At What Point Is Your Adopted Kid Just Your Kid?

Wednesday was the one year anniversary of our “Sprattacular Day” when Shane adopted Payton.
If you need to catch yourself up to speed… read this article, it is our adoption story.

D71_5632-2

As the date was approaching I had a vast variety of ways I thought we could/should celebrate…

Here were some of the things I came up with…
Throw a little party – I have heard of people having Gotcha Parties, I guess it is along those lines.
Make a fancy/special dinner
Hang a special banner
Go on an adventure as a family
Just think kid birthday party… the list is endless

In the end we settled on take out from Panda Express (Payton’s favorite) and ice cream sandwiches (they were already in the freezer).

Celebrating the adoption provoked many questions for me and I was overwhelmed with different emotions.
Will celebrating the day make him feel different or special?
Will it be a reminder to him, as well as his siblings, that his Spratt heritage is not the same?
Will it remind him that one man walked out on him?
Will it remind him that one man stepped in for him?
Will his siblings grow to resent that he gets an extra celebration day each year?

I went to bed thinking heavily about the adoption, our story, and my boy’s heart. I just kept focusing on wanting to handle this the best I can. I even googled some adoption celebration ideas.

[By the way… There are so many wonderful families that have journeyed down the road of adoption and it is such a beautiful thing. Keep up the good work!]

12733436_1059889550699528_4578765233862852957_nBut there was one other thing that kept standing out to me… #adoption and #adoptionrocks.

Now that I have had a small taste of knitting a family together in an unconventional manner, I can’t help but to wonder why so often there is a need to broadcast that decision in almost every social media photo?

Hear me when I say this… I am in no way saying that the adoption should be hushed.
I am concerned for how all this will make the child feel in the long run.

I wonder how Payton would feel if we hashtagged all the photos of him and Shane his dad.

To further my credibility on this topic, you should know… we took in a 17 year old girl five years ago. Our sweet Marilyn was never officially adopted, but she is one of us. I know it would have hurt her if we would have hashtagged everything like she was some lovely project that we wanted the world to know we were working on.

11026061_891784417510043_523553229128689276_n

So, I have to ask… why does a family dinner, playtime at a park or even the holidays have to be marked?

When that child is old enough to have their own social media accounts, don’t you think they will wonder why after being part of the family for years they were still marked #hashtagged as different?

At what point is your adopted child, simply your child?

Now before you get all crazy on me…
I still think the hashtag is a great thing when you are
1. promoting adoption
2. sharing a piece of your adoption story
3. are still in the transition phase
4. acknowledging the actual adoption date (maybe)

I know many of you are going to think that our adoption experiences are different or they don’t count. Yes, you are right they are different, but there are still many similar issues…
– it was a long hard road to get there
– there were strangers trying to coexist
– love was a choice
– there was a waiting period and a battle
– there were many investments made

Here’s the deal… March 9th will come and go every year and I am sure that it will feel a bit different to every one of us each time it does… and we will probably celebrate/acknowledge the day each year accordingly, just as other adoptive families will uniquely acknowledge their special day.

But there is one thing that I will not waver on or debate is truth. When Payton has questions, we answer them.
Adopted children should know their truth and it should be part of their “normal.” However, these conversations and this sort of truth is something that should be intimate with the child, not just projected to the world as a way of boasting your making the world a better place.

Some things, some struggles, and some stories are not meant to be shared and broadcasted, but instead they should be intimately embraced.

Please trust that my heart is for my Payton and all other adopted children is to feel loved, accepted, and one of the pack.

I would love to know what adoptive families have to say about this.
Even more so…I am dying to hear from anyone who has been adopted.

unnamed-32

***On April 16, 2016 the title of this post was changed as it was misleading and taken offensively. My hope is that people will now read past the title and engage in deep conversations.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the internet…
Want to make sure you don’t miss a thing?
Leave your email address in the subscribe bar and then like my Facebook page here! 

Thanks! Muah!

 

 

 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

4 thoughts on “At What Point Is Your Adopted Kid Just Your Kid?

  1. When people use #adoptionrocks I think it is because they want to show that adoption can look “normal.” It is not always what people might think, and so I think that most adoptive mamas are well-meaning. However, I do think that it can be overused. But, that goes with everything else on the www.

    For instance, I used to blog a whole lot more about our adoption, the facts around it, and the subsequent trauma. I also have blogged about my bio kids and some of their joys and pitfalls as well. I have thought a TON about what ALL of them will think as they grow. My 13 year old is at a place where I rarely blog about him, and if I post anything, it is with his permission.

    I think there will be consequences as well as benefits as the “blogger Kids” grow up. I think that we will look back on our social media pages and see clearly that there were things we all did right, and things we all did wrong.

    One thing that is personally helpful to me before I post, hashtag, etc. is to remind myself that my kids and my family are not commodities. I never, ever want them to grow up and think that I used their stories for my advantage. If I can truly say that I am posting for their benefit, or to encourage another adoptive family, or just to encourage people in general that we are all a little different, but we are so much the same, then I post. If I feel like a certain post or story might be exploitive, then I don’t.

    There is such a fine line between TMI, and not enough. Unfortunately in our world where we are urged to “live authentically” I believe that some people think that that means to air it all out. When truthfully, their are still sacred family moments. When posted, they lose a little bit of that. This is an excellent topic for everyone on social media to discuss, not just adoptive parents.

  2. As an adopted child myself and Mother of 7 adopted children, I definitely don’t use it in all my photos but in ones I look at and just feel “that’s a downright miracle” I’m proud to be an adoptee and adoptive Mom. I sometimes forget I’m adopted and that my kids are too. A hashtag reminds me of the massive blessing and will hopefully hep people find my story and be inspired that it CAN work. I don’t look at it as a label but as a part of our story

  3. Oh thank you for this!!! As an adoptee I cringe every time I see this hashtag. Exactly what you said and so much more….. I think it stings a little. Does everything about adoption rock? My abandonment issues didn’t rock. Wondering my story and why my parents didn’t want me didn’t rock. Looking in the mirror and wondering where I got my hazel eyes did not rock. Zero medical history and so on. So many things did rock and adoption is beautiful but before beautiful my story starts from pain and loss. We would never say to a child who lost a parent to death or divorce #divircerocks or #deathrocks. Respect that we lost our first parents also. And society doesn’t recognize that loss and tells us to just be thankful. Oh, I am so thankful for my family, but I also know trauma and loss. #thatdoesnotrock