Every adoptive mother wonders when that question will come.
We all know it will happen, sometime, someday, some hour, some minute – and we all wonder if we will have the strength to answer it well. There isn’t a right, or wrong way to do it, but it has to be done.
For us, it happened this summer. Jordan, now four and a half, just blurted it out as we were on a walk at our cabin in Wyoming. This Spring Break, 2013, had been a very uneventful one. Usually it was still snowy during this time of year, but not this year. It was warm, and when it’s warm in Wyoming, it doesn’t mean you will be wearing swimsuits and laying out, it means that the six feet of snow that gathered over the winter months, will all be draining of the roof, and down the dirt roads. It was wet, so instead of sleigh riding like Spring Breaks at the cabin in previous years, we were filling up a kiddie pool with warm tap water and snow from the deck, to play in.
The walk was an attempt to get out and see the beauty of the snake river emptying into the reservoir, and to breathe that fresh air that you only get in places far away from people and buildings. Jordan was holding my hand, as we rounded the corner and headed up the steep hill back toward our cabin.
“Sometimes I think of my other mommy.”
I couldn’t believe that he remembered her. He was only 18 months old when he came to live in our home. He had seen his biological mother once on a special Christmas visit, and didn’t show any sign of remembrance.
“Yes, sometimes I miss her, too.”
I didn’t quite know how I should feel. A flood of feelings rushed through me, like waves. Some cold, some hot. I didn’t feel jealous. I didn’t feel sad. I often wondered what I would feel like when I heard those words. I can say that I felt a unity of spirit. I felt like through the blessing of prayer, many people had been brought together, some older and some younger. I actually felt happy to know that he had some recollection of a life before me, where he was loved and cared for by many.
“Yes. So Mama?”
“Well, so when I was a little boy, she brought me to your house and asked if you would be my other mama?”
“Yes, sweet heart.”
“And you said yes, and the reason she asked is because you prayed to Heavenly Father for a little boy, and he sent me to you?”
“And Heavenly Father loves my first mama, and me, and you, and that is why I came to live with you and dad?”
“You are right, Jordan.”
I was proud. I teared up, and fell silent. Nobody had coached him, or told him what to say. He had picked up many conversations and compiled all those words into a simple, beautiful, story to share. I looked over the lodgepole pines, through my wet eyes, and thanked God once again for the gift of children. Some have come to me through child birth, and some through the blessing of adoption, fostering, or step parenting – but they all came to me for a reason. Every one of them has something to teach me, and I hope in turn, I can give back even a fraction of what they have given me.