When Their Story Isn't a Fairy Tale

Of late, Shannay has been asking lots of questions about adoption.  There were a couple of colliding factors that prompted these questions.  One was that we were in the pediatrician's office and the only reading material they had in the exam room was pregnancy magazines (weird).  The other factor was that we fostered two babies right in a row, within a week of each other.

For a four year old, both the notion of a baby growing inside of someone, as well as the idea that there are babies who don't have homes, is quite disconcerting and prompts all kinds of questions.

Shannay's questions started off with "Why is her belly so big?" and "Did I grow in your belly?" to "Why doesn't she (the foster baby) live with her mama?"

These might seem like easy questions to some, but with Shannay, you can rest assured that whatever she is verbalizing is just the tip of a very deep iceberg.

Her questions eventually grew to "Are you my real Mama?"  and "Why are we giving her (the foster baby) away?" and "Are you gonna give me away?"

So we've had lots and lots of dialogue about birth moms and real moms and fostering and homelessness and so on.  It's definitely unfamiliar territory to me, and I am constantly praying and looking for books and words about how to talk to my daughters about their story because their story is not an easy one.

This morning, I was up early and working when Shannay got up, came downstairs and snuggled up under my arm while I typed.  In the sidebar of the particular client's blog I was working on was a picture of a Compassion International Child.

Our dialogue went like this:

S:   "Mama, why is that girl so sad?"
M:  "Well, she's probably hungry and dirty and maybe she needs a drink."
S:   "Where is her mama?"
M:  "Well, baby, I don't know.  Maybe she doesn't have a home."
S:   "Why she not have a home?"
M:  "Shannay, some people, even little children, are homeless.  They don't have a place to live or sleep. Isn't that sad?" (I figure, it can't be too early to teach about these things.)
S:   "Mama, we have to help her.  Like we do.  Til her mama can help her or she gets a new mama."

WHAT?!!!  I was stunned at the depth of her understanding.

Now, she wasn't too thrilled that I didn't know who this little girl was or how to get to her to help her.  But I assured her that someone was going to help her, and then we talked a little about Compassion and groups like them.

All that to say, I'm still struggling with the right words to talk to my daughter about her adoption and her very difficult story.  I know at the right time, God will give me just the right words to speak over her and into her heart.  In the meantime, I love that God is already giving her a heart of adoption.

I plan to write about what I am learning and post it to my blog,  "What Color is Family."   You'll find it at ThatCarolJones.com coming March 25th.  (Yes, it's a shameless plug.  Deal with it.) :)

1 comment:

  1. After more than 5 years of infertility and asking God what he would have us do with our desire to be parents, I sense he is stirring a heart adoption in me. This morning I was catching up on blogs in my reader, can't remember why or who rec'ed me to follow you, but the heading to his post caught my eye and it was the first one I opened. Tears burned my eyes and a lump involuntarily formed in my throat as I saw the sweet picture and read the word adoption. God used your post to affirm his message to me. Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know. Praise God for being real and ACTIVE in our lives. Blessings:)


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