Those are the words that fell out of my 2 ½ year old today at the dinner table. He said out of the blue “you went to ____ (the state where he was born) and adopted me when I was a baby.” I nearly fell out of my chair. I had a conversation with him a few nights ago about adoption after he watched a tv cartoon in which one of the characters flew to China and adopted a baby girl. He was very curious about the little character becoming a big brother and we talked for the rest of the day about the baby adopted from China. As I rocked him at bedtime that night I said to him that we adopted him just like the baby who was adopted from China. I told him how we drove to a special city and adopted him when he was a tiny baby. His response to me was something about how he didn’t want to go to China to adopt a sister. I smiled and thinking that he probably did not understand what I had told him, I left the conversation at that. So you can imagine my shock when he uttered those words to us at the dinner table tonight!
Of course in his toddler mind the abstract concept of adoption cannot be understood but I love that he is becoming familiar with the vocabulary of adoption and the seed of this concept is being planted. We have a few years before he is able to understand that he has a birthmother and did not come from my tummy. But until he is able to grasp that concept, I am so happy that he is growing up with the vocabulary of adoption and the concept from early on. I pray that he grows up to be confident and secure in his adoption. And I am hoping that the beginnings of that security are being planted now as we talk to him about adoption with joy and confidence.
Since our son was just a few days old, we have lovingly and joyfully told him that we adopted him. Most nights before I lay him down in bed I tell him how happy (that is the word I use, but “happy” does not even scratch the surface of how I feel!) I am to be his mommy. Tonight at dinner was the very first time I have ever heard him talk about his adoption. And he talked about it with a smile on his face. Through the ups and downs of life and the journey he will take of finding his identity as an adopted child in a transracial family, may that smile stay with him and may he know in the deepest part of his soul that he is loved, always our son.