Growing Up Without, Learning to Give Back – Adoption Diaries


It’s really amazing the way we perceive things based on our environment and circumstances. My daughter was under the impression that people who went to Starbucks were all super wealthy and rude. Keep in mind that she thought “normal” people bought their groceries at the local Circle K gas station.

Her wardrobe consisted of hand-me-downs from a large circle of friends who also had children. She could rock those special dress up days like crazy hair day or mismatch day. One morning, she threw an absolute fit because she was not dressed for the "pajama" theme day at school. The answer, of course, was a last minute grab and snag from the Lost and Found box at school. She landed in a boy's lost Spiderman pajama bottoms and a dirty My Little Pony top two sizes too small. A quick change in the car and she was back in school. Thankfully, the original owners of the lost items did not identify their belongings and force her to complete the day in her skivvies.

Until recently, she never quite understood why it was the “good” toys that suddenly went missing. If she received a board game or a doll, these items rarely vanished, but the electronics, scooters, iPads and such would frequently make an astonishing disappearance. She also determined that gifts sent by family and friends were presented as gifts from Dad and Step Mom. We have since figured out, these magical disappearing acts of beloved items must have been sold or traded to support other habits.

Now a good balance is the goal. I am thrilled she can appreciate nice things and is able to select her own style clothes and even keep her own electronics, but I certainly want her to have a heart for kids in similar situations to what she experienced. We have a policy of get one, give one. Whenever a new outfit is purchased, an old outfit is donated. Hopefully this instills a desire to give back and to never over value material possessions.
Photo byAlyza LeBlanc

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Lifestyle insights on work, parenting, and relationship balance from the perspective of a business professional and solo parent to an adopted teen.


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