Wednesday 11 April 2018

Little star.

Peanut is a little star, we regularly fight over who is going go look after her. We all want to.

'Why did you adopt me?' She asked as we sat in our kitchen each eating a packet of crisps*.

Well, now she's got me in a little quandary. I'm inclined to tell her the truth but that's not so straight forward, having six children was not the plan. I pause and wonder if this moment will be played out in therapists rooms for the next sixty years. I draw a deep breath, lean in and offer a one eyed thoughtful squint to stall for a little time while I ponder how to articulate the complexity of circumstances that brought her to our lives.

'Well' I say, and she interrupts 'you're thinking about it aren't you?'. She may be six but adoption is front and centre for every close member of her family and she's pretty clued up. I did note that she didn't ask why was she was adopted, I'll ponder that later.

So, the conversation unravels and I'm honest about her story and my story, her sister's story and all of our story together. She listened and asks and answers questions. She's six but listens well and takes it all in. She's a sponge and a little star.

We then went out on the yellow bike with her sat in the front rack cross legged laughing at me huffing  and puffing as I pedalled us up the big hill to the coffee shop. We went halvesies on a scone, she had a slushy and I had a coffee. Just like we did many times the summer she came.  All was well. I don't want to diminish her early life challenges but she's clearly loves her life, knows she is loved and loves back with vigour. She could be the poster girl for early intervention. She can hold the complexity of her early life, the unrelated relatives and the related unrelatives and intriguing journey to being a daughter of a stranger quite well.

It all seemed like a soothing balm to another frantic week at the end of a frantic winter. I fell well and truly out of love with Twitter this week to add insult to injury.  Human nature and cultural norms mean that we don't get that many good adoption stories, I get all that but there are other narratives, less binary, not all good or all bad,  and more nuanced. This was another day in my non binary narrative.

*Peanut had ready salted and I had salt and vinegar.

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