Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Adoption comes to the forefront again

I went to the allergist last week for some hive rash issues I've been having. Ro went with me, and when the doctor prescribed some meds he asked about my family history. I replied as usual, "I don't know, I'm adopted." Roman looked at me like I was from outer space and said "No you're not."

Well, that got me to thinking. We thought we had been doing a pretty good job of keeping adoption in the conversational loop, but clearly he was unaware that I am adopted too. Which got me to thinking that as he approaches 6, it's a ripe age to start misinterpretations of what adoption is, what it means, and the fantasies can start. I thought I better get into his brain to see what was going on.

Because of the incident at the allergist, I asked him if he knew I was adopted. He said no. The first thing he asked me was, "What was your name before Baba & Grandpa owned you?" (such a funny way to put it!). I told him that I didn't know, but I knew I had a different name. I told him Baba and Grandpa picked my name for me. Then we talked a little about how we kept part of his Russian name and changed the middle name. Then came the first question I felt such sorrow for that I didn't have the answer - "Who chose my name?" We have no idea. It was something I wanted to ask in Russia but never did.

He was okay with this information. Later at bedtime, he asked if I would tell him the story of his adoption. Normally we start this with "we got a phone call..." but that night I thought I'd try something different. I began with a woman in Russia who was going to have a baby, and explained what we knew about when she went into labor, and when he was born... I was going to skim over the Baby Home stuff and go right to the part where we got the call, when Roman started getting very upset, and finally started crying. I called Doug in and as we held him, he admitted why he was crying - he was upset because "I want to be with mom." I thought he meant his birthmom, when he burst into fresh tears of crying and said, "No, YOU!" This was unexpected, although after I thought about it, not surprising. Especially as he experienced Charlie being born. It upset him greatly that he hasn't been with us his whole life.

We calmed him and reassured him and left it. The next day we asked if he had any questions, and he wanted to know if anyone was with his birthmom in the hospital. We told him what we knew, and that seemed to be enough info for him. I have noticed he has been talking about it a bit more often lately, and this morning he informed me that he thinks his birthdad is like Indiana Jones (ah, the start of the fantasy parents!). I was just glad he shared it with me.

Not sure I mentioned this at a different time, but Ro (and us) is seeing a psychologist. We had been going to one to explore possible ADHD issues but were not happy with him, and began to see another 3 weeks ago. Really like her approach. She does 2/3 of the time with just Roman through play therapy, and then the parent goes back and she reviews things, answers questions, addresses an issue at hand, whatever. Anything big comes up, or every few sessions, will be just parents. Ro likes going, too. The more we experience with Ro, the more we realize we are going to be challenged by him in a variety of ways!

1 comment:

WMW said...

Thanks for sharing this. Our kids have different stories so how we tell them will be a bit different, but it's helpful to hear from other parents. I was thinking about this this week too because Anna's birthdate is a big mess as we do readoption. Sigh.

As far as hives go, my mom has developed a nut allergy and I am just glad I don't have to worry that it was passed to Anna! (Advantage: adoption?)

Wendy