When we told Baby Girl she was going to be a big sister she didn't really understand. She has slowly over the past 8 months put the pieces together. Before we went to PA she asked me if she had a crib at the hospital when she was there. I told her that she did. When we visited the hospital just outside of the NICU there was a bassinet just like the one she spent so many hours in her first month on this earth. "That was my crib?" she asked me. "Yes you slept in one just like that." I told her. Baby Girl is like her dad. She will ask a question or you will tell her something and she gets quiet. You may not hear about the topic again for a few days or weeks. Then some comes out with something profound which makes you realize that she gets it. When we got home from PA we read "Tell Me Again About The Night I was born" (which she calls the "Elly Bake book" because of the man that with the IV that looks like he has a belly ache). When we got to the page with all the babies in their bassinets she told me "Thats my crib." These three interactions seem to have sealed her understanding that we got a call, we went to meet her at the hospital (in her crib) and thats how we became her Mom and Dad. (There were a few more epiphanies on the trip to PA but thats another post.)
Fourth of July we went to a friends house for a cook out. This was our first time meeting their second baby. Their first baby is 2 weeks younger than Baby Girl. Baby Girl enjoyed just watching the babies that were at the party. The party was hard for me. Two of the babies there had siblings that were almost exactly Baby Girls age. If only just wanting a baby for us made it happen. There was another couple there with about a 4 year age gap between their two children. If I really was honest with myself and we were able to conceive we likely wouldn't be "trying" yet. A gap of 3-4 years sounds perfect for us however in the land of adoption its not so easy to plan and so we have started the process knowing that it could be tomorrow and it could be another 2 years- we dont know. I digress. As I put Baby Girl down that night she said to me "Mama I want a sister." "Just like Logan does?" I asked. "yeah" She responded as she squirmed in her bed. "I want a baby too Baby Girl. We can't pick if its a sister or brother though. Would a brother be OK?" I asked. "Yes" she responded. I kissed her, said good-night and told her that she will make a good big sister.
My sister In-law is expecting. When they came to visit last weekend I didn't address the baby with Baby Girl. We have told her they are expecting and that she will be a cousin. I left it at that. I really dont feel like talking about how some babys are born to the moms and dads they live with and other Moms and Dads get a call when a woman chooses for them to parent her baby. I'm not there yet and I really didn't want to have it in front of my in-laws. At the end of the weekend as Baby Girl said good-bye to my sister-in-law she looked up at her belly and said "Whats that?!" pointing to her baby bump. We explained that there was a baby growing in her and when it was ready to come out it would be born. She seemed worried but satisfied.
Friday was Baby Girls 2.5 year appt. Nothing stops Baby Girl in her tracks like a baby. She stops and stares. Sometimes she gets in close and peers into the carseat but rarely says anything. I encouraged her to say good-bye to the baby and told her to tell the baby that the doctor wasn't scary. She said good-bye (but didn't lie to the poor baby about the doctor not being scary). As we walked away she turned to me and asked "Is that my baby?" "Your brother or sister?" I asked. "Yes" she responded. "No thats not our baby. That baby is with his Mom and Dad." "Why is it not our baby?" she asked me. I for the first time ever let an adoption question go. I did answer but I kinda trailed off as we approached the front desk to check out. "That Mom and Dad chose to parent their baby."
Each interaction her questions get more challenging. She is 2 for crying out loud! I know many of her questions are just that questions. Trying to make sense of the puzzle that just isn't fitting just right. I love that she is inquisitive and sometimes he questions really are hard! Why, can be the shortest yet most complicated question ever. I try to remind myself that most often she ends the conversations so I'm assuming that means she feels like her questions are being answered. I also remind myself that I want her to continue to feel like she can ask these questions. I do occasionally answer by honestly saying "Thats a good question- I don't know." I dont know when our second baby is going to come. Just like our first wait. I'm OK with waiting- I just wish I knew when. It was hard enough to have our lives switch gears in a matter of 24 hours from a childless couple to one with a baby in the NICU. This second time it again is going to likely be a quick switch of gears- but this time the impact is going to be greater. I try to bring up the topic of her sibling with cautious frequency. I want her to know its coming but I also dont want her to perseverate on it. Her questions on Friday did remind me- I probably should pack a hospital bag again.