With how much Adoption/Being Adopted/Adoptive Parenting/First Parenting has been on my mind over the last couple months as we prepared for and recovered from our journey to Missouri, this past week has been a drastic dose of reality.
Simply spoken, we are a family. I didn't think an adoptive thought even once.
As I am sure most every other adoptive family who reads this would say, in 99% of our daily lives adoption doesn't play a part. We are a mom and a dad with four active boys. And in this family of ours, one member got hurt, and we rallied around, as families do, and just functioned.
Adoption had NOTHING to do with it.
Sometimes on forums it appears that we constantly are talking adoption, or thinking adoption or feeling adoption. And yes, during certain life experiences, like reunion, we ARE.
But you know what? Adoptive mothers do laundry, make breakfast, clean toilets, drive kids to sports practices, brush hair, scream, yell, hug, kiss, tuck in, wake up, break up fights, teach lessons and clean up toys. Adoptive kids eat breakfast, fight with siblings, play with cousins, walk their dogs, need hugs, get grossed out at mommy kisses, pee on the toilet seat and jump on the trampoline.
Shocking I know. We are quite normal.
And yes, our reactions to the horrific experiences that we went through this past week were touched and tainted by our sensitivity to our kids life experiences and personalities, but
that was for ALL our kids.
Caden was very needy. Wanting extra cuddles. Needing to check in frequently on his dad. Wanting to know that things will be "ok" sooner rather than later. I responded to him to support him because that's what he needed from me.
Tanner needs to understand the whys and hows of his Dad's surgery. What the risks were, what it would look like after. We supported his needs through this even though they were very different than that of his other brothers.
Eric reacted quite strongly to the trauma his dad went through and needed specialized parenting because of it. And yes, some of that can be attributed to his life experiences before being adopted, and possibly adoption itself, but my response to him is not that of an "adoptive parent" it's that of a mom.
You support your kids because they need your support. Caden didn't get extra cuddles because he's my c-section baby and Tanner didn't get factual information because he had a vaginal birth and Eric didn't get support because he was adopted. They are my sons, all, and needed support.
Our boys were parented based on their individual needs. Because we are a family and that's what parents do.
Coming tomorrow: Thoughts on race and adoption. When it follows your kids without you around.