We recently met a family with several adopted children. Their mother was talking about some problems they had with the process for getting their youngest (apparently, they had to stay in-country for much longer than anticipated) when the oldest piped up and admonished her for telling the child's story.
What is meant by an adoptee's "story"? Have we not inadvertently set up adoptees as victims or, at least, a special class of people who have "their" stories that they and ONLY they can tell? Are we putting these children on a hair trigger to get defensive about their background, as if there is something shameful about it?
I don't know. Certainly there is and will be information about my daughter that ought to be private, between her and us or even (especially when she's older) kept to herself. But it seems to me that this is so for any child: it would be wrong, for example, for a parent to publicly expose details of how his son cried after losing a game or how his daughter got dumped by a boy she really liked. We all have things about ourselves that we'd rather other people not know, either because they are embarrassing or simply because they are nobody's business but our own.
In writing this blog, are my wife and I violating our daughter's privacy? I don't think so. I hope that, if she ever reads what we've written, she'll see only the sorts of stories that all parents tell about their children, and that they are told with love and pride (and maybe a little humor).
So, what shall I tell my daughter about "her story" and other people?