Sunday, October 7, 2012

An Adoption Story in the Making

There are many story books that you can read to your child about adoption.  However, the story that most children like to hear is the one about their own adoption. Each adoption story is unique, but in general, it needs to be humorous, touching and about love.
It is a story about how you began your journey together. You can write it down, you can even make your own story book to read over and over again. Mostly, it is a story that you and your child retain as a keepsake in your hearts and minds that you can retell when it is most needed.
And this is the most important part about the story:  that you can carry positive aspects of eachother in your hearts and minds in a sustaining and truthful way, even when there is conflict and upset.  For instance, it can be told after you have experienced one of those moments when you love eachother but you don't particularly like eachother! By remembering the meaningful details of your adoption story, and retelling it over and over again you can help nourish a secure attachment.  It can also be a good story to tell your child before going to sleep.
The difference between the Adoption story and a Life book is that this is the story about the birth of YOUR relationship together and excludes references to birth and prior foster families or the orphanage. I also find that each time I tell my daughter our story it is pared down to a few meaningful details that are representative of our enduring relationship.

How you tell the story each time to your son or daughter, with enjoyment and humor and sensitivity, is as important as the specific details of what you decide to leave in and what you decide to leave out.  It is a story to be remembered and to be repeated, to anchor the relationship during those joyful times together and in those turbulent times.
If you are having difficulty in knowing where to begin with the story then here are some details you may want to include (or leave out):

a)  How did you come to meet eachother?
b)  Why did you chose to be a parent? How did you know you could parent?
b)  How did you come to chose this particular child?
c)  What were your first thoughts and feelings when you first saw a photo of your child or first met your child? or the day of your adoption?
d)  What were the happy surprises of getting to know your child?
e)  What delights you about your child?
f)   What delights you about being a parent?

As human beings we all want to know how to love and be loved.
As children we also want to know that we are wanted, that we are precious to someone. This deep understanding allows us to have a place and purpose in the world as we grow up. Basically, without this on-going reflection and without eachother, we can not know this deeply in our hearts and minds. 


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