This month’s support group meeting was on talking to your child about adoption, basically what information to share and what age to share the information by. It was a great meeting and had a lot of good discussion and comments by everyone that came. It was awesome to not only hear the ages we should be telling specific information but to also hear from other people the ways or things that they have thought about bringing up or talking about specific topics.
Since we started this process we knew that adoption should always be a part of our child’s language. Incorporating information about their adoption story even before they can understand what it means so that they have a positive view of adoption is important. Just because a 2 year old doesn’t understand what adoption or a birth mother means they should associate that we as parents are ok talking about it and what them to talk about when they have questions.
Having an open adoption will hopefully mean that we have more information about their adoption story (why they were placed for adoption, who their birth mom and dad are, history about their birth family, etc.). This information will be helpful as our child grows and has questions about their adoption. We also hope to have contact with the birth mom/dad so that they can see us interact with them and vice versa in order to know they are a part of our family or to be able to answer questions about who they were/are and why they decided to place for adoption.
Throughout all ages we want to make sure to use positive adoption language (I have talked about this before a little bit) and make sure that our child knows they can talk to us about any questions they have. Even if we don’t have the answers to their questions we want to be able to have them know they have as much information as we have and that we are not hiding things from them. The earlier they associate adoption as not being a negative and know that we are comfortable talking about it, the easier it will be as they get older to come to us when they are struggling with who they are as a person.
We also want to make sure that our child feels empowered to share their story as they want to share it. If there is a part of their history that they don’t want to share with friends/family then they should have the right to keep it within our family. Giving them the power over their story helps to give them confidence in who they are.
There are a couple more articles of information that we didn’t get to go over in the meeting and I am looking forward to being able to sit down and read them this weekend. In addition there were some great ideas that we want to consider looking into doing for the future. Things such as a family tree that includes a birth and adoptive family section, an adoption story book that is specific to their story, put up pictures of the birth parents in their room (we already have a frame just need a picture), and regular children’s books that focus on adoption stories are all going to be helpful to us in explaining adoption.