GAY PARENTING – FINDING MY IDENTITY
For a few years now our son has from time to time asked us about his mom. I blogged about it here and as I mention in the post, we’ve always answered honestly, but always age appropriately and in a way that empowers him to deal with these questions in the playground where they mostly stem from.
As he has grown older he has become more aware of the different family structures that his mates have and as he observes around him.
During a recent visit by my sister and her son, something must have changed that got him questioning his identity and got him asking himself if there’s more to who he is? My sister is darker in complexion compared to her son who is extremely fair. I understand from my sister that during a quiet moment between our sons, they didn’t realise she could still hear them, my son asked his cousin if he too was adopted because he was “peach” and his mom was “brown“. Following this discussion, we got asked if he (our son) had a 3rd dad! I’m assuming now, that there was more discussed after this between the cousins, If not, it may have been asked of him at the school playground or at a playdate recently. These questions never just stem from nowhere!
Again, we’ve answered truthfully. Of course, he does!
At least, for now, he seems content with that response.
We are however acutely aware that it won’t be the last question about his biological dad.
I definitely believe that as he is getting older, the old say about becoming wiser as one gets older is relevant here. The simple answers don’t suffice anymore. His questions now expect a little more detail. Honestly, at times we don’t have an answer. When these moments arise, we are still honest. We let him know that we don’t have an answer for him because we simply do-not-know the answer to his question.
Darren and I do not believe that we should manufacture an answer if we do not have the info our son is asking. Lies always have a way of catching up with you at some point in life, and it’s not always pretty when the truth eventually comes out especially when it compromises the relationship and trust that has been built up over the years.
As he gets older, our son is becoming extremely curious about his true identity. Where he comes from, why he isn’t with his biological parents etc. It’s normal human nature and in no way a reflection of ingratitude on the child’s side. I’d think that it’s possibly the very same with dads that choose the surrogate route to becoming parents or because of a failed relationship with the biological mother of their child who chooses that they no longer want to be a part of the child’s life.
There will always be questions…
“Who is my mother?”
“Where is she?”
“What’s her name?”
“Why doesn’t she live with us?”
Hubby and I have resigned ourselves to the fact that these questions from our son will persist and that they will change over time and become more complex and difficult to answer but one thing we do know is that we will always answer honestly and explain certain answers if required to do so.
We anticipate that there might even be moments of extreme frustration, confusion, anger and rebelliousness that will relate directly to his adoption. At this point, we think we know how we will react and respond but we also know that we have no control over how our son reacts to the different stages of his life going forward. Hopefully, with unconditional love, respect, patience and understanding we will be able to help him navigate his way through a world that is already immensely confusing and hostile.
Have you adopted or are you a single parent who has faced similar questions?
How have you addressed them with your child/children?