To the mother of my son’s best friend,
You made it very clear to me over a collection of incredibly rude texts that you believe that my parenting is insufficient and that letting my son know about his full past is poor parenting. That it is inappropriate for him to talk about his experiences and that it is harmful to your adopted children to be around such openness.
You are wrong.
In our home we deal in truth.
We deal in love.
We deal in honesty.
We believe that our pasts do not define us but they are a part of the very fabric that is so intricately woven together to create who we are. His fabric may be worn and dirty in places but he owns it. “Adoption”, “bio family“, and “half brother” are not dirty words and I will not make my child ashamed that they are words that describe his journey. They are not facts to be ashamed of. What is a shame is that you feel that it is more important for my son to hide who he is than it is for you to talk to your children about life.
My son has struggled more in his first twelve years of life than most people will their entire life. He has faced opposition since birth, neglect, adoption, depression, bullying, PTSD, and he has still come out on top.
He has survived.
He is brave and strong, fearless and kind, and is growing into a remarkable young man. He has endured years of therapy to become confident enough in his story and himself to be able to talk openly and honestly about his past and current struggles. This is a gift. It is a beautiful thing that, in the middle of middle school drama, he found a friend that not only shares his background but also a kind heart. The kind of heart that only grows from enduring oppression and learned empathy.
Who are we to take that gift away from them.
If I was to tell my child that he is not allowed to tell his story because it makes others uncomfortable, I would essentially be telling him that HE makes people uncomfortable. That there is something wrong with who HE is.
I will not shame my child any more than you already have.
I will not tell him that he is not allowed to talk about his birth family because it causes other adopted children to ask about their birth family.
I will not tell my son that he can’t talk about his soon-to-be baby half brother because it makes other adopted children ask about their potential sibling.
I will not tell my son that he is not allowed to ask for support from a friend because you don’t like his tarnished past.
The true tragedy of this situation is not the inappropriateness of my son’s openness as you claim, it is that I had to sit down with my weeping son last week and tell him that his best friend’s mom will not let him around his best friend anymore because she does not want her children influenced by his talk of his past and adoption. The true tragedy is him waking up the next morning and exclaiming that his soul hurt. It broke my heart to tell him, but I will not shield him from the realities of unsupportive people. People like you will always cause roadblocks for innocent people like my son. You will judge regardless of the amount of information that proves you wrong and you will influence people in negative ways no matter the repercussions. You are not the first person I have met that spreads misinformation and unkindness like cancer, but you are the first person my son has encountered that has treated him in such a way. I will stand beside him, defend him, support him, and help him navigate these troubled waters to guide him home.
Parenting is hard, adoption is difficult, and burning bridges for our children only makes navigation of their lives near impossible. You and I have impassable differences at this point but I would hope that in the future you open yourself up to different points of view and different stories and find a way to appreciate them even if you disagree with them. I hope that you accept the fact that your kids also come from birth families and that including them in your children’s story will only help to make them whole.