Originally posted on our adoption blog in March of 2011.
"When I was a baby in Africa..."
At this point in our lives, we have lots of friends who are expanding their families, whether through adoption or birth, and we take trips to the airport just like we take trips to the hospital. Because of her experience in becoming a big sister, Sassafras is rather convinced that all babies come from Africa. As a matter of fact, sometimes she thinks SHE came from Africa.
Every trip to the hospital or to visit the new baby at home sparks all the normal 3 year old questions about them. Every brush with a new life makes Sassafras think about her own self as a baby, and at some point she always mentions "when she was a baby in Africa."
And that always prompts some version of this conversation:
Sass: Mommy, when I was a baby in Africa, did I have a paci?
Me: Well, you did have a paci. It was ugly and green and it never matched any of your clothes, but you only liked that one. But honey, you weren't a baby in Africa. You grew in Mommy's tummy.
(Pause as Sass is thinking, with me praying she doesn't ask how she got OUT. Not yet.)
Sass: In Africa?
Me: No, actually, we didn't have to go to Africa to get you. God let you grow in my belly and you were born here with me and Daddy.
Sass: But Pearl didn't grow in your belly.
Me: Nope, she didn't. She grew in another lady's belly.
(Pause. Me wondering what in the world Jess is going to ask next and praying we don't have to go down the "why didn't the other lady keep her" road. Not yet.)
Sassafras: But I grew in your belly.
Me: Yep, you did. Sometimes babies grow in their mommy's belly, like you did. But sometimes the baby grows in their mommy's heart, like Pearl did. She didn't grow in my belly, but she grew in my heart. And your heart. And Daddy's heart.
Sassafras (smiling and nodding): Uh-huh. Can I have some fruit snacks?
I am so thankful for my sweet Sassafras for an infinite number of reasons! One of them is that her natural curiosities about our family and our differences from other families are helping us think through and prepare for the days ahead when Pearl is old enough to ask these questions herself. I pray that God will always give us the answers that will satisfy their questions, and that those answers will always lead them back to HIM.