Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Pictures on the Fridge

Last week, we put up a whole bunch of pictures on the fridge. Brian and I have been saying for a while that we want more photos of our family and friends
around where Dominic can see them, but we just hadn't gotten around to it. So over the weekend I got a bunch of magnetic sleeves, had some prints made, and voilĂ ! Instant portraits for Dominic.

And wow, were they a hit. Without fail, every morning since then the first thing he does after coming downstairs is to run to the fridge and start pointing at all the people. He loves it! I was surprised by how much he enjoys looking at all the pictures, and also at how well he can identify everyone. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends - he knows every name, and can even say some of them!

One of the reasons we chose to pursue open adoption was that we wanted our children to know where they came from, and to be able to have a relationship with their birth families. To that end, we've seen Dominic's birth family a number of times over the past year and a half, and I'm confident we'll continue on that route throughout the course of Dominic's life. But the kid's only 17 months old - I assumed that even though he's seen his birth family often, he didn't yet understand who they were. Surprisingly, the fridge has proven me wrong.

Dominic's birth parents are both on our fridge, and somehow Dominic already knew who they were without us having to prompt him at all! He can identify them by both name and relationship: when I say "Carly" or "birth mom", and "Jason" or "birth dad," he knows them both. And he smiles when he points to them, but there's one other picture that he gets even more excited about: the one of him with his birth brother Mickee. I guess he knows a cute picture when he sees it!

We spent a lot of time during adoption preparation worrying about how we'd interact with a birth family. And we still worry about it sometimes; any human relationship has to be approached with care and sincerity. But it's nice to know that at least for now, things seem to be off to a good start!

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