Saturday, July 29, 2006

First Mother

Talk about L is coming easier and more frequently now from BJ. The other night at dinner she looked up at her father and I and said.."When I was in my first mother's tummy, did I have gills?".

Last night after a discussion about whether or not another job opportunity might cause us to move back from where we left last summer, BJ said.. why can't we move back to (city where she was born)? I know she doesn't remember that place. I asked her why she would want to go there, what does she remember from (city)? She said some very vague things like I had friends, I went to preschool.

So I said. L doesn't live there anymore. "Who is L?" Your first mother. Oh. She doesn't? Why?

"She moved back to where she grew up.... Is that why you wanted to move back there?"

BJ said softly from the back seat (its always the car, I tell ya) - I never got to see her.

My response was - hopefully honey someday you will.

Oh please Lord, hopefully someday.

On another note, I am so pleased that the increase in discussion about L hasn't seemed to create much distress for BJ interms of her feelings about our family. Other than one or two articulations dealing with initial confusion, she seems to be comfortable expressing sadness and desire of L in one breath and affection and love for me in another. They don't seem linked or guilt reactions. Both just genuine expressions as they pour out of her. I feel full of joy when I see how comfortable she is in her emotions and how loving a child she is. My BJ is articulate, a little bit wild, a lot of fun, high energy, her own person, extremely caring and helpful..and I am beginning to have faith that she is also well on the road to a healthy self image that fully incorporates her adoption and history but does not define herself by it.

I do think that the repetition of "I never got to see her" is a message to me that before she hits the teen years, she is going to need to see L if at all possible. I figure I have about 3-4 years to take our time and do it gentle. After that it is going to get critical.

I think we are going to send a Christmas Card. That can't invade anyone's privacy can it? The most nosy anyone could say if they saw it is-- who is this? or wow - that kid looks like you? Who is it?

Sunday, July 16, 2006


We just celebrated BJ's birthday. The first since I actually tried to make contact with L. I wondered if I would hear something back now. It has been almost four months. We didn't. It's OK. But it is interesting to find myself wondering at each milestone, if this will be the trigger for a response.

PS - thanks for the kind comments ladies. This has really been a place to process, but am also using it now as a record of conversations. Obviously there is much more that happens in our lives, but this blog focuses on recording and writing through this aspect of our lives and selves. It does help to know that there are people who will support, gently provide perspective, ask questions, as I do this in a semi-public forum. (never could be as diligent in a paper journal -isn't that odd?)

Yes, we need this record

A few weeks ago, before my home computer died, BJ and I were going through a drive through window in the car. (I tell you, its always in the car - lol). She said to me, mom... you know my real mom... I mean... you are my real mom... but you know..; the other...

I know she didn't see my face, so I am sure her editing her use of "real" mom wasn't in reaction to me, even though I don't think I reacted. Internally, I had maybe a twinge - but it wasn't intense. She was struggling so I helped... I just said ... L? and she said - yes, L.. and went on with what she wanted to ask me.

I know I need this blog as a record of our journey now, because this was 3 weeks to a month ago and I remember that she struggled over "real", but I can't remember what it was she wanted to say or ask that she brought it up herself. I wish I had written it down, but I sense it was anticlimatic or something we had talked about before, or not really about L... I don't remember.

Friday, we were on a plane and BJ leaned into me and said... "how did you get me?" I was distracted and said - get you where? She said, how did my first mother get me to you? I said she went to a social worker who had lots of families and the social worker picked us to be your family. That was the end of the conversation. She was satisfied. A week before we had been at the home of friends of some extended family members. They had adopted their son from foster care when he was 4 and he is now 11. He was talking about the security gate at the courhourse the day the adoption was finalized and how we wasn't going to let them take a stuffed bunny he had. BJ didn't say anything, but later that night I asked her how it felt when N was talking about his adoption. BJ said "weird". Then later she said - "how was I adopted" I told her we went to a judge too, and you wore a polkadot dress, that I have in my hope chest. BJ said- oh, we have the tinkerbell outfit there too (that she wore when she was two).

Yesterday, we were walking across a park and there was a sand volleyball game going on. BJ and I were holding hands and eating snow cones. It had been a fantastic morning- very special, one on one time. We had been talking about her playing soccer in the fall and gymnastics in the spring. Trying to find the sport she loves. She had asked about volleyball last year, but you have to be in 4th grade where we live. I saw the volleyball game ahead of us and I said.. "L loves sand volleyball." A pause, then I said, I know you wanted to try volleyball, but we have to wait till 4th grade. BJ said. I don't want to play volleyball. Very tight lipped. I don't know if it was because she wants to play soccer and is tired of me putting other options in front of her (I don't like soccer), or she felt pulled between wanting to identify with L during this very intense close morning we had (she had actually hugged me earlier in the morning and said something she has never said before... I love you more than...daddy!... of course I responded that she doesn't need to choose between us -she can love us both!...

Anyway - I want to remember these details because the last few weeks are the first times BJ has brought up adoption or L questions on her own without it being tied to emotional vetting. She is picking up on my casual tone, or testing if it is OK really, or maybe just is feeling more confident.

I want her to have this record too when she is older of how she integrates this.

Oh, when I told her about L loves sand volleyball... she did say - "who is L". I paused as some strangers passed by, and then said your birthmother... then I corrected myself and said firstmother.. I asked BJ - do you like firstmother better (since she had used that term on the plane for the first time) BJ just smiled and nodded her head.

We are getting through this, her and I.

Two or three times this month she has said something about sisters and I feel it on the tip of my tongue to tell her about her bio half brothers. I just don't know if that will be hurtful to her right now... I want her to know sooner than later, but I want her to digest "L" first, I want to find that right age/stage where she can be old enough to understand, but young enough where it is not a huge reveleation....praying. God knows the right moment.