Conversations with Kate

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Kate and I have had some interesting conversations lately and these are ones I definitely want to remember...

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Conversation #1

A few weeks ago Kate was playing on the playground at Harry's school with some older girls (probably 1st or 2nd grade). When I went to tell her it was time to leave, the girls looked at Kate and then they looked at me and said, "Are you her Mom?"

Me: Yes.
Little girl #1: You don't look like her Mom.
Little girl #2: I know. I know.  She's adopted, right?

Me: Yes.
Little girl#1: Why didn't her parents want her?
Me: stalling....cringing...watching my precious daughter staring down at her shoes. I was stunned and did not know what to say.
Little Girl #2: Is she from China? Was she in an orphanage?

Me: Yes, she is from China.  No, she was not in an orphanage.
Little girl #1 asks again: "what happened to her parents?"

Kate: looking up and touching my leg gently, "God always wanted her to be my Mommy."

I have never been so proud of her in all my life. That's my girl!  And the girls had nothing more to say after that:)

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Conversation #2

Kate: Mama, I don't want to be a Mama.
Me: Really?

Kate: Yes.  I want to be a doctor, a dinosaur doctor.  I will share a doctor office with Habu (Harry).  He will be the people doctor and I will be the dinosaur doctor.  He will fix people and I will fix dinosaurs.

Me: (stifling a laugh)  That is a great plan.  I would love you to have a medical practice with your brother.  But you know, you can be a doctor and a Mama.  Dr. R (our pediatrician) is a Mommy and a doctor.


Kate: No, that would be too hard.  I just want to be a doctor.  Will you drive me and Harry to our doctor office everyday?  
Me: You will be old enough to drive yourself, Kate. 
Kate: Okay Mommy but you will have to show me the path!

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Conversation #3

Yesterday Kate comes into the kitchen and asks me, "Do I have two Mommies?"
Me:  Yes, you do. What made you ask that, Kate?

Kate: Well, I was in the tummy of a different Mommy, right?"
Me: Yes.

Kate: "What is her name?"  "Who is she?"
Me: I don't know her name sweetie.

Kate:  What did she look like?
Me: I don't know honey.  But she was Chinese and she probably looked like you.

Kate: Can I see her picture?
Me: I don't have a picture of her but I do have a photo of your foster Mom. She is the woman who took care of you until you came home to Mommy.  Would you like to see that?

So we looked at the photos of her foster Mom and she asked all sorts of questions like "Did she put me to bed at night?"  "Did I cry?"  "Did she comfort me when I cried?"  "Why did she put me in that thing (a walker) in the middle of the street?"  "Can we go visit her?"

We agreed to try to send her foster Mom some letters and photos for now and I told Kate we would go to China some day and try to find her and thank her for taking care of Kate for the first 10 months of her life.

I guess I always knew these questions would come but I did not think Kate would have so many of them at just 4 years old.  It was a great exchange.  She asked a lot of questions and I answered what I could in a very calm way.  It went so much better than any conversation I could have imagined.

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42 comments:

  1. Awwww sweet, sweet baby girl!!! I am so happy your chats went so well. It's always a little unnerving and it can be touch and go, but sounds like the dialogue between you two couldn't have gone any better. I LOVE her reply to the little girl on the playground...makes me want to cry. She is SO right. She is a wise little soul. God love her!
    Y'all were meant to be! That's what we always tell Paige. As an aside, her hair is A D O R A B L E! Also, is her dress from Burberry? I LOVE it, but didn't know if they made children's clothes. If so, Paige better watch out :)

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  2. Kate is such a lucky girl to have you as her mom. And these questions can't be easy to answer ... especially not having all the answers. I do adore that Kate didn't get upset at the playground girls. Ya'lls incredible parenting and love shines through your children.

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  3. What great conversations!!!

    You have taught her well. : )

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  4. She is incredible!!! You are a lucky mommy!!

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  5. Thnat a girl, Kate! She is going to grow into an amazing young woman. dx

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  6. I think you handled #3 very well. She is young but on the other hand these are the years when she's becoming more and more aware. Maybe your conversation will spark more or maybe it will satisfy her for years.
    But I'm glad you now know that when and if she ever wants to talk about these things you'll be able to in a good way.

