Thursday, September 11, 2008

Advice from Zoe

While I drove her to school, Zoe asked me what I was going to blog about today (she seems really to love that I'm blogging about her!), and I told her I was trying to decide what to write about. I asked her what advice she had for kids like her who were wondering about their birth parents.

Zoe: I'd tell them that they should ask their moms about their birth parents.

Me: But what if they get frustrated like you do, because their moms don't know much about their birth parents?

Zoe: I'd tell them that sometimes parents don't know answers to all the questions, but it's ok to ask anyway.

Me: What advice would you give kids if they got mad or sad when thinking about their birth parents?

Zoe: They should talk to their parents about their feelings. Or maybe to their Mimi or Grandpa.

Me: When did you start thinking and wondering about your birth parents?

Zoe: When I was five. (She said it with such assurance, like she really knew definitively when it was, but I'm not sure she does).

Me: Before we went to live in China? Before we went to get Maya?
Zoe: Before we went to get Maya. (she was 4.5 when we went to get Maya)

Me: What did you first wonder about them?
Zoe: I wondered what they looked like, what their faces looked like.

Me: What do you think they look like?
Zoe: Like my face, I think.
Me: What advice would you give to kids who wonder what their birth parents look like?
Zoe: They could look in a mirror. And then they could use their imagination.
Me: I think you're a really smart cookie.
I'm really astonished by how mature Zoe is becoming! This summer has been a huge growth period for her emotionally. I wonder if the maturity has come from dealing with her adoption issues, or whether the maturity allowed her to deal with her issues. In any event, I'm in awe of how wonderfully she is handling all of this. Yes, she gets angry, and frustrated, and melancholy -- but as long as she's talking, I'm thrilled.
(The picture is from her graduation from Xiada kindergarden (in China). It just seemed appropriate to illustrate my smart cookie's advice column!)


Wendy said...

I think she should have her own advice column. It seems M's biggest issues right now are what her birthparents look like and their names--I have told her, like Zoe says to look in a mirror, it really comforts her I think. She was having horrible nightmares at the end of her three's where she thought they looked like monsters and were coming to get her. With time she has accepted that indeed look like her and that they are people who have goods and bads.

Thank you Zoe. You are a helper for my daughter I know and I am glad you are sharing your feelings, it helps to talk about things and especially for other kids adopted like you from China it helps to talk with other kids who have the same feelings and questions.

Chinazhoumom said...

Zoe Rocks !
She is one smart cookie! Just like her mama!

Give her a hug fm all the kids that will benefit from her honesty!
Carol and Kimberly in FL

zoe'sfriendsyd said...

I can't tell you enough how far ahead Zoe is in her understanding and comprehension of adoption. I was very surprised the other night when Sydney asked me this in rapid speech:
"Am I an American? Because it is confusing for me since I was born in China. I mean, I am Chinese." I said "Yes, you are Chinese and you are also an American. Because you are Chinese, you are Chinese American." She said "That is too confusing. Am I REALLY an American?" I said "Yes, you are an American. You are my daughter, and have American Citizenship papers."
She said "Do I have to take the test later, since I was a baby when I got the papers?" I said "No, you were automatically an American when you became my daughter."
I still have a simmering feeling that I didn't do my job in communicating that most important point to her over the past...6 1/2 years! Mommy guilt - it never ends....