When you walk the road of adoption, you know that at some point, the hard questions will come. And especially if your child looks different than you or your family, those questions can come quite quickly. We adopted Elizabeth from China when she was 20 months old and she remembers very little about that experience (or she doesn’t say anything verbally).
This morning, Elizabeth (we call her Libby) was asking questions about my Momma living in Heaven with Jesus. She then began asking if we’ll all live in Heaven together someday. Her questions very quickly turned to her birth mother. We have always been honest and open with her about the fact that she grew in someone else’s belly, and that she lived in China for a long time until we went to go be her Mommy and Daddy. She’s always known she didn’t grow inside of me but today, I think, it really clicked and the disappointment on her face was heartbreaking. I made sure to only give her enough information that’s appropriate for her age (y’all don’t overwhelm your kiddos with too much info too fast).
Her questions were like, “Where does my other mommy live?” and “When I grow up, can you take me to see her?” and “Who is she and what is her name?”. It just breaks my heart that I can’t give her the answers she needs. I explained that Jesus knows her other mommy, and loves her, and knows where she is. She immediately demanded that Jesus tell me so I could take her to see her other mommy (if this phrase of “other mommy” is offensive, please understand we are just being open and honest with her).
I have always said that children deserve to know who their bio family is because it gives them a sense of belonging. It helps them understand part of who they are and why. I always pray that someday Jesus will open the door to allow us to have enough information to go to China and introduce Libby to her birth mother. I AM ALL FOR IT! Yes, I have deep-rooted fears of rejection and feeling “not enough,” but this isn’t about me. It’s about Libby. And her her Mother. It’s about healing the part of them both that experienced such great loss and trauma.
There are always complex reasons why a mother would choose adoption for her child and let me say this very clearly: Libby’s birth mother loved her enough to give her life AND put her somewhere in a public place that she’d be found. That’s all we need to know. I am confident Libby’s birth mom didn’t abandon her daughter….I believe because of cultural beliefs and lack of money for medical care, her mother felt forced into that decision.
Anyway, please be praying for Libby and for us as we navigate these questions with her. We pray Jesus will be glorified in all of it and that Libby will KNOW how deeply loved she is.