Thursday, January 31, 2008

Troubling

I don't remember exactly how the conversation started, but I heard my daughter say "but nobody can buyed me anymore 'cause I'm yours". WHAT!!!????!!!!! After asking her to clarify, she repeated the same thing. She thinks we bought her? So after being utterly flabbergasted, I finally say "honey, we didn't buy you". I continue to tell her that we buy groceries and shoes, but not people. We did have fees to pay to the Chinese government and to the U.S. government and we gave money to her orphanage to pay for her diapers and her milk while her nannies were caring for her I explain in earnest. Buttons then pipes in with "and my nuks too" which shows me she's understanding this a bit more, but I'm still having trouble grasping this. I tell her that anytime someone is brought into a family by either an adoption, birth or marriage, there are fees. We're having the fees discussion at 3?

Before, during and after Buttons' adoption we read books about attachment, racism, and the plain ol' dumb questions people ask with International Adoption. We started talking early with Buttons about her adoption in age appropriate language. She takes pride in the fact that she was born in China and has a very basic understanding about her nanny (an ayi in Chinese) and her birth mother and father. After learning that many children who are adopted think they weren't born like other children but adopted instead, we talk about her birth as being a separate occasion from our family day.

Now, about the fees. People have asked me about the money for an adoption. I explain that there are fees involved, but I don't discuss the amount and I try to deflect after that. If someone has an honest interest, I'd much rather give them names of some adoption agencies or get them started on the internet rather than give them a monetary amount. I'd rather talk about the experience of adoption and how wonderful it's been for us and so many others. I'm careful. So where did she learn this? Did someone say something? Did she hear things and put together her own interpretation? She's so aware that it surprises me sometimes.

I had prepared myself for some of the difficult questions, but I didn't know I'd be answering them for my three year old. And so it begins...

Labels: ,

9 Comments:

At January 31, 2008 at 8:47 PM, Blogger Imperatrix said...

Troubling, yes. But you're right that it may just be her trying to interpret the world around her. From what you've shared on your blog, she's definitely a smart cookie!

And, to come at this from another, more troubling, angle: When Trixie was little, she picked up on the whole "birth process is painful" thing. So she told us that she would not be birthing any babies, she would adopt them. That's a great idea, we responded. "And then they can do my chores!" Euuuuuurmmmm, no.

 
At February 1, 2008 at 12:51 PM, Blogger wzgirl said...

Yes, buttons is a smart little cookie. And, so practical...thinking of fees and all.

I think that it is awesome that she has brought this to you - her thoughts & maybe her fears. "No one can buyed me anymore...cause' I'm yours" - seems like sorting through the whole Forever Family thing. Hard, but good. You are doing such a great job!

 
At February 1, 2008 at 2:21 PM, Blogger Robin said...

My goodness - wow. That would have thrown me off as well. Buttons is such a smart little girl that I'm sure that she will continue to challenge you with great questions/issues!

 
At February 1, 2008 at 2:46 PM, Blogger Katie J said...

Imperatrix, Buttons goes from having a "baby in her tummy" to "'dopting a baby from China" all the time. Nothing about chores though.

wzgirl...I am SOOO glad she's coming to me with her thoughts and fears and I hope she's still doing that through her teen years as well. Thanks for being such a great cheerleader for me.

Robin...Ya know, I'm not into sports and rarely use the analogies, but she's gonna throw me some curve balls, fast balls and I think I'm going to feel like I'm in the batting cage where they just keep comin'.

 
At February 2, 2008 at 8:46 PM, Blogger Ashley Winters said...

Kids do come up with crazy things. My oldest used to always say that I was the best mommy she ever had!

 
At February 4, 2008 at 12:37 PM, Blogger walternatives said...

I'm joining wzgirl's cheerleading squad here (where are those pom-poms?).

It IS awesome that she's expressing herself and bringing it to you, without trepidation. All your previous work (books, discussions, etc) built the foundation. Can you share your list of toddler-friendly adoption books with the rest of us that are waiting?

 
At February 4, 2008 at 7:04 PM, Blogger Rony said...

Good golly I would have been speechless. More so because she thought she was purchased. Ugh. I guess I have that to look forward to. Your little Buttons is a schmart cookie.

 
At February 6, 2008 at 11:58 PM, Blogger Beth said...

There are times when I find myself speechless in this whole parenting thing. It sounds like you handled this curveball very well!

 
At February 8, 2008 at 9:00 AM, Blogger Gina said...

Buttons has a great future as a stock-market broker. It's hard to imagine talking to a toddler about fees. I don't know what I'd do. I think adoption is fabulous but I really don't know if I could handle those kinds of issues. You're SUPER MOM!

 

Post a Comment

<< Home