Friday, January 2, 2009

Connecting the Dots--Three Year Old Style

Yesterday morning Maya climbed into our bed and said, "You weren't my mommy. China was my mommy." She didn't say it sadly or angrily, just matter-of-factly.

It took me completely off guard. Lately she's been asking if she was in my tummy. She knows she wasn't and that her sibling were, but I've certainly never put it in terms of: Mommy/Not Mommy. Somehow Maya decided that at least on some level tummy = mommy. My knee-jerk reaction to what she said was to feel hurt. "I AM your mommy now and forever."

"Yes," she said, almost like well, of course, "but China was my mommy."

I couldn't argue. And I couldn't even necessarily come up with someone more specific than "China".

Then she asked if we could tell her about it. We got out a little book and snuggled together as we looked at pictures. I showed her the spot outside the orphanage where she was found. She's seen it before, but this time when I said, "This is where your China Mommy laid you," she said, "No." And her chin quivered. "No, because I would cry."

And then this morning, like no time had passed, she climbed into bed, snuggled up, and asked, "Why didn't China take me inside?"
My throat balled itself into a knot. "China Mommy couldn't take you inside."

"Oh," and she was quiet for several seconds (a long time for Maya) "But you could take me inside, right?"

"We could take you wherever we wanted."

"Even to go buy skirts?"

And I laughed. Thank you China for this precious girl.


Whitney said...

wow, those are some tough questions. I'm thankful you have the spirit and an eternal family to help you out with them! Can't wait to hear what she comes up with next {{hug}}

Lisa Cairney said...

Oh my, Eileen....that girl thinks at a level SO beyond her years!!! Deep, deep always amazes me how everything with Maya seems light years ahead of where you would expect it to be. But I love how you have done such a good job of assuring her of how much you love's OBVIOUS in her responses to you that she knows that you love her, love her, love her...praying for wisdom for you! And hey, isn't it awesome how it went from China to shopping in no time flat? Love it. That one is ALL GIRL.

And yes, you should treat her to a mani-pedi...manicure/pedicure to you mani-pedi virgins...she would love it. :) Except you couldn't see the pedi under her pretty red shoes. :) You might have to invest in some red sandals.

Lisa and Tate said...

I dread the day I will be asked these same questions. I hope I am able to handle them with wisdom like you did. I guess totally understanding will be built out out line upon line of loving questions and answers.

waiting for Tate LID march 7 2006.

Dianne said...

That choked me up. What a perceptive little girl with such curious questions. And what a loving mom to be there to help her understand.
My girls seem proud of their heritage, but they say they hate China. We have always talked positively about their background and I don't think they really "hate" China, just scared of being left again. I'm sure we have many unanswered questions ahead from these sweet little girls. What blessings all around.
Thanks for sharing

Amy said...

It is amazing how perceptive and insightful Maya is at her tender age, Eileen. "No, because I would cry." Oh Eileen, that's such a heartbreaker. I hope that when the time comes for me to answer similar questions and fears, I will have the grace that you did. God bless you guys.

Katy said...

Hi Eileen!
I love your blog! I found when I was looking for some ways to teach my kids some chineese and I wondered if you'd seen it. They have great products especially for the Chineese girls being raised in America. I loved reading about your little girl!
(This is from Katy Skinner, Kevin's wife, BTW) :)

Sean said...

Thanks for stopping by! You have some great lookin kiddos. That is a deep thought for a three year old!