of Korea / China!

hugs - aus and co.

Carrie said...

Amen! I love it and I am so glad you posted it! God BLess!

TanyaLea said...

Very good post! And I appreciate Aus's words, too. Both well spoken and true!

God bless! <><
~Tanya