There are essentially two schools of thought about informing your children about their adoption.
- Tell your children that they are adopted.
- Don’t tell your children that they are adopted.
What it really translates into is who tells your children they are adopted. They are going to figure it out no matter how much they look like you (sooner if they don’t).
When Thunder was two he went to a new pediatrician that almost immediately said, “So, you are adopted.” To which Thunder replied “Praise God! Amen!” He had heard it enough to know how to respond. The pediatrician was a little taken aback and replied, “That’s some ammunition to fire back!” He didn’t get it. There will always be people that don’t get it.
I am not going to beat around the bush with this one. I don’t know of a single situation (of course there may be some – I just don’t know of any) where withholding information from the child is helpful.
Yes, it is true that adoption can be traumatic for the child, even if you have them immediately from birth. However, attempting to heal that trauma by pretending the adoption didn’t happen, doesn’t help.
Adoption makes them different. They know that, even if they don’t know why. Your job as a parent is not to bury your head in the sand, but to help them embrace the difference that God has given them, so that they will love it. God has placed them with you. Now, train them up to give thanks for that.
Parenting is one of the most unique experiences of being human. There are numerous metaphors that we can apply to help us understand it or relate to it at a deeper level. However, at some point, they all fail.
Almost everyone would connect with the concept that our children bear a physical expression of the love of the parents. That is because it is easy to see that little Johnny has her eyes and his nose. It is my opinion that God made it that way to draw our attention to something deeper that we are normally to dense to notice. Through parenting, we are leaving part of ourselves behind in eternity. Not this tent of a body that we drag around, but the entire being.
It is true that 2 members of my pack do carry reflections of that 3 mm of skin derived from Beautiful and I, but they are all so much more than that. To reduce any of them to their genetics is to rob them of the true value of their being. I believe we are Trinitarian and as such parenting is a continuation of the creation process. It changes phases throughout the years, but the process does not end until I draw that last breath and go home to glory with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Parenting is that glorious process of working the fertile soil that God has placed before you that a great harvest may be yielded. That harvest is the children in your life, adopted, fostered or otherwise, honoring the Lord with their lives.
All of creation will be redone and only God’s Word and people will remain. Through parenting we are affecting eternity. Not only the eternity of our children, but the eternity of the lives that will be touched by them and then by those they touch, and so it goes. The ripple effect of parenting is profound and sublime. It truly is leaving a fingerprint in eternity.