My daughter has a new hobby - telling random strangers that she was adopted. I'm not sure if it's just a phase or if she's planning to stick with it for the long haul. Now, I should state for the record that we have never hidden the fact that our daughter was adopted. I try to remember to say "was" adopted because, in my mind, it was a one-time legal proceeding and not a perpetual state of being. She is my child and it just so happens that she came to me through adoption (my child, not my adopted child). I try to emphasize with her that she's a kid who was adopted but that isn't the most important detail about her. I'm not sure if that's the right approach or not. I'm honestly not sure how to handle it. It's really up to her, as she grows older, to decide what she wants to share with others so perhaps I should just let her say whatever she wants to say, even if it does make some people a little uncomfortable. I certainly don't mean for her to sweep this fact about herself under the rug. When she asks questions related to her adoption, I always do my best to answer them. We have an open adoption and we talk about her birthmom quite a bit.
I think my daughter has been more focused on her adoption recently because it's something that makes her different. I know kids need to feel their way through the world and figure out how they are alike/different from their peers. She also talks a lot about her height, bemoaning the fact that "everyone thinks I'm only five!"
Yesterday I took her to the mall to buy her dad a new cell phone for Father's Day. She chatted up the sales person pretty heavily. She shared with him the following:
- My name
- Her name
- Her dad's name
- Her dad's MIDDLE name
- The fact that we just went to Disney World
- The fact that we were going to get a pretzel and an ICEE after we were done.
- The fact that she can do "the wheel" in yoga and offered to do it right there on the floor
She wasn't done, though. She stood on her tiptoes and peered over the top of the counter at the sales guy. "I'm an adopted child!" she said. He nodded and smiled. An awkward silence followed.
"She, um, likes to share a lot of information with people," I said.
Before we left the mall, we stopped at Kohl's. She decided to share all of our personal information with the cashier there, too. I should add that I bought sunglasses and paid cash for them. There was really no need to exchange any information at all. But, I guess it was important for this cashier to know our names, the fact that we have three dogs and a cat, and oh by the way, "I'm an adopted child!" Again, lots of smiling and nodding from the random stranger.
"Okay, let's go!" I said to my daughter, tugging her toward the door.
"But Mom!" she protested. "I didn't get a chance to give her our phone number!"