Sunday, October 4, 2009

out there in the world

O always gets to church early, meaning that he's one of the first kids to arrive for Godly Play. I've written about him before, he's one of my favorites. (Okay, I feel that way about every kid I work with, but that doesn't make it any less true.)

Yesterday O's dad paused for a moment before heading for the pot of coffee I brew up for parents on Sunday mornings to ask about our adoption process. I gave him the update, and he looked fondly at his son. "They're getting their baby, O." He said. "Isn't that exciting?" O gave a non-committal shrug and wandered to the other side of the room. He is at the stage where displaying any sort of obvious interest in something is viewed as childish, I think. After his dad left, however, he started trailing around after me while I straightened up the classroom.

"Is it a boy or a girl?" He asked.

"A girl" I told him.

"Why didn't you get a boy?!" O seemed genuinely offended by the news.

"We didn't get to choose," I told him.

"Well, if you got to choose, would you have gotten a boy?"

"We would have been happy to have a boy or a girl."

"You could adopt again, you know." O told me, forgetting his cool demeanor in favor of communicating this vital information to me. "My friend's family, they adopted four kids. And my neighbors, they have a black kid and a white kid and they're both adopted and now they're brother and sister."

"That's really cool." I said. He nodded.

"So if you adopt again, will you get a boy?" I laughed and told him I didn't know, for now we were just focused on getting this first baby. He asked where she was, and I told him. His eyes widened when I told him that I had talked on the phone to her first mama.

"Does she have other kids?" he wanted to know. I told him that yes, she did. "Why isn't she keeping this one?" he asked.

Ah, I thought to myself. This is good practice.

"I don't know everything about it," I told him. "But I know she is doing this because she believes it is the best and most loving choice for the baby."

"Did she do it on purpose?" He asked.

"You mean, get pregnant?" I clarified. He nodded. "No, I don't think she did it on purpose."

"I've been back to Guatemala." It seemed like a change of subject, but I had a feeling that O was still in the same conversation, somehow. He was born in Guatemala. "I went back there with my dad, but I didn't meet my biological mom or anything."

"Do you know anything about her?" I asked.

"I know she's out there," he said. "I know she's out there in the world."

His voice was light and confident and clear. He didn't sound wistful or sad. I had no idea what to say, so I just smiled into his clear brown eyes and nodded. He looked right back for a moment, then scrunched up his face, an expression I associate with mischief when he wears it.

"I know how they do it." He announced.

"Do what?"

"How they make babies. I know about it." He looked at me as if to dare me to disagree.

"Oh yeah?" I replied. "Well, good for you, I guess."

He leaned in, as if to tell me a secret. I braced myself for the worst.

"I know," he whispered. "And it is so. gross."

I laughed, I couldn't help it, and we headed out the door to the rest of our Sunday.


  1. "I know," he whispered. "And it is so. gross."

    Haha, that's so adorable. That line just killed me. :-)

    I went to Remedy Teas last night and it wasn't the same without you, lady!

  2. Cool conversation. And great answer to "why" - I may have to steal it.

  3. that is too funny!! i guess it is pretty gross, but pretty fun too! :)

  4. We get "aren't you going to adopt a GIRL?" all the time!

  5. O sounds like such a cutie! My conversations with kids about adoption never fail to both amuse me and give me insight. With each conversation, I feel like I get a chance to work out how to talk about adoption with my own children as they grow.

  6. What a sweet boy. Great practice for adults asking those questions.

  7. hahaha too cute! someone needs to remind him of his "so gross" opinion when he's about 17 :)

    couldn't think of a better way to answer all his questions though, for kids OR adults