Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Talk, Part 2

Hey, I'm impressed I actually got a response with that last one. Okay, you've earned it, I'll finish the story.

In a nutshell, our talk went really well. Bobcat truly didn't seem upset or fazed at all. I don’t know what we were expecting, but we were prepared for some serious emotion. That’s what everyone tells you to expect with adoption, right? Major issues. Well, maybe later, but not yet, and that’s okay with us for now!

Bobcat recalled a few more random memories and told about things he did with his foster sister. Evidently they were allowed to have gum all the time. (Hint, hint!) But he didn't express any sadness. He said he was happy to be in our family. He didn’t ask to visit anyone from his past. (We didn't exactly offer that as an option, and we were prepared to explain why that could not happen yet, but he didn't even hint at it). He was just generally cheerful and seemed to understand what we told him. In fact, he mostly seemed happy to be staying up late, in our bed with us, after his little brothers had to go to bed early.

There was one moment of tension. Bobcat had a pensive look on his face for a while, when I was explaining about how it’s okay to miss people that you loved, and to be sad about that. I thought he might cry, and I’m sure MamaLlama was about to crack. But he said, “Well… I’m mostly sad that I’m not in heaven. I haven’t met Jesus yet, I’ve just seen pictures and stuff. So I want to go to heaven to see him.”

(HUGE sigh of relief… At this point, we realized that we were going to be fine!)

At another point, he asked if his first mommy and daddy were sad to lose their boys. We said they probably were, and probably thought about him a lot. He said they should pray to God and maybe they will be able to have some more babies… Mama and I made eye contact :-O

And we decided not to explain to him yet why that is not something they need right now! We just said that we hoped they prayed for him, and his brothers, and even for Mama and me, and that maybe one day when he grows up he can talk to them if he wants to.

He thought about that for a moment and asked if they were far away. We said yes, very far away. He said, “If I see them when I grow up, I think I’ll need a map. I don’t know where they are, and we need maps to go far away places like vacations and camping and business trips.”

So, in summary, it went very well! I guess it will take longer for our boys to get more thoughtful about all this. Maybe Bobcat will have questions in the next few days, now that we’ve brought it up. We'll follow up in a week, see if we've sparked anything. And we'll “eavesdrop” while the boys play, and see if Bobcat mentions anything to the other boys. But it looks like we’re in the clear for now.

As I said, it’s tempting to not bring it up at all. Why stir up painful memories? It would be easier to wait for the kids to have a problem first. But we've done research, and our own gut feelings agree it's best for us to bring it up proactively, rather than wait for questions. So we've decided to do this little exercise twice a year, before our "anniversaries" of them coming home to us in August, and our final adoption in February.

We're thankful to God, for protecting their innocence for the time being. We will be there when they need us, and I’m sure the emotions will rise as they grow older. But for now, we’re so relieved to see them content and enjoying their childhood!


Michelle said...

You're wise in keeping the lines of communication open and taking the initiative in talking about adoption. We have 7 children (3 birth, 4 adopted--1 as a newborn). When our sibling group of 3 came to us, our son who was adopted as a newborn kept asking questions about his foster family. We tried explaining to him that he wasn't in foster care. Ah well, we'll keep trying.

You may find as your sons get older that they lose most if not all of their memory of their life before they came home to you. We're finding the longer our children are with us, the less they remember. It gives us hope that their innocence can be recovered or at least partially restored.

underthewillow said...

Excellent conversation with Bobcat! It brought tears to my eyes and I can imagine that it was very emotional talk. I'm glad this went well and now you have it saved in a blog for him to read later. :)