Monday, March 16, 2009
Before we brought our daughter Sergeant home from China, I had given a lot of thought to the fact that she would never know her biological parents. I know some who choose China adoption as a way to build a family feel this is a plus. For me, it was a distinct negative. First, I like to "know stuff." When I was pregnant with our biological daughters, it never ocurred to me not to find out their genders prior to birth. Of course I wanted to know. If I had been able to know at conception, I would have wanted to know then. Not because I really cared one way or another (although, truth be told, I secretly wanted girls - not a secret now, I guess) but because I just like to know. So, not knowing anything at all about our third daughter's biological parents, and really, the first months of her life, was disconcerting for me, and I knew, not the best thing for her. But I didn't realize the depth of her loss until a couple of months ago. Sergeant had been requesting to look at her life book and her scrapbook frequently and I, of course, obliged every time. We would read the story and look at the pictures and talk about her months in the orphanage and how she came to be in our family. Then, one night, just after her third (!) birthday, I read the page about her birthmother. She said, "Where is the picture of her?" I explained that we don't have a picture of her birthmother, because we don't know who she is. My sweet, smart, precocious child, looked up at me with her beautiful black eyes and said, mournfully, and near tears, "I don't even have a picture of her!" My heart about cracked in two. I acknowledged how sad she sounded about not having any connection with her birth mother and tried to empathize the best I could. Of course, being three, she moved on to another, blessedly minor, crisis within a few minutes, but I realized what a long road we have in front of us as she faces adoption and abandonment issues, one-by-one. I never dreamed she would begin to process these issues so early. I only hope I am a good enough mom to help her through these issues the best I can and to maintain her currently rock-solid sense of self.