Mom, in denial

Will her son ever experience emotional trauma because he is adopted? Will he lash out at her with the dreaded, ‘you’re not my REAL mother’ when he is angry? Bathwater blogger Kathy Lynn Harris decides she isn’t going to worry about what may lie ahead. She’s choosing to focusing on the joy in their lives right now. Joy and jellyfish. Image from

I think I might be in denial.

You see, our son is adopted (domestic adoption, been with us since birth). And with that “adopted” label and fact comes a lot of worries.

After all, we went to special adoption parenting classes that tried to prepare us for things like emotional upheaval, detachment, a troubled sense of self … the dreaded “you’re not my real mom” or “I wish I lived with my birthmom instead of you!” Words and worries unique to families created through the adoption. Words and worries that can show themselves as early as the elementary school years but tend to gain momentum in the teen years.

But these days, he’s 7 years old, and I just can’t picture it.

While definitely emotionally intense, our kid is typically a happy kid. Smiles a lot. He’s kind. He says “I love you” as often as any other phrase. He seems perfectly content. He knows we love him. He knows his birth family loves him, although he misses them. Or perhaps the thought of them.

Will the contentment last through the turbulent years ahead? When hormones start to really kick in, will things change dramatically? Will I be able to answer all of the questions in the right way?

I don’t know the answer.

But for now, I’ve decided to not read any more books about how to handle the issues. I’m not going to scour the Internet for advice I don’t need right now. I’m not going to read blogs of adoptive families going through those predicted hard times.

I’m just going to enjoy this easy, joyful time in our lives. I’m going to enjoy his self-confidence and the fact that his only worry seems to be whether or not he will be chosen to be one of the fish in the school’s production of Dr. Suessical the Musical.

I will remain gleefully in denial that my sweet little boy could ever be anything than what he is right now … happy with a dream of being a marine biologist who saves dolphins, whales, and sharks. Maybe a jellyfish or two.

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