This post actually has nothing to do with National Adoption Month, although I find the coincidental timing kind of fun :) While we don't define Noah as our "adopted son", we are certainly very open with him & others about his being adopted - and we're very proud of the wonderful birthmother that he has, and that she chose us to be Noah's parents.
We have talked openly around Noah (and with Noah) about his adoption, and about Nicole (his birthmother). Of course we've known that he has comprehended little, if any, of what we've talked about on that topic...but we want him to grow up familiar with the story of how he joined our family - and proud of it!
One example of this is that Noah has become familiar with identifying LDS temples and is always excited to point one out when he sees it. Anytime that he does so, I try to mention that when he was a baby that mom & dad got to go into the temple with Noah, and that we were sealed together as a forever family. I usually describe some of what the day was like, and one day I pointed out that this picture in our family room was from the day we went to the temple:
Noah was really excited about this, and now likes to point out the picture and talk about our "special day" that we went to the temple. Obviously, he doesn't really conceptualize what going to the temple means, but it's still really cute. For example, a couple of weeks ago we drove past the Timpanogas temple and Noah excitedly announced that it was a temple...and then said, "After dinner, I wanna go there okay?"
Anyhow, back to adoption awareness...another thing that we discuss with Noah now and then is that just like Lincoln grew in mommy's tummy, Noah grew in his birthmom's tummy (both circumstances must seem strange to a 2 1/2 year old). The other day we drove past the hospital that Lincoln was born at and I asked if he remembered coming to visit mommy, daddy and baby Lincoln there after Lincoln was born (since we were there for a few days). He thought about it for a minute and asked..."and Lincoln slept in the little crib?" So, he must have been remembering something like this:
I was pretty impressed that Noah seemed to remember something about that special time in our lives...and then out of the blue Noah asked his first question about "his story". He intently asked, "Mom, was I born there?" I told him no, but that he was born in a hospital in Nevada. Then he went on to ask, "Did I get to sleep in a little crib?" I told him that I was sure that he did, but that I wasn't there...that he was with his birthmom for a while after he came out of her tummy (I know, not exactly an anatomically correct description of the birthing process, but cut me a little slack - he's not even 3 yet).
He was still very interested in our conversation, which surprised me a little, so I continued on by reminding him that his birthmom's name was Nicole, that she loved him very much too, and that we're so happy that she chose us to be Noah's parents. He thought about that for a minute and then reaffirmed, "My birthmom's name is Nicole?". I told him good job for remembering & that yes, her name is Nicole.
And then that was that! And he moved on to talking about how he wants a Buzz Lightyear cake for his birthday, and could he get a Zurg toy for Christmas...
However, while Noah was talking to my mom on the phone that night, he out of the blue started telling my mom that he grew in his birthmom's tummy, and that her name is Nicole. I was so proud of him, and so happy for him to begin to understand another aspect of his identity.
I figured that it would probably be some time until he brought something like that up again, but then this morning Noah looked at me and said, "You're my mommy." I said yup, that I was and gave him a hug. Then he pointed to both Mark and I and said, "And you're my parents?"...half as a question, half as a statement. Then I realized where he was going with things. So, we talked about his birthmom again, and then talked about the first time that we saw him and how happy we were, and what a beautiful baby he was. He wanted to look at pictures, so I pulled up pictures from his placement day. He was really intrigued to look at pictures of Nicole, and at pictures of himself as a newborn. He kind of smiled a little shy-smile when I talked about how cute he was - it was adorable.
He continued to be captivated by hearing his story, so I told him all about how we were so excited to see him, and that when it was time for us to meet him that Nicole had wrapped him up in a cute little yellow blanket and dressed him in a little yellow outfit with bumblebees on it. And that we all took turns holding and kissing him.
At that point he pointed to the little bee on his homecoming outfit and started to sing part of the 'Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee' song - humming the first part. "Mmmmmm....I hope my mommy be so proud of me. I hope my mommy be so proud of me. I hope my mommy be so proud of me!!!" I know it was just a song, but somehow, the emotion of the topic combined with the pure innocence of the moment was too much for me and I teared up all over the place and just hugged him. I told him that I was sooo proud of him, and that I knew that his birthmom was too.
I just had to write down that moment, and those leading up to it, for myself...so I hope that some of you enjoyed reading it too. And although the focus of National Adoption Month is the adoption of those children waiting in the foster care system, I do think that this month (particularly since it shares the season of Thanksgiving) is an appropriate time to reflect on the blessing that adoption has been in our lives - and to help pass on that positive perception of the adoption process itself.
We will forever be grateful for the miracle of adoption in our lives, and we truly see it as nothing less than a miracle. We love you, Noah. We're so blessed to be your parents, and we ARE "so proud of you"!