As I pondered writing a blog that could address both Adoption Awareness Month AND Thanksgiving, I wasn’t sure where to start, until I was talking to a friend about the latest episode of the TV series, This is Us, and she asked me, “How old were you when you were first told you were adopted?” Wow! First, the answer is that I don’t remember, I just always knew. Second, I am so very thankful that I don’t remember!
We teach in our Adoption Education Workshops that your child should never remember when they were told they were adopted. Talk about their adoption from day one, so that they never remember the day they were sat down and told something so profound. In the Halloween episode of This is Us, Randall, a young adoptee, avoids trick or treating to a neighbor’s house because they told him his parents “lost a child” so they got him instead. He’s upset that the neighbors know more about his story than he does, as to how he came to be a part of his family, and he’s afraid to ask his parents, because there must be a pretty bad reason they haven’t talked about it. Your child should never hear their adoption story from someone else. They should never feel as though you’ve kept the truth from them, or that they can’t talk to you about it.
I do not have a single memory of learning or understanding why I was adopted. I have many memories of talking about it with my parents. I have memories of it sometimes being difficult for them, because they didn’t have all the answers to my questions, and they too had painful losses that led them to adoption. But they talked anyway, because they knew it was what was best for me, for our family, and for our relationship. They had been taught in an Adoption Education Workshop many years ago that being open and honest in talking to kids about adoption was one of the most important things adoptive parents can do. Being able to talk about it made me feel accepted and that I belonged.
So when it comes to adoption awareness and thankfulness, I guess you could say I am thankful for the awareness about adoption that my parents were taught, I’m thankful for my parents, and I’m thankful for my life! I’m also thankful to work for an agency that supports these values!
-submitted by Joyce Twite, Administrative Support Specialist, Adoption and Pregnancy Counseling