Today I was with BE and BC at the store when I saw an old high school friend. We hadn’t seen each other in about four years – the last time was after I got married, but before we had children. I introduced her to the kids and had them tell her their names and ages. Her response was – “Wow, it’s really been a long time.” Seeing as BE is six, this friend was probably thinking it had been about seven years since we had seen each other.
When something like this comes up, I wonder – do I explain the situation, or do I just let it go? I tend to wonder about this especially when the kids are right there. If they are, and I decide to mention their adoption, will it bother them? I don’t want to make too big a deal of it, but I don’t want them to think it’s shameful either. I guess the real question comes down to – whose story is it?
Our adoption story belongs to all of us, but sometimes I think it belongs to my children more – that they have more claim to it than I do. I think that as they get older they should have more control over who hears their story and when they hear it. I just don’t know what the magic formula is. What is the right age? How much do I have the right to say and to whom?
Well, for those of you wondering, I did tell my friend about the adoption. Her reaction was quite normal, as though I had just told her the day of the week. This type of reaction always helps. It’s the “you must be a saint” reaction that J and I can’t stand, but that’s a topic for another day.