…when your child comes up to you when you’re distracted with cleaning for a party and asks you an unexpected, intense question. That kind of moment.
He was just looking at our family calendar hanging near my desk. It’s the family calendar I put together for both sides of our extended family that includes birthdays, anniversaries, and name days on it. It’s quite extensive. He comes up to me and asks, “Mom…..who is X?”
Suddenly the grime on the microwave wasn’t nearly as important to me as it was 10 seconds ago. Inside I’m desperately wishing there was a parent manual on how to respond to him. Inside I’m quickly trying to decide how I’m going to handle this in the most sensitive manner possible.
A family member of ours gave her child up for adoption when she was a teenager and this child’s birthday is on our calendar. My boys are already sensitive to the topic of adoption given their situation. Just a couple of weeks ago one of my boys told me they didn’t understand how a mom could ever not want their baby.
You see how intense this question became from the moment it left his lips.
I explained to him who the person was and that this person was given up for adoption when they were a baby. “It was difficult for this baby’s mommy to care for the baby at that moment in time given their situation. She loved her baby sooooo much that she went looking for a family who would take care of her child exactly how she wished she could…but couldn’t. She found a wonderful couple who couldn’t have children of their own but hoped and prayed for a family. They were overjoyed when this person asked if they wanted to adopt her baby. So the baby went home from the hospital with this family and was loved and cared for by this husband and wife.”
“How did the baby eat then?” Given that they see me nursing Gabriel.
“Well…you can feed babies with mommy milk or with a bottle. Mommy milk is best but if for whatever reason a baby can’t have mommy milk then doctors have made a special milk that babies can drink instead from a bottle.”
And the conversation ended unceremoniously as I apparently gave them a content answer. Thank you Lord.