    I also believe that the more you can have good conversations like #3, the better equiped she will be to handle encounters like #1. To a point where she won't necessarily be sad or embarrased and will know how to enlighten others about her story herself when these questions arise.

    I love the little red rocking chair.

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  7. I love those conversations. I will hold onto the one where she says God always meant for you to be her mother because I believe that is so.
    Sophia will not talk about a mother in China. She just refuses. She will verify with me that her brothers came from my tummy and she is from China and my heart. But when I bring up a China mother, she goes quiet and changes the subject. I am sure that one day we will talk about it when she is ready. But it is just not right now.

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  8. Holy cow! I can't even imagine that first conversation. So glad Kate had the perfect response for them!

    Love the doctor/mommy story too! Kate is such a cutie pie!

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  9. Those are very sweet conversations! You have a very smart 4 year old!

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  10. Oh Kim....
    She is so wise... What a precious beginning to some life long questions... It sounds like you handled it beautifully! I pray we can all go back to China one day and make some very special visits!

    Kate was born to be yours.. I truly have no doubt in my mind about that!

    Precious photos by the way!

    Love,
    Di

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  11. I think all adopted kids have all of those questions and more , you are doing her a great service by keeping things open , my husband was adopted and you never are satisfied until the questions are answered , we have found his birth parents and it just allowed for all of those answers
    Kate has very interesting questions indeed for 4 .
    I was reading a blog the other day where the mom passed two days after her daughters birth , the Dad always tells their daughter stories of her Mommy , and she recently asked "where is my mommy?" after a story about buying Christmas trees was told , she's two , how painful...parenting can somedays be so hard....and sometimes so wonderful

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  12. I think its wonderful, and speaks volumes about your relationship with Kate, the way she feels comfortable asking you questions about her adoption. From this post, you handled it beautifully!
    Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

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  13. Oh my. Conversation #1 brought tears to my eyes. Kate is a girl wise beyond her years!

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  14. Ok, you have me crying in my coffee this morning. Kate is wise beyond her years! Maggie has not asked those hard questions yet, but I feel more prepared to answer them. Thanks for sharing Kim~

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  15. Oh my, Kim. I can't imagine how tough that moment was for you... worried about Kate and those questions... but what an amazing response!!
    Loved this sneak peek into conversations between you and sweet Miss Kate :)

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  16. Oh my -- so sweet -- Kate and you too. Great little conversations -- thanks for sharing!


    Janet

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  17. What a BEAUTIFUL, PRECIOUS little ANGEL! Let me assure you, I just cried, cried, cried with the BIGGEST smile on my face. I am SO proud of Miss Kate, and I don't even 'know' her! :) Merry Christmas to such an inspiring and beautiful family!

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  18. My heart was hurting as I read Conversation #1, when you said "how Kate looked down at her shoes" my eyes filled w/tears of sadness. For you see, Our little one has a special story of how she joined our family and I know the "questions" will come. I have tried to prepare myself and I have come to realize that TODAY, Kate taught me alot! God intended for me to be Bree's mother. Bree is blessed to know BOTH of us and the relationship between us all is one of trust, love and admiration. Thanks Kate for a beautiful lesson today! You made my heart smile!!

    You are precious and truly a Gift from God and not only to your family but to so many of us that is witnessing your beautiful journey!

    Well done Kate....well done!

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  19. officially balling my eyes out. My sister is six (going on 18) and she's from Hefei China. Around 4 those questions really started coming. How my Mom and I answered the same questions Kate answered in convo 1 is "your birth mom knew that was her purpose in life, to bring your beautiful self into this world. She also knew that it was Mommy's purpose to be YOUR Mommy. We still love your birth mom so much for giving you to us, and God had a glorious plan all along.". More questions have come along, especially now that her old nanny is pregnant (and all the fun "how did the baby get IN there?" questions too!). Just pray that God can give you the answers and enable you with quick thinking. Kate is so special!

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  20. Oh my goodness. She is just such a sweetheart. I love her response to the little girls, that is a better response than most adults could come up with.

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  21. A tough moment handled very well! With such a strong & loving background she is sure to excell as a dinosaur doctor!!

