During holiday break I found the rhythm of my days and nights synching with Holden’s. It was during one of those late nights, as I worked on a large project in his company, that he asked, “Mom, why did you adopt?”
The question was simple and innocent and I realized he had never asked before. Perhaps he had thought about it, but never verbalized it. Thoughts flew through my head—about how we had told him at the age of five that he would be a big brother for the first time, how over-the-moon he was about Josi’s arrival, and how his copy of her referral picture, although laminated, became worn because he shared it with everyone he came across. Within the milliseconds that those truths registered, I realized we never did talk about why, only that we were adopting.
So I answered Holden, explaining about the baby we lost and how we had grieved. I told him that his dad and I had discussed adopting before we ever married knowing that we were open to embracing parenthood through adoption. I shared that we built our family by following our hearts and listening to the voices within ourselves. He was quiet, reflective.
“Do you have any other questions, honey?” I asked.
“Not now, Mom. I love you.”
“I love you too. You know it’s always okay to ask, right?”
I see the need for future conversations about how Holden feels being the biological one and only and about adoption. And because he handled the special needs discussions so well, I expect these will be thoughtful and enlightening.