When I'm done tucking the girls in, Sally stalls. I think she's stalling. She usually starts asking me hard questions. If she didn't wait until I was standing at the door of the bedroom, I would think she was actually interested in my answers. Rather, I think she is grasping at straws hoping to baffle me long enough to get a few more minutes with the light on.
She finally struck "stalling gold." Her line of questioning wound itself around to, "Whose belly did I come from?"
Seems like we have talked about this before. Seems like I've been having this talk for the past five years. Rather, Ella follows up with, "Well, I grew in your belly."
I remind the girls gently that they grew in another belly far, far away. And I began to tell them their amazing stories. It seems, to me, that I've been telling Ella her story since we brought her home. Until now, nearly six years later, she hasn't been too interested. Her face was betraying her feelings and it dawned on her that she spent years without us. It seems impossible.
Though Sally was older, she hardly remembers the way things really unfolded. She can't believe that she and Josiah didn't come 'from the same belly' in Ethiopia. I tell her about the long line of mommies who have babies that didn't grow in their bellies. Starting with their own Daddy and moving down their family tree.
To me, that makes it easier, knowing that so many of your family have been adopted. They have been loved and they have become mommies and daddies too. To my five year old that made no difference. After my sweet words and good intentions her only comment was, "But I wish that I was from your belly just like the boys."
Oh, how my heart breaks.
That was only the beginning. At any random moment during the day Sally will approach me asking 'Whose belly did ____ (insert friend or relative) come from?' Of course, none of them would happen to be adopted. I feel ill equipped to deal with the onslaught of questions. My (adopted) husband is no help either. Simply stated by him, "She loves you and wants to have as much of you as possible." But he can give no great response to ease all of her insecurities and worries. If he can't, who can?
We tread very lightly around our house. In a family comprised of children who have come into our family by birth and adoption, we can easily make someone feel alienated by making the other feel too special. In an effort to keep everyone feeling loved, perhaps we've been too cautious.
I've used the "grew in my heart" line to no avail. I've told them that their stories are amazing and God brought them right into our family. It seems that they are stuck on the unknown. I have no names, stories, or pictures. Honestly, the bits and pieces we know are too much for either of the girls to handle. I have to be relatively creative in censoring their stories.
Any words of wisdom?