Monday, May 7, 2012

Someday I'll have to Explain...

I knew the question was coming.  And I was dreading it.  Well not exactly dreading it, just not sure how I was going to handle it. 

It's my own fault really.  When I made the family calendar for this year I put in photos of several of my sisters who were pregnant last year.  (They were the most recent pictures I had of them at the time.)  So when I flipped over to May a few days ago and there's Cami 38 weeks pregnant with Gage (and looking gorgeous I might add) Gideon instantly recognized "Aunt Mimi with Baby Gage in her tummy." 

And that started the conversation I'd been anticipating his entire young life.  First it was about Tyree being in Aunt Jesse's tummy.  He wanted to know how she got there "Heavenly Father put her there." Then he wanted to know how He did that.  "He just did." After answering that same question the same way at least 4 dozen times he wanted to know how she came out, "They went to the hospital and the Dr. took her out." Then he wanted to know how that happened, "Because the Dr. knows how."  Again he got stuck on that and it took him asking and me giving the same answer about 40 times before he was ready to move on. And then he wanted to know who's tummy I was in. "Grandma Cindy.  You know she's my mommy."  And from that he figured out all on his own that daddy used to be in Nana's tummy.  (Which of course he made a point of telling her last time we were over at their house.  Just in case she didn't know already. I thought my mother-in-law was going to fall over she was so surprised.)

And then came the inevitable, "Mommy, who's tummy was I in?"  I took a deep breath and said the name of his birth mother.  His confused expression said it all, "Why I in her tummy?" He asked.  I tried to keep it simple, "Mommy's tummy was broken.  But Heavenly Father wanted you to come to our family, so He put you in her tummy and she brought you to us." 

The "Why's" and "How's" continued for another 20 minutes until I was absolutely exhausted with answering the same questions over and over again, but I tried not to get frustrated with him.  That's what 4 year olds do.  Ask question ad nauseum. About everything!

And this was an important conversation.  See I want my kids to understand how special they are.  How much they were loved by their birth family.  They need to understand that they weren't "given up" or "given away."  They need to know that they aren't "Mistakes" or "Accidents."  Perhaps they didn't come to us in a traditional way, but I firmly believe that God always intended for these two kids to come to us. (I still maintain that it wouldn't have mattered if they were ours biologically or not, these were the two kids we were going to get regardless.  I know that with every fibre of my being.)

But how do you explain all of that to a 4 year old? 

You don't.

All you can say is what I said to Gideon, "Heavenly Father loves you so much.  And He knew that you needed to be in our family so He found a way to get you here.  And daddy and I are so happy to have you!"

Someday I'm sure I'll have to answer the tough questions about the how's and the why's.  And if anyone has any suggestions about how best to cover those subjects, please let me know.  In the meantime, I only hope that my children understand how very much they're loved. Families are forever.  Regardless of DNA or who's tummy they came in.


The Clegg Family said...

From what you wrote, I think you handled the situation beautifully :)

carterpartyof6 said...

I think you handled it perfectly! Gideon and Parker are so blessed to have you as their mommy :)

Juli said...

Love this, what a sweet boy you have...and girl! You're a great mother.

Angela said...

Check out they have two open adoptions and share lots that might help you.

Monk Family said...

You are such an amazing woman and mother, and you gave me goosebumps when I read this. Love you so much!!

Hillary and Jake said...

tearful. In a good way.

Darryl and Cindy Cunningham said...

I think that was a perfect answer for a 4 yr. old. Love you!

Grant said...

Cali, you handled it very well. I was adopted, and I remember having "the conversation" with my parents. It went about the same way yours went, with the emphasis on my mom was not able to have kids, and that they had prayed for a way to have a child of their own.

From my perspective, I never ever thought of anyone else as my mom and dad. It's funny because most people are shocked when they find out I'm adopted... but for me it was just normal and I never felt different because I was loved just as much as kids in their birth families. Sounds like you guys are doing the same as my parents... loving the heck out of your kids. They will feel that, and odds are Gideon will never feel different and will someday think it's funny that others are shocked when he tells them he is adopted.