Confronting the ‘moment of truth’ could go very differently for many people, possibly depending on the character of your child, or the way you as a parent approach the topic. There is a time in your child’s life where they must come face to face with the reality; mommy is not my ‘real’ mommy. Awful as it sounds, it must be done, and I may be biased, but my parents did a fabulous job on this one!
One thing I know for sure is it never pays off to keep it a secret. The amount of stories I have heard involving young teenagers or adults finding out they are adopted, have ended in nothing but a horrible mess. It makes sense really, how do you justify over a decade of lying to your child because you were unable to do the ‘hard’ thing when they were younger. An age where you could help them understand and process the news to ensure a healthy and positive outlook on their adoption. Instead of it becoming a secretive, avoidable subject that must go unmentioned and will quite possibly leave a depth of insecurity and confusion in its wake. To bring upon such news at a time when life is already hard enough, having to deal with puberty, peer/personal pressure or simply planning and outworking the beginning of your adult life.
Believe me when I say, biting the bullet and dealing with the waves of adolescent emotion and confusion, is A LOT easier than dealing with a young adult, who is not only set in their ways, but also very opinionated on how the world should work around them and their needs. Thinking about it now, had my parents turned around and blurted out the ‘big news’ only a few years ago, my sixteen-year-old self would have had them for breakfast. Having handed me the biggest ammunition my young and volatile self could get my hands on in attempt to justify my bad attitude and unruly disobedience.
Luckily enough, my parents chose a rather different road, one where I grew up understanding my situation, and never remembering a particular day where I was confronted with some ‘totally shocking and earth shattering’ news that turned my world upside down. Its as if I have always known, simply by including it into conversation, reading books around adoption as well as leaving room for questions to roll on through, no matter how many times your child says ‘why?’
Needless to say, I am so incredibly thankful for the way my parents handled the ‘big moment of truth’ and I encourage those of who may be juggling between the possibility of keeping it a secret, or unsure when the time is right, or how to address it. All I can say it, as an adult, I seldom remember any of the conversations around adoption, or what they entailed, but I do remember feeling safe and loved and totally free to express and ask questions about whatever my five year old self could comprehend around the topic.
If you do have any questions, or you would like some more information of how my parents went about addressing adoption, comment bellow and I will get back to you as soon as I find a hotel in Spain that has decent internet – traveller problems…