Resposiboy just turned 11 last week. We celebrated today.
ResponsiBoy is getting to be a true pre-teen now. He developing his own thoughts and opinions on many subjects and he understands way more than we give him credit for. He’s one amazing guy.
Just today, I asked him to do a writing project for this blog. He gets so many questions about being adopted now, and surprisingly, not from his peers, but from other adoptive parents or just random adults. We get it, if I had met another teen/pre-teen who looked like my son and could have been a resource for me, I would have asked the questions too. My only problem is this…occasionally, we’ll explain and someone will reply “Oh my goodness, you’re so lucky to have the mom you do.”
Lucky? He’s lucky?
No. He’s just got a mom, the same as every child deserves. Having a parent isn’t a privilege, it’s a right. So, in our home we talk a lot about gratitude, and we draw a fine line. You can, and should, be grateful that we have a roof over our heads, food to eat, clean water to drink and people who love you. But, you never have to be grateful that you were adopted. You see, adoption was a gift to FPD and I. We are lucky to have you.
So, as ResponsiBoy sat down to write his piece on what he wants people to know about being adopted, item number 4 is…grateful. I choked back some acid reflux and asked him what he was grateful for. He scrawled out…how different would my life be if I hadn’t been adopted? FPD and I looked at each other. We were stumped.
His life would have been different, but I can’t say with any certainty that it would have been worse. His birth mom made a choice, a choice she felt benefitted him, but also her. And it was a choice that definitely benefitted FPD and I. It made us parents. As we tried to explain this fine line to an 11 year old, we also explained the danger of how he might feel later if the implication is EVER that we saved him.
Can you imagine having to live your whole life beholden to someone just for your existence in the world you live in? No one should feel that way. I don’t feel that way about my mom and dad. I’m grateful for all the time they spent with me as a kid, for the sacrifices they made to pay for college, to make sure I knew how hard they tried, but I can’t say I’m grateful to them for giving birth to me. They wanted to be a mom and a dad. That’s the way ResponsiBoy should feel about us.
There’s a fine line between being grateful for what your parents do for you and being grateful to your parents for somehow saving you. I see a lot of the ‘saver’ mentality all over the internet when it comes to adoption. I get it. I really do. I look at Dolly and I think, your life would have, most assuredly, been different had we not gotten to you when we did. She, most likely, wouldn’t have a life at all, her medical needs were that critical.
But then, I really look at Dolly. I look at her as a person, and I know that while she might know that, and I might know that, we’re not going to say it out loud. Ever. Because I won’t let her. Her life, all my children’s lives, are so much more of a blessing to me than I will ever be to them. Look at my kids, there are lines around the block of people who would have LOVED to parent them. People who just didn’t happen to be as lucky as I am. People who didn’t see their faces and RUN to get them. My kids have taught me so, so much.
Y’all, I am the one who was saved.
So, after some careful consideration, this message will be going up on the door that my children use to exit our home every single day. It will be a reminder to them of just how FPD and I feel about the saver mentality.
who feels very grateful.