Thursday, May 17, 2012

Deep Breath ... Keep It Simple

I've been anticipating that questions might come soon. Our SMC/ART/3rd party reproduction story is even more complicated than most. I have been and plan to continue to be open with Sunshine about how our family came to be. Her little BFF was almost three when she asked her mom if Sunshine has a daddy. (She simply said, no, their family doesn't have a daddy.) Sunshine is nearly two and a half. We have lots of different kinds of families in our circle of friends. I recently got her The Family Book. But I still had to think quickly recently when Sunshine was scrolling through photos on my iPod and came across a picture of her siblings at around the age she is now. She pointed to her sister, and said, "Dat's Sunshine." "No, honey. That's J, your sister." "Who's dat?" she asked, pointing to her brother. "That's your brother, E. They live with their mommy in Canada." Then she scrolled on to look at more pictures of herself.

She's certainly heard me discuss her origins with other people. I'm often asked where she gets her red hair. I gauge the particular situation in deciding what to say. When I do feel comfortable telling our story, the most common reaction is how wonderfully incredible it is. Other moms (fertiles, too) get teary. I tell Sunshine how happy I am to be her mommy and that she's my miracle. One morning last week we were cuddling in bed and I asked if she was mommy's big girl. "No," she said. "Are you my little girl?" "No." "Are you mommy's baby?" "No." "Are mommy's miracle?" "Yeah!"

I've thought about whether using the words brother and sister would be confusing to her, but in reading and hearing the adult donor conceived children speak at the big SMC event, that seems to be donor siblings preference for language. And our children are full genetic siblings. Conceived the very same day. Pretty fucking amazing!


Kristin said...

I think you are handling it amazingly well.

I can't wait to see you and your beautiful girl this summer.

PS...can you send my your cell # again. I lost it.

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...

I've been amazed at how well Burrito and Tamale (particularly Burrito) have been understanding all that I've told them about families and reproduction -- much better than adults seem to understand! One of their classmates has two mothers, so I talk to them a lot about families with two mommies, two daddies, one mommy, one mommy and a grandma, etc. I mentioned surrogacy when we encountered a kid with two daddies, and Burrito totally got it. I was quite shocked, actually.

All of which is to say, just keep being matter of fact and truthful (in a developmentally-appropriate way of course) and I think you'll be amazed at how well Sunshine understands and accepts it all. Hopefully the rest of the world will follow suit.

You're doing great.

Tiara said...

1st of all, I'm blown away that she's already 2 & 1/2! How is she growing up so quickly!! I love that she knows she's your miracle, that she knows how special she is.

MeAndBaby said...

I love that she knows she's your miracle too! :) And I plan to be straight-forward and open with my boys as well. Thanks for sharing the book link!

Bionic said...

What a lovely post! Good to hear from you.

Io said...

Thanks for the welcome back! (Home, I started to write, which is probably correct) I am so glad you are doing so well and oh my goodness your baby is getting so big! I am just thrilled. Hah. Getting teary and weird now.