One of the things we need to learn to live with is the romanticising of birth parents by our daughter. You sometimes ache to just tell her everything you know, but obviously don’t.
We struggle with the fact that even at final contact they put themselves first and said some manipulative things to her that make it difficult for her to move on. She told me the other day one of the things that they said to her, as we were walking back from the shop, and it reminded me of a song from one of my favourite films as a child.
It’s a 1986 animated film by Steven Spielberg called An American Tail, about a family of Russian mice fleeing from Russia to New York at the turn of the 20th century. The son gets lost on the way and spends the rest of the film searching for his family, who assume him as dead.
In one of the most emotional scenes in the film, the son and his sister (who’s still with the family) sing separately and together into the night a song that “even though I know how very far apart we are, it helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star”.
It was a random comment I made to D that triggered her memory from final contact. It was about how it’s too bad the sky is cloudy tonight, otherwise we could’ve seen lots of beautiful stars.
The incident made me think that in a way we’re lucky and our daughter is lucky that she gets to have that clear(ish) sky of her past. As she walks with me and her mum, she can look out into the night sky, see all the stars of her past and know where she comes from. She can hope that all of those people who she has loved and lost, are wishing on those same bright stars.
There are a lot of challenges in adopting an older child. But them knowing their past and what they have been through is a major bonus. It takes a lot off the adopters, and it makes things much clearer and less confusing for the child.