Thursday, August 15, 2013

Who's Mimi's Mommy?

She not quite 3 years old but the questions have started.  They started easy enough, "Mommy brown. Mimi brown. Daddy pink? Mimi pink?" We explained that we all have different skin colors and tones and even though Mommy and Mimi are brown, we are different browns and that's ok because that makes us each special.

But yesterday's question caught me off guard.

Noemi and I were in the kitchen. While I prepared dinner, Mimi played with the magnets and pictures on the fridge.  We have random pieces of Mimi art and family pictures of cousins, grandparents and friends at her eye level. We also have a picture of Rosita (Noemi's birthmom) holding Mimi as an infant.  I noticed that she had stopped playing and was studying the picture.  I explained like I had many times in the past, "That's Mama Rosita and baby Mimi!" She stared at the picture and with tears in her eyes asked "Rosita Mimi's mommy?" There was so much sadness and confusion in her voice.  My heart ached for my little girl as I watched it all dawn on her that she had another mommy who was not here.  I knelt down next to my princess and answered, "Yes, you have two mommies.  When you were a baby, you were in Mama Rosita's tummy." She leaned into me and hugged me but continued staring at the picture.  I continued, "she loved you so much she wanted to share you with mommy and daddy so you could live in Minnesota instead of Majuro".  She hugged me tighter and buried her head into my shoulder. We sat there for a few moments holding each other then she sighed and let go.  I asked her if she was sad and she said "yes".  I told her that everyone on that fridge loved her very much and that it was ok if she was sad.  She laughed, stretched and called me a pickle head.  All was right again in the world of a 2 year old. 

I'm not sure if I answered her question in accordance with the adoption books; I'm not sure if it even made any sense to her.  All I know is that the questions are starting and it makes me sad.  I'm sad that I don't know what to say. I'm sad that she was so hurt. I'm sad that at 2 years old she's trying to process her identity. Like most adoptive parents, I had rehearsed a million times in my head what I would say when that first question came. I always pictured it as a casual, "Mommy, when I was a baby, was I in your tummy?" kinda question. Then I would casually reply,"No, my tummy was broken and Mama Rosita loved you so much she decided it would be nice to share you with us"- or something along those lines. I never pictured kneeling on my kitchen floor hugging my sad 2 year old. 

We have not skyped with our birthmother like others families have. I'm wondering if it is now time. We've expressed interest before but have not been able to set up a time.  I think she needs to be reassured that she's loved and that Rosita is ok. We talk about Majuro and tell her the story of when we went to Majuro on an airplane (she loves airplanes!) to bring her home.  I have a feeling the next time I tell the story she's going to be listening more intently and ask more questions. 

We're on this journey together. Sometimes we'll laugh and I guess sometimes we'll cry but we'll do it as a family. A family that God created for a reason. 

Learn more about The Marshall Islands

Here's a link to the Marshall Island's Visitor Authority's website and their latest visitor guide: Lots of cool information about the RMI and beautiful pictures too.