Looking Out for Her
Friday, 8 March 2013
“Mom! Mom! Mom! Did you remember that today is my Adoption Day?”
Oscar bounded down the stairs with accompanying sound effects commensurate with his excitement. I was making breakfast, and the answer to his question was “How could I ever forget?”
“Mom, you need to call or email my principal so he can call me down because it’s a special day for me, and that’s what we do when someone has a special day. Can you do that? Can you?”
The fact he is so comfortable with the idea of adoption, with his adoption, and so willing–even eager–to share this aspect of himself is affirming to be sure, but that is not the story on this the eighth anniversary of his Adoption Day.
This story begins at 3 PM–as soon as school was dismissed for the day–and my happy son, who had been basking in the glow of his day for the last nine hours clambered into my car, his copious backpack wobbling as he made his way to his seat. He told me his principal called him down and that he received some special treats. He was beside himself, and then . . .
Realizing my son was claiming his rightful place as the conduit of information regarding the details of his adoption, and seamlessly at that, I was eager to learn what his classmates asked and how he responded.
“Well, they wanted to know how old I was when I was adopted.”
“And they wanted to know if I had ever met my birthmother.”
Only for a few minutes after birth.
I then asked him, thinking this would be on the minds of third-graders with the same gusto it is with most: “Oscar, did your friends ask you why your birthmother couldn’t care for you, why she made an adoption plan?”
He responded: “No, and I’m kind of glad they didn’t.”
He knows the answer, of course, and could have answered the question had it been posed, had he been inclined.
I asked him why he was glad they hadn’t asked.
“Well, I guess you could say I didn’t want to embarrass her. I don’t know. What happened to her is her personal business. She is my first mom, and I think it’s kind of my job to look out for her. Is that right, Mom?”
And all I could whisper, on this most profound day, was, simply–and tearfully–yes.