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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Choosing to be Adopted

Buddy was given a say in the matter when we adopted him, as all older children in his country are. He first verbally agreed to being adopted and then wrote out a statement indicating the same. Some children are even asked to give a statement in adoption court, although Buddy wasn't asked to do so.


After we first got home, Buddy told Hubby and I that he liked us the moment he saw us and wanted to be adopted by us. I cried.

Once we had been home close to a year, Buddy started opening up about his true feelings about being adopted. I was pretty hard to hear him say, "I never wanted to be adopted."

We have talked about it many times since. Buddy has explained that when he was living in the orphanage he didn't think he needed to be adopted. That he was perfectly fine with his life as it was. He didn't want it to change, but didn't think he actually had a choice.

Wow.

He has elaborated and said he no longer thinks everything was fine in the orphanage, but at the time he didn't know any better. He didn't know what it meant to be a part of a stable family where you get more than enough, as opposed to just enough to sustain.

I don't feel guilty for adopting Buddy in the slightest. It is clear from watching him grow and develop emotionally, intellectually and physically that he is in the right place. I watch him sleep soundly when he used to fight bedtime. I kiss his round cheeks that used to be hollow. And I wrap my arms around him and hear him exclaim, "Mama, you know what? I love you!"

I have no doubt Buddy is where he should be.

But still...

Adoption is hard. For Buddy, he lost what little control and consistency he had in his life. It was leaving the familiar for the unknown.

For him, it has worked out. The same isn't true for every kid, though.

What is the point of having a child choose to be adopted when they actually don't feel there is any other option?

4 comments:

  1. I think you're very wise to give Buddy the space to say what he's feeling, yet also know that feelings can be fleeting. This way, neither of you get stuck.

    And true what you say about options. It's only choice if there is more than one actual option.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I think part of adopting an older child is respecting their voice, regardless of how hard it can be, and having unconditional love.

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  2. I love this. Thank you so much for sharing Buddy's thoughts. And thanks for linking up!

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