    -Emily xo

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  22. Sweet stories! I especially love the first one!!

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  23. oh my word... that made me cry! especially the 1st conversation! she is just amazing.

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  24. Wow! Tough questions...tough answers. I love her response to the little girls. That was so bold and sweet and perfect in that moment.

    Love these pictures. She is such a priss pot!! She looks adorable!!

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  25. Your exchange with your beautiful little Kate...Priceless, beautiful, perfect Kim!!!!!!!! Hope your Christmas season is wondeful.

    Hugs

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  26. Kate looks like a beautiful little lady! Love that dress!

    Tamara

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  27. My G was asking questions like this about the same age, really almost when she could talk do to a teacher who had a baby and other things going on. Keep the lines of communication open.

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  28. How gracefully Kate handled that situation, and you, too, Kim.

    I realize that children are genuinely curious and often say whatever pops into their heads with no malicious intent or realization that their words have the potential to hurt feelings...my daughter (also 4!) often says such things ("Is that man pregnant?? But his tummy's so big, like yours was when you were pregnant with William!" "Why is she brown but I'm pink?" "Why does Daddy have a "tail"??" - I let my husband handle the last question, as my daughter had just walked in on him getting dressed.) - and I know there's got to be a more proactive approach that I can take with her, especially now that she's getting older and is better able to understand hurt feelings. Any suggestions for broaching the subject of adoption with my daughter in a sensitive manner?

    Thanks for sharing the stories and photos! Definitely keepers!

    :) Emily

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  29. Kids are amazing. Your daughter has amazing insight for being such a little girl. I had a cousin who adopted two boys years after giving birth to her daughter. One day Janet picked up her boys from school when one of them said, "mom, see that kid, I feel so bad for him, he's adopted." Janet replied, "but John, you're adopted also." Then, are you ready for this - John replied, "Mom, that's different, because YOU'RE my mom." Still brings tears to my eyes! Oh, after adopting the two boys, Janet had a surprise pregnancy and gave birth to her 2nd daughter. Have a great day!

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  30. The first conversation almost had me in tears, but you must be so proud of Kate for how she handled herself, and what an amazing and beautiful response.

    Kate is obviosly quite smart and it's wonderful that she feels comfortable and secure enough to ask those questions. On a different note, I LOVE her new do!

    Gin =)

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  31. Kate is as graceful as her Momma!
    I love the playground conversation and especially love how Kate handled it. She has a knack for answering tough questions while setting everyone around her at ease.

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  32. ADORE those precious pictures of your Kate! And I LOVE that you are writing down her *thoughts*! How blessed you both are!

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  33. WOW I love her response to converstation #1. Way to go Kate!!

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  34. My goodness, what a very bright little girl you have. Her questions took my breath away. And, your answers where honest and loving!

    I loved the part where she asked you if you would drive her to her office everyday! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    The pictures are fantastic and show off her clever little self.

    Lea
    xo

    PS. Kim, I read on FB that you had been in an accident. Hope you are ok today and not feeling it all too much. So glad you are both safe at home.

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  35. speechless. you are such a great mommy.

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  36. What wonderful conversations! She is growing up so!

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  37. I can only imagine the playground scene!! I really think some kids can be mean without really trying to be mean! And it's hard to label "ignorance" as "bullying"....I think Kate already has it figured out. She was loved by YOU long before you ever saw her face and that speaks volumes to her.....WOW - I am so proud of her..

    And that haircut is still pretty darling!! I think Kate could go even shorter ;)

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  38. I was just talking with someone about "the referral picture I once saw where the baby was put in a walker in the middle of the road." I couldn't remember which blog I follow received that curiously posed photo.

    Thanks for sharing these sweet stories and for refreshing my memory! Kate is adorable.

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  39. I just found your blog and I love it! Your daughter is crazy cute and adorable. I have two biological children and an Asian adopted little boy (6) from Korea. Those questions can stir the heart, can't they? I will tell my Jack that he had two mommies, because in my heart, his first mommy deserves all the honor and thanks I can give to her. I will mark your blog as a favorite! I am so glad I found it!

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Thank you for your kindness.