Friday, April 2, 2010


The girls and I had a rollicking dinner last night, marked by many completely ridiculous April Fools jokes and many repetitions of one of our newest favorite sayings -- "You rock more than cheese!"

One of Zoe's classmates put that on a thank you note to me for teaching the class about trials and taking them on a field trip to a courtroom to put on a mock trial based on the Emperor's New Clothes. Anyway, the little boy who invented the phrase is named Nicholas and goes by Nickel. Maya asked why they called him Nickel, and I said jokingly that it was because he was worth a nickel. Maya, with her usual grasp of high finance, said with awe, "That's a lot of money!"

I then said that children really can't be priced -- they're worth so much they can't have a pricetag, they're priceless.

Zoe responded immediately, in a gleeful "gotcha" voice, "That's not true! You paid money when you adopted us!"

I've posted before about the "money in adoption" conversation with kids, saying I hadn't yet had that talk with mine. Well, now I have!

I told Zoe that I paid money, but the money wasn't for buying them, it was for paying the people who helped me adopt. I explained about fees to the agency, to the U.S. government, to the Chinese government, to the orphanage. I reminded them that we paid people for all kinds of help, like teachers and doctors and plumbers and landscapers.

I also told the kids that sometimes people get confused about what the money in adoption is for, and will ask things like, "How much did she cost?" What, I asked, should I say in response? (Mostly I wanted them to have practice answering the question if it comes up when I'm not there.) Zoe said I should explain about how we pay for HELP not for children. Maya piped up with, "Just tell them I'm priceless!"


Cynthia said...

I can remember having a similar conversation with my mother when I was very young--but I wasn't adopted. I asked her what would have happened if she hadn't been able to afford to pay for me at the hospital--would the hospital have kept me and given me to someone who had more money to pay? She assured me that although there were costs to pay the hospital and the doctors and nurses that helped me be born and helped her while she was recovering, she didn't have to pay any money for me because I was "priceless."

Tonya said...

Daniel (adopted at age 6) has this same conflict inside his little heart that I have not been able to help him resolve. I guess he was told that rich American's "buy" kids from orphanages in China. We keep talking and loving him and eventually know that he will see truth and choose to believe momma. There are days when I feel like I'm reprogramming his little mind. Someone in China told him, or he misunderstood and believes, so many things that just aren't true.

I appreciate that these issues are such a natural part of your daily life Malinda. That's our goal too. It's just the stuff of life.

Mahmee said...

That was wonderful. Thanks so much for sharing that great story.

Chris said...