Jul 19, 2011


Sara Madalin is in the stage where she asks a million questions ALL THE TIME. At least, I'm hoping it's a stage. If she is anything like her Daddy (and she often appears to be), it may not be a stage but rather a trait she'll carry throughout her life. She honestly asks questions about everything. "Why do I have two arms Mommy? Why dat man not have any teeth? Is dat a boy or girl Mommy? (As we pass a woman with short hair.)" And every time we answer a question, it is often followed by "Why?"

Well, Monday morning as I was checking in at the gym, the receptionist, who's seen Sara Madalin with me all summer, asked me, "Where did she get all that curly hair? And it's blonde, and you have red hair." I'm accustomed to people asking me that question. And most times, without hesitation, I reply, "She's adopted and her birthmother has curly hair just like that." (The only time I don't reply with that response is when it's someone in passing that it would just take too long to explain or discuss. But that is rare.) So, anyway, I responded by telling her that SM gets her curly hair from her birthmother. As we walked away I got the first (of many, I'm sure) questions that I've been anticipating for the past 3 years. Sara Madalin said, "Are you my birthmother?"

I've wondered how I would respond when she started asking questions. I've wondered what kind of questions she would have. How much can she really understand at this age? How much should I try to explain to her? I was caught somewhat off guard, but not completely. I had just spoken with our adoption counselor last week about when to try and start talking to her about her adoption story. She told me that I could probably expect her to start asking questions in the next year or so, especially since we are so open and vocal with the fact that she is adopted. It was almost as if SM knew she was supposed to start asking questions now.

So, she asked me, "Are you my birthmother?" and I responded with the first, and most basic answer I thought she could understand. I said, "No baby, I'm your Mommy. Your birthmother is Sayra." And I waited for the next question. But, for a child that asks a million questions a day, that was enough of an answer and she went on to the next thought or question on her mind.

I want her life and story to be something that she is as proud to share as we are. I pray that God gives me words to speak to her that help her in that area as she grows and questions more and more. I'm thankful for the open relationship we have with her birth family. Our prayer is that they will be an asset as we tell her about her adoption and teach her how precious she is to all of us. If I could, I'd like to ask those of you who read and are friends and family, please pray for us as we answer her questions, and that the answers we give her will be God-ordained. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be her Mommy. I'm thankful that she is so inquisitive and so smart. I just pray that God gives me the right answers for her.

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Kelli said...

We've never met, but I've prayed many prayers for your family :) I have said another prayer for you all again this morning specifically regarding the adoption questions and answers!

The Glenn Gang said...

One of my favorite things about the blog is how she will always be able to look back and know how much she was loved by you and Sayra's family. Her identity will never be in question because any questions she has will be answered just by reading. And, she will always be glad that God called her friend Jonah's Daddy to be a pastor in Florida so she could go to Disney World! See, so much to be thankful for!!

Penny said...

I went through the same type of questions during my first marriage. I married at 18 and became the instant stepmother to two children (7 and 2). Within weeks of my wedding, their mother gave my ex custody. By the time I was 19, I had three children. Since I am a natural blonde (brown, now) and the stepchildren were dark brunettes, plus our ages did not match, I got the "Are these yours???" question a lot. I didn't refer to those kids as "step" in front of them. So, I'd simply say, "Yes." I was taken aback by the boldness of some strangers that would continue the questioning. Some would even say, "Does their mom ever see them?," if I answered they were steps. This is in front of my kids. I finally started answering strangers, "Yes, they are mine~ by my husband's first marriage." Before they could figure that one out, I'd politely walk away. lol
In your case, especially with strangers, I'd simply say that her curls "run in the family." It's definitely true. You are a great mom and God is going to give you the answers to Sara Madalin's questions~ just as surely as he gave her to you. I think you did the right thing keeping this first answer short and simple with SM. You probably won't have to answer other people's questions much longer. SM will probably be glad to explain where she got her curls and all about adoption. And she'll probably answer questions even the nosiest strangers think to ask. :)
Nicki, I think SM already has the identity thing down pat. You'll notice she questioned Malinda's identity. She didn't ask who she was. ;)

Ms. Shirley said...

Praying God's hand of direction as you start answering those type questions. I think you have handled things beautifully!!
She just tickles me with all that posing for pics.

Stacy said...

When my kids were little someone told me that when they ask what time it is they don't need to know how the clock works. I loved that and I've tried to remember to answer the question at hand. They seem to ask the questions for which they are ready to hear the answer. I will praying for you as you answer questiosn for the next 100 years or so :)

Coley said...

I am a birthmom and stumbled upon your blog and have enjoyed reading all your adoption posts.

I'm also originally from MS.