Last night, Ty started the most thoughtful, insightful, conversation we have had about adoption, yet. Then...a few hours later, LJ shared his wisdom. It is amazing to me what these three year old boys are capable of processing and expressing.
First with Ty's story. We were making dinner and Ty said, "Did my first mama, Miss Rebekah, live here with my when I was a baby?"
Ben: No, but she took really good care of you in her belly before you were born.
Me: That's right. Remember how you were born in Colorado? Rebekah stayed in Colorado and we brought you home to Michigan.
Ty: Mom, did that make Miss Rebekah very sad not to live with me? [Insert lump in throat]
Ben: Yes, Ty. She was really sad...she loves you SO much.
Ty: Is she still sad?
Me: Miss Rebekah is sad that she doesn't get to see you every day, but she is so happy that you get to live with us.
Ty: We should go see her so that she can be really happy!
Me: We are going to do that in February, remember? You, and Mommy, and Daddy.
Ty: But, I want my brother to come.
Me: I know, but this is a very special trip that you get to take with Mommy and Daddy.
I think the conversation switched to cheese after that, but I was floored with the tenderness Ty showed. I am so excited to take Ty to see Rebekah in February, she hasn't seen him since he was around 20 months old. My how much has changed! It will be so cool to re-introduce Ty to his Colorado family, show him the hospital he was born in, the places we took him, and watch him interact with Rebekah. I am giddy with anticipation, it is going to be such a rich time!
Later that night, we were laying with the boys in their beds and LJ said, "Miss Rebekah is Ty's first mom."
Me: That's right, buddy.
LJ: Ty is adopted just like me.
Me: That's right, too.
LJ: 'Member how Buddy went to find his first dad?
LJ: Buddy went to find his first dad in that movie.
Me: Oh....that's right! LJ, you are so smart. What a good memory you have!
We watched Elf a few weeks ago and used it as an opportunity to talk about adoption (I had forgotten about that part of the story!)
I love that my boys are piecing together their stories and exploring the meaning of adoption. It breaks my heart, however, that Laron's story is spotty at best and, currently, void of first parents. We haven't decided what to do about that, yet. We keep going back and forth about whether or not we want to give LJ a special "G-Mama" (Godmother). Part of us feels like it's unnatural to fabricate an important figure, while the other part sees how he is already starting to reconcile his story with Ty's.
In talking about it tonight, Ben suggested finding a male mentor that shares his race to help teach him about his culture. We are still chewing on it, trying to determine what will be the most beneficial to our second born. I am also holding out hope that LJ's mom will respond to my letter (I haven't written it, yet). From everything I see on Facebook, it's far-reaching...but the mom in me has to try.
The dichotomy is difficult to parent. In no way can we reduce Ty's kinship with his first mom or pull back on the healthy, open relationship that exists, but watching LJ battle the difference in his story is heartbreaking. I'm not sure what the answer is, but I'm praying on it.
Either way, I am encouraged that my little lovers are secure and confident in our family and their respective adoptions. It's really fun watching them grow.