My younger son is adopted and as he has gotten older I have stressed myself out more and more as to how he will react and feel about being adopted. So many blogs I have read seem to focus on how hard it is for the adoptee, how much they struggle with their identity, feelings of not fitting or not being loved. I feared so much that he would somehow feel lesser than his older brother, disconnected from his family, just unloved. So, I overcompensated a bit and worried so much I gave myself migraines. Then one day I decided to really make sure the lines of communication were open, not just assume he knew he could talk to me or his dad, but assure him of that fact. I wanted to be sure he knew that I would answer any question, that he could talk to me about his biological parents, that my love for him and my knowledge of his love for me meant that I would not be hurt or upset by anything he had to tell me. His look of confusion (sort of a 'duh mom I knew that' look) and his complete blasé attitude about the whole thing, made me realize I was creating this huge mountain of problem where there wasn't one. Perhaps part of it is a boy vs girl thing (I was much more emotional at his age than he is), perhaps it's an age thing (but 13, almost 14 is a moody age) or perhaps I just kept stumbling upon those blogs of people struggling because when things are going well you don't think to write about it.
The thing I learned was that, whether your child is or is not struggling with his identity, make sure those lines of communication are open. It might be painful to hear that they sometimes wonder about their biological parents or they feel lesser than, but if they can't come to you, then who can they turn to? And just maybe, you will find that your sleepless nights could have been salvaged if you had just opened those doors up in the first place instead of worrying what was on the other side.
Written by Angela
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