Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thinking about the lifebook

I need to start Olivia's lifebook. For those of you outside of the adoption realm, this is a story I will write about my daughter and how she came to be a part of our family. I suppose there's no right or wrong way to do this, but I haven't quite figured out what I want it to be yet and so I haven't started.

I guess part of my issue is that I don't know how to tell Olivia about her adoption because it doesn't seem like a part of our lives any more. I mean, she's just our daughter, and we're just her parents. Except that I know that adoption is still and always will be a part of our lives. And the way Olivia views it will affect the way she sees the rest of the world, and it just seems important that the story is told in a way that will help her understand how precious she is and how she was very much loved and wanted all along. By us. But you see...that's where I'm having trouble. How on earth do you explain to your child, whom you love with all your heart, the circumstances that resulted in her birth when those circumstances are what they are?

I'm not making any sense. Do you get what I'm trying to say? I am discovering where the loss that social workers talk about in adoption seminars is going to become important.

I've been reading some open adoption blogs, and that concept now seems so foreign to me. At one time, I thought it might become us. We were on the road to a greater openness...we had exchanged phone numbers with Olivia's birthmom and talked monthly and shared kid stories. We were even planning a meeting. That was a year ago...and then her life started falling apart and we completely lost contact with her. Not that we didn't try...it just didn't work out the way I had hoped.

I still think about her now and then. When Olivia does something particularly funny or clever, I stop to think...I wonder if her birthmom has some of these quirky traits. For Olivia's sake, I had hoped to maintain some sort of contact. And now I wonder if Olivia will mourn this lack of connection to her birth family.

I need to start buying some adoption-related children's books and start introducing the subject to our very smart little girl. It's time.

1 comment:

Jen said...

It sounds like you are doing it perfectly to me! I really like that you are starting young, so that it will just always be how her life is. (A friend of mine found out she was adopted when she was older and it was quite awful for her.)