Junior's school hosts an annual multi-cultural night where all the kids are encouraged to create posters to be displayed about their family's culture. The student population is very diverse and this is a way for the the students to share information about their heritage. When this assignment came home it caused a little bit of anxiety in me. We don't know junior's genealogy and I was worried that this was going to be a trigger for him. I talked to the teacher and she said he could talk about his neighborhood, family, whatever he wanted which was a relief.
When we sat down to work on the poster I gave him a couple of options and he chose to create a poster on our family. We went through a bunch of photos that have been taken over the past 18 months and he picked out a bunch. I paused when he picked out a picture from his adoption day.
Me: Do you know what is written on the chalkboard?
Jr: Yes. It says that I was adopted.
Me: Are you sure you want to include this in the poster that will be hanging at your school for everybody to see?
Me: None of your friends at school know you are adopted.
Jr: They will now.
He had obviously decided he was using this forum to start talking about it. He picked some photos of him with his birth mom to include as well.
He was so proud of his poster. And I was proud of him for deciding to talk about his adoption. In counseling we talked about how he would answer questions people may have and he didn't have answers to that. We decided would go into his classroom and talk about adoption and be there with him to answer questions.
His teacher liked the idea and put a plan together to talk about families. On Tuesday morning I went and read a story to his class about adoption. At the end I asked the class a few questions the final one being " Does any of you know somebody that was adopted." A few students raised their hands. I then asked everybody to raise their hands and the kids all looked around and Jr announced "I was adopted."
We then answered some questions that his classmates had. I was happy with how things went and I think junior was relieved to have shared this big secret. I was looking forward to attending the multi-cultural night tonight but unfortunately that didn't happen. Junior came home from school yesterday with a fever that steadily climbed to over 104. This meant our first trip to the Emergency Department at the local hospital with junior, it only took 18 months for this to milestone to be met. He is doing much better now, but the fever meant we had to miss the multi-cultural night at school, but hopefully he is better for his first visit to Wrigley field next week.