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From the day I decided to adopt a child, I knew I would one day hear the words, “I want to live with my birth mother.” I always imagined those words would come out of the mouth of a confused and angry teenager. Instead, they came from a very angry eight-year-old whose world had just come to an end.
Let me back up … Santa brought my adopted child a Nintendo DS-Lite for Christmas. Personally, I don’t think that an eight year old child (doubly so one with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder – ADHD) has the maturity to take care of a computer gadget that costs over $100, but that was the “big gift” that he REALLY WANTED for Christmas, so I relented.
Sure enough, an eight-year-old child with ADHD does not do a very good job taking care of a $100+ computer gadget, and his DS is in bad shape. Instead of snapping open and shut, it flops around like a wet noodle thanks to my son breaking the casing. This has caused the wires inside to do weird things to the point that the games are barely playable.
Fortunately for me, Nintendo likes to get children hooked on what my friend calls Nintendo’s “kiddie crack” early, so Nintendo provides a warranty, even for little boys like mine. (I guess it is a long-term investment on their part.) I have to pay a nominal amount because the broken casing is not covered by the warranty, but Nintendo is going to fix the DS and even extend the warranty another full year. (Suckers!)
Here is where my son’s world falling apart came into play – We had to ship the DS to Nintendo through FedEx, and it won’t come back for 11 to 16 days. My son would have handled losing an arm better than he took the news that he would be without his (on its last leg) DS for two whole weeks! When he saw me put the package in the FedEx drop off, the fury of my little boy knew no bounds.
In the course of tearing up everything he could get his hands on and hitting me with a barrage of words came the lowest blow he could think of: “I want to live with my birth mother.” I simply replied, “Good luck with that,” because I was not quite sure what to say to this.
I don’t know if he really thought that his birth mother would not take away his beloved DS for two weeks or if he thought that telling me that I was replaceable would be the best way to get back at me, but he pulled those words out of his arsenal and flung them right at me. I was stunned – not because I did not expect them at some point, but I did not expect them at age eight.
Of course, my son was back to being sweet and loving after an hour or so. I am not even sure he remembers saying those words to me, and I have no question that he wants to continue being my son. I was simply taken aback by him saying this to me.
To those of you parenting adopted children, how old were your children when they told you that they wanted to live with their birth parents? What was your response?
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt