Processing

April 21, 2009

Camille's drawing on the bottom of a shopping list during our stay in Orlando: "Look, Mama. There's me crying and my Taiwan Mama is holding me. You and Noah were looking for me. I am a baby."

This past weekend at a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant (grill in middle of table and seated with strangers). The chef accidentally broke an egg while trying to preform a trick and said "Hmm, bad egg. Must be from China". Everyone laughed. We didn't.

A few months ago Noah asked: "How much money did we spend to get Camille?". I didn't give a specific answer. Talked about how it costs money to have children whether it happens through adoption or birth, talked about how we loved both of them very much, talked about we wanted our family to grow. He interrupted me to say "I bet we could have used that money in a better way". Very matter-of-factly. Not angrily. I have dealt with the money question from strangers, but never really quite prepared myself for it from my son.

Drawing, digesting, questioning....processing.
morninglight mama said...

Wow. I just shared this, and your older linked post, with my husband-- and we talked about the whole idea of no one ever asking how much a biological child 'cost.' Not a thought I've ever had, so I appreciate your perspective as an adoptive parent. As usual, your posts have evoked real emotional responses in me!

Dawn said...

That is so much to process...
It is a prespective and experience I have often thought about... ie. How to handle all of those issues that would come up. I had many students who were adopted and it was very intresting to hear their perspectives as teenagers... but I never really got an insight into the parental veiwpoint!
Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

Chinazhoumom said...

From the mouths of babes...

Francesca said...

Stereotypes come from ignorance, and they are easy to explain although not easy to deal with. Your children's questioning is fair, like any questions that deal with origins: why and where do I or my family come from? And I think you have the answers, and have thought long and deep about it. Not easy though ...

Tara said...

Certainly comments like these would give me pause as well.

Thankfully your son will have the benefit of your kindness and love helping him sort this out.

Tisra said...

I want to know what you said to his comment- or did you just let the matter of fact statement go without response. I could totally see one of my kids saying that about Dorothy. Especially since they've seen us fundraise lately for all the costs.

craftymama said...

during the hand-washing at our Seder, Asa said he's like to wash away Maxine. it must be a powerful confusing feeling- love for your younger sister combined with wishing she didn't exist (maybe i am reading too much into Noah's $$ comment...)

Jenny said...

I also wonder what questions we will get from Baby Matthew, Will and strangers about Matthew's adoption. I keep hoping I will be able to come up with the right answers for the appropriate and inappropriate questions I know we will get. (I have already been asked how much Matthew "cost" us as well.) Thanks for sharing your experiences, hopefully it will help me get through those awkward moments as well!

Corinne said...

I love how open and patient you are. What a great example to other adoptive parents :)

Weasel said...

Thank you so much for sharing, and reminds me to remember to answer all questions as honestly as possible, especially with our children.
I find it difficul putting words to emotions and ideas for our children that I am still processing as an adult. Buddist teachings of "Keep it simple grasshopper" ring in my ear...and you seem to do this so well.

Cami said...

You know, I got the same kind of feeling from this post (as innocent as it was coming from a child) as I do when people say I should adopt because my first two had autism. It's so hard to explain the entire process of deciding how to create your family to those who don't understand. For me, I know the risks of having more children with autism, but it is worth it. I don't love my children less because of the hard work they have been (and are). I'm sure you don't love Camille less because of how much she cost. I'm sure he'll feel differently in the future. I bet my son would have said something like, "What? We could have bought like 500 Nintendo D.S.s with that money!"

Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish said...

Thank you for all of the thoughtful comments. I will try to write a follow-up post soon.

suna said...

love those "head footer".
thinking about adoption, glad to have your blog.

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