Several weeks ago during a control battle between Isabelle and I she suddenly announces, “I want to go home.” Hello, you are at home. “No my real home. Where I was born.” The idea that at 4 years old she had put together the tiny amount of information she has and come to the conclusion she used to live with Lauren was so absurd to me that I just had to laugh. I decided she had no idea what she was talking about and ignored her but a week or so later I heard the same thing during another tantrum. I had told her she had to eat one bite of her dinner or go to her room for the night. She had been in her room for a while having her break down and I went in to assess the situation and see if I could convince her to eat. She begins,
“I want to go home”
Me: this is your home.
Her: no my real home. Where I was born.
Me: the hospital?
Her: No with Lauren
Me: Even if you lived with Lauren she would make you take a bite.
Her: She is having the same thing?! Thats….Weird.
I was rolling on the ground laughing by the end of this conversation. She said it all while crying hysterically. I almost called Lauren on the spot to back me up on this food thing. We did talk later and I told her if I ever called with a strange request like, “should Isabelle eat a bite of fish?” she should just go with it. We laughed together at her comments and discussed the fact that neither of us are prepared for her to begin asking about this at such a young age.
Although I am very secure in my role as Isabelle’s mother and in her love for me I would be lying if I didn’t admit to having a little pang of sadness when Isabelle announced she wanted to live with Lauren. I had to give myself a little pep talk to remind myself that this is all part of the process and part of what I signed on for as an adoptive mother. I know that understanding Sam and Lauren’s decision is complicated and difficult even for many adults and will take time for Isabelle to mature enough to accept. Everywhere Isabelle turns and all the media that she is exposed to portrays a traditional family where the mother gives birth to a child she keeps rather than giving it to another mother to raise. Guiding her through this understanding will be one of the most important rolls I have as her mother.
After the second comment which I was continuing to try to ignore I felt God encouraging me to talk with Isabelle about her adoption. I simply shared with her that even though she was in Lauren’s tummy that I have always been her mommy. That I was there the day after she was born and brought her home from the hospital. She has never lived with Lauren. She actually hugged me and thanked me for telling her this and looked physically relieved. It is amazing to realize that at such a young age her sense of security can already be under attack. But I think if she didn’t feel loved and secure she wouldn’t feel free to say these things and ask questions.
So far these question have come up when she was being disciplined. It came up again this morning after I sent her to her room for something. I specifically remember during one of our early meetings with Sam and Lauren before she was born Sam telling us that if she ever called them because we were disciplining her for something and she wanted to get out of it that they would always back us up. I think we were all envisioning a pre-teen or teenager calling them not a 4 year old but it is nice to know even at this age they have our backs. (If she really knew what was going on she would run to Grandma and Grandpa, they are the real push overs.)
Never a dull moment around here.
I married my high school sweetheart 21 years ago at the age of 19 and ever since we have been on a grand adventure set before us by God. Nearly 4 years after we married I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and threw myself into the world of motherhood. 2 years later I expected to quickly get pregnant again but it was not meant to be. After many painful years we looked up and realized that God had blessed us with one incredible little boy and embraced life with an only child. Then one day God whispered, “it is time”. After a little resistance we began to follow Him as he led us somewhere we never thought we would go, adoption. And not just adoption, open adoption. We brought our daughter home from the hospital 7 years ago and discovered a completeness to our family we didn’t know we were missing. It has changed the way we view our life and define family. Today our son is finishing high school and preparing to leave for college in the fall. Isabelle is a wonderful 7 year old who recently became a big sister as her birthparents started a family of their own. She is loving her new role and takes the job quite seriously. I blog about all the adventures God leads us on as we raise 2 only children at follyandcrisis.blogspot.com