Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Whose tummy did I grow in?"

We’ve been talking a lot lately about my growing belly and the baby that resides there.

Samuel and Lauren are trying to convince their dad and I why they should have a brother or a sister. We’re trying to explain that it’s not up to us to decide….but they are relentless in their persuasions: “I already have a sister, I want a brother!” or “I have a brother, I hope it’s a sister!”

Last week Lauren said to me, “Whose tummy did I grow in?”

I love that she asked that question.

Why? Because it means that she is aware that not everyone grows in their mother’s tummy. Yes, everyone grows in their birthmothers tummy, but not necessarily in the tummy of the mom who daily raises them and loves them to pieces.

I don’t think “Whose tummy did I grow in?” is asked in households with all biological children. But it's talked about in our house. For example:

We had our friend Chloe over for dinner the other night and somehow the conversation led to whose tummy Chloe grew in…"Elsa’s tummy," she said. Samuel said he grew in Samantha’s tummy and Lauren said she grew in mine. It was a precious moment to celebrate that the three children around the dinner table grew in three different tummies. Each child is unique and all are part of God’s amazing plan and amazing story.

As an adoptive mom I feel as though some people believe these types of questions and conversations should be off limits or shhhh’d and avoided.

I couldn’t disagree more. While I know that our story is not the norm, every adoption story should be celebrated and acknowledged and treasured—because it’s part of your child’s story. It’s not his or her identity, but it’s their story and every story deserves a time and a place to be told and shared and celebrated. And each child needs to feel the freedom to ask questions…without shame and with complete honesty.

So, yes, baby girl you grew in my tummy. And your brother grew in my heart. And dare I say this next little one is growing in both my tummy and my heart? Because as I watch the two of you love this baby you haven’t even met, my heart grows and grows.

And the closer we get to meeting this little one, and finding out if it's a brother or a sister, I find myself even more thankful for the gift of adoption...and the gift of pregnancy...and the beautiful story that our sovereign God is weaving and writing for each one of us.  

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