The Adoption Option

My spot for thoughts, feelings, rambles, and updates as we journey through the adoption process. Highlights: Dossier arrived in Thailand ~ Sept 26, 2005; Approved ~ October, 2005; Matched ~ August, 2006; Referral received ~ January 2007; Traveled & Home ~ June, 2007; Finalized!! ~ December, 2007

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Teachers and adoption

Jesse and I attended his Kindergarten round-up tonight. A night for the parents to meet the teacher and the kids to see the class room. It was nice for Jesse to see a new group of kids, but he was still comfortable since there are a lot of siblings coming in this year. So he already knows a lot of them. This I think will really help his transition and comfort level.

Jesse has been home since before Ian started Kindergarten - many of the teachers know about his adoption status and I figured since we were around so much, most everyone did. However, when I approached the kinder teacher and mentioned it she seems surprised and confused. A reaction I'm used to by now. I just explained that I wanted her to know in case he should mention anything (which is often does) in conversation. He knows things most kids his age might now - like he can't be President. I didn't want him to say something in class that would shock or surprise her. I think I've mentioned before about this seminar I went to about adoption in education. It was amazing and so many valid points were made and absorbed. One being that if a teacher is not made aware of the history, a mention of adoption might noticeable surprise them. Makes perfect sense. The idea is that if a child sees that reaction they will think "oh wait...maybe adoption is weird, or strange, or bad...maybe I shouldn't talk about it". Again makes perfect sense. So why is it that none of the teachers I talk to seem to understand that?

I made a point of saying "adoption does not make him special, it's just his story like everyone has a story. I don't want him to think adoption makes him special." Her response..."Well, doesn't adoption make him special?" My opinion - no. Adoption is something that happened to him, a part of who he is and how we became a family. A lot of people have stories of how they arrived at where they are today. Some kids in his class are from another country - does that make them special? I don't think so. Does it make us all unique - yes. Do we celebrate adoption in our family - yes! Do I think he needs to be praised for being adopted - no.

Am I alone in this? I mean, I know I'm not really because this is exactly what some PhD studied and speaks on...but come one people! Every single teacher!!!!!

And to think if I didn't mention it - if Jesse saw those initial looks on their faces what would he think? Anyway just another baffling night with the educators at our school. Feed back appreciated.

Oh - and another thing - don't get me wrong, I don't feel the need to tell everyone I meet about Jesse's adoption. However, I think it's important to mention a few things here or there. Tuesday night I dropped Jesse off at tumbling class...Sam was picking him up. The teacher had never met Sam or Ian. So I just said "His dad is picking him up - big guy, long blonde hair." Is that wrong or weird? I'm just trying to make situations less weird.