November is National Adoption Month and tomorrow is National Adoption Day.
For the past two years, I have celebrated this in the best way possible, by finalizing the adoption of a child.
While I know that the way I became a parent is different than the majority, I am not sure that after that, parenting changes much. Sure, I have to deal with the occasional question about my kid’s origin but that doesn’t really affect my day to day interactions with Lydia and Kian. Like wearing glasses, having brown hair or having a sister, adoption is part of who they are, and thus, who we are as a family.
That said, early in the process, we made a major decision that did affect how we parent. We chose that we would have an open adoption. Basically, that means we maintain a relationship with their biological parents and the kids will have access to their adoption records in the future. We are lucky enough to be relatively close to their birthplace (Kian was actually born in the same hospital I was…) so we are able to visit every so often.
This openness also helps with those occasional questions I referred to. I often am asked ‘Where are they from?’ My best guess is that most people are asking if my kids were adopted domestically or internationally. Since my answer of ‘Pennsylvania’ makes it quite clear, I normally don’t go into details but if I ever choose to, I know I won’t need to edit for my kids’ sake.
I know the next step is the questions from Lydia and Kian. While our openness about their adoption may head off some questions, it is also good to know that they will be able to ask those questions to everyone involved.