I’ve experienced many avenues of parenthood. Foster parent, adoptive parent, parenting my biological kids and parent to babies that never took a breath of air. All have their differences.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about being an adoptive parent. It is a bit different than parenting my biological kids. There is a weight of responsibility that comes with adoption. Greater than with the birth of a bio baby, I feel.
We went through hours of classes, background checks and inspections of our home. Physical exams, finger printing, intense home studies. Oh.…and the paperwork and forms….and the whole time you’re wondering if you’ll be deemed good enough to parent a child….someone else’s child.
I hold my daughters history in my hands. I hold their family tree and biological identity. I have things I need to pass on down to them so they are not left wondering about where they came from. I have binders of records I’ve read through and taken notes of important facts. I memorize details and that I think they will find interesting. I try to remember all the medical histories so they are available when needed at doctor appointments. I’ve searched for relatives and obituaries and started biological family trees for them. I’ve read books and researched their cultures so I can teach them. It’s been fascinating and frightening at the same time.
There are the scenarios I play through my mind if someday I hear the words “You’re not my real mom!” or “I want to find my biological family” or even a simple “why?”. I don’t mind that they’ll want to know more, I delight in my daughters and everything about them. There are things I’m excited to tell them and other things that weigh on my heart…things I won’t know how to tell them when the time comes.
I get to worry about the first time they come home with assignments from school that will stir up more questions I may not be ready to answer…or cannot answer….
All our daughters will have a rich heritage with all our families traditions and cultural backgrounds. We will pass down our heritage to them.
I tell my older daughter little things I think her young mind and heart can handle right now and tuck away other things in my heart till she is ready. It reminds me of a quote from Corrie Ten Boom about something her father said to her;
“Some knowledge is too heavy for children.
When you are older and stronger, you can bear it.
For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”
So for now, I carry the knowledge for my girls.