Recently, I overheard a friend telling Sienna’s story to a group of people I barely knew. It caught me a little off guard to overhear her revealing such an intimate and personal experience to people that I would not have openly shared this information. I winced in the background as my friend continued on at great lengths about Sienna’s story, getting facts wrong along the way.
I know my friend and I know her intentions were well meaning, but the pit in my stomach caused me to question why was I so bothered by this?
After much thought, I think it is because I view Sienna’s story (and Brae’s story) as their story. It’s their story to share with whomever, how ever, whenever, and even if they want to. Certainly, my family and friends (and this blogging community) know their story. And that is because I feel grateful for this platform and opportunity to share such an amazing and life-giving adventure. I want more people to know how amazing adoption is — in every form. It’s also because Sienna and Brae’s stories are part of my story as well. So, I’ve invited people along on this journey with me.
But, somehow, I feel like a faint line is crossed when I’m not a part of sharing my children’s story. Perhaps it is because I’m so mama-bear protective of my kids, I want to be in charge of how the message is delivered. I don’t want to run the risk of some well-meaning stranger making an off-the-cuff comment and someone else not responding in a way that I would have.
I also want to hold my children’s stories inviolate. I’m their mom, yes, and their stories are part of my story, yes, but I also want to be respectful of the fact that they, not me, will be the target of any disrespectful or ignorant comments about adoption. I want them to decide whether they want to share their stories, and if they do, I want it to be on their terms. I don’t want to rob them of that, or unnecessarily put a target on their backs.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m absolutely not ashamed of their stories or how they came to be in our family. I think God has set them apart, has divinely chosen them, and they are beyond special and privileged. I’ve been the one blessed by them; not the other way around. It is an honor for me to be the one they call “Mommy.”
But, at the same time, I’m a realist. I know there exist a lot of naive and uninformed stereotypes and misconceptions about adoption. I want to protect my kids from those arrows. So, until they can shield themselves, I want to be the ones in charge of delivering their very unique and beautiful stories.