At lunch yesterday Mosely made a very unusual comment that seemed to be right out of left field.
"I wish I could meet my first parents one day," she said.
My head actually whipped toward her - it was such an unexpected comment.
We have made the choice to speak normally and often about Mosely's adoption and her introduction to our family when she was but a wee little three-month-old sausage baby. (Hey - "sausage baby" is the term Mosely uses. And listen, if you had the privilege of meeting her at that age, you would agree. Her appendages closely resembled sausage links. It's just true.) So it was no surprise to hear her speak about being adopted. We all talk about it as a matter of course here.
But it was the first time I had ever heard her express any sort of desire or longing or interest in her birth parents.
And I was genuinely surprised at my internal reaction.
Sure, I kept my external reaction appropriate and moderate. (I hope.) We talked about her birth parents and then we let the comment stay as it really was - just a part of the lifelong conversation we will have with our third daughter, whose story happens to be of a different variety than say, our fourth daughter.
Inside, however, I was actually kind of hurt. And even as I felt that, I knew it was probably irrational. Mosely is five (almost six!) and wondering things out loud is perfectly normal. Talking about your past is part of figuring out your future and your place in the present. I know. But I still sort of felt sad. And somehow less important. Like my role or my ability as Current Mom was being called into question.
And I admit I was a little surprised at Mosely's developed thought process along those lines. I honestly (perhaps foolishly) assumed I had a good five or ten or more years before this type of conversation would even start rolling.
Adoption presents its own set of unique issues. And they are really no more or no less daunting than the set of concerns with birth children. But I think it's misleading to pretend that the issues are the exact same. They just aren't. Sometimes they converge, cross over, merge, and so and so forth. But they are still not the exact same.
I think one part of that difference might just be because with adoption, you can always legitimately ask "what if?" What if genetics play a larger role than I thought? What if we are not the best choice? What if the nature vs. nurture debate really does have a clear victor? And dozens of more questions, deeper and scarier than we would like to see in print.
Adoption is such an incredible journey. One in which I am truly grateful to participate. But like all grand undertakings, like all uncharted territory, like all acts of love - there is such a risk as well. Such a frightening forced opportunity for vulnerability. And therefore, a much greater danger of pain. And suffering. And of having to stumble your way through the dark sometimes.
But I think at its heart, Mosely's story - and every story of adoption at any level - is a story of redemption. A story of hope.
And I don't want her to miss that.
I don't want to miss that.