November is National Adoption Awareness Month. This month houses our son’s Family Day, when, five years ago, a local judge declared that our adoption was finalized.
As Thanksgiving nears, we are grateful for so much, especially the life of our Strong One and how he fills our family with joy and opportunities to grow.
One day he announced, “Mom, I am not antagonizing and you’re a genius.” His vocabulary impresses us on the regular.
When we asked him what he was learning at school, he said, “Tessellations.”
We thought he had misspoken.
“Did you mean constellations, son?”
“No, Mom, tessellations.”
“Well, what are tessellations?”
“They’re like shapes you put together.”
Several weeks later, as we were telling this story to my mom, she said, “Tessellations are a real thing.”
And sure enough, after a quick Google search, we realized our son had been telling the truth the whole time.
Speaking of telling the truth, adoption, and Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for the show, “This Is Us” and how it addresses transracial adoption.
This Is Us and Adoption
“They’re putting words to what I feel as an adoptive mom,” I confessed to my mother through tears, as we watched “This Is Us” in her living room.
Besides the fact that my maiden name is identical to one of the main characters (Kate Pearson), and I’m a sucker for great writing and acting, I watch “This Is Us” because, like Jack and Rebecca Pearson (the parents of Kate, Kevin, and Randall), my husband and I adopted a son whose skin color is different than ours.
Week after week, the show addresses the range of emotions that adoptive parents and adopted children experience—the hard parts, the beautiful parts, and everything in between.
“You’re adopted and we don’t talk about that enough, because to me you are every part my son. And maybe I don’t want you to feel like you stand out. But I need you to know something… I want you to stand out. I want all of you, to be as different as you can possibly be, in all the best ways. I love you as much as a human heart can kiddo.” — Jack Pearson
In Season 1, episode 6, Randall’s father, Jack, is trying to decide whether or not to send Randall to a different school that is more academically challenging, but less diverse. Jack seeks advice from Yvette, the mother of one of Randall’s friends, about this pressing decision.
Yvette calls out Jack’s motivation for asking her opinion and says something to this effect, “Oh, I see what you’re doing here. You want my approval.”The tears began to flow, right there in the living room, as the characters put words to some of my insecurities as an adoptive parent. #ThisIsUs #adoption Click To Tweet
I have reached out to friends, and even a few strangers, trying to gain insight and approval when it comes to raising my son. I once jumped into a conversation about hair care with a young woman I just met. I reached out to an acquaintance online, peppering her with questions about skin products. I asked my doctor and dear friends, endless questions, trying to make sure I’m doing it “right.”
We sent pictures to our son’s birth mom after his first haircut to see what she thought. Thankfully, she liked it.
And while there is wisdom in learning from others, and acknowledging that we are not experts in all areas, there is another scene from “This Is Us” that has helped shape my parenting too.
One of my favorite parts in my new book talks about adoption, on pages 58-59.
From our family to yours, we hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
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You might also enjoy:
I Call You Mine: Embracing God’s Gift of Adoption by Kim de Blecourt