Last week Baby Girl told me her friends at school told her she was lying about being a sister. I could tell she was upset and I asked how it made her feel "sad" she told me. I tried to tease out if she was trying to explain how she was going to be a big sister or if she was telling them about how she had birth siblings. Right now given her birth brothers hospitalization it really could have been either. She said yes to both. Though after she said yes about her birth sibling she asked me "I am a sister already?" I told her yes she has a big brother and sister who love her very much. She told me the baby was taking a very very very very long time to get here.
I spoke with the school and we agreed that I will come in next week to talk about adoption and how different families grow different ways. I told them I would bring in a book of Baby Girls choice to read and talk about adoption- but NOT about Baby Girls story.
On the ride home from school I asked her what she would think about her picking an adoption story to share with her class. She wanted to bring HER story. I explained to her that I thought maybe one of her other adoption stories might be better because she may want to choose who she tells her story to. She thought about it for a moment and decided on a friend that she though she might want to tell. I agreed that a good friend like the one she named would be a good friend to share with.
She then started to ask about the hospital. Why was I in the hospital? I gave my standard line "Because you needed medicine only doctors and nurses could give you." Did I cry? "Yes you cried sometimes." Did I hurt? I took a deep breath- did I want to go there? "Yes I think you did sometimes." I told her and waited for her next question. "Why did I hurt? What hurt?" I explained to her that her muscles hurt and that the medicine the nurses gave her made them feel better. "Why did I need the medicine?" Another deep breath... we are going there. "Before you were born D took medicine she shouldn't have taken without the help of a doctor. Because you were inside of her you also got the medicine. You needed to get that medicine to make your body feel better. Each day we gave you less until you didn't need it any more." She then went on to tell me the part of the story she knew. The part about where we put her in the car and she slept all of the way home from the hospital.
That night I told DH as he was getting dinner ready that we had started to talk more about the hospital and why she was there. Baby girl then jumped in "Tell him about the medicine she put in my belly." The story repeated and we moved on.
I'm not sure that I'm doing this all right. She is going to need to know. I think she is more ready then I am at each change in the story. I want to protect her. I want her to love D. I also need her to know the truth. That is a very hard balance to strike.