Ava turned 6 in December and I’ve really begun to believe that age 6 is a critical time in a child’s development, or at the very least, in my child’s development. In the space of a month, she has transformed before my eyes, not so much physically but emotionally and intellectually, the changes in her are quite remarkable.
She’s really just not a small child anymore, she’s transformed into an emotionally intelligent thinking person with the weight of larger issues on her heart and mind. She has started to grasp and come to terms with ideas and thoughts on topics I hadn’t expected her to be thinking about at such a young age.
Most notably…. her adoption.
It started with an innocent question a couple of week’s ago and has snowballed into almost daily questions and discussions surrounding her adoption. I am so very thankful that even before placement, Walter and I had decided on always being open and honest about our girls adoption, to always create a safe and loving environment where they knew they could ask and speak freely about their thoughts, feelings and questions surrounding their placements and birth parents, without guilt or fear.
We’d been driving in the car and she asked me if babies are really born out of their mother’s vagina’s. Which I’d explained that sometimes yes they are but not always, sometimes babies also come out of their mothers tummy’s via an operation. She then wanted to know if she’d come out of her birth mother’s tummy or vagina.
On Tuesday, we were talking about her Show & Tell project for this Friday, which was to create a family tree and she casually asked if she could include a photo of her birth mother in her family tree, which of course we agreed to and then she asked me something which made my heart skip a beat…..
I really want to meet my tummy mummy, when can I meet her?
I I always knew that question would come, or at least I always hoped that it would. This may sound odd to people who have never experienced adoption, or at least an adoption story quite like ours, but I have always hoped that both my children would want to meet their birth parents one day and I am really ok with that. More than ok, it’s what I want for them, but obviously, it’s not a topic I can push either, both Ava and her birth mother need to want to know each other, I can only facilitate that if it’s something they both want.
Well, Ava wants that.
And I know her birth mother wants it too.
And I’m more than ok with it. Both Walter and I are comfortable with it.
I know a lot of people won’t understand, but I don’t feel that Ava’s birth mother wants or even is, any kind of threat to me, she doesn’t want to replace me, remember I blogged a few days ago about how we define mother? Well I see her as very much Ava’s mother, just another kind, her birth mother and I am her adoptive mother, because mother is one word that encompasses so many different roles in my child’s life.
“Legacy of an Adopted Child”
Once there were two women who never knew each other,
One – you do not remember, the other you call mother.
Two different lives shaped to make yours,
One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
The first gave you life, and the second taught you to live in it.
The first gave you a need for love and the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality; the other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent; the other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions; the other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile; the other dried your tears.
One gave you up – that’s all she could do.
The other prayed for a child and God led her straight to you.
Now you ask through all your tears the age-old question through the years;
Heredity or environment – which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling – neither – just two different kinds of love.
My only concern is whether or not, at this stage in Ava’s life, she is mature enough to handle whatever conflicting feelings and questions which may arise from meeting her birth mother now as apposed to later?
And I am so very thankful to have Ava’s birth mother as part of our family, as part of my life, that I can talk to her about these feelings and know, that while she too wants to meet and know Ava, she also does not want to confuse or hurt her or interfere in our family dynamic and so together, we, these two different kinds of mother, two different kinds of love, will find a way to work through of this too.
Along with Walter and or course, our amazing Social Worker who has been there for us, every step of the way since before Ava was even born.
What a gift. What a privilege this all is.