Sometimes it’s hard not to feel isolated in the adoption community. Like you’re drowning in your struggles. Adoptees, birthparents, adoptive parents, extended family – we’re all tiptoeing through the minefield, looking around to see if anyone’s noticed the train wreck we survived.
But we are not alone.
Conversation around adoption seems fraught with compare and contrast. The push and pull of biological and adoptive moms lurks under the surface, no matter how open minded and enlightened you are. It just is. But when I started really thinking about it, we’re much more alike than different.
Two kinds of women, too often placed on different sides of the fence. Just look at how much we have in common.
Major. Writer’s. Block.
Today’s post is supposed to be about birthfathers – it says so right there on the blog calendar. The way they’re ever present even through the longest absences, the questions that linger, how the struggle is more challenging for T-man…
But I’m sitting here, pen in hand, utterly unable to string together a series of coherent thoughts today. Looks like we’re going with stringing plain old regular thoughts.
I’ve tried to approach Forever Family posts from different viewpoints, to make them a diverse look at adoption issues overall. But in the end they’ve naturally been written from an adoptive parent’s perspective (aka mine). Even my posts discussing things the kids struggle with are still second hand – my interpretation of their experience.
I thought I might look for some firsthand resources to explore today.
Lately I’ve been thinking about my younger days.
See that sweet face? (Yeah, BrightSide, too.) How innocent, how naive…ready to go along to get along, keep the peace, calm the waters no matter what.
Well, lately I’ve been thinking about what I’d tell that 20-something me.
We’ve been off the grid so I’ll be flying by the seat of my pants for this week’s Forever Family. A bit of stream of consciousness thinking, if you will. Bear with me.
We love Christmas.
BrightSide hangs wreaths on the front of the house every year. We light them with spotlights in the evening, washing the whole house in a Christmas glow, and it’s quite a sight when we return after dark to a home bathed in the spirit of the season.
Pretty white lights are tucked into our Christmas tree, spiraling upward toward the ceiling. Bright red bows add splashes of color while years of ornaments pepper the branches high and low. Ones I’ve hung since my own childhood, ones from my teaching years, ones for T-man and Bear. Our tree is one long memory walk…my eyes flit from branch to branch, remembering family celebrations and mom’s crafts and the small gold angel my own grandma gave me years ago.
BrightSide has the honor of adding our angel to the top. (Translation: no one’s crazy enough to think me tottering at the top of a ladder to balance the angel is a good idea.) She’s serene and seems to emanate kindness with her gaze, and our tree never quite seems complete until she’s looking down over our family.
All in all, these kids of ours are pretty awesome. They’re funny, polite (especially to other people), responsible, good natured…there’s only one question we hear from folks more often than the compliment that we’ve got great kids.
“Are they biological sister and brother?”
I honestly didn’t get this at first and truth be told it still perplexes me. T-man and Bear didn’t come home together, which is the first and most obvious sign of adopting siblings, so this isn’t a timing thing. Their skin tones and body types are different enough that you’d think it would give people pause, and yet we get this question a lot. This is how the conversation usually goes.