Due to Soccer Drama this past weekend, I’m very late on two important events that occurred Saturday, August 25th. The first is Jackson’s Adoption Day.
I wrote about Jackson’s First Adoption Day when I wrote for Adoption Blogs.
I thought I also wrote about why we celebrate Adoption Day, but I can’t find that post. It was in response to someone (an adoptee, I believe) asking “Why would I want to celebrate the day when I lost my family?”
Jackson did not lose his family on August 25, 2006. Legally, he lost his birth family three days after he was born, when his birth parents’ parental rights were terminated. However, we’ve been in contact with his birthmother and her family since before he was born. He’s never lost them. He lost the ability to grow up with and be raised by his birthmother, but he didn’t lose his birth family. (His birthfather would not have been involved in his life even if his birthmother had parented.)
On the flip side, he gained an entirely new family with two parents, aunts, uncles, cousins (and more cousins, oh how many cousins!). He gained experiences that he never would have had, had he remained with S. Some of those experiences – explaining adoption, being told that his Grandpa couldn’t be his Grandpa because “that man is white”, missing his birth siblings – are sad. Some of those experiences – Montessori school, attending birthday parties, playing sports – are happy.
Jackson has at least two classmates who are adopted, one from China, one from foster care (I believe). Apparently, he has talked to the one from China about adoption. He said that talked about it being “hard to be adopted because you don’t know why you were tooken [sic] from your birth parents.”
I have explained to Jackson before that he was not taken from his birth parents. I explained again, that S was very young when she had Iggy, was only two years older when she had him, and she knew she couldn’t give Jackson everything she wanted to give him. So, she chose to give him to two parents who would love him and raise him and make sure he had what he needed. We talked a little bit about S’s life, and why her decision was the best decision for him. This seemed to satisfy Jackson; perhaps it even made him happy.
I know there is loss in adoption. I know adoption can be hard. We choose to celebrate Jackson’s Adoption Day to celebrate the joy and gain in adoption, because they’re there too.