Saturday, November 17, 2012

Do I have a "Real" brother in China?

That is the question that Katie asked at dinner tonight?  These questions seem to always be asked at dinner. The relaxed time spent around the dinner table must be very conducive to provoking sensitive discussion.

I turned the question around with a different slant and asked both children "What is a real brother or sister?" That precipitated a discussion about what makes family, the least of which is a blood relationship.  That discussion would not dissuade Katie from her quest to find answers about a possible sibling in China.  When I answered that there indeed may be a sibling, Katie seemed confused and wanted clarification about the one child policy.  In her mind, the fact that she was given up for adoption must certainly have meant that her birth parents did not have children and that they wanted a boy.  I explained that we really did not know the reason why she was left at the orphanage but that if it had to do with the one child policy, then there may have already been one child and that she had arrived after that one.  That made her quite upset at what she considered was the "unfairness" of the situation and she began to sob.  When she could catch her breath she cried out that "Her parents in China must be so sad and miss her so much!"  She looked at me and said please don't be upset with me for saying these things but I miss them so much."  With tears running down my own face, I told her that she could tell me anything and that I was there for her.  The next statement broke my heart.  "Mommy, would you and daddy ever give me away!?!"  Then we were both crying as was my MIL and Ethan who were both trying to comfort her.  Ethan then ran to his room to get one of his prized Lego creations and offered it to her so that she would be happy again.

We hugged each other and cried together and I kept repeating how much we had prayed for her, love her, are devoted to her and her brothers and that nothing would separate us.  I reiterated that we had waited for what seemed like an eternity to adopt her and that every member of her family and many of our friends could not wait for her to become a member of our family.  I then asked her to remember when we went to China to adopt Ethan and how excited she was to be his sister.

I also explained to her that fairness had nothing to do with it.  It is certainly awful that she was separated from her birth family but on the other hand it was wonderful that we have each other.  She asked me if her friend Mia had the same situation and when I told her yes and that all the children that she knew from China with parents that were not Chinese were all adopted.  This was obviously something that she had not fully faced before because she began to cry again for them. I told her that this fact should not be cried over and that it is something in fact to be celebrated, since there are many children who do not have a mommy or daddy.  She agreed and stopped crying.  She looked deeply into my eyes for quite some time and after what seemed like an eternity she said....."I am so happy that I have you, Daddy and my family. Someday I want to find my birth family."  I told her that I would help her when the time was right.  She stayed on my lap and we hugged until she was ready to move on from the discussion.

There is nothing that could have prepared me for the level of emotion that was stirred up in all of us tonight.  I just hope and pray that they always understand that they can share this with us and that we are their safe place.

On a keeping it real note....I could use a safe place as well.






9 comments:

Vivian M said...

My heart hurts for you all...we have been through these and many other conversations. And although they are necessary, and in a way healing, they are so very painful to go through. Huge hugs all around.

Sandra said...

Wow, what an emotional conversation, but how wonderful that she was able to open up to you and share with you. We've had similar conversations with Jazzie, but not quite as intense as the one you all had. Hugs to you. You handled it the best way you could. This is never easy, yet necessary. I agree with Vivian above that it's somewhat healing as well.

Teresa said...

Here's the blog post I wrote when I had the same conversation with Caroline. I mentioned it to you on FB. http://horvethappenings.blogspot.com/2011/06/hard-questions.html

RamblingMother said...

Hugs to you all...

Cassandra Wright said...

Oh My, you all are wonderful. Family is everything, love, belonging and love again. I commend you all for keeping it real and where they can apply the lessons you have taught.

Keep up the good work.

Love Letters To China said...

I hope you know that I'm always here as a "safe place". I admire you and Marc for being such amazing parents. You pave the way for others that will be walking in your footsteps one day. Thank you for sharing such words of wisdom.

xoxo

Samantha said...

Thank you so much for sharing this1

Candy said...

That was an intense conversation, one that I don't look forward to, but will embrase when the time comes. I know the tears will flow at this house when the time comes. You are an awesome Family and doing a fantastic job. The "E" man is such a good brother to Katie too.

Minouche said...

Lori,

My heart breaks for you and Katie! :o( I am so sad that she has to process all these profound questions and emotions at such a young age. I am sure you will know how to guide K&E through all this. Thank you for sharing such intimate and emotional issue.

(((((hugs)))))

Love,

Minouche