questions, questions

So, our social worker, T., is great.  Now that all the anxiety of actually getting the homestudy done is over, I have only positive, warm, fuzzy thoughts when I think of her.  She was super through the whole thing.

The advice that I appreciate most from her was something that wouldn’t have occurred to me on my own.  She has adopted two children internationally.  With the first, she said she was SO EXCITED for it to actually be happening that when she was told details about the birthmother, she blabbed them to the world.  Friends, family, coworkers – everyone was excited for her so she told them all about it.

And now bitterly regrets it because she realized too late that the details about her child’s birthparents are her child’s own story, to share or not to share, as she grows up.  Especially during emotional growth phases and with the special sensitivities that come with being adopted, it could hurt tremendously to have somebody come up to you and know intimate details about your origins and talk about them like they’re common knowledge. 

I know all about the situation of your birthparents when you were born and I totally think they made the right choice and how does it feel to know that they were XYZ…

Our SW said that, looking back, she was such a dummy to blab all that she found out, but when when you do find out, you’re just so damn excited it’s hard to stop yourself.  But stop yourself, she advised.

We’ve been pretty good, I think.  Sure enough, when we found out details about F. and J. and how wonderful they are, we did a little blabbing of a few details to a few close friends and family members that I wish we’d held in.  Nothing embarrassing, I don’t think, but I like the whole idea of the baby’s story belonging to him and that, as he grows, he can share it if he wants to or keep it to himself.

Which is why all that we share is that F. and J. are adults, they are attractive and smart and healthy and kind, and that we like them a lot.

It’s hard to answer questions vaguely without offending people, because I know that people are just curious in a caring way when they ask: How old are they?  Are they in college?  Do they have other children?  Why are they making this choice?  I’ve read suggestions of answers to questions like this, like: Why do you ask?  Why does that matter to you? but that level of snippiness isn’t called for, IMO.

Anyway:  YES we know a fair amount about Rainbow’s potential birthparents, and we aren’t sharing it, out of respect to Rainbow and to them.

They’re awesome, though.  🙂

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jackie
    Jan 14, 2009 @ 04:07:00

    I never thought of it in that way, I think it’s truly special that you are keeping some things private for Rainbow, it’s also wonderful to release a few things for others as well.

  2. thisbumpyjourney
    Jan 14, 2009 @ 14:43:21

    Thanks, Jackie. This is all so new to us, and we are trying our best – I guess it’s that way for almost everyone who’s adopting. It *is* very fun to share a good portion of our thrill ride with everyone, too.

  3. ellen
    Jan 14, 2009 @ 22:06:04

    Hi there. I feel like I sort of “know” you guys via Playa Info. Love your blog (and did the old one) but have never properly introduced myself. However, we are in the process of adopting as well so it’s been wonderful to follow your journey. We’re adopting internationally and waiting on a referral for siblings 6 or under.

    This post definitely struck a chord with me. This issue was raised on a listserv discussion and, like you, I’m grateful that I became “aware.” I think my normal inclination would have been to share everything we might find out about our children and their stories. But now I appreciate appreciate the idea that these stories belong to them and that, as they grow up, they should be the ones to determine what and how much to share with those outside our nuclear family.

    Ellen

    P.S. LOL about the fuzzy feelings towards the social worker. I love ours too, now that the home study is complete!

  4. thisbumpyjourney
    Jan 14, 2009 @ 22:55:31

    Wow, how exciting Ellen! And how wonderful to adopt siblings! I know you and your husband must be on pins and needles. Please let me know when you get The Call. I hope it’s very soon. What country are you adopting from, if you don’t mind me asking?

    And yes, I was a wreck during the homestudy and dissected every word the sw ever said to us to try to detect whether she disapproved of something about is. *So* glad that part is over. 😉

  5. K5
    Jan 15, 2009 @ 07:27:24

    It is interesting how the children really want their story not to be told as they get older. Our daughter is nine now and does not like me to talk about her surgeries to others much less her adoption though she will tell you she is adopted. We do not have any birthparent info, which is in and of itself a story, but I wish I had talked less also. Perhaps we are all so excited at the time and it doesn’t all seem quite real yet. However, once you hold your child you become even more protective and want to hold back on personal information.

  6. ellen
    Jan 15, 2009 @ 21:41:25

    K5 – Great to hear the perspective of someone with first-hand experience.

    J – We are adopting from Ethiopia. I’ve been attempting to blog about it occasionally here: http://ethiopianodyssey.wordpress.com. Current wait time for a referral is 1-6 months, then another 2-4 months until travel. As we wait, I’ll also be eagerly awaiting the news of Rainbow’s grand entrance! I’m thrilled for you and your family and sending positive thoughts that all continues to go well!!

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