Sunday, July 18, 2010
There's a whole lot of adoption talk going on in our household.
As Boo's adoption finalization date approaches (a bit over a month away now), there's a whole lot of adoption talk going on in our household.
Adoption has been part of our everyday conversation for several years now. We've made a point to speak of it frequently with Snuggle Bug, even before he was able to understand much of anything we were saying to him (we're talking newborn stage here), in large part to get ourselves well-versed and comfortable with the conversations. Now that Snuggle Bug is 5, the word pops up more and more each day, often times prompted by him.
Here are some of the things he'll say to me,
"Mama, remember when I was in my birth mother's tummy?"
"My birth mother lives in ______ (state), right Mama?"
"Remember when I was 'dopted, Mama?"
"When is Boo gonna be 'dopted?"
I'm actually enjoying these conversations about adoption because for the longest time I worried that something was wrong, that I was handling things incorrectly, since Snuggle Bug never spoke of adoption, never made any reference to it at all. It wasn't until he was about 4 1/2 that something finally clicked.
Snuggle Bug is a very visual child. He wants you to show him things, not just tell him about them.
His dawning awareness of adoption (as much as a preschooler can understand) began when a neighbor's pregnancy became quite visible.
As she and I stood outside chatting one day, Snuggle Bug piped up and asked, "What's in your tummy?"
Our neighbor explained that her baby was growing in her tummy and that her baby would be born in about a month.
Snuggle Bug turned to me and asked, "Remember when I growed in your tummy, Mama?"
The moment of truth had arrived. It felt as though all my efforts to normalize talk of adoption throughout the years had finally culminated in this first question.
I knelt down to his level and explained, "Actually, honey, you didn't grow in my tummy. You grew in your birth mother's tummy and we were there at the hospital to meet you the day you were born."
I waited to see if my response would generate more questions. Snuggle Bug looked thoughtful for a moment and then said, "Oh, right," and the moment passed.
Since that first question, over time many more have followed and Snuggle Bug has even looked at pictures of Giselle. It feels so good to know that he feels safe enough to come to me with these questions and to realize that he's slowly beginning to grasp the concept that our family has been formed through adoption.
The fact that we talk of Boo's upcoming adoption quite a bit just adds another layer of awareness for Snuggle Bug as we explain what will happen in court that day.
I've overheard Snuggle Bug and Boo excitedly talking together about her approaching adoption and it warms my heart.
I can't wait to have Snuggle Bug witness Boo's adoption finalization. Being the visual child that he is, I think having him there in the courtroom with us will give him a deeper understanding about what adoption means to our family.