The other night, I forget which and I suppose it doesn't really matter, G and I were talking about her conversations with friends. One night she and a friend were discussing their families' unfortunate relations. The friend started and I suppose asked G if she had any stories to share. G said, "I have one sad one." I thought, oh no, here we go, but she discussed my unknown cousin who had been adopted at birth before any of us were born. Then she talked about another cousin's situation.
Funnily enough she didn't mention her own sad beginnings so I asked her on this particular night why she didn't say anything while talking to her friend. She said, "I didn't think it was sad."
I was a bit relieved that she didn't personally view her coming to our family as a sad happening but it did open up questions. She asked me where she was found if in a box or by the side of the road or whatever. I told her what I was told and suggested that it may or may not be true because it may or may not be true. She already knows that the only true date we have is her finding day and that they estimated her birthday. She said, "I could have been born on Feb 12?"
Why that day I don't know, but I said, "No, you were a month old so they gave you a date close to that many days back." Then I told her everything I was told about how she was arrived at the orphanage and that she didn't stay there long due to it being a Half the Sky sponsored orphanage. She asked if the orphanage was a poor one that ignored and neglected the babies. I told her that the HTS received monies from the US and EU so that there was no neglect. That HTS teaches early developmental stages and how to have the nannies help the children reach them. Also, I told her about the foster program of which she was a part.
She was fostered, but for how long I am not sure. I told her we weren't given information about the foster mom, but we had a picture of them together (she has seen it, and it is on display). She wanted to know why I don't have the foster family's info, and I said because we weren't allowed to have it.
She always accuses herself of being a fat baby due to the photos from the referral pack, 3 or more layers of clothing will do that to you. She was nothing of the sort. I told her my assessment of her early pictures and in particular her "look." She has a look of suspicion on her face, one look of being suspicious of everyone. She never smiled in the pictures.
She said, "Is that normal?" I said that normal babies smiled for photos earlier than she did. I pointed out the picture I have of me as a baby smiling. To qualify normal, this is a term defined by her as babies born in one family, just the average joe type of family, with no trauma so to speak. Her word, normal, means the median.
She said, "Yeah but you had a family." She said, "No wonder I was suspicious. I never had a permanent family then."
I said, "I know. I know that is why you were so suspicious then. I pointed out that she still looks at people like that though as though she doesn't trust them." I see the look everyday at some point. She was a bit concerned that she gives the look to family. Sometimes she does but not to her grandparents that I have seen. I was very proud of her to make that connection to her story and that she wanted to know about it. I am also glad to know she doesn't actually view her story as an "unfortunate relation" type story.
Anyway, it was a conversation I wish to record and remember for fear I will be like my mom and forget it all.