This weekend, the two of us were privileged to speak as part of a panel of adoptive families to a group of prospective adoptive families who are going through some of the education/information part of the approval process. One of the questions we got was about how we will tell Mr. Wigglesworth that he’s adopted, and this is part of the answer to that question.
We’ve been telling Mr. Wigglesworth that he’s adopted since before he was born. He’s still not old enough to understand that, just the words themselves I suspect, let alone the meaning and import of those words. But we’ve also chosen a life-style of talking about adoption – speaking on panels like the one this weekend, speaking at a local university about our adoption experience later this month. Rachael spoke last year in a class on childbirth and caring for mothers in labor and post-partum, and those students asked loads of questions about the adoption aspect of our relationship with Mr. Wigglesworth. I talked with a print news reporter this last week. And we’ve been on the evening news.
What we’re doing in public, we’re also doing at home. Little Man has asked us “why don’t I have a genetic mom?” (He does, it’s just that his genetic mom is also his birth mom!) The boys are growing up with and learning about these relationships the same way any child learns how the relationship with mom and dad is different from the relationship with aunts and uncles – by living it out and asking lots of questions.
Grandma and Grandpa were also here this last weekend. It’s been the same with them – we talk about their relationship with the boys. They also went through a period of “how should I feel about adoption again?” in the weeks after Mr. Wigglesworth was born. And we have talked through and continue to talk through that relationship and work it out one day at a time. It was wonderful to see how Mr. Wigglesworth has become so much more outgoing (he’s still on the shy side) over the last few months.
Just like that any relationship, we talk it out and enjoy each other day after day after day. We talk about it with each other, and we talk about it with others (remember that friend who talked you through an awkward high school relationship?). We just get the added bonus of the occasional chance to talk about our adoption relationships in public from time to time. Like this post.