Saturday, September 06, 2008

The day has come

I knew the day would come. The day comes without warning during a mundane activity. The day that all the adoption parenting books talk about. The day your social worker helps you prepare for. The day the adoption parenting classes help you practice. The day that is discussed frequently on adoption forums. The day when your child asks you questions about adoption. Not just questions about the day we got his picture and I ran down the hall and got to the front office before the UPS man was out of his truck, but deeper ones...ones that show he's really processing it. It was time to put my practice to the test...would I pass, would I help him understand? Would I give him too much information? Did I prepare enough for this?

"Mommy, were you adopted?" Jack asked as we washed his hands after using the potty.

I took a deep breath to gather my thoughts. This is it, I think, Jack is really understanding adoption. Please, God, let me do this right!

"No, Sweetheart, I wasn't adopted like you and Sam. I have only one mommy and you have three! Your Omma is your birthmother and Gramma is my birthmother. Your Omma is your first mommy, then Mrs. Park who took care of you in Korea is your second mommy, and I am your third mommy. Your mommy forever and ever." (Thank you, Third Mom!!)

"Mrs. Park bought us ice cream when we met her! And Sam has three mommies too, right?" For being only 3 and 1/2, Jack seems to put things together pretty quickly!

"She did buy us ice cream. And yes, Sam does have three mommies. He has his Omma, his foster mother, and me. I am yours and Sam's forever mommy."

"But, I have only one daddy?" That's when it hit me, I hadn't talked about the daddies...he does have 3 daddies, and we have talked about his Appa but not as much as his Omma. Uhg, I failed, I thought.

"Well, you have three daddies too..." and I explained his Appa, foster father, and Ian being his forever daddy.

"Okay, Mommy. Can I have a snack now?"

I guess I did okay for the first time. Next time I will be sure to not forget the daddies...but next time I think it will be an even more challenging question. And I do have to remember that Jack brought it up so that means he is comfortable asking me questions about adoption...and that is what I have been striving for.


ian said...

I think you did a great job sweetie. I love you.

Hunca Munca said...

Good job mama! You did great. We've been talking about adoption at our house too. I also love Third Mom. Recently I decided to tell Sam his adoption story with Alex listening - I think she really liked that and the story is sinking in even more when it's reflected in her brother's story. Of course Sam doesn't understand it all yet, but it benefits both of them to hear each other's story, I think. Anyway - good job and thanks for the reminder to talk about the daddies! Alex hasn't asked about that yet. :-)

genderist said...

Sounds like you rocked it out. Great job!

Third Mom said...

No thanks necessary to me - it was my five-year-old son who figured this all out. It was his way, I think, of keeping all of his moms in his life without having to identify them with complicated relationships.

I think, too, that with the myriad of family structures we see apart from adoption, kids get the idea that multiple moms and dads are possible.