Courtesy: Lizzy Yates Photography
The thing about being an adoptive family is that there is this very obvious reality that your family could be composed of different people. If you’re biologically connected, there are these sort of cosmic thoughts of belonging and could your soul have been in some other body, born to some other parents, but it is a matter of fact that chance played a very big role in how our family came together.
Some people believe God divinely planned each step of the process. I find that theology a tiny bit troubling, but well-intentioned at its’ core. It’s a nice idea, that God decided that Jackson should be our son, planned this before time and space and created the circumstances to lead him on a direct path to us alone. Maybe it’s semantics, but I have a hard time with the notion that God had a young woman in Texas intentionally in a vulnerable position so that we could be parents. Certainly, I do believe all of us benefit from this arrangement, but sometimes “chance” feels more palatable to me than “divine intention” in these discussions. The fact remains that he was very much a wanted child. There was quite literally a line of people who wanted very much to give him a home. He could have had other parents.
I’ve known for some time, one day that realization would hit him. I didn’t really know how or when. I thought I might feel rejected on some level when he figured this out. But it was so silly and perfectly boring that none of those things happened.
We ran by the bank after school yesterday. I told him if he was well-behaved that I would take him to Sonic for a slushy before his last soccer practice that was going to be a make-up game. Lately, he’s been asking about when he was a baby, when he was born, when he went to baby school, things like that. He asked again about when he was in my belly. I reminded him again that he was never in my belly, but that he was in his birth mom’s belly.
J: Was it wet in there?
Me: Yep. It was wet and you sloshed around.
J: *lots of gross noises to pretend he hated it, but loved it.” But how did I get out of my birth mom’s belly?
So now he’s officially asked me one part of the two-part mega dollar question. For the record, if he asks me how he got *in* his birth mom’s belly, I swear to God, I’m telling him it was magic.
Me: When you were fully cooked, the doctor used a knife, cut open her belly, and pulled you out.
J: Was I covered in wet and blood?!
Me: YES! You were covered in blood and goop and glob and all kinds of wet stuff.
Both: *gross noises pretending we hated it*
Me: And then she brought you to me and your dad, because we’re supposed to be your parents.
J: So could someone else have been my parents?
Me: Well, I guess so. But we were supposed to be, so that’s why we are.
J: I wish I had Ross’ parents.
Me: *laughing* Oh really? Why is that?
J: Because Ross has really cool Ninja toys.
Me: I can see why that would be nice. But I’m awfully glad I get to be your mom.
J: Yeah. Can we go to Sonic now? I was good in the bank. I want a red slushy.
So here’s the thing. I didn’t feel rejected or sad or hurt. I felt so comforted. He talks to me. He tells me what he’s thinking. He asks me questions. I was overcome with gratitude. He must feel so safe and loved. When the only “complaint” about his life is Ross has better toys, and that wasn’t even all that serious. Mostly, just an observation. You know, if he gets to pick, wouldn’t it be nice to pick cool toys?
I know he could have been someone else’s little boy. But I am so unbelievably glad he’s ours.