Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mommy....why China?

Today was our our dear friend Shannon's baby shower for our G-dson. Katie was invited along with me so that she too could be a part of this special day for this family that is very special to us.
It was a wonderful day and in addition, it seemed to have spurred on a new area of thought and conversation about babies and adoption.

Tonight at dinner the DD started talking about the impending birth of "Peanut" as he is affectionately known at this time. Katie started the conversation and then had to excuse herself from the table to use the bathroom. Ethan took that opportunity to go down the slippery slope of questioning as to how a baby is born. Before Katie came back to the table he asked how the baby came out of the mommy's tummy. I really do believe in honesty in all matters but with a few details for this tender age of four. I proceeded to tell him that the baby comes out of mommies bottom. (I did not need to get explicit as to which part it was as he did not ask) He did not seem convinced and began to laugh and tell me I was WRONG...."Mommy, the baby is going to come out of Aunty Shannon's mouth!" Silly me, how did I get that wrong?!?

Katie came back to the table and Ethan let the subject mercifully end. Just when I thought the coast was clear the following was heard from Katie.......

Mommy, why did you choose China of all the places in the whole world to come and get us?" My response came very naturally after years of thought on the subject. "That is where you and Ethan were living so that is where we needed to go to get you and bring you home." Then came the next bombshell out of my soon to be 5 year old's mouth.....

Mommy, there was another mommy that had me in her tummy in China and she put me in the orphanage and they told you to come get me!" Then Ethan launched into a similar version and added in that when he was a baby he had a hole in his heart as well. They both questioned me very specifically about why Ethan had a hole in his heart and who did the operation. Was the doctor from America or China and what was his/her name. Once I answered their questions with the little bit of information that I do have and let them know that they were correct about the birth parents that were not able to keep them, I ended the discussion by reaffirming our love and devotion to them and how lucky we all are to have each other....case closed for today....that was all my heart and probably theirs could take.

Marc and I have told the children from the the very beginning that they were adopted and that we came to China to bring them home. We have read them children's stories about it and have even given them a very simplified version of the fact that they had birth parents before we came to adopt them but that part always seemed completely lost on them. Well, we seem to have entered into a new realm with them and now the delicate dance of understanding begins to evolve slowly over the next several years.

As moved as I was and even somewhat dazed by the whole exchange, I was happy to find that I am at a place in my life and in this adoption experience where I felt very comfortable in the discussion with them. I was pleased that I did not get overly emotional and make them sad or uncomfortable. They do not yet understand the implications of all of this information but they seemed pretty solid in their understanding that Mommy and Daddy would go to the ends of the world for them and their big brother Justin and quite honestly for them......we literally did.

10 comments:

Tammie said...

Wowee wow!!!

Those 2 really do bombard you at each twist & turn! I believe that if we are not comfortable with our childrens' stories, then we won't be able to answer their questions - no matter how simplistic an answer.

When Erin starts questioning us, I hope to handle it with as much grace as you & Marc. Of course, I think that when it does hit her, we may be in for trouble.

Michelle said...

Amazing! Such profound questions from little ones handled with grace and gratitude. Big high fives for mom and dad!

Colleen said...

Lori...you always handle things so beautifully!!!!! Addison has asked me a lot of questions. Livi is just accepting and really doesn't want to talk about it so I respect that. Your such a good mommy {{{hug}}}

Donna said...

Good job, Mommy! When I was little, I thought babies came out of their mommy's BELLYBUTTON!

:)

Donna
Our Blog: Double Happiness!

dawn said...

Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. The questions always take us by surprise and it is always such a relief to know we can answer them, well I think it is.

I thought babies came out of tummy buttons too.

Minouche said...

Lori,

Thank you for sharing this! You handled the situation really well! :o) Hope the questions stop for a while so you can take a breath, and get ready for the next level of questions that surely will come! ;o)

Hugs,

Minouche

Shari McConahay said...

Oh boy! Not an easy dinner to swallow, for sure! But you did handle it so well! Thanks for sharing and giving us all insight into how these types of questions are handled and reminding us to be aware and have some answers ready when the questions come our way!

Gail said...

Great post and you handled it magnificently Lori...

We are a little ahead of you with questions because Grace is older than the DD but her questions come and go. They get a bit more detailed but I'm always honest and reassuring.

Amber V said...

That totally brought tears to my eyes!! What sweet children you have!

Love Letters To China said...

I can only hope when it's my turn to explain, I'm able to find similar words as yours. You handled yourself so well. Kudos to you my friend! As you are well aware, you have two amazing children (and one adult child... can't forget about him!).

Hugs...