Saturday, May 7, 2011

Opened the door...a bit...

As the parent of an adopted teen daughter who blogs, I walk a very fine line of just what I can post about her life. There are the controversies among parents over who controls the rights to any part of the child's story and then there are the vagaries of discerning the opinions of the child herself. I would not be going too far out on limb if I say here that Mari is smack in the middle of that hormonally driven period of self-identity questioning! Details on particular peculiarities are forbidden as a general rule but broad stroke descriptions may or may not be allowed depending on the day of the week or even the hour of the day...while this post was approved I just may have to take it back down again tomorrow!

Right now it has been deemed 'allowable' to relate that she has reached a level of maturity on the matter of her adoption. As a toddler she waffled between being oblivious to the 'difference' in her family and proud of the 'difference' in her family. Then all of a sudden I was forbidden to mention to ANYONE...even doctors...that she was an adopted child. I stood firm on the doctor for obvious reasons but I did step back as she entered middle school in an effort to lessen some of her anxiety about being 'different' from her peers. She has spent the most part of two school years hiding [as best one can given the particulars] the fact of her adopted status from her peers!! Kills me as I had been doing everything I could glean from writings of adult adoptees to try and make 'our' adoption a relaxed and open 'fact of life'. It is taking this control freak  a long time to accept that every child reacts in their own way no matter how well you try to guide them....

Anyhow, as I write this post I am listening to a crowd of 13 year olds giggling and squealing up in Mari's bedroom after having a rather sleepless sleepover. She had been very guarded anytime any of her peers had suggested they might come over to our house for any reason...they would surely find out her 'secret' the minute they stepped in the door and saw our family portrait hanging on the wall!?!? Then last week I was asked the question I thought would never come, "Mom, do you think I could have some friends over for a sleepover?" When I asked about her 'secret' she said, "I guess I can't hide it forever and besides, if they are my friends they won't care!" When I asked how she would handle it when the friends talked about it at school she said, "It's middle school Mom! They talk about everybody! Might as well let them talk now and get it over with." When I complimented her on her decision to face her fear of being 'different' she said, "I'm a teenager now you know?!?!"...........sigh, oh I know alright!


  1. Thank you friend for this primer on what may be ahead for me and my daughter. I think your daughter Mari is a mature, right thinking young woman, and is guarding her privacy and sharing it with friends as she feels prepared. Ihope dear Mari is proud to be from Guatemala and at peace with herself, and happy as a family member! Even us non-adopted women remember our teenage years, and not feeling altogether ecure with ourselves, and sharing only certain things with our friends. I thank God every day for finding my daughter for me. God forms familes in many different ways. I think adoption is a blessing.

  2. What a mature young lady she is becoming! That's a pretty big milestone for her to come to this realization. I bet you are proud of her for working through her "secret" and becoming comfortable with herself to share her family with others!

  3. this is why I'm so glad that you didn't just decide on a private blog, its so nice to see a vision of an older child, although I knw they all are different in how the deal with things its nice to get her perspective.