This morning, for the second time this week, Mateo asked me “Are you my real mom?” Despite how attached I know my son is to me, he continues to wonder about this key issue. As an adoptive mother—or at least as the adoptive mother to my two particular children—I’m used to this and other family-related questions.
Mateo’s remark was especially timely because this week an article that ran in the UK Guardian is circulating among adoption websites. Titled “Facebook has changed adoption forever,” the article discusses how birth parents and adoptees are searching for each other in ever-greater numbers, thanks to Facebook and other social networking sites. As most of us have discovered, finding almost anyone anywhere is much easier than it was even a few years ago, armed with as little information as a first and last name. Many adoptive families possess at least that much, including those of us who adopted from Guatemala. The article is frank about the possible ramifications of searching in this manner:
“For adopted young people, going through this situation in secret and alone can be emotional dynamite – regardless of whether it is the young person, the birth parent or perhaps a birth brother or sister who makes the initial approach.”
The longer I’m an adoptive mother, the more I’m convinced that connections among members of the adoption triad—adoptive parents, birth parents, and child—are crucial. Instead of being threatened by Mateo’s questions, I’m happy he can discuss them with me. It’s natural for my son to wonder about his beginnings, especially when we still don’t have all the answers. What’s important is that I guide him through the process, protecting him from potential “emotional dynamite” to the best of my ability.
You can read the Guardian article here. The comments that follow are also interesting.