Thursday, June 5, 2008

Random adoption discussions with Liam of late

Liam: "you and Mummy aren't my mother's you know."
Me: "What do you mean?" [I try not to lead these discussions, I want to see where he goes with them on his own]
Liam: "K is my mother, she borned me, but you guys look after me now."
Me: "Yes, K is your mother, but Mummy and I are your mother's now too because we adopted you. You sure have a lot of mothers"

and with that, he was back doing what ever he had been doing at the time. This is the third time now that he has said this, completely out of the blue. Every time we give him the same answer. I wonder if there is something more that he is trying to get to? Next time I will probe a bit more.

Adoption has been part of my life forever, since I'm adopted too. And I am very active on adoption forums (come on over and check out Adoption Threads if you haven't had a chance yet), I read adoption blogs and books. So the topic of adoption is very comfortable for me. I wonder though how other adoptive mothers would feel if their child told them "You aren't my Mom". Liam was being malicious or doing it out of anger, he was just very matter of fact. However, my reaction back to him could have easily set the tone for any further adoption discussion. If I had freaked out, cried, gotten upset or told him he was wrong, I would have been sending him a very negative message about adoption, but even more so, about his own feelings.

Do PAPs get training on these types of situations? How do the a-parents who don't read the books or participate in the forums handle these subjects when they come up? How can we as a community help them to be better prepared?

Liam walked into the room while Hilary was watching a rerun of ER. It was the one where Carole has her twins, one born very quickly in the ER and the 2nd by emergency c-section. He walked in on the c-section part and wanted to know what was going on. While we do censor his tv viewing, we also will take moments like this and use it as a teaching moment. Blood and guts don't bother him and since it's a rerun we knew that the outcome was going to be okay. So Hilary explained to him that this is one way that babies can get out when then are ready to be born, and the he was born this way too. He was very fascinated by the whole process and sat down to watch it with her. He then asked both of us if we had ever "borned" a baby. He thought on our answer of "no" for a moment and then said "it sure looks like it hurts! It must have really hurt K to born me" We talked about epidurals and medicine and how the Drs do their best to make sure that it doesn't hurt too much.

From an adoption point of view, I found this interesting. He has always parroted back to us his adoption story and has never asked any questions. So this gave me the insight that he does understand the over all concept of being born to one woman and then being raised by another. However he is still not interested/concerned with why he was adopted. Or why C and J (his 1/2 siblings) weren't adopted. Or why he has never met any of his first family. I find I tread a fine line - not wanting to make adoption a big deal and not wanting to ignore it or gloss over it either. Just because I read about adoption and talk about adoption every day, it doesn't mean that it should be part of his life every day. But how do I know when it is the right time to push a little bit or back off? I want him to know that I am always there to talk to or to listen to him, but I don't want him to feel that I'm beating him about the head with the topic either.

And random cute moment? We were talking about astronauts and asked Liam if he still wants to be one when he grows up or if he is just going to be a police officer (for the longest time he was going to do both, and maybe even be a police officer in space to give tickets to speeding shuttle craft!) Now his dream job when he grows up? "I want to be a Mama just like you and have a little boy!" Awwwwww! We did remind him of his lack of uterus and that maybe he can be a Daddy when he grows up. He seems okay with that, and is making plans to "borrow" is friend Amy's uterus so that she can have babies for him. I'm sure Amy's parents will be thrilled!
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