Monday, July 25, 2011

Adoption in our lives

Hannah has never really talked about her time in Russia or her life before me but every now and then the realization hits one of us in some small or big way. I try to be very open and matter of fact about it like it is just part of our life, because it is--just part of our story.

Some of the ways it has shown itself:

1. At one time she came across my pictures from my visits with her at the orphanage. This was early on when she wasn't able to express herself in English very well. About half way through them she just put them away and turned to me with a big long hard hug. I couldn't tell if she was saying "Thanks for bringing me home" or "Don't make me go back" but she hung on for dear life.

2. She knows that she had a first mom in Russia and then went to live in the orphanage but has never asked why. She also is keenly aware that she doesn't have a Dad and will often say her Dad is sick and is in Russia. I haven't really figured out how to handle the birth father thing yet--partly because I don't know any facts and partly because there is no current father that has take over that role. She really likes other Dad's. She loves my brother's and brother in laws and all of her friends Dads.

3. One day when she was really sad about something she said she wanted to go back to Russia because she missed her kids. I had some video of the group of kids from her orphanage so we watched that--she sat enthralled but did not want to talk about it when done.

4. We were watching a movie where a horse licked an icicle and his tongue got stuck so we talked about why that happens with ice and Hannah said, "I did that before" and when I responded "You did??" she said "Yes--when I was little in Russia" and I then asked what she licked and she said "Just the fence". Again--is it real or not? I just don't know but it could be.

5. the most recent happened on vacation this past week and tugged at my heart strings. It happened very unexpectedly. We were in an ice cream shop and eating our ice cream. A young couple with a baby sat down at the table next to me and the wife held the baby and talked baby talk to him and generally cooed over him. Hannah stared at this for a bit and then asked "Mom when I was a baby who did that to me?" is not an overwhelming topic every day but it is in our lives every day. I just hope I can provide the right answers at the right time and always make her feel very loved.


Irishdrums said...

I think for sure you make Hannah feel very loved. Ref your last note there about the ice cream shop and the question of "who did that to me?" maybe is a bit searching for I loved that much too? Because the love that baby was receiving must have looked wonderful. I think Hannah knows much she is loved by you and everyone. What a sweetheart. I laughed about your note on the fence and sticking her tongue on it -- being the inquisitive one that she is I wouldn't be surprised if she did try that! I'm sure I did when I was a kid and she certainly had lots of opportunities to try it living in wintery Russia! hehee.

qmiller said...

Mary...really do hope to meet you and Hannah IRL someday...what a dear soul you found in Russia!
Madina had opportunity to participate in an adoption group this spring, for 7-10 year old, at our adoption agency. It was the first time I saw her dis-spell some of her earlier beliefs. At age 7, she's a bit less in the fantasy world about KAZ and has is a lot more secure in her place in our family. It has helped occasionally seeing other adoptive moms/kids that I can help her relate to her lifestyle (adopted without a dad).

Kimberly said...

Oh, Mary - that last one tugs on my heart strings as well - sometimes there are just no words...I know the birth father issue will also be a big one for Emma and I - she is so enamored of my dad (Papa) and also of all my friends - she is much more interested in the men - I know this will come up for her...I pray I have some words that might be helpful.

minime0910 said...

You are such a good mom :-) i would do the same thing you are doing. reassure her that her needs will be met and let her talk about her "before" on her own time. You can tell Hannah is securely attached because she feels comfortable telling you things and asking questions. Great job! love your posts. Erin

Tammy said...

Oh that last one makes me emotional too. What a sweetheart you have there.

Alysa said...

Must break your heart to hear/see Hannah's memories of her life in Russia. As time goes on, your love is what she is going to remember most as you create new memories together. She couldn't be a luckier little girl than to have you!

Kelly and Sne said...

Wow - such deep subjects. I have started to bring up birthfamilies again with Miras and we have talked very superficially about it. I have to say that I am not emotionally prepared myself for encountering the pain he will feel when he truly realizes what occured to bring us together as a family. I wish so hard that I could take that pain away but I guess all we can do is be there for them and see them through all of their emotions. That's what Mommies do.