Sunday, December 4, 2011
Bing Bong Zing Zong
So its December.
And if you know much about my family, you know that we adopted Mighty Mouse in December.
And every year she gives us a run for our money. Yep. Good old Adoption Grief time again. And she was nice enough to even start a little early this year.
But at least this year we immediately recognized it for what it was. Only took 7 years.
And even though I'm not going to go into many details for privacy issues, I do want to share this years surprise. Because it just goes to show that when you think you've got this adoption thing figured out -- they do a 180 on you. And not all agencies are good about educating the parents on adoption issues and they need to hear what others are dealing with.
Up to this point we have had one of the easy kids when it came to actual adoption related subjects. We've known several children that begin the questioning and voicing the pain as early as 2 1/2-3 years old. Mouse was not interested in anything other than her own little family at home and making sure I wasn't out of sight or earshot for too long.
But this year?
And not only do we have the out of character behaviors......we have THE QUESTIONS.
It is NOTHING to be cornered with these questions for over an hour. Talk about exhausting. Thankfully our agency did a very good job at making sure we were educated on adoption issues. Kudos to Adoption Links worldwide.
Right now we are expending a great deal of energy dealing with a child that hates the way she looks....and is afraid her birth parents are going to show up and take her away. And no amount of talking will convince her that she is not ugly. And there is no explaining legalities of who is a legal parent to a seven year to give her peace of mind.
So we trudge through the issues as best we can in a calm and rational manner....even though what we would really like to do is run away screaming and pulling our hair out. We have to go over the same ground over and over and over again.
And my goodness this child has an imagination and so many "what ifs". She has obviously thought about these issues alot.
So here we are in December dealing with regular holiday schedules, the usual out of character adoption grief behaviors, a complete change in lifestyle as we transition into civilian life, not having a job AND a child who is afraid her birth parents can show up at any time and take her. Who knows, maybe its the combination of all of the above that has made all this come to a head.
So - for my adoptive parent friends......even if you've had a smooth start on the birth parent issue....it might still come back to haunt you out of the blue. We had no real warning that this was coming. (Which is not to say we thought it never would...I just thought there might be some warning leading up to it. And that's what I get for thinking.)
And don't get me wrong - this is a good thing. Because if she has questions, I WANT her to come to me with them. And we work really hard to make sure and be as truthful as possible without embellishment while staying age appropriate. Not an easy task. Because we also have to keep it on a positive note and not make her feel like we judge or disapprove of her birth parents.
And we assure her that even if the impossible was to happen and her birth parents were looking for her, we would happily support contact, letters, phone calls, visits, Skye or whatever else -- but she would never go live with them unless she decided to as an adult. We will not "give her back". And while this seems to satisfy her and make her feel better....it starts all over again within a few days.
And that's okay too. Because we know that how adoptees feel about adoption is as varied as feelings in any other population. Some will not give a second thought to the fact that they are adopted, while others will make it their life work to protest and work against any type of international adoption. And both points are valid. And both points are okay.
But the funny part of all this is Bing Bong Zing Zong. You see when her daddy was trying to make a point that her birth parents wouldn't even know WHO to look for...he made some comment like "They can't just go into the police station and ask them to help them find Bing Bong Zing Zong! Because you even have a new name!"
And she thought it was hilarious that he called her that.
And at the end of the grilling marathon (on tree trimming night, no less) her burning question was:
"Can I change my name to Bing Bong Zing Zong?"
"Does it cost money to do so?"
This child? Thinks too much.