One superpower of my ADHD is hearing bits of conversation from everywhere at once. Fun if you are spy-listening to your kids while holding a conversation of your own, terrible for dinner dates. Just ask Dave. Well, the other night we had friends over, and as we were rounding towards dessert, I heard Christian pipe up and ask his new friend if he wanted to see a picture of his birth mom. My heart froze. How would this play out?
Clearly confused the sweet little guy innocently asked: “What’s a birth mom?”. Christian then did his 7-year-old best to explain. He kept pointing to his friend’s mama saying “see she’s your birth mom, you started in her belly”. This precious boy just laughed along trying to keep up with Christian’s train of thought. Everett showed 5-year-old grace to our boy. He didn’t scrunch his nose and squint his eyes. He smiled, tilting his confused head to the side and kept insisting that the lady to his right was not his birth mom, just his mom.
I don’t often get to see an insight into Christian’s behind-the-scenes-processing of his adoption. Emmie’s a bit more open about it all. Her adoption-process-reel runs right behind her eyes and she regularly will pepper stories with (mostly) false memories trying to show she’s thinking about her story and wanting to talk about it. She was too young to remember the details she tries to share, but I can see her heart wanting, stretching to try to know something.
The interaction left me thankful. Catching Christian initiate with this new friend about his story, just seeing a birth mama as a normal, special part of him to share like he asks about playing legos or jumping on the trampoline. Birthmoms regularly appear in conversations over here. I want that freedom to stick. And I want more Everett responses for Christian, for his friends to tilt their heads trying to understand where he’s coming from, not laughing and shutting him down but engaging.
So Bud, last night you made me proud. Without even knowing it, you were brave. You risked. You showed vulnerability when you invited a friend into your story. Keep that. Keep sharing and asking and wondering about it. Fight to understand the confusion and name the hurts. Find friends who listen, who aren’t afraid to go with you. Your story matters, all of it. Tell it when you’re ready, even the bits and pieces. We’re with you cheering you on.