“If you could give one piece of advice to an adoptive parent, what would it be?”

Yesterday I woke up  hungry and late. My husband was home, the kids had no interest in going out – it was, literally, freezing, and so I decided to head off to Kripalu – a yoga/meditation center ten minutes from where I live. Why? Because they have a marvelous lunch.

I sat down at the only empty table, but within a minute was joined by two women. We started talking. One of the women lived in Illinois and had left corporate America to become a psycologist. The other was a teacher from Connecticut.

“Why are you at Kripalu?” the psycologist asks.

“I’m a writer. I recently finished the first draft of my new book and am awaiting feedback. It’s an anxious time, so I am treating myself to lunch.”

“Have you written anything we might heard of?”

“My first book’s called The English American. It’s about an adopted English woman who finds her birth parents in the United States.”

I waited one second and – yes – there it was. “Oh,” said the teacher, “I’m about to adopt three siblings.”

This happens all the time. Almost everyone I meet knows an adoptee or a birth mother or is thinking about adopting a child – or their sister or their cousin is.

“If you could give one piece of advice to an adoptive parents what would it be?” the woman asked.

I looked carefully at her. She was an older woman, with a kind face and high expectations as to what her life will be like when the kids she’s adopting arrive in her house. I think of the kids and wonder how they will adjust to her set of rules and expectations and hopes and plans.

“I wrote a song,” I said. “I won’t sing it now, obviously, but here are the lyrics.. It’s the best answer to your question that I know how to give.”

When I was done she was smiling and she had tears in her eyes. “I get it,” she said.

“I’m glad you’re adopting then,” I said.

Then, sending a prayer up for the ‘three older siblings’ whose fate would be so closely tied with hers, I  headed off to get my second helping of seaweed salad, chicken soup and passion fruit tea.

CELEBRATE – Lyrics by Alison Larkin, Music by Gary Schriener.

To download Alison singing this song, go to I-Tunes or CD Baby

You’ve been waiting and waiting for your kid to arrive,
She is young, she’s been left all alone ,
And because you were number one on the list
It is with you that she’s going home

Your own Mom will now become the one she calls Grandma
Your crazy sister in Texas her Aunt,
And as the years pass you will find I am sure,
There are many things that you can do that she just can’t.

But if your kid is nothing like you
Love him or her for who they are,
If you like math and she hates counting
If you’re fat and she is thin,
If you’ve always hated opera
And she really love to sing.

If she breaks your China,
It’s not your fault, it’s in her DNA
If she’s really good at sports
And you’ve always hated games
And you’re at your hundredth hockey match
It’s her genes that are to blame.

If she can’t shut up and all you want is silence in your house
It may be against her nature to be quiet as a mouse.
Don’t be angry or impatient just you wait
Remember that you child has her own genetic fate.

So if she wants to be a poet
Don’t shake your head and say “God no!”
She didn’t choose you as her parent
She really needs to know,
That being who she is is A-Okay
You’ve got to tell her so!

 If your kid is nothing like you
If she drives you crazy
She’s a kid and you’re her parent, help her be who she must be
Help her know that it’s okay!
That you love to hear her say!
You may be you,
But I am me!

Copyright Alison Larkin



6 thoughts on ““If you could give one piece of advice to an adoptive parent, what would it be?”

  1. I love the new song, Alison! Tears in my eyes too! As an adoptive parent, I get it!! I love just marveling at how my daughter is so much like her birth mother and so much not like her brother (although similar DNA – not full siblings). Every day is an adventure!!

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