Although I shared my personal story with my kids in age-appropriate language while talking about their adoptions, they didn’t hear it. But as they moved into tweens and teens they began to understand that adoption was more complex than what they took away from their story at younger ages.
They realized the converging and intersecting paths brought us to family. In seeking answers about themselves they had more questions of me. Key was what motivated me to adopt. My children were transfixed that I suffered loss as well (fertility, a child) and I found them very empathetic.
But my role was to circle the wagon around and back to them and focus on how they were feeling, help them express and validate it. Sharing my loss opened my kids because we shared the common thread of loss.
Children are centered on themselves so it was no surprise that the adoptive parents’ “why” gets lost within their adoption story. And your “why” is part of their story, so it needs to be shared.
Parents: Do you share your loss(es) with your child (in age-appropriate) language? How have they responded?