Friday, March 29, 2013

Adoption and Societal Expectations

I'm a slow learner sometimes.
Have to admit that.
This week, I learned two things about adoption.
One thing very Million-specific...
And one more general.
I'll share the general here.

Because we adopted a toddler first, we will never have the idyllic moments that most first-time parents have.  The moments where the mommy or daddy is completely focused on intentionally promoting intellectual stimulation to their infant and beaming in every single developmental milestone.  No distractions...just purposeful, intentional time spent promoting psychological and physiological nurture to your infant.

Million never had that.  And Creedence doesn't have that now.
But Creedence's lack is simply because he has an older sibling.

When Million came home, his brain was already programmed in certain ways.  His social construct was changed so many times that how he ordered things in his little mind was not what one would consider a logical progression.

And then taking him into a "bonding" setting where we avoided any institutional care (shun! shun the big-bad institution, said the adoption books!) did achieve bonding to his family, but did not achieve any knowledge of societal expectations when he did eventually work his way into more institutional settings.

All this general explanation to say: apologies to the public library for absolutely RUINING your babygarten on Thursday and for my nearly 3-year-old throwing carpet squares and reciting Goodnight Moon very loudly before the librarian could turn the page and then pressing the alarm repeatedly on the elevator*. 

We're working on how to behave...but we could use a little grace.

*It was one of those days I was thankful to NOT be wearing an adoption t-shirt.  Because I don't want our family to be the family that gets mentioned derisively when people announce they're adopting "well, there was this little boy in the library one time, and he was adopted and he was wild and unruly and obviously not well adjusted."  I would much rather people assume (as some do when Michael's not with me) that I'm a single mom who has had two very different-looking boyfriends.  This is not to say that I'm not about openness in adoption regarding struggles and adjustment---I'm blogging about this, so obviously I'm okay being open to some extent.  I struggle with the line between transparency and protection of my kids.  I also struggle with the desire to see more families adopt but the fierce longing to protect children from families who adopt for the wrong reasons.  

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