Sunday, December 6, 2009

They Couldn't Keep Me

This morning, out of the blue, came this revelation.

Harold: Mommy, Daddy I have a story.

Us: O.K. go ahead.

Harold: When I was born I had a different Mommy and Daddy and they couldn't keep me. Then, then, then you came and picked me up and took me home.

--A moment of shocked silence--

C.O.: That's right and we're happy we could get you. We love you very much and we're glad we're a family.

Hugs and kisses all around.

Harold: I'm hungry now.

We have never sat down and "told" Harold that he was adopted. In fact, I doubt he knows that word, adopted. But we talk about the concept all the time. We point Guatemala out on maps, always referring to it as his birthplace. We read a book called "Adoption Day" about a couple getting their child after a long plane ride. When we're around obviously pregnant ladies we tell Harold he was never in my tummy, he was in a different mommy's tummy. It's all just a part of our reality. It appears to be all coming together for him, before the age of three! We're blown away by it. Harold continually reminds me that children understand far more than we give them credit for.

We don't want his story to be a mystery to him or anyone in Harold's life. Even before he could understand, we would tell him his adoption story. It's obviously paying off.

Our hope is that the days of adoption being hidden, secretive, something slightly shameful in society is over. We hope that adoptive parents and children will be proud of their past and unique story. They have been loved by so many people, their birth parents, perhaps foster parents, adoptive parents, each doing what they thought was best for these special little people.



Soren said...

I totally agree. It's amazing what kids can learn at really young ages,and so disappointing when you see parents that still baby toddlers and older, not understanding the child's learn potential, and their desire to learn at that age.

And I have never understood some of the taboos we have, adoption being one of them. It sounds like you guys have done a great job of telling him how it is without waiting to explain it 'when he's old enough' or thinking that not telling him is somehow better for him. Those are fallacies that just lead to resent.

I often wonder how you could raise a child in a village like Brevig and have that child escape the problems that seem embedded into society up there, but you guys seem to be showing how to do it with Harold!


Sara said...

IT was the same with Emma. She would ask me every night to tell her the story about how we got her. It would amaze me at how much she understands. The questions have become more interesting the older she is. LOts of love to all of you. We miss you all.

brooksatherton said...

This is an encouraging story! I work with a lot of students who are in the foster system and it seems those who are both clearly welcomed into their current family as a son/daughter and fully aware of their personal family history are the most well adjusted. I am blessed to hear how wise you have been in raising your son.