Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New baby

Baby Caroline
Ana Claire holding Caroline
New big sister Anna Kate, Ana Claire and Caroline
A dear friend of mine recently had a baby. Ana Claire and I went for a visit yesterday. Ana Claire being the inquisitive child she is has asked questions along the way as my friend's belly grew. From the time she was old enough to ask any questions we have told her that Josh and Clay grew in my tummy and she grew in my heart. Yesterday while we were coming home I could see that she was in deep thought. She knows that we adopted her and she had nannies and a foster family in China that took care of her. I was hoping to be able to have this talk when she was a little older. Out of the blue she asked me if I had a baby in my tummy, I quickly told her NO. She giggled and then said well why did I grow in your heart and not your tummy? I thought I was going to have to pull the car over. It just shocked me that she had asked this. I reminded her that we traveled to China and brought her home. The nannies at her orphanage let us bring her home, to take care of her, to love her and raise her as our little girl for ever and ever. She then asked me if she come out of their belly. I told her no that she come out of another woman's belly. I told her somewhere in China there was a woman that carried her in her tummy like my friend carried her baby. Of course she wanted to know where she was. I told her I didn't know where she was. I told her that she wasn't able to take care of her so she took her to the orphanage so the nannies could care for her and find her a mommy and daddy that could take care of her and love her forever. She then said that is you and daddy. I told her yes. I am hoping that I have laid ground work that I can go from and explain as she has more questions.
I have to say that I wasn't ready to have this conversation with a three year old. I tried to tell her as little as possible but enough to satisfy her. It seemed to. I know there will be more questions in the future. I just want her to be old enough to fully understand what we are talking about. We will tell her everything that we know about her past as she gets older. I never would have thought going to visit a friends new baby would have brought all the questions on. I hope that I said the right thing. I know eventually she will have more questions about her birth parents. Has anyone else had their children to ask questions? I think it is a good time for me to start working on her lifebook. I have all the things to put it together. Now to find the time to sit down and work on it. I guess I will burn some midnight oil.


Melanie said...

Aw, Caroline is SO cute! =)
You did a good job answering her questions, I think you did it pretty good. She's still small, that was enough for her. When she gets older she'll understand better. Don't worry, she won't ever doubt how much you all love her, because we all see how much you do, and so does she.

Ms. Dragonfly said...

I posted about this today. I have been telling my boy about this since before he could understand (12 mon) just so I could get comfortable with the words. I want him to always feel he knew the truth.
I tried the 'grew in my heart' line and it didn't work for me. Kids are too literal, but I think we use it to show they were wanted and loved. My son was weirded out by it, so I dropped it. It also didn't feel right to me. I want him to know the reality of it, but I also want to sheild him from pain, but this seems like it wont happen. There will be 'big feelings', laying the ground work to understand it all now. I think you did well.
It's very complex road we travel as adoptive parents but thankfully there are many great books out there to help.

Jeff and Sonya Hodge said...

All I can say is SMART SMART GIRL!!!

Lisa said...

Ms. Dragonfly,
Funny that we both posted about this today. I myself have had the sex talks and answered the questions here with my boys. They seem to be more comfortable coming to me. My dh said he went to his mom too. I have been nothing but honest with them. I have told them that I will always tell them the whole truth and try my best to give them the answers to their questions.
With AC, I am following her lead. We have told her from early on she was adopted. The more she asks about her birthparents I will give her the truth as we know it. Some people may not agree with this, but I think I choose not to tell her that her birth parents loved her and that is why they gave her up for adoption. The truth is I don't know why they gave her up. Any number of reasons and we all know in the adoption community what many of them are. I think when the time comes I will choose to use the words that they must have really cared for her to put her where they did so she would be safe and cared for. I can only hope that they loved her, but I am not going to sugarcoat it when I really don't know how they felt. They may not have had a choice. I am just thankful that her birth mother chose to give her life and God blessed us by choosing us to be her parents.

Tina said...

Wow girl. I am not looking forward to explaining all that.I need to practice! I definately need to get on my lifebook too. I dont even have my stuff together!

drew and lori said...

hey lisa- the pictures are all great and yes- karlee has asked tons of questions. we answer without going into great detail- our answers simply answer her questions. she knows she had a birthmom and dad and a foster family and that kalie grew in my tummy but that she and kate are from taiwan and china but that God has lots of ways to make a family and we were blessed to get to have children both ways! of course, karlee pushed the questions of how kalie came out and went much more than what i hoped to give a three year old too HA HA HA
You did great.

The Ferrill's said...

Lisa thank you so much for being so honest in your post. This helps us other adopting mommies to think about the hard parts, ya know? I think you told AC just what she needed to hear. Remember God made YOU her mommy because He knew you would say just what she needed!
I can imagine that Quan is going to be pretty inquisitive early on, so this helps prepare me...thank you!

Stephanie said...

You know, I wish I could tell you and help you through this and I'm sure it's tough. She's a smart girl and is only going to have more questions as time goes along, but did the mom not want the child to be able to contact her some point in the future?

I had a friend that gave a baby up for adoption but it was an open adoption which means that if the baby /son, wants to contact her sometime in the future, they will be able to get that information and have questions answered...that is if they want to. I know sometimes it seems like they don't understand but they understand more then we realize...they really do grow up faster then we want them to.

My hubby was adopted but his aunt and uncle adopted him to give him a better life. He is in touch with both of his parents, but all I can say is just love her and love her because that is something he never got. I'm quite sure you do though, she is quite the cutie! :)

jie said...

I can't believe AC asked these questions when she is only three. I believe you answered her questions right. She will get through this with your love and care.