Friday, January 14, 2011

Interesting and Gut Wrenching Conversations

This was the picture I took driving home yesterday with my phone and why it is totally crooked. It was a beautiful sunset on the horizon. Anyhoo, the picture is not what this post is about.

Yesterday when I picked up G from the sitter's and as I was buckling her in her seat she, with tears in her eyes and her mouth quivering said, "E said I don't take karate."

Wow, really, you are crying over a little girl who is telling you something you don't do when you know every Monday and Friday (until recently) you do take karate?

So I said, "Well, what did you say?" She said, "I telled her I did and to ask my mom and she said she would ask you." I said, "Okay, she can ask me." This E also told a classmate of G's who is in the same karate class that he didn't take it either. I say the little girl is a brat and has always been so even though her mom is a jewel.

Anyway, last night G's feathers were still really ruffled and she asked for (which I was going to suggest anyway) some rocking time. So we did. I usually set the timer just because I have stuff to do and don't need to sit in a rocker all night though I would really like to do so.

The first rocking time with G was ended when she got what she needed from rocking 6 minutes into the 7 minute time frame. The next rocking time before bed the timer went off and we had to get ready for bed.

Apparently, she was still off kilter this morning, and we were full at high speed grumpiness, frustration, misunderstanding (over her wearing a belt or not and tight sleeves) , anger in both of us and just in total emotional meltdown which always ends with her telling me how I don't love her while we are in the car on the way to school.

Oh yes I remember believing that about my own parents and probably even yelling that at them as well often at least toward my mom. My dad would have backhanded me probably so I never said that to him, believed it yes just never said it out loud.

So on the way to school, I am telling her all the ways I do love her and how I would be if I didn't love her. Then she drops the bomb, "H told me you're not my real mama." BOOM!

The gut wrenching sobs started and all frustration and anger in me ceased immediately. I said, "When did she tell you this?" totally stumped by what I had heard. She said, "On the bus." I asked, "Yesterday?" She said, "yes." I said, my mind still racing and looking for the right words, "You were more upset about E telling you that you didn't take karate but you didn't tell me about this?" Which probably weren't the right words, but I was still trying to gain an understanding. I don't remember her response if she did through her deep sobs.

I really wanted to pull over and grab her up to hold her, but it wasn't possible in that moment. I reached back to rub her knee, trying to hold my own tears back.

I asked a few more questions about what was going on around the whole statement, G assured me that there was no conversation going on, and she wasn't sure if H wanted to hurt her or not. I asked her what she told H which took some doing for her to tell me softly that she told her G's other mama was her foster mama and I am her real mama. I told her how much I wish I knew who her China mom was so I could tell her what a beautiful sensitive soul G is and how smart G is.

I explained (believing that H meant no harm) that what H meant by that, though she said it badly, was that I didn't carry G in my tummy nor did I give birth to her or get to hold her when she was just a few minutes old. Even if I had wanted too I didn't know her until she was 13 months old nor did I get to hold her until she was 15 months old.

I explained that I am real, that she can pinch me, that I am not pretend and that I am forever her mom. I reminded her that she has a China mom and a foster mom who loved her when they could (I believe still) as much as me. Let's just say I wished we didn't have to ever deal with this but I know it will come over and over through out G's life.

I asked G what she wanted me to do about it and she said to talk to H. Now understand H is the youngest daughter of the family who keeps G after school for me so it is a bit of a sticky wicket that I am in. I also told G that we together will get back to the WISEUP workbook that will give her the words to say about comments being made. When we initially started it she really wasn't ready for it, the comprehension was just not there.

I also used the example of her telling someone something I told her about the reason one of her classmates acts out and how she said the words the way she understood them but her understanding was lacking and it hurt that person. I explained H's understanding about what "real" moms are was lacking which made the words H said hurt G. I have to believe H did not intend or know that G's feelings were hurt. (I do know though H does hurt G's feelings when G and H's sister get along better than G and H. That is the cursed girls-in-3 phenomenon.)

I pointed out that children weren't the only ones who speak foolishly about adoption and even her own teacher made a stupid comment about adoption to me once. People who don't understand and even some who do will just say stupid things at times about adoption.

Now about G herself, she is so introverted that the important hurts fester and boil inside her before she tells me. Maybe she was trying to process it her own way, but it isn't like we have never had the adoption conversation before so I know it wasn't about my not being open about that. Maybe she saw my business about getting the house in order and supper on the table as not the right time but usually at least during bedtime she talks openly. I don't know and may never will know why she didn't tell me immediately.

I do know that my baby was cut to the core of her being and that the two comments coming at her on the same day seemed to suggest that her life was a lie. That was one thing that bothered her about E's karate statement, she felt that E didn't believe her but not because of something wrong with E but because something was wrong with her. Same thing with not having a "real" mom, somehow she saw herself and her life as not real, not believable. I think maybe that will be the thing she will struggle with the most. Is her life real in the sight of her peers?


Steph B said...

Poor G. Sounds like you handled it very well - and it's so hard when our kids have to go through this. It's hard for them to put all the pieces together to understand adoption, birth families, etc. Especially for our kids from China, where we have so little info to share with them on their birth families' situations.

Vivian M said...

Oh wow. I can so relate. Kerri has also brought up some gut wrenching comments/questions from the back seat of the car.
I think you handled it very well, as well as could be, and that maybe a conversation with H's Mom is in order. Just so she understands and can keep an ear open.
Kids can be cruel, and we cannot control what they do and say. But we can try to empower our girls with love, self confidence and the power to walk away and/or confront when necessary. It is so hard with our wounded little ones.
I think that rocking chair is going to get a lot more use. (Hugs).

Briana's Mom said...

My heart is breaking for G right now. And I know I will probably have this exact conversation with Briana one day. G may not have told what happened immediately, but she did tell you and that is all that matters. You have created an environment for her where she feels comfortable talking to you and that is wonderful. I think you handled it amazingly well.

The Byrd's Nest said...

Oh precious little G. This happened to Lottie last year in Costa Rica at language school. Another little missionary kid said the same thing to her...not to be mean (I believe) just expressing her unexperienced little 5 year old opinion. I had a similar conversation with Lottie as you did with G and told Lottie that if she ever said something like that again, then we would sit down with her Mommy and talk about it together. I think you handled it oh so well Bev...really I do!!! Praying from this day forward God will just mute those around her that have words that will make her little heart hurt so much. Big hugs to you both.

Sharon Ankerich said...

Bless little G's precious heart!!! She couldn't have a more real mom and know she will make it through all this because you are right there with her. I think you did a great job!!! I love that she finally let it out to YOU!!! She knows who to turn too and that is SO important. Bless you all as you work through this~ I know our day is coming and I pray I will handle it so beautifully!
Blessings and Joy!