I am going to ask for your patience as I share my thoughts that might actually conflict with your own.
This upcoming Friday we will be celebrating Brycen’s first birthday. When Brycen was born a series of emotions overcame me. His birth changed how I view all my children and especially parenthood.
After having my son, I had difficulty understanding how you can abandon your child (this was the case for my children). My son had difficulty nursing due to a tongue tie. He spent a lot of time crying, and would calm down immediately if he was placed near me. You can read more about what I wish I would have known about breastfeeding here. I guess I was super emotional. Giving birth made me very hormonal and maybe a little more protective of my children. This made it incredibly difficult for me to understand how you can give birth to a child and allow that child to be placed in home you do not know.
Do not get me wrong. I understand that there are circumstances where you choose to place your child for adoption. Honestly I respect that decision very much. It is when your life choices makes it dangerous for children to stay with you that troubles me.
My prospective has changed. Mainly because of my children. I would say my children’s strongest quality is their ability to persevere. I respect my children and who they are becoming. Everyday a little more as I grow closer to them, and as their personalities begin to develop more.
I have never met or spoken to my children’s biological parents, mainly because the opportunity was never there. But I know their children who are small in stature, but in all other ways giants. I can’t help but to respect their mother who was brave enough to bring these beautiful children into this world.
When my kids first entered our home, I have to admit some judgmental thoughts crossed my mind about their biological parents. However I had to stop myself, because who am I to judge!
Do I know their parents?
Do I understand what they have been through?
Do I know the reasons why they have made the choices they have made?
Have I walked in their shoes and down the paths they have?
Quite frankly I have no place to judge them. The scripture reference John 8:7 comes to mind, when an adulterous women is brought to Jesus’ feet.
Jesus taught, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
I know fully that I continually make mistakes in life, especially when it comes to parenting. So I know I have no place to cast any sort of judgment.
Before we adopted our kids, I struggled with the decision knowing full well that they would prefer to be with their own parents. You can read about some of those adoption jitters here.
I have never withheld the truth from my children, but I also do not want to shed a negative light on their parents. Truth be told, we do not have a lot of information ourselves. We make sure, however, that whatever we share we do it in a positive way. We let our kids lead the discussion, and make sure that they feel safe to cry or speak freely about their parents or their past.
Okay where did this rant stem from…recently I joined parenting groups, the topic of biological parent has come up quite a bit. It has made me sad to see how people so easily speak such unkind words about biological parents. I just thought how torn my own children would feel, if we did the same. They would probably feel like they had to choose who to love, or keep their love a secret. I never want my children to feel this way.
I have always told my kids that they have two parents and that is okay. You see getting adopted can be confusing for children.
The Following are few tips we do to help our children not have to choose:
I think these tips can also go for step parents and split families as well.
- Remain positive about biological or adoptive parents. Biological parents created the child. Adoptive parents are caring for child. Remember that children more than likely have a strong connection to both. Saying something negative about the other, might actually hurt your relationship.
- Build a relationship of trust so that your child feels comfortable enough to share with you memories. I have to admit that sometimes I feel like my children feel like they might hurt my feelings if they bring up their past or talk about their bio mom. This is typically where I remind them that it is okay to talk about her and that they have two moms. Than they usually laugh about a memory together. I find this to be healthy. My older kids entered our home at the ages of 5 and 7. Of course they had a past before entering our home. It is not healthy for us or them to ignore it. Sharing these memories with us, I find is also their way of letting us into their world. I believe that it is very important that children feel that they can connect with you about their past, or the part of their life where you are not there. I believe that this helps bring their worlds together.
- Keep pictures of their biological families in your home. We actually do not have any pictures of their biological families, but we do have notes that their parents wrote to them. The kids keep these in their room and look through them often.
Additional tip: This depends on how comfortable you feel. My kids in the past use to ask if they could see their parents or talk to them. This is not possible due to circumstances, but I allow my kids to write their parents letters, keep school work, and whatever else they want to share with their parents. I keep a binder for them to keep these letters.
Obviously I understand every family situation is different, but I would love to hear your tips to help your children.