My son’s 2nd adoption anniversary is this month. It’s so weird that he has only been my “legal” son for 2 years. It’s almost easy to forget how uncertain things were while I was fostering him and how I lived in fear that something would happen and CPS would take him from me. Now, he’s almost 4 and he has such a personality! He’s also starting to understand “adoption” a little more.
I know there’s so much controversy about celebrating Adoption Days. I don’t really look at it as “celebrating,” I look at it more like “remembering”… talking about how we became a family and reflecting on it. As my son gets older he will have more say in how and what we do to “commemorate” our adoption.
I actually don’t call it “adoption day” or “gotcha day.” I don’t really like those phrases. I refer to it as our “Family Day.” Now that my new baby has arrived, I’m planning to integrate both of my children’s stories in our “family day” tradition. We have a somewhat unique situation where one child is adopted and one child is donor conceived through IVF.
Technically, I can let Family Day slide and not do anything… but for me, it took a lot to build my family – it’s been a long journey for me. My boys don’t know anything more than just being in our family. But it’s important for me that they both grow up knowing their stories and how they came to be in our family. For my older son, that he knows his birth story and how he came into foster care. For my baby boy, for him to know he was donor conceived. Both of their stories have love and loss, but they are their stories, their beginnings. It doesn’t define them, but it’s a part of them.
As their mother, I feel it’s my responsibility to provide them with their stories. What they do with it as they get older and how they feel about it, will ultimately be up to them. Whether my son decides to get in contact with his birth family will be up to him. Whether my son decides to contact his donor will be up to him.
I want my boys to become comfortable with the terms and verbiage of their births. Adoption is not a bad thing. Donor conceived is not a bad thing. It’s our family story. But most importantly, our family story is rooted in love.
I can’t watch the 6 minute adoption video from my son’s adoption hearing without crying. It’s kind of a funny video because the hearing was during nap time and my son was throwing his toys, laughing, trying to run everywhere, and being all 2 year old “him”. I was trying to contain him, keep him entertained, and answer the questions from the lawyers — at the same time. Even today, almost 2 years later – I can’t believe how lucky I am to have been chosen to be his Mama.
I’m sure this new tradition of celebrating our Family Day will change and merge and evolve. This year, this is what we are doing:
I also would like to volunteer on National Adoption Day with the boys, when they’re older.
Eventually, we will add baby brother’s story to the “reading” of how we became a family. Right now, I plan for each to have their “own” books. But one day, I think it might be nice to have a “combined” book that we read that includes some of my story on fostering and going through fertility treatments.
As our 2 year adoption-versary is just a few days away… I feel so grateful for our little family. For my boys. I pray that I do right by them and set them up to be kind & happy men.