We all have one. Everyone’s is different, which makes it all the more interesting. We don’t recognize how valuable it is until we are unfamiliar with it. If you tell it to your kids, they’ll sit and listen intently. So what is this thing that kids want so badly to know about?
It’s their story.
When one of our kids has a birthday, one of our traditions in our family is to remind them of their story. We get to share with excitement about what it was like when we found out we were pregnant. We recount the pains of labor, and the total surprise we felt when they popped out (I know, I know, it wasn’t that easy) and we finally knew their gender.
We kind of stumbled on to this story-telling deal with them. Steph started it, and with each birthday they beam all the brighter as we proudly tell the others about that particular child. It was all fun and games until we began fostering, and now adopted a little girl.
This collage helps us tell our daughter the first part of her story. Believe me, there is more pain and hurt in her story than most of us will ever experience. It’s real, and we are going to embrace it. Through these pictures we share with her about her sister, her biological parents, and the day she arrived at our home.
Their story gives them a different perspective – I’ve heard it said that teenagers spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week trying not to get embarrassed. When you share your child’s story with them, it allows them to step out of what they remember and see their life through someone else’s eyes. It is through the eyes are of loving parents where they might grasp the utter excitement of the addition of that child to our family.
Their story gives them belonging – It’s like when the package you ordered off Amazon finally arrives on your doorstep. There is a sense of “mine.” When we share their story with them, they are reminded they are OUR child, and ultimately a gift of God.
Their story helps them fill in the dots – As we recant their birth and first few years of life, we now throw in similarities to ours. We might tell one that they loved music ever since they were little, or that they were always adventurous. It gives us the opportunity to remind them of their God-given design that was evident from birth.
Their story is a reminder of our love for them – It seems that each time we tell them their story, it gets longer and longer, and we discover new parts to it. That’s because of our love for them. We are able to communicate value, pride, acceptance, love and significance, all while retelling them the story of their birth and life.
God doesn’t erase parts of our story; He redeems them.
This is important to remember if you have an adopted child. There are people in our daughter’s past that we will grieve together. There is betrayal, rejection, and pain. Believe it or not, I have some of those in my past as well, but they come in different forms. But God is one who makes beauty from ashes. He takes broken things and makes them whole. Better yet, as a friend of mine says, “He takes broken sticks and draws straight lines with them all day long.”
Do you know your story? Have you ever tried to tell your kids about theirs?