A real kid.
April 09, 2015

Several times a week strangers ask me if Evelyn and Genevieve are twins.  At gymnastics a few weeks ago, the question came from a seven-year-old boy.

“No,“ I said.  “They are just under five months apart.“

He thought on this for a moment.

“How did you have babies so quickly?“ he asked.  “My mom is making a baby right now and it takes her a very long time.“

“It takes me a long time to make a baby too, but I only gave birth to one of the girls.  We adopted the other,“ I explained.

“What does that mean?“ he persisted.

“Well, it means that she has two moms.  Her first mother was pregnant with her and gave birth to her, but she could not take care of a kid.  So now she lives with us and I’m her mom.“

“Are you like her stepmom?“

“No, I’m her mom.  It sounds a lot like having a stepmom, though, doesn’t it?“

He nodded and reflected for a moment.  Finally, he said, “So.  Like.  Is she a real kid?“

“Does she look fake to you?“

“No.“

“Then I guess she’s real, huh?“

He thought this over for a moment.  “Maybe,“ he finally said with some reluctance.  “She might be.“

And then just as quickly as his line of questioning had started, it came to an abrupt end and he rushed off to play peek-a-boo with the toddlers.

I wonder how much of these questions and answers Genevieve hears and internalizes.  There are times when I worry about the day when she is the one asking these questions.  But mostly, I worry about the day when the questions are no longer innocent curiosity and the answers are no longer simple.


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  1. By on April 09, 2015

    I was adopted at 17 months old, my advice would be to always be honest with her.  I always knew I was adopted and that I was extra special because my mum and dad had chosen me.  I found my birth mom when I was 19 but I don’t have a very good relationship with her.  My birth dad found me about 4 weeks ago.  Being adopted can be hard, for me it has brought up lots of fears of rejection.  I struggle to deal with things and internalise a lot.  I just have to keep telling myself that I am so much better off for having been adopted then I would have otherwise been.  Congratulations on your beautiful daughter xxx

  2. By on April 11, 2015

    Omg omg omg!! You posted again!! I have to go back and read what I missed.  I’m sooooo excited!

  3. By on April 11, 2015

    Congratulations Sarah!  What wonderful news!  Did you get to pick Genevieve’s name?  It sounds like something you would choose. What a beautiful outcome.  I remember you saying she was much loved all around and always kinda wondered what happened, if she made her way back to her birth family again or…  Will you be fostering again or is this the end of your foster journey. 

    Now that you have another on the way, are you finally getting that bigger car? ;)

  4. By Sarah Christensen on April 11, 2015

    Heather, if you’re ever open to discussing it, I would love to hear more about your experiences as an adoptee. You are able to shine a light on so many realities that Gen faces or will face that I never have and never will.

    Julie, we did end up buying a larger van about a year ago. Now we can carpool too, so bonus!

    Genevieve actually arrived with a name that lent itself to a nickname: Gen in English or Geno in Spanish. Her given name also lent itself to taunts and ridicule, so we quickly switched to calling her exclusively Gen. When we signed adoptive papers we chose a name that could use the same nicknames and had equivalents in Spanish (her birth family’s language and we have chosen a semi-open relationship) and French. Genevieve was pretty much it. We also considered Jane because it’s so similar to Gen in sound, but we couldn’t get behind changing it that much.

    As for fostering…we are undecided. Foster parenting was much more challenging and invasive than we anticipated. We also strongly feel that the system is fundamentally broken and does not adequately protect children or advocate for first families. On the other hand, it was a rewarding experience overall - and we don’t want Gen to grow up as the only adoptee/person of color in the home. But we just don’t know yet what that means for our family make-up or for fostering. For now we are legally at capacity since we only have a 2 bedroom house, but we are able to be considered kin should a sibling of Gen’s need a home in the future. In a few years we’ll tack on a bedroom or two. We’ll also have a better feel for Genevieve’s evolving needs and be able to determine what we are and ate not able to deal with. I don’t see us making a final choice until then.

  5. By on April 12, 2015

    Ask away!  Will be happy to answer anything I can.

  6. By Sarah Christensen on April 13, 2015

    Heather, I can access your e-mail address through the back-end, so I’ll go ahead and delete it off your comment and will e-mail you shortly.  I’m due in the next 2 weeks sometime, so it may take me a little while, but it’s coming!  My becomingsarah.com e-mail address is down right now, so I’ll be contacting you through our personal yahoo.com address =)


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