Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Brynn (age 5) has been amazing with Anna Gray. She is very sweet and loving, there hasn't been any jealousy or anything negative. But it's very clear that Anna Gray's adoption has brought up a lot of feelings about her own.
We have always spoken very openly and casually to the twins about their adoption. Brynn has asked several questions over the last couple of years and we have answered honestly and age-appropriately. (Cale- who falls somewhere on the higher functioning end of the autism spectrum- rarely acknowledges that he is adopted and either doesn't know how he feels about it or hasn't shared.) It's not something we talk about ALL the time. Our family may be made differently than some, but we are still just a family. It isn't a big part of our every day life.
Until Anna Gray got home.
Brynn has had a lot to say. I asked her specifically about AG's adoption and she said she loves having her baby sister home, even though she is kind of angry I was gone so long to get her. Understandable. She seems to understand where Anna Gray came from, about the orphanage, and why we adopted her. She wants her in our family. She says only good things about the baby being adopted, but nearly every day Brynn says something about wanting to be with her own birth family. She wants her whole family together (including us). She tells me she misses her birthmommy because she hasn't seen her since she was born. At first, she said she wanted to go live with her but now she says she just wants to see her for a minute or see her picture. She wants to tell her that she loves her. She gets jealous when we are out and see families, especially black families, where everyone looks the same. She wants more brown skin, more hair like hers, someone else who has to be oiled and can wear beads.
Every time she talks to me about it, I tell her it's okay to feel that way. I would be sad too. I've never been adopted so I can't even pretend to imagine what she feels. But I can listen. I can hug her tight. I can allow her to feel whatever she wants to feel about it, good bad or ugly. We make sure she know's it's okay for her to ask the questions she needs to and whatever else she needs to express.
I am more and more grateful that she has built-in support in Cale. Having a twin means that not only is she not alone as an adoptee, but she is not alone in being a black child raised by white parents. In addition to her brother, we hang out with a lot of adoptive families and several of them are transracial. We use to have contact with two of her biological siblings who were adopted by the same family. Now that we are home and getting settled, we plan on reaching out to them again. Hopefully, all four kids will have the chance for a relationship. None of that replaces being with her biological family permanently, but hopefully in time, it will provide an extra place for her to share her feelings and gain a different perspective.
Please pray for our sweet girl. I don't want to wish away her feelings, she deserves to have them. I don't need it to be easier for me. I just need her heart to be comforted when she is sad or angry or confused. We need God to provide the right words to answer her questions. She is happy! She has made it very clear that she loves being in this family, but there are a lot of emotions that come with that... and that's okay :)