Saturday, January 25, 2014
Your Mommy Adopted You, Mommy, Just Like Me!
Over the weekend, the kids and I were on the way to the park to meet some friends. My friends have also adopted through foster care. They have a daughter, but, sadly, just had to say goodbye to her biological twin baby brothers when they were reunited with their birth father. It is not my story to tell, but, suffice it to say, I don't think that the safest decision was made for those boys.
But, as I was driving, I realized that we hadn't hung out since the boys left and there was a great potential for an awkward and painful moment if one of my kids asked about them.
So, I got their attention, or tried, anyway. I was competing with one cell phone, a rainbow loom, and 2 Nintendo 2ds's, after all. I explained that the babies were not with them, anymore; that they had gone back to their birth father. I told them that my friends' were sad about it and it would be best not to bring it up.
They simply said ok. To make sure that they understood the difference, I reminded them that they had adopted the daughter, though, just like we had adopted them. And, that meant that she would not be going anywhere and would be with them, forever. Just like them.
Then, Lizzie said, "You adopted me, just like Grandma adopted you when you were a baby, Mommy."
That's when I realized that Lizzie assumes that everyone is adopted.
Since, I'm not adopted, I tried to explain that my mom gave birth to me. "There are different ways to become a mommy," I said.
Lizzie, with vague annoyance, "Can you just tell us, Mommy??"
I thought I just did, but I went ahead and started to elaborate, anyway.
For my own amusement, I started with, "First of all, Lizzie, thank you for giving me my next blog topic." ;) Then, I started to talk about how some mommies have babies in their bellies, some adopt them, etc.
As I tried to form the words to explain this somewhat complicated concept to my 5 year old, I realized that she was talking to Antwan.
"I've lost her," I said, apparently to myself, because no one answered. I asked, "Lizzie, are you listening?"
She didn't answer, though, because she and Antwan were playing explosions in the seats behind me. "Boom!!! Boom!!! BOOM!!!"
So, I went back to driving.
I'm so glad that we talk about adoption openly and honestly. I'm glad that it's regarded as a positive word. Of course, in our situation, there was never a question of whether we would tell them. But, I'd like to think that we would have handled it the same way if our adopted children each had pale skin and dark hair like us. (I can't even imagine!)
Lizzie and Antwan might not totally get it yet. But, I will save the big explanations of the difference between biology and adoption for another day and stick with what they all get. They get it when we tell them that we are glad that they are ours and that we love them. The sad situation of my friends' made me want to hug my kids a little tighter and, thank my lucky stars, that they are all mine. So, I did.
And, I also hugged my friends' daughter a little tighter when I saw her at the park, too. I'm glad that she's here and I'm so grateful that I get to see her grow up with her parents who sure do love her like crazy.