“Do I look like her?”
His question caught me unaware. It was random, inserted within the pause of my conversation with Aubry about something else (and so it is with four children). I put my finger up – the “I heard you and just wait a minute sign” – while I gave her the answer she needed. Off she went, knitting project in hand.
Turning to Greyson, I pulled him onto my lap and help him close to me, face-to-face. There was no need to answer him with a question. We both knew who he was talking about. I smiled, looking deep into my handsome son’s eyes, those that spoke of his birth mother’s proud beauty and ethnicity. “You do look like her, very much so.”
“Do you have a picture of her?” he asked.
“I do, but I have it in the lockbox with all of your very special things from Guatemala. I would be happy to go and get it for you now,” I said.
Apparently he had the answer he needed and asked if he could have a grilled ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Hand in hand, we went to make his sandwich.
An adopted child will ask about his birth mother (I have yet to get a question on any of my kids’ birth fathers…). It’s only normal. The deep bond between them was established in-utero. She carried him inside her, nurturing and giving him life. For whatever reason she made the decision to place her child for adoption through means available to her. The adopted child’s questions are not about the love he has for his adoptive parents and family or they for him. The questions are about his sense of self, discovering who he is and where he came from. Adoptive parents need to encourage their child to ask questions about their past history and delve into their culture and heritage. Above all, the child need s to be assured that he will be loved, no matter what.