Hi there, I joined Etsy just so I could write to you. I really like your illustrations and your heartfelt desire to write a book and create illustrations expressing all the complexity of your feelings, but I feel a real urgency to plead with you not to share these with your child (or any adopted child for that matter). The child does not need to feel that "pain" and "grief" are a part of his or her coming into the world. They do not need to know that you "suffered" (presumably with fertility issues, making him or her a "second" choice), He or she does not need to think that you are "saving" him or her or that he or she is "saving" them! Gosh, that whole "saving" thing is a huge burden for a child! Even the term "gave me up" for adoption is a phrase no social worker or any worker in the field of adoption would encourage you to use. ("made an adoption plan" is much more positive). The one that really got to me, and the one I came across on Pinterest and actually gasped out loud was the one about "choices both good and BAD" brought us here! Why would you tell your child that? Your child does not need the burden of "bad" things brought them into the world. They certainly don't need to hear their birthmother disparaged (presumably she's the one who made "bad" choices!). Sheesh, this is all adoption 101. Have you not had your adoption education/home study yet? You need to talk to an adoption specialist about the appropriate language to use, and the ideas that you plant in your child's mind and heart by the way you talk about the way your family was formed. Save your fertility grief to discuss with your partner, a counsellor or other adults in your life. Your child does not need to carry the burden of your grief, nor does she need to think that he or she was a second choice. Your child does not need to know that you "mourned great loss" before he or she came along. This i! s all ut terly inappropriate for a child. Any child. (Incidentally, why do you refer to the child as "he"?) Your feelings are all perfectly legitimate, but they are totally inappropriate, even deeply harmful, for your child. Where is the joy? Where is the happiness? Where is the celebration of your forming a family? THIS is what your child needs to hear. They do not need to carry the burden of your griefs.
Now, I don't agree with everything I read about adoption, but then there are so many types of adoptions--so many combinations of kids and new parents and levels of pain and joy that no one poem or thought is going to encompass them all. The one thing I will refute here that I felt was an over-riding theme in her words, was the idea that we should not share the negative things about our children's adoption stories with them. I think kids, age-appropriately, need to know the good, the bad and the ugly. I believe by the time they are in their late teens (again, appropriate to their age and personal development) that there should be no secrets, and they should know their whole story. Anyone that has had secrets kept from them or been lied to, knows that dealing with the facts is much easier than dealing with lies or half-truths. It may be hard at first, but if handled with love and compassion, it allows that child to understand, cope with it, and move forward much more easily than if they ever feel betrayed by us, the parents who are supposed to love them the most. As always, I welcome any comments, either publicly here on this blog, or through a private message.