First Day of Kindergarten - Tips on Adoption and School
Well, today was the last time I'll experience the "first day of kindergarten." Of course David says he doesn't think we're "finished adding to our family." But that's another story for another day!
We've always approached Caroline's adoption in a very open way. I honestly think her first words were "alo" (hybrid of hello and hola), Mommy, Daddy, and I'm adopted. We're always open to talking about her birthmom, her first months in Guatemala and how she feels about being adopted. Sometimes she brings it up - sometimes we do.
Leading up to the first day of kindergarten I thought it might be good to discuss some things she might be faced with now that she's a "big girl." We were at a local water park and she and I were floating in the lazy river. This is how the conversation went:
Mommy: "What are you going to say when someone asks 'Is that your Mom?'"
Caroline: "I'm going to say 'yes'."
Mommy: "What if they say, 'But you have brown skin and your Mom's skin is white?"
Caroline: "I'll say, 'That's how God made us.'"
Mommy: "What are you going to say if someone asks if you're adopted?"
Caroline: "Of course I'm going to say 'yes.'"
Mommy: "What does it mean to be adopted?"
Caroline: "It means that you have a family that loves you very, very much!"
Pretty simple, huh? I realize that it might not always be that simple. I guess my goal is to keep the lines of communication open and give her opportunities to share how she feels about being adopted. I'm glad it's "simple" right now. These first 5 years of her life I've been able to "protect" her somewhat from comments. I've usually been there to change the subject when someone asks a nosey question like "Your husband must be Hispanic" or "Is she mixed?" But starting today I won't be there and she'll have to deal with the questions and comments on her own.
In light of this, I thought I'd give some links to articles that might be helpful. Although it's not a specifically Christian publication - Adoptive Families Magazine has some great tips for adoptive families. http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/school/index.php
If you have tips on how to handle questions - or ways that you've dealt with adoption and school, please share them. Others can learn from you!