LABELED: Adopted!!

It is a big worry of mine that A will go through his life with a big label on his forehead that states ADOPTED! It is never going to be a secret in our household, never something to be ashamed about, but I have to come to terms with the fact that I cant control other people’s actions.

I am enrolling him into a pre school, to start in January, when he is 2 years old. It is a teeny place, run from a ladies’ home and he will initially be going for 3 days a week to get him into the swing of things before I send him to a more school-like place in 2016. I have just received the enrollment paperwork and the questions on the forms have made me spitting mad.

Is your child Own/Adopted
Has your child lost a parent, brother or sister to death? (How the hell to I answer that one?)
Birth: Normal/Caesarean/Forceps
Was Labour Long/Average/Quick?
Complications during/after birth?
Was baby Premature/Normal/Late?
Apgar rating?

And it goes on and on about milestones etc.

I mean WTF? It states above the questions that “the following information is necessary to get to know and understand your child”! What happened to asking questions and spending time with a child and getting to know them that way? The way I see it is that the teachers nowadays are lazy and want to pre empt any problems which may arise. Fair enough but, don’t they see how they are going to attach the label to the child that isn’t necessarily the correct label for that child? Just because of the way that child was brought into this world/came to live with his family/put his mom through a 24 hour labour. Seriously now, this is ridiculous!

I understand that these days this is the norm for schools, I cannot quite understand the need for it to be at a playgroup type school for 2 year olds, when A doesnt yet understand what it means to be adopted, but I expect it for “big school”. However, I am not going to be accepting of it there either, I will certainly be sitting down with the teachers and explaining in no uncertain terms that they will not be labeling my child just because of his circumstances, they will take the time to get to know our happy and bright and loved little boy, first.

What worries me most is that he wont even get into the school that we have chosen, because he will pre labeled as a problem child and they wont even allow him in…guess I had better get his name down at a few other schools. *sigh*

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Do you learn to love your adopted Grandchild?

This is a question my mother mentioned to me recently, that she has heard on a regular basis, since A came home.

Wow! Can you believe people are so ignorant?

Now, don’t think that I have forgotten that I had the very real worry, that my parents would not be able to love my child, as much as their biological grandchildren. It was a very real fear of mine. I am happy to report, however, that it was COMPLETELY unfounded. A has found his way into their hearts, as if he was born to me, rather than born to be with me.

However, I guess I should have expected comments like that from the general public, as adopted children seem to be defined by that label, for their entire lives. 

Having a drink at a work function the other week, a guy cane up to me and blurted out “my wife is adopted”. I am not sure what he expected me to say…maybe, “great!’or “lucky her” or “thanks for sharing”, all I managed, however, was “Oh”!! I am pretty sure that his wife, who I have never met, would not be too chuffed to be talked about in that way…she is a wife and a mother and yet, all she is defined as, is an adoptee!

You also often see it against peoples names when they are in the news. Steve Jobs, for example, when he died and his bio was being floated around cyber space, was described as adopted. I mean, he achieved so much in his life and yet, there it was…his label, ADOPTED!

I really hope that, during his lifetime, A will escape that label, but, I feel that I may be hoping for too much. Even so, we will ensure that he rises above his “label” and becomes all he can be, outside of it and in spite of it.