Monday, July 12, 2010


Adoptive parents have many different ways of handling their childrens' situations.   Many families talk about adoption, abandonment & such very openly.  There are also families who don't talk about these issues.  Some families talk about birthparents while others don't.  It's a choice.  A very personal choice that each family has to make given their own circumstances.  Some children have a need to talk about these things while other children don't have that same need.

We have been very open with Erin about her adoption.  She knows that she is adopted & comes from China.  (Believe it or not, there are parents who haven't told their child(ren) they are adopted.)  David & I make sure to tell her all the time how happy we are that we all adopted each other.  Over the years Erin has refused to admit that she is actually Chinese & wants nothing to do with her birth country &/or culture.  The day that we received Erin, she immediately rejected anything Chinese to the point of tantrums.  In the last year, this has gotten easier on all of us.  Since she was granted citizenship (May 2009), Erin has started to come around.

The other day, I was having a conversation with a friend who mentioned that it was time for "the talk" with one of her children.  That conversation had me laughing so hard!  I decided to ask Erin if she knew where babies come from.  She told me that some babies come from their mommies tummies.  I asked where the rest of the babies came from & she told me "Orphanages." Yikes! I think the whole thing is that it comes down to a child's life experience.  I let the topic drop because Erin started to get all embarrassed.  When she's embarrassed, all Erin wants to do it hide.  I figure I can let it rest for a few more weeks.

I'm pretty sure that Erin will understand when we have that talk that she has a birth family.  In fact, I'm pretty sure that she knows it already.  Viv's daughter Kerri has talked about these things pretty openly in front of Erin on some of their visits down here.  She just hasn't come to terms with the whole thing, but that's okay. 

Me?  I don't think of Erin's birth family often.  We'll never know the true reason that Erin was abandoned.  I refuse to dwell upon it & get all depressed.  However, there are days that I do think of a certain lady in Southern China.  I hope & pray that somehow she knows her sweet baby is alright.  I thank her for leaving Erin in a safe & public place to be found.  I also think of the birth father.  Most of the time, people tend to forget that there is a man involved in this situation.  We tend to concentrate on the birthmother &  how she did or didn't feel upon having to abandon her baby.  How many birthfathers out there had a choice?  How many of them actually wanted to abandon their baby after watching it grow in the mother's womb for 9 months?  So, yes, I think of  him too.

One day Erin will start to have questions about her birthparents.  David & I have decided not to sugarcoat her story.  We will be honest.  "We don't know Erin."  That's the answer we have to give her.  And it sucks, but honesty is the best we can do for her.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Yesterday, Erin & I went to a birthday party for Ethan.  She was so psyched that I actually got her to wear the swimsuit of my choice.  (Of course it helped that Chianna loves monkeys & was supposed to be there.) She had a total blast helping him celebrate turning 5!  It was a pool party so I was worried. 

Erin's never had a professional swim lesson in her life.  Anyone who knows Erin, knows that she had a horrible time with water for the first 5-6 years of life.  Well, my girl shocked me for sure.  When we went to Texas a few years ago for our travel group reunion, Erin wanted to go into the pool so badly that she begged me.  After Amy gave her a few impromptu lessons, I allowed her in the pool.  It was a big step for us.

Fast forward to yesterday.  Everyone helped out by keeping an eye on Erin.  Any time I went to look at her, she stopped what she was doing so I followed my instincts & walked away.  A while later, Candy & Grace came to let me know that Erin was swimming & doing a really good job of it too.  I went to peek at her & all of a sudden she wanted to show me so I watched (with my heart in my throat) & WOW!! The girl can swim!  Well!  I could barely get Erin out of the pool to eat lunch & she sure didn't want to leave to go home.

Once we got home, Erin ran out to play with our neighbor's children.  They live next door & are awfully sweet boys who also go to the same camp as Erin.  I'd have thought she'd be tired from all that pool time.  Nope.  She didn't even want to come in for dinner! 

Needless to say Erin was massively overtired & refused to go to bed.  At 10:00 David & I put our collective feet down & forced the issue.  Not 10 minutes later she came out because July 4th celebrations came early in our neighborhood.  Fireworks going off means loud noises.  Loud noises means Erin doesn't go to sleep alone.  Yup.  I had to go to bed too.

And that's where the "Oops!" comes in.  Erin loves to cuddle at night & got right up to me.  She put her ice cold hands on my back, & I jumped.  Poor baby! I accidentally hit her square in the face.  That tooth that was semi-loose was now bleeding & hanging by a thread.  Oh yea.  Way to go Tammie.  Erin cried.  I cried.  David stood there trying to get us to stop crying & reminded us that it was an accident.

This morning Erin came in to show me what the tooth looked like dangling.  Yuck! I hate wiggle teeth!  She left the room & came back seconds later.  The tooth was in a napkin.  Now the kid is really toothless!