This is a very important post, in my opinion, from Megan Hill at Christianity Today‘s Her.meneutics blog on an issue many adoptive parents do not seem to have thought through in advance.
Here’s the main point: “In this digital age, information lasts forever, and adoptive parents are increasingly, permanently, and publicly telling stories that are not theirs to tell.” She explores why:
Partly, I suppose we tell them because people ask. Even mere acquaintances frequently ask me questions about my children’s place of birth, their health prior to adoption, and the financial status of their birthparents. Constantly deflecting nosiness takes more energy than many parents have.
And, maybe we tell our children’s stories because we believe strongly in the cause of adoption and want to promote it to others. Maybe, selfishly, we tell them because we adoptive parents are the heroes of those stories. Or because we believe that our child’s identity can be found in his experiences, rather than in his union with Christ.
But maybe we just haven’t thought much about it. One mom told me, “I wish someone had told me [at the beginning] to keep every last detail quiet. . . I feel that there are a lot of people who know that [my daughter] was abandoned, and I wish that I had not even shared.”
I think the thoughtless telling of our children’s stories stems from forgetting something that all parents are prone to forget: my child is my neighbor. Yes, I am his parent—with all the authority and responsibility that entails. Of course. But my child is not simply my possession or an extension of myself. He is a human being, made in the image of God, with a soul that will never die. And his story does not belong to me.
You can read the whole thing here.