AfriGeneas Adoption Forum
In Response To: When do you tell? ()
We had decided even before our adoption process that we would tell our child that he/she was adopted. Our whole family knew that we were in the process and so did our church family. So, her adoption was no secret.
Our “When do I tell” day wasn’t planned. Since the age of two, my husband, our daughter and I have always gone out to eat on Fridays. This was our family evening. One of us made the choice about where we would go. As we are leaving home in the car, my husband would always ask, “where did we want to go?” and our reply would be, “I don’t know, where do you want to go.” My daughter’s favorite place was Wendy’s. She loved their bacon cheeseburger.
Wendy’s had this poster that hung on the wall that a picture of small children of different races. It had a phone number and where to call if you wanted to adopt a child. My daughter would always sit where she could read and see the poster. She would always tease us about calling so that she could get a little brother. We would always talk about the poster. We talked about how positive adoption was and gave her an overview of how the process goes. So, every time we paid a visit to Wendy’s we talked about the poster and adoption.
Back in 1999 when she was 7, it started out as an ordinary day. We were relaxing at home and decided to get a snack. While going doing the steps, I stopped and just sat down. She did the same. All out of the blue, she says, “Mom am I adopted?” My heart jumped and I turned and looked at her and said, “Yes.” I came out without any thought or regret. She says, “Really.” I said, “Yes.” She says, “Wow, that’s cool, I’m going to call and tell Grandma.” She calls her grandma and the first thing grandma said was “Who told you that?” Her grandmother shared her joy. That’s how I describe the moment. It was just pure joy. I had played it over and over in my head how to tell her and when to tell her.
I know now that it was a blessing in disguise that we ate Friday evening dinner at Wendy’s. Going to Wendy’s was paving the path for what was to come. She has a special baby book that her foster parents put together. She was in foster care for two months before she came home with us. She goes back and look at it from time to time. She doesn’t tell everyone about being adopted
She’s 15 now and knows that when she turns 21, she can request information through a mediator. She knows that she does at least have a biological sister and a brother. As a baby, she had a very small head and it was noted in some of the paperwork that her biological mom had a very small head. She thinks that’s really cool. Although she is not our biological child, she does favor us. We both have a tiny mole, slightly under our eye. Last year she had to see a medical specialist and he was astonished when I told him she was adopted. He says, but she looks just like you!
So, when to tell doesn’t have an age or time. It’s just comes when the time comes and for me it was joyous.
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