Happy Mother's Day

 May 8, 2011

Birth-mother, tummy mommy, belly mommy, first mom, bio mom... and me.

Happy mother’s day to all of us.


My girls have a complicated birth history.  By nature all adopted children do.  Not bad or unhappy necessarily.  Just complicated compared to the typical birth story.

Certainly more complexity than a four year old could possibly understand.

We are just now seeing the beginning of questions that will likely remain for many years.  A lifetime even.

For now the questions are innocent, matter of fact and without cunning, asked in between more pressing discussions about princesses and rainbows.

Lately it’s gone something like this...

“Mommy, my friends’s mommy has a baby in her belly.”

“oh that’s nice.”

“Was I in your belly when I was little?”

“No, you grew in another lady’s belly and after you came out  Mommy and Daddy got on a plane and”...(insert individual kid story)

Then the inventory begins....

“Was Kiefer in your belly?”


“Was Aidan in your belly?”


“Was Nolan in your belly?”

“That’s not fair.  Why I not in your belly?”

And so it begins the complicated story that no four year old can truly understand except perhaps to appreciate, even subtly, that something is unfair.

And even if they could understand adoption and reproduction and the social economic realities of third world countries what should I say?

Why weren’t you born to me? My dear daughters who make make my every cell ache for you, why indeed did your arrival in my life come in such an indirect fashion?

Couldn’t YOU my gifts from God, have arrived in the typical fashion? Would it not have been far simpler to get to know each other by kick and turn over the course of nine months?

Even at the innocent age of four it is a profound question.

And also unanswerable.

Because I only know MY part of the story.

I do not know the stories of the women to gave birth to them.  Not really. 

And I do not presume to know God’s plan. Much as I try.

I only know MY heart. 

So at least for now my answer is simply...

“I am your mommy but you did not grow inside me.  You grew in another mommy’s tummy. I wish you were able to grow in my tummy but since you could not I am glad that the other mommy let you grow in hers so I could adopt you because I love you and I am your mommy.”

How do you address this topic with your adopted children?  How have you altered the story as your children have grown?

Also I would love to hear from a birth-mother perspective....how would like we adoptive mothers to handle this question?

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