Why I'm Teaching My Adopted Child to Love His Birth Family
"The parent I thought I’d be wouldn’t have to look into the eyes of an infant and practice telling his adoption story."
I am driving with my 3-year-old son. Quietly, his little voice chimes, “Mom, can I see her?”
“Who, sweetie?” I ask.
My heart skips a little, but I try to sound calm and casual. It was a question I knew to expect at some point.
“Maybe someday. Would you like that?”
Lydia is my son’s birth mother.
I first met her at the hospital, four days after she delivered a 5-pound, 6-ounce boy. She wanted to meet the woman who would foster her baby for a few months until they could be reunited. I was so nervous I barely spoke. I had no idea that we would forever be connected.
We adopted my son a year and half after we brought him home. The parent I thought I’d be wouldn’t have to share her child with another family. The parent I thought I’d be wouldn’t have to look into the eyes of an infant and practice telling his adoption story so that when he understood the words, they wouldn’t be foreign. The parent I thought I’d be would never have to consider whether it was important to her to leave behind biological DNA when she dies.
Instead, the parent I am saves pictures and letters from his birth family, knowing that no one truly owns their children. The parent I am says things like “I bet you got your blue eyes from your birth mother” so that my son knows it is okay to talk about adoption. The parent I am knows that we’re all part of one human family. I may not be the parent I thought I’d be, but I am proud to be the parent my son needs.