Before we traveled to China to adopt Maya in March 2005, Zoe and I talked a lot about adoption. A few days after she turned 4, she wanted to know if she would meet her birthparents when we were in China. I explained that we couldn't meet them since we didn't know their names or where they lived.
Zoe was just getting the hang of the telephone and could dial Mimi & Grandpa's number all by herself, and knew generally what a phone book was. So, she asked, "Can't we look them up in the phone book and call them?" So we go over the we-don't-know-their-names part. Zoe was disappointed, so I suggested we make a pretend phone call to her birthparents.
Zoe was delighted by the suggestion, and excitedly turned her hand into a phone and busily punched in pretend phone numbers. The conversation went like this:
"Hi, birthmother, this is Zoe! Thank you for growing me in your tummy. I love you, even though you couldn't adopt me. Bye!"
We did this many more times before leaving for China. I made sure to remind her that we wouldn't be able to meet her birthparents in China, because I didn't want her to be terribly disappointed when it didn't happen.
Well, Zoe definitely understood the part about not being able to meet her birthparents. But the minute we touched down in Guangzhou, she began to babble excitedly about being in China and about going to meet her birth GRANDparents. It hadn't occurred to me that we needed to explain that we wouldn't be meeting ANYONE in her birthfamily since we didn't know their names or where they lived. Sigh.
Grieving the Unknown.
3 days ago