Adoption comes with many decisions. Will you adopt internationally or domestically? Are you open to special needs or disabilities? However, no question may be as important as your decision to raise your child with the ongoing knowledge that they are adopted. There is no doubt that children who grow up knowing they were adopted from the beginning are more secure in themselves and in their relationship with both their adopted and biological families.
No Secrets and No Fantasies
Adopted children often wonder about their biological families and that is completely normal. As they grow, they may create elaborate fantasies about their biological parents. This may include stories of kidnapping, long lost royalty and other epic tales. At the heart of this is the desire to know where they came from and the wonder of what their life would have been like if they had not been adopted.
Giving children age appropriate information from the beginning and access to connections with birth family (if safe) will remove many of these questions and create a positive dialogue of their beginnings and their adoption. You will want to give your child the truth about even the hardest topics (drugs, rape, teenage pregnancy, abandonment, criminal activity, etc.) in age appropriate snippets as they grow. This way there is no need for fantasies or unspoken questions.
If you have an ongoing relationship with biological parents or family, enlist them in supporting how their story is shared and keeping to the truth.
Knowing Themselves and Others
When adoption is sprung upon an older child or adult, it causes them to question who they really are and wonder about their relationships with those around them. After all, in essence they will feel that they have been living a lie. A child who grows up knowing they were adopted remain secure in their relationship with you as their parents as they have no reason to doubt it. Secrets breed insecurity and distrust and can be detrimental to the ability to trust others and create loving secure relationships as adults.
Weaving the Truth
When you live in the truth of adoption, it does not mean that you introduce your child as your adopted son or daughter it just means that you share with them the story of their arrival and background through stories and memories the same way you would talk about the birth of a baby. You can create a life book that tells their story and celebrates their life that can be private or shared with others as they grow.
It doesn't mean adoption colors your family or takes away from your place as parents, it simply means that you live without secrets and embrace the truth that your child had another family, another story…one that is valuable enough to celebrate. Talk to places like http://www.achildsdream.org for more information.