I would like to introduce my first child. For blogging purposes we're going to call him "Black Bear", because his favorite color is black and because I'm "Mama Bear".
Black Bear is 12 years old and nearing 13 faster than I care to admit. If there were one word that best describes him it would be ''creative". His brain is always on and coming up with something. He is a leader and very well liked at school. He is very smart, but not crazy about the work that school requires. He'd much rather be doing something that was his idea.
Black Bear has developed an incredible sense of humor and he's becoming more communicative as he matures. He loves to be talked to, treated as and given the responsibilities of an adult. He really is an absolute joy to be with (most of the time), especially getting a glimpse now and then of the man he's growing into.
Black Bear and I have had quite a few conversations about adoption this year. I've been reading Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, by Sherrie Eldridge. I asked him if he would mind discussing the book with me as I went through it. He was very interested in what it had to say and anything I brought up for discussion. His candor was bittersweet and enlightening.
There are times that he wishes he wasn't adopted, although he wouldn't change it. I tried to say there are times that I wish I could have been pregnant and given birth, although I wouldn't change it. He put me in my place by saying, "Yes, but you'll never really understand because you're not adopted." He's right! I need to listen to him and be grateful for his ability to express himself without trying to fix it.
Black Bear also learned what abortion means this year. For a boy that commented, after his youngest brother came home to join our family, "We just need to adopt nine more brothers and we'll have the perfect family.", this was unimaginable.
It led to a wonderful conversation about his birth mother and what an unrealized gift she really gave him when she chose life. Black Bear had never even considered that he might not be here, much less that it would have been because she could have taken his life from him.