“Mommy who is your birth mom is?” That was the question my sweet 4 year old daughter asked tonight for the first time. I knew that this sort of question would come at some point because we have chosen to normalize adoption. To talk about it openly and honestly. As adoptive parents to 2 of our 3 children, we believe that by bring up the conversation of adoption this allows us to frame it in positively. So, most nights we pray for the birth moms of our children with them. We answer questions like, “whose tummy was I in?” or “where was I born again?”. I get the joy of hearing my daughter say to me, almost weekly, “We are never ever bring baby brother back to Alabama! He is our baby brother forever and ever!” or ” Mommy, you will ALWAYS be my mommy!” Though both my children’s birth moms live far away, we have a picture of them that is not hidden but placed in their baby book right next to the one of me holding them for the first time. We have tried to remove any stigma of adoption so that when my children are exposed to the negative stigma that others may have it will not resonant with them.
So, tonight when she asked about my birth mom it actually warmed my heart. I was not adopted so my birth mom, I explained, is your Gigi. I believe this question reveals that in her little mind adoption is normal. She assumes that I was adopted just like she was. I know the questions will get harder in the years to come but I am so glad that she already feels comfortable thinking and talking about adoption.
You see, I know a young lady who was adopted and growing up her mom would tell her to hide the fact that she was adopted (and she could do that, since her ethnicity matched her adoptive family). Her mom thought she was doing her a favor by simplifying her life and limiting the questions she would get asked. But now, at age 20, I am walking alongside her as she learns how to celebration her adoption. I am watching her learn how to share the beautiful story God has written thus far in her life in a way that celebrates her adoption. This gives honor to her courageous birth family and to her family who chose her! It was not easy for her growing up trying to keep such a big part of her life tucked away in hopes no one would know she was adopted. This is not what I want my children to ever feel. I want them to be able to embrace the redemption that God displayed in their lives the moment they were born. I want them to be able to celebrate the beauty of adoption while grieving the losses that come with it.