..how would you want to be told you are adopted?
That’s the kind of question one doesn’t answer spontaneously. I have to think about my answer to the question myself.
Would I want to know? Yes. How would I prefer to find out? From my adoptive parents.
The When and the How is the tricky part. Is there really a right way to do it and a right time to do it?
Now let’s tweak the question a little..
If you were the adopting parent, will you tell your adopted child and how?
This is easier to answer but I speak only for myself. I would let the child know early on introducing the fact to him or her little by little. It’s an act that must be coupled with a lot of love and great care. But again, there’s no right or wrong way to do it.
Adoption is an act of love. You choose to have someone become a part of your life as if he or she were your own flesh and blood. It’s a generous act of giving and commitment. It’s not very different from choosing to fall in love. In most cases (as I cannot generalize), the boundaries between blood relatives and the adopter and the adopted all but disappear.
We’ve seen so many movies where people actually go through histrionics when they find out they are not who they thought they were and their parents not who they believed them to be. I can only imagine how heartbreaking that must be. The secret is not let out of the bag with a lot of grace in most instances. It would be some spiteful person in the know spilling the beans, or a document lying around somewhere that is discovered unexpectedly.. a revelation made in the course of showing the villanous adopted child how she does not deserve the name she carries, etc., etc.
But I’d like to believe that beyond all the drama, what matters is the relationship the adoptive parents and the adopted child had. Unless the adopted child was greatly wronged or disenfranchised, victimized by prejudice or bias, and if the adopted child was treated like one’s own, showered with love and nurtured to be a respectable individual as an adult, I’d like to believe a parent’s keeping the fact of adoption a secret is forgiveable.
But that’s me talking. I cannot speak for others. I can speak out of experience though that adoption truly is a gift of love. If I had the means to, if I could, I would welcome another individual to my family given the chance — if God so chooses me to make that decision.
So how would you do it if you were to answer the above questions?