Jennifer M. Koontz recently wrote an article for Huffington Post about being a proud adoptive parent and making sure your child is proud of his birth heritage. In the article Koontz writes about an experience she recently had, where she attempted to connect with a mother who had a child who seemed to be adopted internationally, like her daughter was.
While at Target, Koontz and her young daughter attempted to stop and speak with this woman, Koontz writes that she stopped the woman and said “I have a daughter who was born in South America. Was your son born in South America?” Koontz writes that the mother looked down and walked away quickly with no response.
This anecdote leads into Koontz’ main point, that there is no need to run and hide from adoption and that adoptive parents should be teaching their children to be proud of who they are and not to hide from their differences. Koontz concedes that some people who ask questions about adoption may not do-so in a politically correct way, but she believes that most of the questions come from people who would like to learn more about adoption.
“I never want my daughter to run away from who she is; I want her to feel proud of her background, her appearance, her personality, and I want her to give thanks for the person she was made to be.”
Adoption STAR agrees with Koontz that it’s very important to begin speaking with your child about adoption at a very early age. This can be done by reading books to them starting at birth where the main character is adopted or is different from their family. As your children grow older, they will have more questions about their adoption journey, and the key will be to openly and honestly answer their questions.
If you would like more information on speaking with your children about their adoption journey, you can contact your Adoption STAR Family Advocate, or you can contact the agency directly by email or toll-free at 1(866)691-3300.
We’d love to hear how you connect and network with other adoptive families, and how you answer questions about your children’s adoption journeys.
To read the full Huffington Post article, please click here.