A hypothetical Q & A between an adoptive dad and his adopted son of another race. (Any resemblance to any real live people and their situation is totally accidental)
“Dad, why is my skin darker than yours?”
“Dad, why didn’t my birth mom want to keep me?”
“Dad, why did I have to be adopted?”
“Dad, why haven’t we talked to my “other family?”
“Dad, why didn’t you try to help my birth mom out so she could keep me?”
“Dad, why do I feel angry at my birth mom and angry at you too?”
“Dad, why do I love someone I don’t remember and someone who abandoned me?”
“Dad, how can you be okay with me loving my birth mom and loving you and Mom?”
“Dad, why do I feel so different from all of my friends at school?”
(These are hypothetical questions and are NOT actual questions)
“Son, let me explain. Your skin is darker than mine because your birth mom, your first mom, is from a different country than we are and so that’s why your skin is darker. Most people from ______ have darker skin.”
“Son, your birth mom didnt keep you because she wasn’t able to care for you, wasn’t able to give you a good life and so we adopted you and make you one of our own. It’s not because of something you did, it’s not because of you, it’s because she couldn’t care for you.”
“Son, your mom and I were given the privilege of adopting you because, like we talked, your birth mom couldn’t care for you and someone needed to. So we did. We do. And we will.”
“Son, we haven’t talked to your birth family, not because we don’t want to, not because we want to “keep you all for ourselves” but because we don’t know where your birth family is. The records that were kept are not real accurate and it’s hard to find people without good records.”
“Son, we didn’t help your birth mom so she could keep you because, by the time we met you, by the time the adoption was started, the process was too far along and we weren’t able to make contact with your mom to be able to reach out to her.”
“Son, it’s okay to feel angry at your birth mom. The disruption and the trauma (explain what trauma is) that her decision to give you a better life has caused you gives you the right to be mad. Your life is radically different because of her decision and that’s hard.”
“Son, go ahead and be mad at me. Yes, right now it appears that your mom and I took you away from your family, took you away from the people you know and took you away from everything that you knew. I’d be angry if someone did that too.
But that’s not the whole story. The whole story is that because of the things that happened to your birth mom and to you, you were stuck in a very difficult situation. We have felt that God was urging and pushing us to step up and be the parents that you were missing because of the things that happened. Some day, at some point, you’ll figure out that we did what we did because we love you and that the bad things that happened are less bad because of it.”
“Son, your birth mom, your bio mom, your first mom, whatever term you want to use, gave you a gift. A huge gift, a gift of life and part of her is and always will be part of you. So, it’s okay to “love” your birth mom even in spite of what happened and the decisions she made and the things that happened to her.”
“Son, when we adopted you, we didn’t adopt you to replace your birth mom. We didn’t adopt you to make you totally forget about an important part of your past. There’s room for you to love her and love us. There’s room for us to allow you to have room for her in your heart too.”
“Son, it’s okay to feel like you are different from the rest of the kids at school. Let me share a couple of things with you that you probably will have a hard time believing:
- Virtually every high schooler and middle schooler in the world has, at more than one time, felt like they were different. You aren’t nearly as alone as you might think with that.
- If you could see the stories behind the kids that you go to school with, I think you would be amazed and saddened at the things that have happened to many of them.
- There are many things that you have had to go through that no child should have to go through. I’m sorry about that. I wish I could change it, but I can’t. I don’t like what you had to go through. Actually, it really bothers me that these things happened to you and they have left scars.
I don’t like it either.”
I really don’t like it either.