Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finally. The birth mother conversation.

Luke has been home for 4 years and 8 months. He'll be 8 in January. He hasn't been interested in his past. He never asks questions and doesn't want to talk about it. We have always been open and honest with his adoption story. We have always said that he was born in Russia. He knows he was 3 when he came home (not sure how much he remembers himself). But when we start talking about it in depth, he will change the subject.

Shortly after coming home, he wouldn't even admit that he was from Russia. He would look at the photo albums we put together and he would rip the pages.

As time went on, he'd admit that he was from Russia but he would rather focus on the fact that he didn't have a family and neither did we - so God brought us together. He did tell us that he remembered that we came to visit him in the orphanage and then we left and he wondered if we were really coming back. So he'd cry every day. Heartbreaking. Of course we also cried every day while we were waiting for the powers-that-be to work out all the adoption paperwork or whatever they were doing. And we always tell him that.

A few months ago we were reading the Mr. Rodgers book about adoption. There is a page that says something like - adoption doesn't happen because of anything the child did. The birthmother had grown up problems and she couldn't take care of a child. He said, "Huh. I always thought it was me!" I was surprised he had a comment, so we talked about it. The conversation didn't last very long - because there was a picture of a black boy and he said, "Black boys are cool. Can we adopt a black boy so he can be my brother?" I didn't want to force anymore conversation if he didn't want to talk about it anymore. So I let it go.

He hasn't asked any questions since. Until last night.

We were reading the story of Moses. Interesting perspective from the birth mother's perspective. She tried to keep him for 3 months and then couldn't. She put him in the basket in the river. The princess found him and adopted him.

Luke immediately picked up on this and said, "Do you think the birthmother was sad?" I said, "I do." He said, "Do you think my birthmother was sad?" I had to stop for a minute and think about what to say. I don't want to fabricate any story. I have no idea if she was or not. I never got to talk with her - and the court papers don't paint a pretty picture. So I honestly have no idea what she was thinking or feeling. So I said, "I don't know how she was feeling. I never got to talk with her. I only know how I would be feeling - and yes, I would be really sad."

He then asked if he was put in a river. I reminded him he was put in an orphanage.

He then asked a really loaded question. "Well if she gave me up, how do I know you and daddy will never give me up?" and he started to cry.

I have always wondered if kids who were adopted think this way. I told him that she had grown up problems and she couldn't take care of a child. But daddy and I can take care of children. God knew all that and that is why he brought us together. And that is why we will be a family forever. I reminded him that it is nothing that he did. And that there is nothing he can do that will not make us a family anymore.

Hard question!!

He then asked who was his real mother. Me? Or the birthmother? I assured him I was his real mother and that it is my job to take care of him now. He wanted to know why I couldn't be his birthmother too.

Then he wanted to know if everyone has a birthmother. I told him we all do. "Even Emma?" he asked. I said, "Yes, Emma has a birthmother in Guatemala." "How come some birthmothers can take care of children? What if my friend's birthmother decide to give him up? Where will he go?" (We just had a friend who had a baby so this is all fresh in his mind.) I told him that they were able to care for a baby and he isn't going to be given up. "Well how do the babies come out of the birthmothers?"

Oh good grief!!!! "The birthmother goes to the hospital and the doctor takes the baby out."

That sastified his question. Whew.

Then he got really lovey and cuddly. I told him I don't understand it all, and I wish I could've been his birthmother too - but that God has good plans for all of us. And we are now a family. Forever.

Emma heard all this too - but had very few questions. She just said, "You're my best friend and my mommy and I love you."

Funny - I always thought it would be the other way around. I thought she'd have a million questions and Luke wouldn't.

This morning when I woke Luke up for school, I said, "I've been thinking about our birthmother conversation." He said, "Me too." I said, "I just want to make sure that you understand that it was nothing you did." He said, "I know." I said, "We are together forever." He said, "I know." I said, "I love you!" He said, "I love you too!"

Then he got quiet. He was really thinking heavy thoughts, I could tell. I let him think for a few moments.

Then I said, "Honey, what are you thinking about?"

Luke: "Pizza."
Me: "Pizza?"
Luke: "Yep, pizza. Yum."

He's going to make a great husband someday :)


Jthemilker said...

I just want to say... even Luke thinks you need to consider Ethiopia! (sorry - I can't help myself)

Katie (and Tony) said...

oh my...speechless....and wanting to cry with him. Sweet boy! Your Emma sounds like my girl, moving on kinda person-so far.

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