The start of kindergarten is often more worrisome to parents than the children themselves, and for parents of adopted children, there is a unique set of worries.
It’s back to school time again! It always comes around too soon every year. I am sending an adopted kindergartener to school for the first time, so I am testing all the waters this year. Wish me luck!
I am not worried about taking the teacher aside and informing her about my child’s familial status. I don’t feel I need to do that unless it is absolutely necessary. As far as I’m concerned, she is my child, so any family trees or lineage assignments will contain her family. I feel that exempting her from these assignments will be exempting her from her family. If somewhere down the road, I get a teacher who is all about genetics, then I will need to have a conversation.
I do worry a bit about disclosure during the course of her school career, not so much that she will tell her friends. To us, adoption is incidental. However, I do worry about more sensitive topics, such as her birth mother and the circumstances that surround her adoption. I’m not saying her life is anything to be embarrassed about because it isn’t, no one’s life is. I just want to attempt to provide privacy to all parties involved in the adoption.
Lastly, I’m worried about the same things every other parent is! Adoptive parents do have some issues that are unique to their circumstances, but most other times we have the same issues as other parents. I have gone through every back-to-school emotion there possibly is from the end of July on through the summer. But like other parents, I know my daughter will be just fine. And so will I.
Theresa Davis is a former early childhood educator and has worked in childcare centers for more than 15 years. She is also an adoptive mother, living and taking care of her family in the Capital District.