Greyson was bouncing off the wall long before November, his birthday month, arrived. As soon as Mark’s birthday passed, it became all about him and turning eight. Because of family commitments, Greyson will get to enjoy his birthday for over a week and drive us all a little crazy with his excitement.
I have written about birthdays as triggers for grief in the adopted child, but my youngest doesn’t seem to be affected. Instead he is overcome with the need to be reassured that he is important, that he matters and fits into us, his family. This need stems in part from being the youngest and from being adopted. Sure, he’s turning eight, but his quest for identity is in “full speed ahead.” He can speak of nothing else. The focus on him consumes him.
I realize that questions will come up. They always do. At the oddest times. But we’re prepared, having had many conversations about adoptions since he was very young, often with all of us joining in. Questions are part of parenting children who were adopted.
My advice for adoptive parents: Lay the ground work early to make the questions down the road easier to answer…talk about adoption early and keep the communication channel wide open.