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Round is Funny

We get that question all the time! Like you, we want our son to know his story first. But we struggle with how not to disclose too much without making the story seem like a secret or something to be ashamed of. I'm very interested to read part 2 and hear how you handle it.

jessie

Thank you for doing this. I am learning so much and am also looking forward to part 2 of the question

Blaine

I totally agree! Looking forward to Part 2.

Brian (dad to 3)

For us the question usually starts with, "Did their Ethiopian parents die?" A couple of times right in front of the kids (older ones being 4 and 5). Grrrrr.

Looking forward to part 2.

DeAnna

I'm assuming just about everyone get this question because I think many people are once again clueless when it comes to adoption. They have their preconceived ideas that every birthmother is a teen pregnancy and their first and only child. And yet of all the friends I know that have adopted, none of them were teen pregnancies and for many not their first pregnancy. We have pictures of both of the girls birthmoms holding them in the hospital and with Isabella's I showed some people the picture when we got it, I guess that's not a big deal, I doubt most of them remember seeing it, but in some ways I wish I hadn't shown anyone because I haven't shown anyone Amelia's. I decided that for both of my girls I don't want to show anyone the pictures until after they have seen them -- that way it is extra special to them. Like when they are old enough to realize more about who is in the picture, maybe they will want to show others. I don't know maybe thats a crazy thought. :) Of course if either of their birthmoms decide to be in contact with us (I'm still hoping) then maybe we will have different pictures as well, but I know that this is their story and I want to respect as much of that as I can. I am anxious to see how you respond to these questions as well.

DeAnna

Why in the world do I always write a book!!! :) Sorry

Jessica

Funny, I've never gotten that question. We always get "Where is he from?" We usually answer "exotic Dallas, TX" Is the expectation that all adopted children are from other countries?

We also get "Is he mixed?" all the time because he has curly-ish hair and light brown, rather than dark brown eyes.

A kid on the playground once asked me if I was his grandmother (I was a little insulted as I was only 34 at the time.) ANd when I told him that he was adopted his first question was "Why didn't his mom want him?" Ouch. I realized then that that is a question that I must help my son find words to answer when he is old enough. We are blessed to have letters from his firstmom explaining her reasons for placing him in our family.

Soon m son will be at the age where he understands all these questions. I need to learn to stop answering for him. I am working on setting boundaries with others about the intrusiveness of these questions. I am working on "My son may choose to share with you if he likes."

Julie A

We've taken the same approach of wanting our girls to know their own stories inside and out from US and not get tidbits here and there from extended family and friends. Our 5 1/2 year old has started telling her story to others and I usually feel good about the version she shares. I'm not sure how much of it is just repeating what we've told her and how much she really understands but she always seems comfortable and that's what's important to me.

Julie

Erin O'

Definitely not too long, and I'm looking forward to Part II.

I know that some family and friends will be pressing for answers about the facts of our kids' relinquishment, so it's helpful for us to hear how others deal with it.

I do remember Owlhaven discussing this and mntioning how she discussed the possible reasons why a child might be relinquished in the countries from which her children who were adopted were born. She felt she was able to answer a question without divulging the information belonging solely to her children.

e

bek

Wonderful (as always).

I think that those uneducated in the adoption world assume that all children adopted internationally are "orphans". That is what I take from most conversations anyway...

I get variations of that question too. Mostly we get asked if they were born addicted to drugs (!). Hello Sterotype. I have various ways of answering that... but I can't wait to hear part two.... you have such a good head on your shoulders. I wish we were neighbors....

Louise

I look forward to hearing Part 2!

It must be exhausting sometimes, to constantly educate people who have no idea what adoption is all about. I look forward to learning from your example.

MichelleL

Hmmmm . . . we've never gotten that question (although ironically enough our DD's birthmom is very young). We do get the "Where is she from?" question. When I answer "Cleveland" they always are shocked. I guess they expect Ethiopia or some other African country . . .

Leigh

I agree about those stereotypes. We've kind of dealt with some of this with the husband's family.

When Cody first came home my husband told two of his family members about Cody's biological family. Needless to say I was angry and tried to explain he violated Cody's right to privacy and as Cody gets older that should be his choice of whether or not he wants everyone to know his story. He eventually agreed, but he kinda let that cat out of the bag.

dawn

We've decided to let Dawit take the lead. I have photos of him with members of his first family, and I left them out of our photo album, and put them in a special one for just him. Like you, I keep the details of his life private. (just the cute stuff on the blog!) A couple of months after he was here with us, I found him inserting his special photos in the travel photo album that we show everyone who will look. He proudly shows the photo of his first family.

He knows a different story than we do about the circumstances of his being in the orphanage. I suspect the one we know has more truth, and we have documentation. I don't know how we'll handle that as it comes up, but I'll trust him to take the lead again.

My standard answer for people I feel are sincerely interested is to explain the many reasons a child may end up in an orphanage in Ethiopia. I don't offer why Dawit was there...and in the one case when a woman pushed, I asked "why would you like to know?"

avonlea

This post is so valueable to me - thank you.

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