My son will be thirteen-years old, this August. He was delivered into our family via adoption, from Russia. When we brought him home, he was just eleven-months old. Over the years, he’s not been one to speak much about being an adoptee; he’s somewhat quiet regarding the topic.
As an international adoptee myself, I don’t press the matter. My son knows that we carry an open-door policy on the matter of adoption discussion. In other words, there’s never a bad time to ask a question, and there’s never a bad question to ask. As his mother, I want my son to know that he is safe to explore his feelings and emotions with his family. I want him to understand that, in our home, transparency is held as top priority. It’s important for my son to feel safe as he enters into his teen years: safe to discuss his adoption story, openly and honestly.
Just this week, my son asked my husband, “Dad, do you think that my birthfather has a beard like you?” My husband replied, “I don’t know. Do you think you’d like to meet him someday and find out?” There was a slight pause, and then a reply. “Yes, I would.”
This statement was a big development. My boy has never mentioned his birthfather before. Yet, even though we were never given information about this man … somewhere deep inside, I know that my son can sense his birthfather’s presence within him. As our son nears his thirteenth year, it’s really a beautiful thing to think that he is probing — for himself — who his birthfather is.
I can remember, prior to my own adolescence, becoming very curious about my adoption story. It’s a time in life when I wanted answers that were more factual than, perhaps, I’d been given as a child. I became keenly aware that to be adopted meant that someone, at some point, had to make the decision to let me go.
Adolescence is a confusing time — whether adopted or not. Here are important “why” questions that adopted teens will have. I know because I used to be one.
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