The Woob has been with the same in-home care provider since he was eight weeks old. We love her and the other kids she cares for. She loves him. She provides a clean, stuctured, comfortable place and lots of fun activities. Perhaps I’m a bad momma for sending him to daycare in the first place, but if a person has to do it, all they can hope is that they find a place like J’s for their babies. Julie knows that Woob was adopted, that he has another Mama that he sees. Its not a usual topic of discussion, but she’s aware of how we do things, and I don’t think she thinks we’re crazy for it.
Since she’s a single provider, when she gets sick, goes on vacation, has a family emergency, etc., we have to scramble to find alternate arrangements, or take off work ourselves. Its not easy at times to explain that to even the most understanding supervisor. Since Woob is two, he is now eligible to attend the daycare at Papa2Roo’s place of employment. A little while back, I got us put on their waiting list and they indicated that there might be an opening at the end of the year. Surprisingly, Monday, while I was off work, (ironically in J’s absence), the care center called saying they have an opening NOW. Wow. I wasn’t ready for that–the adjustment Woob’ll have to make from someone he’s known his whole life. And I know he’ll manage and adjust and likely thrive. Its a very cool place with great people and Daddy is right there on campus with him if he needs him.
So I got the paperworkand was filling out the usual information and came to the page where they ask us to “Describe your family structure.” At first, I’m all “huh?” Ohhhh, they want to know if we’re married, single, living together, divorced, gay…it took me a minute to realize I could easily fill the blank with “adoptive family.” Hmmmm…do I add that, or not? It occurred to me that this is really the first time we’ve been confronted with whether or not to share this information with strangers. Certainly, we don’t hide the fact that Woob was adopted. Since he was working there before Woob came along, all Papa2Roo’s coworkers know how he came to be a part of our family. We had to notify HR when he was born in order to iron out the insurance stuff. J, the babysitter had to know, because we lined her up before he was even born. So those folks were told out of necessity. I certainly don’t want to share that information and have it used in a negative way (i.e., new caregivers thinking my kiddo misbehaves or cries or hits because, why of course, he’s adopted!) If he does those things, I’m pretty sure that its because he’s two and gets frustrated, and tries to see what he can get away with behaviorally, like every other two year old. So my first inclination is just to say that we are in a two-parent, married household with no other children, skip the adoption stuff.
Then I think back to a post that Nicole wrote where her daughter Sunshine shared with her daycare teacher that she had a sister, Moonbeam, and because the caregiver didn’t know about the daughter Nicole placed, the teacher thought the child was fabricating her sister. I don’t want that to happen. i want Woob to be able to know and talk about his little sis, J., even though she doesn’t live with us, and for other people not to think he’s making things up, or ask all kinds of nosey questions. But I also want to protect his ability to tell his story as he chooses once he’s more aware of it, and not have to wrestle with other people’s understanding or misunderstanding of the situation.
I still haven’t filled in the blank, even three days later.