Truth #1: Every child deserves to know the truth.
– Many people believe that delaying the truth causes no harm. When I discovered that I was adopted, shock anger and fear engulfed me. How would I overcome this betrayal? I could not trust my parents, let alone myself...I felt abandoned.
“Why does the date on your wedding ring read 1962, but I was born in 1960?”
Dead silence. Her face paled. Mom looked down at the table and then up at me. She looked anxious. After a long pause, she heaved a sigh and finally answered with a trembling voice, “We wanted to tell you when you turned eighteen."
I felt every one of my muscles tense in my body as time stood still and a pit formed inside my stomach.
Her brown brows shot up with concern just as they formed a perfect double arc, and her lips quivered. “Your father is not your
My brain understood what I just heard, but I felt overwhelmed with a sense of detachment. My foundation, everything I believed
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” I shrilled.
Mom didn’t move.
Staring blankly at me, she said, “We wanted to wait until you were old enough to understand.” From my memoir The Syrian
Jewelry Box Chapter 12 (The Discovery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (1975))
In my heart, I knew that she was right. However, I wished that my parents had not kept my identity a secret all those years until I discovered it myself at fifteen. As a result, fear permeated my entire life. The truth seeped through my veins like poison. Withholding the truth only exacerbates upon discovery any underlying issues the child might be experiencing during his or her developmental years. Children are never too young to hear the truth—as long as they are raised in a loving environment. Children deserve to hear the truth about their identity. I would have had an easier time transitioning. If a parent hides a child’s true identity, the child will still feel it. They will ask questions until they discover the truth. Secrets imply guilt and shame; they encourage suspicion and blame. Children deserve to embrace their own truth and live it.