Tuesday, January 28, 2014
"Take good care of them"
Not too long ago we were on a family vacation. Seemingly out of nowhere CD asked, "did R (CD's birthmother) bring me to you in a bag?"
In the last few months CD has been asking many questions and telling many fantasy tales about R. She went to Disney with R and met aliens. R lives across the street (where there is an assisted living facility). R fed her doughnuts when she was a baby.
She tells us that she wishes that she was born into our family. She watched The Sound of Music and asked if we would send her away if she is bad like the Mother (Superior) did with Maria.
We listen attentively to her fantasies. We read age appropriate adoption themed books with her. We take every opportunity to answer questions and reassure CD as often as she needs that we love her even when she does something wrong, that we love her even when we get frustrated, we tell her over and over that she is our daughter forever and that means today and the day after and the day after. . .I am not sure that CD comprehends the word "forever."
Back before the 70s these very normal questions and worries that are experienced by the majority of adoptees is in part what led society to keep adoptions secret from their adopted children. Parents wanted to save their children from feeling abandoned, unloved, or unwanted. Parents didn't want their adopted children to ask them questions for which they had no answers. I imagine some didn't want to deal with hearing that their children thought about their birth parents and for many, that their birth parents were on their minds so much of the time.
It is very difficult to keep composed when your daughter asks if she was brought in a bag. It is even more difficult to answer the question as to how she was brought to us as though we are not thinking, my god, how we wish no child would ever have to ask a question like this.
Today I watched as my daughter played out the day that she arrived at our home right in the play therapy room. Two women pushed two babies to a dollhouse with a mommy and daddy waiting. The women say, "here, take the babies." then they tack on, "take good care of them" and the women walk away. The therapist asked, "that's it? you are just going to leave the babies like a package?" CD responded, "yeah." The therapist then said, "you know what? It's a really good thing that this mommy and daddy really want the babies."