Thursday, April 29, 2010

"where's my 'nother mama?"

This morning my sweet daughter asked me: "Where's my 'nother Mama?"

I've read books, I've listened to stories, I've talked to other adoptive parents, but at 2, almost 3 years old, I never imagined she'd ask me a question like that. I guess I don't give her the credit she deserves, that she'd be thinking about and processing this information at such a tender age.

I am thankful that she is asking questions at this early age. I say that because I am still trying to find my way learning this adoptive mama thing and sometimes it isn't easy for me to keep hold of my emotions. So I can only hope I get it together better when she is older and understands the full meaning of that question. I'm not sure if my blinky-hold-back-the-tears-eyes will be very helpful. This morning, wet eyes and all, I held her and told her that her Birth Mama probably still lives in China. The next second she was away playing with her toys and I stood there watching her, feeling saddened as to why an innocent child should have to ask a question like that. I hurt for her.

One of the things I've learned in this journey is that I should be creating an open dialogue and I should be telling her the facts about adoption, fitting to her age group. So I do talk to Lilah about her Birth Parents, about China and about the SWI. I mean, it's never a forced conversation, usually it comes naturally, from seeing a pregnant lady, a baby, reading a story book, saying her bedtime prayers or even talking about China on her map of the world placemat. Just simple things, they lead us into casual conversation. Those conversations sometimes last minutes or maybe even seconds.

Every child is different and each have their own set of nurturing requirements to help them deal with abandonment and adoption. I just pray for guidance, that the Lord will equip me and help me through each set of needs that arise today, and (all being well) in our future too.

This statement really got me thinking today: We didn't just adopt a child, we are adoptive parents. It's not over the second we finalize the paperwork, it's a life-long journey.

Here's an excerpt from Tonggu Momma's blog post today:
As parents who adopt, we must ready ourselves for the rather unique journey that is adoptive parenting. We cannot simply "bring our children home" and call it a day. We must be proactive. We must humble ourselves more than most. We must acknowledge that adoption is built on loss and therefore, oftentimes, grief. We must grow comfortable with the importance of both sets of families, even if no contact exists between them. We must be prepared to change how we do things - how our parents did things - because adoptive parenting can often, then sometimes look different from parenting a biological child. We must be prepared to tackle racism and discrimination head-on if we adopt transracially.


  1. Amazing that she would ask such a profound questions so young... It is great that you are honest about it with her and that it is just what it is and what was meant to be. I love the Tonggu Momma's blog as well, she has some very wise things to say! Being an adoptive parent is a great way to look at the process long term. It is different.

  2. It's hard sometimes, as much as you try to prepare and be ready for the questions. Sometimes I find the questions come so out of the blue to us, but we don't know how long the kids have been thinking about things.
    I agree with you, we have to keep things open and want to discuss adoption. We won't always say or have the correct answer but as long as we keep the discussion open I think it helps. I know when I was a kid, I didn't really want to talk about my adoption, but we did anyway. I am so happy they were willing to talk about it now.

  3. What a big question for such a little girl. I'd say you did a wonderful job helping her with this question, blinky-hold-back-the-tears-eyes and all. I'm taking notes for when it's my turn, hope you don't mind. Hugs.


  4. Wow, I posted yesterday (pretty much)about the same thing....

    My five year old started asking questions when she was 3 1/2...
    It is amazing how young our kiddos can start to process and ask questions...isn't it???

    It sounds like you are doing a great job handling her questions...

    It is an ongoing process!!!

    You are setting the groundwork for future conversations...

    And I so appreciated what Tonggu Momma had to say about being adoptive parents...I just love that woman!!!

  5. Sorry that I haven't been by in a week or so... I just got caught up on all of your recent posts and I love stopping by.

    I can totally relate to what you are saying as I am sure any adoptive parent can. For me the ?'s came much sooner than I ever thought... now they always come when I least expect it. SO I've been trying to be prepared ahead of time but it isn't always easy.

    You are so right to keep an open dialogue.... it makes such a difference.

    Love to you!!!!

  6. Beautifully written and beautifully handled. I know you are raising Lilah just as she need to be raised...with grace and Love and God:)