As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, my daughter recently wrote a letter to her birthmom and was awaiting a response. I had exchanged a few emails with her birthmom and I knew that she was planning to respond. She has a new baby and I'm sure life has been a little crazy for her. She also struggles with depression and I know that's a challenge for her, too.
The letter arrived yesterday. I knew that J had planned to send a couple of photos and I could tell that they were in the envelope along with the letter. I took my daughter down the hall and into her bedroom and told her I wanted to show her something.
"You got a letter from your birthmom!" I said. I handed her the letter. She read it to herself. J answered the questions from the letter she had received (for the record, she has two dogs, six chickens, and used to play two instruments). Oh, and she confirmed that it is definitely hot in Texas.
Next I handed my daughter the two photos. In one photo, J is sitting on a couch with her three sons. The other photo is very similar but also includes her husband. I watched A's face as she looked at them.
"Do you know that it takes two people to make a baby?" I asked. She nodded but did not ask for specifics. "Well, you also have a birthfather," I told her. I explained that I do not know much about him and do not know where he is (technically, I do know where he is but this is not the right time to explain that). She asked me his name and I told her.
I pointed to the boys in the photo. "These handsome boys are your half-brothers," I said.
She looked at the picture and looked at me. "I have brothers?" I attempted to explain what a half-sibling is, not that it makes much of a difference in the scheme of things. I also explained that her birthfather and birthmother broke up before she was born and that was one reason why J chose to make an adoption plan. She did not have a lot of stability in her life at that time.
We sat on her bed and chatted for a bit longer. I told her how great it is to have so many people who love her - both our family and her birth family. She asked me a couple of questions about when she was a baby. She sometimes seems frustrated or disappointed that she does not remember seeing her birthmom and often asks me questions like, "Did I used to have a different name?" I have assured her that her dad and I have been with her since the day she was born and that her name has always been the same. I told her that I even ran the name past her birthmom before formally choosing it.
I thought she would have more questions after reading the letter and studying the photos. She climbed into my lap as I sat cross-legged on her bed. She clutched her overpriced Hello Kitty from Build-a-Bear against her chest. "Do you have any questions?" I asked.
She shook her head. "Can I play math games on the computer now?" I nodded.
I am sure she will have more questions later on. I can only hope I am handling these things in the "right" way. I continue to feel that an open adoption is what's best for her, and I appreciate that her birthmom is willing to keep in touch.
Now I guess I'll just hold my breath until Short Stuff lobs the ol' "how are babies made" question at me.