A couple of nights ago, during bed time routine, out of the blue, Ava asked Walter to tell her about the day she was born. We’ve always been honest with her about her being adopted, but we have been cautious about not pushing the issue, when she has asked, we have explained and we have always spoken openly about adoption in front of her. For both Walter and I, it’s key that she knows and understands that the topic of adoption and of her birth is not taboo. That she can ask any questions freely and openly, with out fear of hurting us or upsetting us. From all the literature we have read, in books and online, from adult adoptee’s, when talking about adoption reunion, their number 1 comment has been of feeling fearful about hurting their parents (adopted ones) or feeling disloyal to the family who have loved, nurtured and cared for them. We don’t want Ava to feel this way. We want her to know that regardless of what she decides, we will support her and encourage her and walk as far along the journey with her as she wants us too.
So there were no surprises for her when Walter relayed the story of her birth to her because she has heard it before. She knows my tummy is broken, she knows she came out of another Aunties tummy. After her question, Walter told her about how we’d received a phone call early on that Sunday morning, from Auntie Wilna, about how she was being born, coming out of another mommy’s tummy. About how we jumped in the car and raced to the hospital to be there on time for her birth. He told her how he was fearful to be with her tummy mummy for the birth but that I was there with her. He told her about how she looked and how he felt the first time he saw me walking down the hospital corridor carrying her. How beautiful she was. How precious she was. How miraculous her birth was. How loved she was. How we cried when we looked at her and held her and touched her.
She listened with her big brown Bambi eyes to the entire story. At the end of it, she stared at Walter and asked why she couldn’t come out of my tummy, why she had to come out of a tummy mummy’s tummy. Of course, she does know the answer to this, but I think the reality of her unique circumstance is starting to set in, I think she is starting to get a better understanding of what adoption is and how it’s different from the way other families are traditionally created. Walter reminded her that my tummy was broken, so she couldn’t be born out of my tummy, even though I had carried her with love in my heart and that was why she had to come out of another tummy mummy’s tummy.
She was contemplative for little bit and then came the doozy…. she wanted to know why, if my tummy was broken and she couldn’t be born out of my tummy, why she couldn’t have come out of his tummy…..
So it has begun, that time that all adoptive parents anxiously anticipate, plan for and prepare for. She is obviously starting to understand that her story is different and trying to come to terms with it. I have no doubt that with time, she will have more and more questions and I hope that if Walter and I continue to handle her questions with love, understanding and without bombarding her with too much information, she will continue to be comfortable about asking whatever it is that she needs to know about her birth story, about her adoption.