Sunday, March 20

Family Tree

I remember in middle school having to make a family tree. I remember it being embarrassing and stressful. My family tree looks about like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. Grandma --->Mom---Me and Bro. Exciting. Yes, father exists but I don't consider him family. Other kids had huge five generation conglomerations. I felt so alone.
I am hopeful that soon kids won't be required to make a family tree. That information is personal, private and not a good subject for school assignments. Maybe little Steven has two dads, a birthmom and two siblings -- each with their own biological background. Maybe Steven does not feel comfortable presenting this before his class of middle school peers who already pick on him for having freckles. That is Stevens prerogative.
A hot button issue in adoption is having your child 'own' their story, tell it when they think the time is right. I am sure there are teachers out there that understand this and would gladly give Steven some sort of alternative assignment, but he should not have to be singled out anyway. Maybe I am being overly sensitive.
I know some of my amom friends are helping their children to create inclusive family trees. I applaud you for this. I do think it is a good idea for any adopted child to know, embrace and share their story when they are ready. I just do not see this as being the right way to do it.

What do you think? Am I just strange?

With Love Always


1 comment:

  1. This is my biggest fear - the day my child comes home and tells me that he/she has to do a family tree assignment for school. I'm in complete agreement with you. While I admire the adoptive parents who let their children decide how they want to complete the assignment and/or make an effort to include their family's many "branches," I don't think this type of assignment is appropriate for school. For many kids, it brings up too much unwanted or unnecessary stress - even beyond adoption. What about kids whose parents are divorced? Or kids whose parents may be in prison and it's painful for them to think about it? I can think of dozens of reasons why it's a bad idea, yet zero good reasons.