As an adoptive parent, my job is to protect my child’s past as their story belongs to them. Adoption stems from separation from birth/first parents and those circumstances are private in our family. And while I blog, advocate and want to bring awareness to vulnerable children, there are so many big aspects to my children’s stories that are absolutely private and have never made the pages of this blog. But what happens when the child wants to share their story?
Recently, Kofi had an opportunity to share about life in Ghana with a group of students. Kofi arranged this speech himself and I kept asking him what things he thought would be ok to talk about and what he felt should be private. I gently guided him and talked to him about each decision he made and why he wanted to share about his life. It was interesting to see how my son took ownership of his story and how he viewed the speech he was about to give.
His story was not about adoption. It was about the kind of life he lived in Ghana but poverty and hunger can be sad and triggering. He was with a couple of hundred students in a gymnasium and they each listened intently. I was impressed by Kofi’s public speaking skills, he was not nervous one bit. I was also worried if he would feel ok about this decision later on.
Once his talk was over, students came over and wanted to take pictures with him. They hugged him, shook his hand and said he did a great job.
A week later Kofi received a stack of letters from the students thanking him for being there. They remembered small but important details about clean drinking water, access to education and children working to support their families. He had made an impact and that is why Kofi chose to speak to begin with. He wanted children here to appreciate the things they are given just for living in United States.
Protecting our children’s stories is so important. Allowing our children to share their stories in their own time is just as important. I am proud of Kofi for making mature decisions and making a difference.
Now on to the Adoption Talk Linkup!