We were singing “The Wheels on the Bus” today when, in the middle of a verse my son stopped, wrapped his little arms around my neck and said, “Thank you for adopting me – I always wanted a mommy like you.”
Stunned, utterly caught up in emotion like a balloon had swelled in my chest so that I couldn’t even speak, I just squeezed that little 3-year-old boy in my arms and felt immeasurable love and joy in my son. He’s never said anything like this before and I was completely shocked!
I am not sure where his remark came from; it had been an ordinary day. We had not talked about adoption today. It just came out of the blue! But I love that adoption is part of his vocabulary. I love that even though he is too young to understand the full meaning of us being his adoptive parents and that he has birthparents, his adoption is cemented into the foundation of his sense of self. His understanding of it will develop over the coming years but it is a part of who he is even now as a little guy in these early years.
I encourage you adoptive parents to not shy away from openly talking about adoption with your child. Let it be a part of your every day language, let them grow up with adoption being a celebrated aspect of who they are. Let their adoption be a part of the foundation of their sense of self from the very beginning. Don’t worry about getting the words just right or perfectly explaining the abstract concept of adoption to your toddler or child who lives in the concrete. Go with the flow and don’t worry when you can’t seem to find the words in response to their questions. The most important part is that they sense in you the joy and celebration over their adoption. Your smile and hug as you tell you them you adopted them is what they will understand; and they will know they are special and loved!
I’ll cherish my son’s words today. Always!