Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Mom, I've been thinking about {her}.....


Recently, Avery and I have had some very emotional conversations.
These conversations have revolved around her China momma.

Avery is a very happy-go-lucky child.
She is usually singing (lately all things Frozen), dancing, coloring, playing with her dolls.....

She was almost four years old we first brought her home from China in Jan. 2010. At that time, she definitely did NOT want to talk about anything that related to China.  She did NOT like her Chinese name.  She basically tolerated us and her new life.  She DID gravitate toward Shea.  She seemed to crave Shea.  Shea was her "go to" person.  Her comforter, her friend. Thank goodness for Shea! Avery was very guarded and careful with us during her first year home.

Oh my!
She loves us all with a wild abandon.
She is our sunshine girl.
She makes us laugh, belly laugh.
She is sweet, and fun, and rather bossy.  lol
I can NOT imagine life without her.

Over the past four years, she has rarely talked about living in the orphanage.  She has rarely ask me questions about her adoption.  She has rarely mentioned anything about her China mom.

Except for lately.....

Last Wednesday, while were on our way to school she said this:

"Mom, I've been thinking about {her}."

She said it so quietly, whispered it actually.....but I heard it.  Oh yes, I did.  I knew exactly who "her" was.  In fact, I was glad that Avery wanted to talk about her China mom with me.

I asked Avery to share her thoughts......
I told her it was perfectly natural and completely okay to think about her China mom.
Avery just shrugged.
She was very hesitant to share.

Avery did tell me that she was wondering if her China mom ever thought of her.
Wondering if her China mom was alive or dead......wondering what she does every day....
Just wondering.....thinking......

And that was it.
Conversation over.
We were at school.

I knew she had more to say.
I just had to find the right moment.

Friday night.
Avery and I were cuddling in my bed.
Shea was asleep.

I asked her if we could talk a little more about her China mom.
She said she already talked to me about it.

I gently pushed her to tell more....
I asked her if there was anything else on her mind?????

I was not expecting what happened next.

Avery asked me why {she} left her.....alone.
How long was Avery alone before someone found her?
How could she leave me?
Why did she leave me?

Oh my heart!

Avery was sobbing.
I was crying.

Oh my poor baby.

I could not answer her questions.

I held her.
Kissed her.
Rocked her.
Wiped away her tears.

The question.
Did {she} love me?

I don't know if I was right or wrong....
But as her mother,
The only thing I could say....
YES!  Your China mom loved you.
(How could she not?)
You are amazing.
You are wonderful.
You are perfect.

Then this:
"Why Momma, why did {she} leave me?"

I wanted to scream:


Instead, I told her that it was complicated.  I told her I don't have an answer for her.
I told Avery that I was so sorry for all her pain and sorrow.
I held her.
We cried together.

Avery then asked if I thought she was crying and scared and cold after her China mom left her.....alone.

The raw pain was so tangible.

The anxiousness.

The sadness.

The uncertainty.

The WHY.

I told Avery again that I am so sorry.  So very sorry.

I am so sad that Avery is thinking such thoughts.  She is only a child.  Eight years old..... But these thoughts are valid, and deep, and real, and so very hard to process......

I told Avery that she was never alone.  That day.  Or any other day.  EVER.


And so do I!  Oh, how I love this child of mine.
Never ending love.

Next morning she woke up with a smile on her face and a song on her lips.

She greeted me with a kiss and a hug and an "I love you, Mom".  Just like she does every day.


I am changed.
I am humbled.
I am in awe of this little girl.

Thank you Lord for her!
Thank you Lord for giving me the privilege of being her momma.

People always say how "lucky"she is....
Oh, puh-leeze.

 Lucky?  Really? She is so much more than "lucky".

She is strong. Brave. A survivor.
She is pure joy.
A delight.

She has changed me.  Profoundly.



  1. I have a lump in my throat. These sweet, innocent babes having to process such tough stuff. The fact that she trusts you enough to externally process is so amazing, & I pray that my kiddos will share those swirling thoughts instead of stuffing them down. I love how you spoke truth into her the best you could but also gave the honest, "I don't know", b/c darn if these kiddos aren't wise beyond their years! Big hugs to you all...thanks for sharing.

  2. With wet eyes and a touched heart I am feeling profoundly blessed. Thank you Chris for sharing. Hugs to all your babies.

  3. Could barely read without breaking into tears. My girls are 5 and 6 and they were younger when we got them but they have started asking more questions over the past few months so I know the harder questions are coming. I hope I can be as strong as you were.

  4. Thank you for this post. This sounds just like what we have been going through too. My youngest was adopted when she was two and has been the happiest girl (except when she was bullied at school) and didn't talk much about her story in China. This week we had a night in her room where she was missing her families in China. Ella was fostered for 2 years after her birth family left her at the orphanage. I told her too that I know her families are missing her and thinking of her. I wish I had thought about telling her God was with her too. I will check back in with my girl and let her know that too. Thank you and blessings to you and your family.


  5. Wow. So much thinking going on in that little head and heart. We aren't there yet with Aidan - she still shuts down the conversations about her birth parents. Will talk reservedly about her foster parents but that's it. And definitely been more guarded since Todd came home from China where he MET and visited with her foster parents. Sigh... so much in their sweet little lives to come to terms with, huh? Thanks for sharing. I'm storing it up for our own talks here.....

  6. For Avery to be able to articulate and ponder those emotions with you was a beautiful blessing…for any mommy to receive! You are one lucky mommy! That that little peek into her heart-strings was definitely a gift from God. With an honest heart, I can say that your girls & your family has changed ours profoundly as well. I wish Avery could know that we are sorry too. For the heartache & pain. For her loss of her China momma and the unknown answers. God does have an amazing plan for her life and we can't wait to see it unfold. Thank you for sharing your heart Chris. You never cease to amaze me as you teach us about the love of adoption through the layers of life.

  7. What a gift that she trusts you so much to ask these impossibly hard questions. Show her SWEET MOON BABY. An adult at an author event said the book is terrifying to children because the baby is alone. A child said, "No, she isn't. The moon is always with her." That beautiful moon is translatable into all kinds of options. I read something by an adoption therapist who said these children need to know they were always loved in the face of complicated circumstances, and that's what I tried to show when I wrote the story.