Most families seem to have at least one kid who is the deep thinker. You know, the child who says crazy things like: “Shouldn’t we pray for Satan, too?”
For us, that’s William. He’s the 5-year-old, blue-eyed, curly-haired version of that French “Thinker” statue, except he’s bouncing off walls, jumping off couches and climbing up trees — doing his best to save the world in his muscular Spiderman costume. He would have broken that iconic statue, and out-thought it in the process.
So, it really didn’t surprise my wife and I when he recently hopped in our bed on a lazy Saturday morning and started describing his latest wild dream. It had all the things that make up a typical child’s dream – animals and toys and food and such – but this one was a bit different.
“Dad, I dreamed about my birth mom,” he said matter-of-factly.
We have three adopted children, and all of them know about their background, but William ponders his origins more than the other two, combined. That’s just his nature. He thinks a lot, about everything. Sometimes his questions are substantive. (“Why did God create the earth?) And other times they’re simply humorous. (“What was Yoda’s first name?”)
William wasn’t troubled by his dream, although he seemed to realize it was different than dreaming about, say, elephants.
He simply desired what any adopted child would have wanted in that moment — affirmation. He is not alone. It is natural for adopted children to ask as they grow older: Why did you adopt me?
Thankfully, the days of keeping a child’s adoption a secret are long gone. A 2007 government survey of 2,000 families found that 97 percent of adopted children ages 5 and older knew they were adopted.
We introduced William to his adoption story before he could form sentences, and as he grows older, we will add more details. No, he doesn’t fully comprehend it now, but he eventually will.
Our conversation with him that Saturday morning lasted all of about 30 seconds, but we made three quick points: Continue reading