Talking the Truth: Erica on Talking to Her Child About His Adoption Story
In light of National Adoption Month, one birth mother contemplates the day her son will come to her and ask about his adoption story. She wonders how she will stir up the strength to explain to him her choice. What will she say? She trusts that the truth will guide her. She trusts that honesty will be the key to giving her son what he needs. This is what Erica believes.
I often think of the day Aiden* comes to me and wants to hear his story… When he wants to know exactly why I made the decision to choose adoption for him, and not raise him myself. When he wants to know who his birthfather is and what our story together was. Why things ended they way they did, and why his birthfather chose not to be involved in any of our lives.
I have had thousands of conversations with my mom asking for advice to prepare for this day, and she always says the same thing.
“You will tell him the truth. Trust yourself that will know the right thing to say.”
The difference from me and probably a lot of other people is that I want/need to know
E V E R Y T H I N G. I always need all the details to feel like I have a solid understanding of my surroundings in life. Part of my adjustment after this adoption is that for one of the first times in my life I actually do not know everything. It has been a process for me; the biggest lesson I have been learning throughout this journey is how to accept the unknown and trust more in God’s plan than in my own.
A perfect example of my ‘sometimes’ unnecessary need to know everything is when my little brother comes back up north for the holidays, or visits for a long weekend and I bombard him with questions.
“Have you made any good friends at work?”
“Cool… What are their names?”
“You guys ever hang on the weekends?”
“Are you eating enough?”
“Okay good, but what do you make for dinner?”
“I don’t know- Erica! Things are good. I’m good, and I’m eating. Why do you ask so many questions?”
That is a conversation I have had a million times with both my brothers. Well, the truth is, I ask so many questions because I care. I care so much and need to know that all the people I love are okay and doing well; I need to know that everyone is happy and if they are not then I am going to do whatever little, or big thing I can to change that.
With even an open adoption it is tough… there is SO much unknown. Aside from the little things like,
“What are Aiden’s favorite foods?”
“What was his face like when he tried a lemon?”
“Does he like to sleep more on his back, or his belly?”
“Who are Aiden’s friends at daycare?”
“Is he towering over all the other little kids his age?”
…(clearly I can go on and on)
However, the biggest unknowns are in my future. When my day ends and I am alone in my own thoughts and when all starts to settle down around me– this is when the unknowns of the future start to flood my head.
The biggest strength in myself I have come to find on my journey of this adoption has been my ability to take a step back and trust; to be honest and trust myself that maybe I do not always know all the little details, but I do know the bigger picture. To trust that just like with my little brother, God is working his plan on all our lives and keeping Aiden happy, healthy, and in a good place– exactly where I always have known he is and exactly where I always know he will be.
I have nothing but the purest form of love for Aiden. I know in our future there will be some difficult conversations and there will be some difficult questions he will ask me.
I want Aiden to always be happy. I never want him to hurt and I, ESPECIALLY, do not want to be the reason he ever hurts.
When the day comes and Aiden wants to hear his story. When he wants to know exactly why I made the decision to make an adoption plan for him, and not raise him myself. When he wants to know who his birthfather is and what our story together was. When he wants to know why things ended they way they did, and why his birthfather chose not to be involved in any of our lives. If he wants/needs to know E V E R Y T H I N G. If he needs all the details in order to feel like he has a solid understanding of all his surroundings in life… I trust myself that I will know exactly what to say, and that I will tell him the truth.