Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Night Mommy

A couple days after Kate's comments about China, Kate woke up with a bloody nose, then came in my room.(She gets bloody noses a lot when it's dry out.) I decided to migrate downstairs because someone (who shall remain nameless) was snoring. Kate of course followed suit.

She was wrapped up in a cozy blanket at one end of the couch, and I was on the other.
"Oooohh Mommy. I like this...I'm all snug-uly, bug-uly!
I love you Mommy...and Daddy.
You make my heart happy."

"You make my heart happy too, Sweetie."

It's 4:00 in the morning and I'm sooo sleepy.
Just as I'm drifting off, I hear a whispered,
"I'm glad God picked me out for you."

"Me too. I'm glad God picked you out for me too.
Night little girl."
"Night Mommy."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Want To Go Back To China.....(I'm sorry, what?)

So after church, we went to Souplantation. Kate is very nicely eating her macaroni-and-cheese, and in between bites says, "I wanna go back to China."

She has said this to me before, once or twice, very calmly and matter-of-factly.
Instead of listening to her words, I try to "hear" what she's feeling.

"What do you think you would do there, Kate?" I ask.
"I would go in my crib and play with my Chinese friends."

"Well, you actually have a lot of Chinese friends here." (There is also a new FCC activity/play group for Kindergarten and pre-K kids starting up in a few weeks that we'll be taking Kate to.)

As she puts another big bite in her mouth, I have to listen closely as she says "I'm starving for Chinese food and for
ChineseLand. I want to go back to China."

Ryan pipes up cheerfully with "You'll never go back to China, Kate." and nicely pats her leg reassuringly. Kevin quickly adds, "Well, we can go back to visit." Colton says "Won't you miss us Kate?" and (Kevin leans in and whispers "She's only 4, and you're confusing two separate issues. It's not a matter of being right or wrong, it's just a matter of being supportive of what she says and how she feels.")

"It's sad my Chinese parents live in ChineseLand. I miss them, Mama. I want to go to China and see my Chinese parents. I just miss them."

"I know, baby."
And then it was over. She went back to eating her lunch, and on to another topic,...I think it was 'can we get ice cream'.

So we have officially begun the emotional journey Kate will be on to understand her life, her heritage, and how she came to be living in San Diego with a house full of brothers.
Before when she had brought it up, I asked her who would take care of her, and she said 'the Chinese ladies at the orphange'. (Good answer). I tried to explain to her that most, if not all of her "friends" have probably been adopted and are now living in America. I pointed out that her brothers and Mommy & Daddy, Murphy, the cats, her preschool, her new ballet/gymnastics class are all here in San Diego.

How do you explain to a 4 year old that while your "life", and family who love you are here, your biological family and heritage is in another country, across the sea. Somehow, I think she already knows. It's confusing to her, but she knows something isn't the way it was supposed to be. She looks at me and smooths the hair away from my face, the way I always do to her, and smiles at me.

I'm glad she talks to me about her feelings of China and her biological parents. I don't ever want her to feel this is a "taboo" subject. I try to help her understand, without giving her an overload of information. (Like when she asked me if she came out of my tummy, and I said, no, you came out of your Chinese mommy's tummy. I don't want her to feel like she just fell out of the sky one day.)
I just began reading "Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child", and one of the points they make early on is that "a child is never "too young" to remember losing a primary caregiver who represented the world and safety when he was an infant, baby or toddler."
How was that for timing!

ps. Two days ago, Kate told Kevin and I, "When I get old and grow up, I'm going to have a Chinese baby....just like you!" What a great kid!