We spent a looooong time in the car yesterday. We visited a new Pumpkin Patch (new to us) since the girls were out of school, and it turned out to be much further from home than any of us expected. We went with a friend of Zoe's who is also adopted from China. On the way home, somehow or other the girls got onto the subject of what they would ask Jesus if they met him on the street. The conversation went on and on and on -- what does Heaven look like, what does God look like, who is the Holy Spirit, are the sidewalks in heaven really paved with gold, are you (Jesus) married in Heaven and do you have children????
At one point, one of the girls said she'd ask if Jesus knows when she'll die. I said that of course Jesus would know the answer to that, but he might not want to share it. "But Jesus can't tell a lie," another girl responded (maybe Maya? Hard to keep track with three little voices coming from the back!). I'm trying to explain the difference between lying and not telling, and Zoe pipes up, "Yeah, sometimes Maya and I don't want people to know we're adopted, so we just don't tell them. But we don't say we're NOT adopted."
Well, that turned the topic to adoption, and I asked, "Would you have any questions for Jesus about adoption?" [I asked about adoption generally, not necessarily quesitons about their adoptions, and there'd already been comments from more than one girl that Jesus had children because we're his children and it's like he adopted us.] Well, the floodgates opened! Our little friend shot her hand up in the air and laid out her list without a moment's hesitation:
"I'd ask Jesus who my birth parents are and if they are still alive. I'd ask why they couldn't keep me and do they have any other kids. I kind of have a temper (she does?! She's a complete sweetheart!), so I'd ask Jesus if I had a temper when I was a baby."
And then Zoe interrupted with her list of questions:
"I'd ask what do my birth parents look like, and are they in Heaven. And were they too poor to keep me, or did they have too many kids (our friend was sure it was because they had too many children). And how could they stay up so late as 3:00 a.m. since that's when I was born (yeah, like a lot of people have a hard time staying awake during labor!) and did I cry a lot as a baby, like when I came out?"
Hmm, I was a little concerned about the temper/crying thing, juxtaposed with questions about their birth parents, because I was wondering if maybe they were both thinking that they'd been "bad babies," and that's why their birth parents didn't keep them. I said, "You know, the reasons birth parents can't keep their babies are big grown-up reasons. Babies can't do anything wrong to make their parents decide not to parent them." The girls both recognized that language -- our friend said, "That's in an adoption book I have at home!" And Zoe said, "Yeah, my life book says that -- babies can't do anything wrong, they're just goo-goo ga-ga babies!" I was pleased to see that both girls felt so confident on the issue.
It was interesting how both girls had in mind what they'd ask Jesus about their adoptions; they've already identified the crux of the matter, all those questions we adoptive parents have to answer, "I don't know." The things they so clearly want to know.
So there's another tool for adoption talk -- what would you ask someone all-seeing, all-knowing?