Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Angels and Birthparents

This summer Zoe asked me, "Mama, do you think that when my birthparents die, God will send an angel to whisper it in my ear?"

Wow, how to answer that one? The truth is, we don't even know for sure that her birthparents are alive. And then there's the knotty theological question!

My answer, as usual, "I don't know, sweetie. It sounds like you've been thinking more about your birthparents. Let's talk about it."

Sure enough, the real question Zoe had was whether her birthparents are living or dead, and whether the reason they couldn't raise her was not really that silly one child policy, social preference for boys thing I've been talking aobut, but that they were dead. And my answer, "We really don't know."

Zoe is as frustrated hearing "I don't know" as I am saying it.


Wendy said...

I hate the not knowing too. It is so hard to keep repeating the "I don't knows". NO MORE SECRETS! I know I have many more years of this to come and deeper and deeper questions ahead, still hoping for a better answer.

bukimom said...

My daughter, too, finds it easier to believe that her birthmother is dead or very sick. She just can't imagine any other reason for why she couldn't raise her. At age 5, the one child policy doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I have tried to explain it, but then she worries that if we ever visit China, they will take away 2 of our 3 children! So, that leads to trying to explain that we follow America's rules, not China's rules, and so China cannot take away any of our children. As you can see, it is tricky to explain this in terms a 5 year old can grasp.

malinda said...


It is so hard to make any of this understandable to children, isn't it? But sharing these things at a young age are about the only option we have, even knowing that it will be years and years before our kids will be able to "get it." All we can do is work on the foundation, put up the scaffolding, and build the story year by year.

If it helps assuage your daughter's concern that the one child policy would affect your family when you go to China, you can tell your daughter that you know of an American lady -- me! -- who lived in China for 5 months with her TWO children from China, and NO ONE even tried to take away any of her children! And you can show her pictures on our Xiamen Adventure blog!