The Sacred Story of Nathaniel’s Life

March 21, 2013 § 3 Comments

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Baby Nathaniel, June 2008

When first meeting someone, there are a number of people forward enough to ask what Nathaniel’s history is before his adoption. We do stick out as an interracial adoptive family so I can understand the curiosity. However, I guard his life story as a sacred treasure.

We have enough paperwork to know that he was truly an orphan and that is all. We don’t know anything about his birth family or their story. Even if we did, I wouldn’t share it because it’s not my story to tell. It’s Nathaniel’s.

There are details that I know that I may share with him in the future. Those are heavy things and he will have to bear the weight and grieve accordingly. I want him to know even from a young age that his life story is sacred and not something to share with strangers. He will be able to share those things if and to whom he wants.

The other issue is the Internet and issues of personal privacy. With the way things are going in technology, I don’t want a future job interview being colored by the blog post I wrote about him 20 years ago. I don’t want his future friends to search for his name and get all the juicy details of his childhood development.

I post about the cute, funny, and momentous moments. You won’t see any about his discipline, personal hygiene, or other potentially embarrassing topics. Initially I didn’t even use his name on the blog but that became too cumbersome. I also try to post from my perspective as a mom, rather than his experience as an adopted child with special needs.

As Nathaniel grows, I want him to know that Daddy and Mama respect him as a person and as our son. I want him to find comfort and refuge to process his story with us, if he wants. I want to guard and value the story of his life until Nathaniel can make those decisions.

Do any other adoptive or blogging parents have thoughts on this?

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§ 3 Responses to The Sacred Story of Nathaniel’s Life

  • Jan says:

    Good for you, Laura.

  • Holly martin says:

    Such a tasteful way to handle a delecate situation. Thank u got the reminder that our children deserve respect for their personal privacy online & to the public.

  • Thanks for an honest, thoughtful post. While I do agree with you in principle, I’ve found my personal experience to be a bit different. I’ve found that simply saying “It’s not my story to tell” or “We’ve decided to let her share her story when she is older” is socially awkward and it always makes the inquirer feel embarrassed and put off. I do want to speak with grace, seasoned with salt…

    I sometimes wonder if the real question people are asking: “Is your adopted child a true orphan/ how come she isn’t being raised by her birth parents?” You know, with all the media hype over the past couple of years, adoption has gotten a bad rap. I have come up with a couple of sentences that are vague, yet truthful. Not too revealing, yet speaks of the pain of loss.

    Parents and kids are all so different, and my daughter’s need for privacy might be less or more than another child’s. I pray my daughter’s heart is protected as she grows older and discovers more about her history. When travelling in Ethiopia, we bought a CD, and without knowing the words, I’d find myself in tears listening to a particular song. I finally asked a local to translate the chorus. “Who is He? Who is He who writes my history?” No matter the circumstances surrounding the need for adoption, God is the I AM, the One Who Writes Our History. I am thankful for His good plans, for in that place of serenity and trust, there is peace.

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