Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The First of Many

Of course I knew it would happen. I just didn't think she would be two years old.

Molly and I had our first REAL conversation about adoption. Molly knows she's "adopted" but doesn't really know what that means. She knows she's from Vietnam, but I think she thinks Vietnam is some type of hospital. ("Rayna was born at the hospital, I was born at Vietnam!")

I've wondered at times if this is too much, or too confusing for her. But I finally decided that it's vocabulary that isn't going to hurt her, even if she can't yet developmentally grasp the concept. It's kind of like calendar concepts. Molly has NO concept whatsoever of next week, month, year, etc. But I will still say things like, "Next Tuesday..." or "Next Winter when it snows..." It's still good for her to hear those words, even if she can't grasp "Next Tuesday." So I decided it's the same with adoption. We use terms like "birth mom" or "Vietnam" or "Asian" even though she's too young to grasp them--just so that she is hearing that important vocabulary.

Well, tonight I found myself in a discussion that I was NOT expecting this early. I was reading to Molly tonight before bed. We were reading one of the many adoption-themed books that we have. Adoptions Are Forever was a gift from our good friends the Hendricks when we were waiting on Molly to come home. We've read this book many times, but this time Molly was asking more questions than usual. She really seemed to get that the Mommy and Daddy looked like HER Mommy and Daddy (Caucasian) and the little girl looked like her (Asian). She kept saying, "That Mommy and Daddy like my Mommy and Daddy! That little girl like me!" I wasn't sure that she really got what she was saying (come on, she's two! she could have said the same thing about Elmo's family and I wouldn't have been surprised.) Until we got to the part where the little girl wonders if her hair looks like her birth Mom's.

Molly: I got black hair!
Me: You do! I bet YOUR birth Mommy has black hair, too.
Molly: You my Mommy!
Me: I am your Mommy, but you had another Mommy before me. In Vietnam.
Molly: Vietnam like me!
Me: Yeah! Like you! You grew in her tummy.
Molly: (Obviously thinking about this.) Rayna grow in your tummy. I grow in your tummy, too!
Me: Well, honey, you actually have two Mommies. You grew in your first Mommy's tummy in Vietnam. And Daddy and I adopted you. We flew on a plane (referring to book) to Vietnam and brought you home with us to be our baby.
Molly: I got one, two Mommies.
Me: You do!
Molly: You know what Mommy is my favorite?
Me: What?
Molly: (Points to me) MY Mommy!

I'm sure this is the first of many, many adoption conversations that we will have throughout the years. It absolutely melted my heart. I felt so many emotions for my tiny baby girl in that moment. Sadness. Joy. Pride. I am so proud of that little girl. I am so proud to call her my daughter.