Out of The Mouth of 10-Year Olds


I was taking Luke, my newly minted 10-year old, to the doctor this morning.  He was in the back seat chattering away about a new book series he has started reading. The main characters find out they are adopted and set off on a quest to find their “real parents.”

My heart skipped a few beats when he said, “I can’t even image what it would be like to be adopted, to grow up not knowing you and Matthew and Poppy and Dad. That would be (he paused for several moments) – that would be such a tragedy to never know you guys and to have to grow up with someone else, without my real family.  I mean, the other family might be nice and all, but they wouldn’t be you and that would be terrible because you are the best mom a boy like me could ever want. I don’t even want to think about it. (Another long pause). I would be so sad to not know Poppy but I wouldn’t know why I was sad because I wouldn’t know about her – there would just be someone missing and I would hurt and I wouldn’t know why.”

I agreed – it would be a great tragedy to not have him in our family. I didn’t need to remind him of his older sister, the one who shares the same Ghiradelli chocolate brown eyes as his. She’s never far from his thoughts.

We both fell silent. I knew exactly what he was thinking because it is a question he has asked me many times before. How can I miss my sister when I don’t even know her?

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5 thoughts on “Out of The Mouth of 10-Year Olds

    • He is a very perceptive child and *extremely* verbose for his age (always has been). It was interesting – and heartbreaking – to see his mind churning over this issue as he told me about the book and then see the realization dawn across his face that he had a sister that had grown up adopted and had perhaps experienced some of the same feelings he was describing he might have if he had been raised by people who were not his natural family. When he talked about how he would be sad about not being with Poppy, even though he wouldn’t even know about her if he was adopted out of the family, that’s when the light really went on for him. I could see the question in his little 10-year old boy face, “Is my older sister ever sad that she doesn’t know me?”

      These are the conversation adoption counselors will never prepare a woman for, will never even hint she might have with her future children because honestly, which of us would do this to our children if we really knew the cost it would extract from them, both the one lost to adoption and the ones left behind?

    • Thanks for asking, everyoneactdead. While there has been some contact, it has not be the blossoming of any kind of friendship I had hoped for. I try to keep the details of it all from public scrutiny so I don’t write about it much, if any.

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