Sunday, January 15, 2017
When I was a kid I remember my mother always telling me to make my bed. I thought how silly - I'm just going to get in again tonight. Why bother wasting my energy on making my bed?
I made my bed throughout college because friends always dropped by the room and that's where everyone sat. I made my bed in my first apartment because it was a studio with a fold out couch. I made my bed in my next apartment, even though I could close the bedroom door. I taught my kids to make their beds, even though they gave me the same reasoning I gave my mom. I still make my bed everyday - even though I often have to coax the dog to get down.
Some things are worth doing every day. Some you do less often. Some you may not do at all.
Talking about adoption probably falls in the middle – not every day, but ongoing. You most likely started sharing you plan with family and friends. You adopted. You should have started talking to your child, sharing their story with them, even before they understood. This gave you time to practice, so by the time they understood, your voice, body language and manner were calm and relaxed. You answered questions from others or will shortly. You chose between secrecy and privacy as you gave out facts or generic information.
As the years progressed, it became easier and more of a habit to make my bed. I repeated what worked and tried new things. Yes even making a bed requires imagination and skill. The size changed. Fitted sheets were wonderful, but hard to fold. I learned a new trick which made it easier. Then I learned to put the folded fitted sheet and flat sheet inside one of the pillow cases. Presto – easy to grab when needed. No more digging around for a matched set. I was prepared.
It will become easier for you to talk about adoption as the years progress and your child grows. You will be creating an environment where it is safe to ask questions and share ideas. You will practice how to share details and help your child learn what and when to share their adoption with others. You will learn to look for opportunities to bring up adoption or ask your child how they are feeling. Television, movies, books and more will provide these opportunities. Birthdays, Mother’s, Father’s and Birthmother’s Day add extra occasions for discussion and exploration.
There will be times you talk about it more. Times you talk about it less. The important thing is to make sure your child knows they can always talk to you and that you will help them navigate being part of a family built by adoption.
But like that unmade bed – it will present itself daily – What you decide to do about it is your choice.