I understand that normal is a relative term and we all classify things, people and experiences as 'normal' based on our own knowledge and experience. Clearly, it represents a spectrum of experience and perspective.
However, I increasingly realise that as a family we have strayed from the accepted ‘normal’ and into a place that is anything but that. Of course that is not exclusive to adoption, but many friends and acquaintances that have adopted have made this journey and testify to this.
The common denominator being that we are the parents of children who’s view of themselves and the world they find themselves in is not comparable to their peers’ views. Nor does it align with the 'normal' views of their families or the adults that they interact with. From this they act and react and as they see it their behaviour is a natural and justified response to the world they live in.
In many parts of the known universe if you drop something on my toe it would be 'normal' to say sorry and I'd say it's fine.
However, in my little corner of the universe things run to a different 'normal' order. If you drop something on my toe it's my fault for having toes and actually I should apologise for being hurt and while we're on I'm an idiot.
Living at the intersection of these two ‘normals’ is challenging. Managing the needs of our children, families and the world we interact with.
Either clearing a way ahead, having a quiet word in the football coach/teacher/family member/visitor/friend/schoolyard parents ear. Asking to not be invited to the roller disco, sleepover or birthday party. Not to win the prize or act in the play.
Sweeping up behind, giving palatable explanations, saying sorry or asking if we could not be invited next time. Getting shouted at, screamed and spat at and bearing the bunt of the fear and pain.
We balance the needs of these opposing world views, whilst embracing them both.
I raise a glass to the men and women in the middle.