Today was the Adoptions From The Heart Annual Picnic. We love this event. It is close to our house, it is early enough in the summer that it's not too hot, and it is a wonderful place for Miranda to see other kids like her. Adopted kids.
We have never shied away from using the word adoption in our house. We have read books, colored pictures, and even "adopted" a toy puppy for Hanukkah one year. We have explained how adoption works and how families are formed by love first, and genetics second. She has never questioned anything we have told her about how families come to be, and I thought we were handling it very well.
Until Miranda asked me recently what it was like being in my belly.
Then she put a ball up her dress and said, "Look! I am a mommy now, too!"
Then, the icing on the cake at lunch on Friday. Miranda looked at me with a mouth of grilled cheese and asked, "Mommy, did I hurt you when I came out?"
Gary and I decided it was time to have "the talk". We had been talking about it for months now. We knew the day of the AFTH picnic would be as good a time as any.
We sat Miranda on the couch and took a seat on either side of her. We began by telling her how much we loved her. Then we reminded her that we were going to a picnic today that celebrates adoption. We asked her if she remembered what adoption meant. She shook her head no. So we said it is a word that means families are formed in lots of ways.
In a brief sentence or two, we told her that after Allie died, we couldn’t get another baby in my belly. So we found M who already had one, but was unable to do everything she wanted for her baby. So she picked us to be Miranda’s parents. We all met before Miranda was born and decided that mommy and daddy would be the ones to be the parents of this little baby. We brought her home from the hospital, and she’s been ours ever since.
That was pretty much it. I said something about how M will always be in her life, and if she has any questions, she can ask her or she can ask us. And it did not have to be today - it can be whenever she thinks of them.
Miranda simply smiled. Gary asked if we could all get hugs. Miranda happily complied. And that was that.
The foundation has been set. At the picnic, we made sure to point out that many of the children there were adopted. She seemed more interested in the ice cream truck, to be honest.
I think we are over one hurdle, but I am not sure what obstacles are still going to be in our way.
I hope that as long as we are open and honest with each other, we will be able to face anything.
I love being Miranda's mom. I know how lucky I am that I get to be the one she turns to, day in and day out. I know Gary loves being a dad - her dad - more than he ever thought possible. Here's to hoping that our love is enough to answer her questions and settle any fears. After all, love is all you need, right?