Replies Requested, Seeking Advice
I adopted an “at risk” three year old. I knew nothing. Now I know a teeny bit more. But mainly I don’t. I am a single mother, with a once thriving career. The child is more or less stable, after many years of utterly difficult, soul-wrenching work, and epic love (in both directions). Now I want to turn some of my attention back to my former career. And I am tempted to tell “our story.” But I am aware that it is mainly the child’s story and not actually mine to tell. (I am of course a huge part of the story but it is the child’s life-to-come that matters most). And I am also aware that there are endless stories of parenting, adoption, trauma and so on. What do readers here think? Here are the dilemmas and possibilities as I see them. No doubt, there are many more that I currently do not see. Please enlighten me.
- Ethically suspect so let it go? (My motives are not, and cannot be, entirely ‘pure’ [whatever that might mean] but as far as I can consciously assess my interest in writing our story I think it is primarily to understand it better myself. It has been extremely chaotic. I have no desire to urge anyone toward or against the decisions I made).
- Rare enough situation and therefore important — an under-represented genre so why not?
- Do it, but always be scrupulous about the temptations of narcissism, self-justification?
- Write it with the child? The child is not yet old enough to consent (legally) but claims to be in favor of having the story told. I could wait for the child to be old enough before proceeding, although I currently have a small window of time I could devote to writing it now. I have considered writing it and then sitting on it until the child can (legally) consent or decline. If the answer is proceed, then I would seek a publisher. But to be very honest there is a small part of me that thinks ‘consent’ in these matters is something of a sham anyway. Can a child ever ‘freely’ consent to the wish of a parent? Is coercion always lurking in the asymmetry of parent-child relationships?
- Do it but use pseudonyms for all involved.
All thought welcome.