Summer is the highlight of any teen's year, but for this blogger it had a very special meaning growing up.
Finding one's place in the world is a struggle that often is not achieved until later in life, but for teens that struggle can be harder. Add in adoption and it can be easy to feel empathy for blogger April Dinwoodie. Like all teens who are adopted, she reflects on her struggle to fit in at school and with her friends and that differed from her siblings who were born to her parents. Being a teen that didn't look like her parents or siblings was hard on Dinwoodie growing up, giving her a lot of questions; and also raising questions with her peers that she didn't want to answer.
This is why Dinwoodie reflects so fondly on summer. It was a time when she could be with her family and away from the pressures of answering questions or finding her place to fit in at school. She remembers her home that was a sanctuary during the summer months and how she looked forward to being home for different reasons than her siblings. She also reflects on her family's travels and being able to learn and grow while exploring new areas across the country.
It may not be surprising to hear Dinwoodie recall feeling like an outcast; often parents expect their adopted children to have a hard time initially acclimating to their new family. Considering the fact that Dinwoodie is of a different race than her adopted family adds another element that can be a challenge to families. In her blog post, Dinwoodie discusses how she didn't understand why she looked different from her siblings, but how it made her feel like she didn't fit in. As an adoptive parent, this can be heartbreaking as most parents want their love and support of their teen to help them blend into the family.
It is important to consider the teen's point of view though, and to use this perspective in how parents approach certain topics and situations in raising the child. Dinwoodie raises several questions in her post, and while her parents couldn't answer all of them, it is important to maintain communication with an adopted teen and become a parent that they are comfortable approaching these tough topics with.
From April Dinwoodie's blog post on summer, being adopted, and her trans-racial family experiences from The Huffington Post.