I think there comes a time when we adoptive parents need to try, without telling them we are trying. We need to make an obvious effort without forcing them to know about it. There is a time when we adoptive parents need to be the anonymous donor, supporter, helper WITHOUT their knowledge.
This weekend was a hard one for our daughter who is almost 14 years old. She has been with us since she was around four but she has a real mom and she has a real family.
She has a family that she is connected to by blood but not connected to in the physical sense. She does not live with them and because she has a romanticized idea of who they are and are becoming, she can’t connect.
I am at fault for this. We adoptive parents are at fault for them not being able to connect.
No, no, no, I’m not pregnant. My niece is! She and her husband are expecting their first child next March.
Last weekend they had a “gender reveal” party, and it was super exciting. I’d seen reveals online, like when balloons are popped and pink or blue confetti flows out, or when a cake is sliced, there’s either pink or blue cake inside. But I’d never personally been to a reveal. I know they’re popular now, especially among millennials.
My parents had absolutely NO idea what their granddaughter was talking about when she sent out the Facebook invite. My 90-year-old dad had a hard time grasping the concept. “What in the world is a gender reveal party? Why do they have a party for that? That’s just for women to go to, right?”
“No, Dad. It’s for all of us. It’ll be fun to share in the excitement with Kady…
On one hand, I believe that they are family because we were raised together. I love them deeply from the bottom of my heart. They are really all I know in regards to siblings.
We ate together, we celebrated birthdays together, we even shared a room together, catching each other’s dreams between REM cycle and wake.
When my incontinence was bad, I used to sneak into bed with my sister who is younger than me, and she would share her blankets with me. I don’t know if she will ever know how much that meant to me. Or how much it means to me now. I feel we had a bond.
I used to teach the other two just about life since I was the “older” one. They looked up to me. And then things changed.
We grew up.
We created our own memories, or blocked out things that were…
The most challenging aspect of individuation, of growing up, is the groundlessness breadth our feet, the fact that the universe, existence itself, doesn’t give us a blueprint for our lives; it’s our duty, and our burden, to create it for ourselves. And, that is absolutely terrifying! Jean-Paul Sartre called this existential dread: the fear of freedom.
As we get older and separate from our parents, we begin to form our own opinions, our own ideals, and our own core system of values, basing them, in part, off of the knowledge imparted to us by our parents, while founding them in our newly constituted abilities to reason; we decide what’s right and what’s wrong for ourselves, creating the cores of our identities. But, this is when it happens; it’s when self-doubt creeps in. At this juncture, we become aware of the groundlessness; we realize that our parents are no longer there…
Is It More Difficult Raising a Child In the 21st Century?
I wrote yesterday about bullying and how it is dangerous for everything to be viewed as such. It led one reader to email me and ask me how will I raise my children once Evelina and I start a family. This question intrigued me so I thought I’d drop a few letters together and formulate my thoughts. Here goes…
The types of things we have discussed that we would like to be a part of our parentology will be (in no particular order):
Understand that your parents love you no matter what, but sometimes we must discipline you. It’s for your own good.
Not all people are bad, bud not all people are good so don’t ride with strangers.
When you grow up you’ll realize the world is ruled by “nerds” so don’t be afraid to show your intelligence.
Befriend the kids that others make fun of and love the kid who teases; he or she is hurting inside badly.
Don’t rely solely on technology; look up occasionally!
Always do what you say you will do; your word will be incredibly important when you are an adult.
In all things show character; people will respect you for doing so.
Don’t talk about people behind their backs; mind your own business.
Keep your checkbook balanced.
If you can’t afford it, then you can’t afford it; do not accumulate credit card debt.
Things will always be things, but life is all about experience and memories; invest your energy into making memories.
Lie in the grass and stare at the clouds once in a while.
Forgive your parents, we’re not perfect and will make mistakes.
You have incredible value so expect others to treat you as such.
Volunteer your time to helping others.
Be a good friend.
Do not be afraid to dream big dreams. The great innovators didn’t become great by thinking “normal”.
Not everyone is meant for college so if your life course is a skilled trade then be the best skilled tradesman/woman you can be.
Always know that no matter how old you get, you’ll always be our little boy/girl.
Always know that your mother and father love you.
Obviously I have left a lot off of this list, but I have to end it somewhere. Evelina and I are putting together some of the values that we agree we want to instill in our kids. I’m not sure how many people have this conversation, but I think it is critical versus winging it. Of course, there is no definitive guide, but I believe couples need to talk about and have a common belief system; especially when it comes to disciplining children.
We have had this conversation about every aspect of our life thus far and it has not failed us so we are continuing the practice.