Handling the Difficult Truth with Honesty


I want to Thank Amy Eldridge for bringing this blog by Sang-Shil Kim to our attention with her commentary.

In "An Inconvient Truth" Sang-Shil discusses the feelings she has knowing that adoption was a "second choice" for her parents and not wanting to know how many years were spent trying to conceive or how many thousands of dollars could have be spent on infertility treatments. In the midst of this blog, she also questions whether not parenting was the first or second choice of her biological parents.

Sang-Shil is not questioning the love of her parents, but she is being honest about the feelings and questions that she has despite knowing the love and commitment she has from her parents. Such difficulty honesty can help heal and grow relationships, and I would like to thank Sang-Shil for her bravery in sharing what others who were adopted may be feeling. Your child may not verbalize or express these feelings to you, but it is important to keep in mind that they may have similar questions and feelings.

This is not to suggest that adoptive parents be dishonest about the journey that took you to adoption. A friend or relative is likely to eventually say something to or in front of your child. If you have blogged or tweeted about your struggle with infertility, your child may stumble upon your posts. Rather, this is the time to grow your relationship by being honest with the difficult truth. Your thoughts and feelings have likely changed about your journey as you have fallen in love with your child; tell him or her that. Be honest with your child about your hopes and fears as you journeyed through family planning and adoption. Be real with your child about your own humanity and how that shaped your choices. Don’t forget to explain what you have learned and experienced after making the decision to adopt. If you have questions about how to compassionately have this conversation with your child, consult a therapist or adoption counselor.

Brooke Randolph, LMHC, is a parent, therapist, and founding team member of MLJ Adoptions, Inc. with more than 20 years of experience working with children and families. She is the mental health expert contributor at DietsInReview.com, a national diet and fitness column; a private practice counselor in Indianapolis, Indiana; and the Vice President of PR, Outreach, and Communications at KidsFirst. She is a single adoptive mother who has authored adoption education materials and presented at numerous conferences and workshops throughout North America. Brooke is primarily motivated to encourage, equip, and empower parents and individuals to make changes that strengthen their lives, their careers, and their families.