I love visiting my son. I love talking to my son. I believe that communication is crucial to have a healthy relationship with my son, or in any relationship for that matter. My hope, and my experience, is that as my son grows up, he knows how much I love him.
He’s Just a Kid
When I visit my son or talk to him, we talk about things that kids like to talk about. We talk about his favorite activities, what his holidays were like, and positive things he has going on in his life. My son is experiencing a normal childhood. He has great manners, respects his parents, and enjoys talking to anyone who will listen. It doesn’t surprise me that he is outgoing. I tell him how much I love and how proud I am of him.
An Attitude to Avoid
What we don’t talk about: anything that is the responsibility of his parents to talk to him about. It’s not my job to discipline him, make sure he is eating his vegetables, or monitor his grades. My role is to be another mama, who loves him for who he is and where he is. I respect my son by respecting our boundaries. My son knows that I am a mama, but is not old enough to truly understand what that means.
He is too young to comprehend the adoption situation, but when he is ready to start asking questions, his parents will answer them. If they need anything from me in terms of this discovery, I will be there for them.
My Relationship Resembles an Aunt…
Here is the key to my relationship with my son: I’m more like an aunt than a mom. I don’t treat him as if I am his custodial parent. I treat him as if he is another child in my life. He is just a normal little boy who wants to talk about little boy things and do little boy activities. He is incredibly intelligent, and I am ever so proud of him. I am sure to tell him that. I build him up, I encourage him, and I ask him questions about his life.
Communicating with Mom
If there is a heavy topic that I have questions about, then I speak to his mom about it. In fact, I had a conversation with her a few months ago asking how he was doing emotionally. She told me that he is just like any other little boy. There are times when he doesn’t listen, or is disrespectful, but they have raised him to be disciplined and to apologize. For the most part, he is incredibly well-mannered, he has exceptional grades, and plays with many other neighborhood children.
What Will the Future Hold?
I have no idea what the future for my son will be like, and how our relationship will evolve, but I know that it will. For example, when he was a baby, there was no talking when I saw him. I visited more frequently than I do now. I would hold him and kiss him and love on him. I do that now, but as any other growing boy would like to interact.
It’s all about being age appropriate and being respectful. Remember, if you are not the custodial parent, then do not behave as if you are the custodial parent. Have fun with the time you have with your child, and spend it doing age appropriate activities and discussing age appropriate topics. But most importantly, enjoy the time you do get to spend together.
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption 7 years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.