Forever Family: that alternate universe

Many adopted kids find themselves straddling two worlds – the one they live in physically, and the one circling around in their mind.

I can see how easy it would be to fall into this trap.  It’s the ultimate Minority Report set up. (Haven’t seen the movie?  You can wiki-read about it here.)  Living in one reality, but having visions of what your alternate reality would be if you were living with your birthparents…that would be enough to twist me up for a while.

Our kids have lots of questions and we’re helping them sort through their answers, but struggling with thoughts of an alternate universe?  That’s just one of those things they have to work out for themselves.

We were having one of our heart to hearts with T-man…the kind of conversation that’s gut wrenching but oh so necessary.  It was the evening T-man talked about not feeling sure of our family, of being afraid that he’d be sent away.

It was also the night T-man told me part of him wishes he could live with his birthmother.

I can’t say I was surprised.  Two years ago that comment would have sent me to my knees, but that night?  I simply took it in as a matter of fact.

Of course there’s a part of him that wishes he lives with his birthmother.  Most of his friends live with their birthmothers, after all, so that’s the path his life should have (could have) taken, too. It’s the life he’d be living if things had gone the other way.

So it makes sense to me that he’d wonder…what would his room be like?  His school?  Dinner with Miss C in the evenings and family time on the weekends?  There must be a million questions swirling around in his head, his imagination filling in the blanks of his other life.

An alternate universe in which T-man never left the woman who gave birth to him.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that lots of adopted kids struggle to reconcile these two existences – their real life and their what if one – but I don’t know that we can help with this.  It seems like something that T-man and Bear will need to work through themselves, finding a way to integrate who they are and who they imagine they could have been.

Growing up is a difficult enough process as it is.  I can’t quite picture what it must be like to have an entire second life flash before your eyes.

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