As an adoptive dad I’ve come to the place that I can easily acknowledge that all of my kids are a little different in some way or another. Different than what, you ask? I’m not entirely sure, but I know that they are different.
As I listen to dads who don’t share the adoption or foster experience, I realize how normal being an adoptive dad is. I can relate to almost everything they talk about because I’ve experienced it myself. But I know that there are more than a few things about my experience as an adoptive dad that these other dads can’t relate to. I am generally ok with that. Most of the time I don’t really think about my kids being different. It is just who they are, and a part of who we are. But every once in a while I notice it, and it can leave me feeling a bit misunderstood and even isolated, except among other adoptive parents.
“Typical” is the word that seems to have replaced the word “normal” in the world of adoption and foster care. This is probably for good reason. After all, children that have backgrounds involving trauma, abuse, abandonment and institutionalization aren’t abnormal, but they often don’t develop in the same way and at the same pace as a “typically developing” child.