Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Talking adoption with my kids

So when it comes to the day to day, my sons' past tends to feel distant and intangible to me. During my daily Bible time with the kids though, I've been praying for Yosef and Biniam's first mommy. The first time I did this, after the prayer, Anna asked about their first mommy, what that meant. Wow! This was the first time she has shown any awareness of/interest in the boys' adoption. (She knows they came from Ethiopia, but I wasn't sure if she knew what that even meant.) SO we had a talk about how Yosef and Biniam grew inside a different mommy, in Ethiopia, who is very sick and therefore can't care for them, so now we have the joy of having them in our family.

Anna totally "gets" it, at least to the degree that a three year old can! Last night she informed Daddy when he came home that Yosef and Biniam grew in a different mommy (when he asked what her name was, Anna was even able to tell him), and that she is sick. Somehow this is all feeling very real to me now, and I even felt a bit emotional about it. I feel like I'm entering a new phase with the kids, in that our boys' adoption is out in the open and something that we talk about. It's making me more aware that their birth mother is a real person who had to make the decision to give her twins away, and it's making me think about their older sister, presumably still with the mother. My heart breaks for this woman and her daughter.

Kaitlyn's birth has been a key part of discussing this, because we talked so much about her growing in Mommy's tummy, and about how Anna also grew in Mommy's tummy. At any rate, it feels like we're entering new territory here. Yosef and Biniam still don't seem aware of any of this, but in time that will come too. I pray that God will give me the right words to say at the right times.

10 comments:

Kelly said...

So good to catch up on what's going on in your lives! Your family is beautiful!

Becky said...

Wow Anna is so smart. What a great example to her of what love is. Espeically God's love, since none of us were born in his family. By the way I loved my goodnight kisses from Yosef and Biniam!

lisa said...

those are pretty intense discussions! so glad you are being honest the kids. this is real life and you're in the middle of it! you are doing a great job!!

Kristen Borland said...

how special!!

Allison Brown said...

What an amazing thing! Such a big topic and you are handling it with such grace! That would be a difficult thing for sure, and Anna seems to understand, so that's great!

Jeannett Gibson said...

That's so awesome that Anna seems to get it! It's perfect that you just had little Kaitlyn...makes it so much easier to explain I would imagine!

gracie :) said...

I have been a foster mom for two months to a precious little black boy whom we are hoping to adopt. He is only 7 months old, so we have a while before we will be talking in this language. But I definitely hear your heart in your compassion for your boys' mother. We meet with our little guy's mom once a week. She wants so badly to be able to care for him, but she can't. It's almost too much for my emotions to handle. Wanting him, yet knowing it will devastate her is so difficult. And looking down the road to sharing with him his story...wow, this just isn't an easy road. Yet we love him as our own and in that, we take on his story, however painful that may be. I think somehow, this is the compassion for a hurting world that our Savior wants us to have. In our "Tylenol" generation ("it's just one more step to a pain-free world") we seek to distance ourselves from the pain of other people's messy lives. Yet in our love for our boys, it is thrown in our faces. We can't avoid it. Wow, help us Lord.

Lisa said...

Thanks for sharing. My daughter began talking about her birth mommy when she was about three. I made her a lifebook, which seemed to help the process along. She is quite matter-of-fact about it, which surprises me, but I think it's a good thing for now (she's just 6). It sounds you a did a beautiful job of talking about it with your biological daughter. And God will give you the words to talk about it with your sons when the time is right. Do you have a lifebook for them? It really seems to have helped us get the conversation started.

Brianna Heldt said...

Lisa we do have lifebooks for our boys that I am in the process of filling out (it's a lot of work!) We also have our entire trip to Ethiopia beautifully scrapbooked (thank you Jeannett!!!) which should help as well.

Kids do seem matter of fact about things, which makes it easier to talk about them I think. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Heather said...

I've been catching up on my blog reading and am loving the pics on your blog! Also, now that Kaitlyn was born, your family and my family have two children with the same names- Yosef and Kaitlyn! :)
Heather

 

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