Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hard conversations....

Elise came out of her room last night around 10pm very sad. She crawled up in my lap and said, "I miss my China mommy." We talked, she cried and my heart broke for my little girl.

I know she's always going to carry this hole in her heart and have to deal with the emotions that accompany knowing her birth parents gave her up. The fact that she knows nothing about her birth family and little about the realities of what life might have been like in China just add to the hurt.

This is not the first time we've had this conversation. She'll go in phases. But clearly this has been on her mind lately. She said she has a hard time not crying in school because she thinks about her China mommy all day.

We pray for her China mommy and I assure Elise that her China mommy did love her because she left her in a safe place (we don't even know this for sure). We talk about other friends of hers that don't live with the mommy who gave birth to them. We talk about how some mommies can't take care of their babies.

I know my joy at parenting this child comes at the expense of heartache for others. I celebrate her in my life but she grieves the loss of her first family.

So, for those of you who have walked this path, what words of wisdom do you have? What comforting words do you share with your child? How do you try to ease that heartache they carry?


Vivian M said...

I wish I had an answer. Kerri has been dealing with this for awhile now, and it just gets harder as her understanding grows. In our case, she does not say she misses her bio family, but she is hurt and does not understand why she was abandoned. And all we can do is talk, love her and try to comfort her when these moments happen. We have been honest with her and we will probably never know the answers she seeks.
We have a scrapbook with pictures and momentos for Kerri, and we have told her we will take her back to China one day. And we try to include her Chinese culture in her life. She really likes being around Asian people, food, etc.
If Kerri were your daughter's age, I would encourage her to keep a diary of her thoughts and feelings, or write a letter to her bio family. Sometimes writing things down helps.
Our FCC group in Fla once tied messages/wishes to helium balloons and let them loose during the Chinese New Year. That might be something Elise could do, or a message in a bottle sent out to sea.
I am sending you both a huge hug.
And if you find something that helps, please share!

Sandra said...

Gretchen, it sounds like Jazzie and Elise are a lot alike. I had to change the words I chose to comfort Jazzie after reading some adult adoptee blogs. It is so hard to know what to say that is the "right" thing. I find this blog entry very interesting and I think you should read it, too:

I try to be honest with Jazzie, but it is hard to find a balance between being honest and not hurting my girl even more :-(

Tammie said...

I wish I had an answer for you Gretchen. We're in a very different part of our journey. Erin knows she's adopted but doesn't ask anything about her bio family. We make it clear that she can ask any questions she wants but so far nothing. I believe that when it hits Erin, it's going to be hard for her.

I love the idea of Elise keeping a diary. She can write down her feelings or even write letters to her birth parents about what her life is like. My big thing is to be as honest as possible. If you don't know, then tell her that.

Other than that, I'm taking my lead from all the parents whose children are asking questions.