Microblog Mondays – Whose story is it anyway?

Microblog_MondaysI came across this post  (and this post just sat in the draft folder for a year), “You’re Not My Real Mother”  on Motherlode while reading something else and I just had to read it. It is seemingly about the comment that adoptive mothers don’t want to hear one day but presumably will and what should be said in response and what should not.  I say seemingly because it really wasn’t about that, it was more about the author’s perspective on how she deals with a daughter that has (had?) reactive attachment disorder and the effect on her parenting.  And at the precise moment her tween daughter spat out that comment, she replied, “Oh, yeah, well then who is?”  Ouch. I’ll tell you what was enlightening – the comments and shitstorm that followed that article.  Usually comments are just so vitriolic that I can’t bear to read past 3 or 4, but these ones were really interesting, thought provoking and eloquent.  Frankly, I would have loved to see a panel discussion from those commenters.

First of all, I was really surprised that the author hadn’t figured out how to handle the situation she said she knew was coming one day.  She certainly isn’t uninformed.   Okay, well, no one is perfect and we all say things we regret to our kids, but how that moment played out was solely about her hurt feelings and not about her daughter’s feelings.  In fact her daughter had to comfort her.  From the day I brought my son home, I have pondered and researched how I should explain adoption to him, how to tell him the story of his life before us. From the moment he recognized that he was not the same colour as his daddy, the explanations began. I have already imagined various reactions to the moment he blurts out hurtful things in anger.  I have wondered how he will feel about his adoption as he grows older, how it will affect him, how he will feel and what I can do to help him discover who he truly is.  I don’t have all the answers of course, and I can’t certainly tell him how to feel.

Over the course of this last year, there were many developments with my son’s birth mother but I did not publish them.  They were things that were highly personal and had nothing to do with me, though would definitely impact him later in life.

I think writers should write about their lives, the good, bad and the ugly, but when it comes to adopted children, I’m not so sure parents should trot some of the more personal out there?  What do you think?

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5 thoughts on “Microblog Mondays – Whose story is it anyway?

  1. I have recently been thinking a lot about this subject. My daughter is my biological child, so I’m sure we have very different issues, but I have still had to think long and hard about what I choose to share with the world, and what I don’t. In the end, I came to the conclusion that her life, for the most part, was not mine to share with the general public. Yes, I still share pictures and funny stories with friends, but other than general comments about things we do as a family, I share nothing of her on my blog. In a way, it’s unfortunate, because there are times when I would LOVE to vent about issues we’re facing, but I would never want her to read something I had written and feel embarassed or betrayed by me.

  2. I think it’s sticky because their story is entwined in yours, but overall, I think that it’s easier not to write about things than to ever take back what has been written, you know?

  3. This is definitely such a sticky wicket. I am new to writing about the adoption experience (and really new to the adoption process, period), but am already thinking about the implications of my future child’s privacy in what I write. I agree with you that it’s hard not to have an emotional moment when parenting, but also if you are expecting difficult situations that maybe rehearsing possible thoughts and ways to put your own hurts to the side in the moment is a really good idea. No one’s perfect, though. I always appreciate when people are willing to be honest and help others not feel alone in difficult situations, but it does bring up the question of, is this good for public consumption? Am I doing a service to other parents while simultaneously doing a disservice to my child or the private moments of my parenting? Things I think about all the time now that I am on this path, even though I have months to years before I am actually parenting a non-hypothetical child. Thank you for bringing this up! Very interesting topic to think about and discuss.

  4. It’s great to be aware that there even is a line. Some people don’t know that and by the time they figure it out, it could be too late for the child (and difficult on their relationship).

    I remember that brouhaha. The discussion takes place also on reviews of the author’s book.

    The question remains: how can parents pass on what we figure out about parenting (or specialized parenting such as adoption, autism, giftedness, etc) to help other parents without treading on our kids’ privacy? I do think the privacy has to come first.

    Wishing you well with what’s going on with your son’s birth mom (and her, too).

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