Monday, April 20, 2009

And there it was..

It was bound to happen and I knew this going into Abby's adoption as a single. What I didn't know was how much it was going to hurt when it finally did happen. Abby will be two and a half next month. I didn't foresee this happening quite so soon. I know. I'm naive. We were on our way to school this morning and out of the blue I hear from the back seat, "Where is Abby's Daddy?" GULP!! I felt a knot in my throat and I teared up but quickly told her that we didn't have a Daddy. I went on to say that Abby has a Uncle Pete, Uncle Chris, Da , Uncle Hootie (Hughie), Uncle Trey and Grandad. And how lucky she was and she agreed with a "Yeah" then started talking about something else. We were late so I didn't have much time to think about it but after I picked her up as we were driving home there it was again. She kind of mumbled it quietly this time. I told her that not everybody has a Daddy. I told her that some people only had a Mommy. She said, "Yeah" then started naming some of her classmates and talking about their Mommy's and Daddy's. Then the conversation changed. Then tonight as we were laying in bed there it was again. "Where is Abby's Daddy?" I teared up again but answered as before. We started talking about her classmates and she would name who did and didn't have a Daddy. I'm guessing by who she See's come pick them up? We again talked about how some people have Mommy's and Daddy's and some only have Mommy's or Daddy's. She seemed to except this but then repeated again, "Where is Abby's Daddy?" I always thought going in to this adoption that my being her Mommy would be good enough. Sure I hoped and still do that Mr Right would eventually turn up and sweep us both away on his white horse. And if he didn't we would still be okay because I love her so much. That all changed after I met her though. The Daddy thing has been my biggest guilt since having her at home. She is just so wonderful and I think she deserves nothing but the best. To me the best includes a Daddy. I breaks my heart that I can't give her that. I can't imagine what has been going on inside her sweet little head. I wonder what triggered her to ask 3 times in one day and why today???? I'm open to any suggestions on how to handle this. Especially any age appropriate books on this sensitive subject. I just love her so much and I want her to grow up secure and confidant . And like I said. I knew the issue was bound to surface but I really thought it wouldn't be until she was a little older.

12 comments:

Sherry Mc said...

Ok, so the question had to come. Abby is so bright we should have expected it sooner. She is just confused when she sees others with Daddy's. Please don't pile the guilt on yourself. Mr Right will appear when it is time. In the meantime, love her to bits. She will learn that you are both the mommy and daddy and that that is normal with some families. You are doing such a splendid job with her. She just sees the daddies in other relationships and is trying to understand. As she gets older, she will see that in some cases no daddy is better than having one who is not good to her. She loves you so much. Maybe Da could pick her up one day this week?? xo's Mom

Lindsay said...

I have that guilt and sadness too. Hannah hasn't asked about this yet though she sometimes calls other peoples dads 'daddy' too.

Maybe Abby's teacher could suggest some books for you to share together. I'm sure she must have experience of this.

Best wishes.

Chinazhoumom said...

I would do just like you did - and have done - "in our family we don't have a daddy"..."but you have a father - a birthdfather in China" (that gives her a reply to her friends when they say - Where is your daddy - "my ather is in China...end of point...

We talk about that there are all kinds of families and then list them mom only - dad only - grandparents- aunts cousins etc raise children...and then leave it - until she asks again - again giving age ready answers...(this is what Jane Brown said - and her seminar) you can google her..
Let the guilt go - so we want a perfect world - but move on - it is best for everyone - if it happens it happens - otherwise - enjoy the time as it goes so vey fast!

FinsUp said...

My daughter doesn't seem all that interested in the Daddy Question, but when she asks why she doesn't have a daddy, I say, "Because Mommy isn't married." I, personally, haven't brought her biological father into it because that opens up a need to explain why he isn't in her life and that is turning a little hurt into a big hurt. I am of the "be honest, but answer the question and no more" camp.

We like the book, "The Family Book" by Todd Parr that talks about all different kinds of families. It is colorful and peppy and short. You might want to pre-read it, though, to make sure it fits your beliefs.

Good luck and don't be too rough on yourself. You gave your daughter a family, and that is the most important thing. Her question may be stemming from something as simple as one of her friends talking about their daddy taking them to a movie and she thinks daddys are people you get to do fun things with.

Briana's Mom said...

She is such a smart girl and very aware of her surroundings. I wish I had some wise words of advice for you. Families do come in all shapes and sizes and I think she will understand that in time. Wishing you all the best of luck.

Carrie (aka Lilly's Mama) said...

Soooooo been there!!! (well...and still there I guess). Daddy's are one of Lilly's favorite topics, and therefore we end up talking about it a lot. The tricks I have learned: 1) Todd Parr's "Family Book" is great, as is "The Best Single Mom in the World / How I was Adopted". Ms Alicia has the Parr book and let us borrow it when Lilly was struggling a while back. We have the other one and read it often...one of her favorites because she says the family looks like hers. 2) We talk about how all families are different - some have a mommy & a daddy, some only have one, some have grandparents, some have cats and dogs, some have step parents, some have 2 mommies, etc. That helps her feel less alone...that and there are 3 kids in Lil & Abby's class w/ only a mommy 3) we look at the lifebook I made a lot - I don't have a name or picture of the birthfather, but we talk about what he might have in common w/ Lilly (likes to read, pretty eyes...whatever), and she likes that. I try to be careful to not refer to him as a daddy - only as a birthfather. 4) She has also started calling my dad her "grand- daddy" instead of Papa, which somehow makes her feel better, so whatever works. I try to make sure they have good one on one time, as well as other male friends (ie jackson's dad) being great with her. None of that takes the guilt piece away - but I think it is healthy to be honest and upfront about it, and it seems to work for Lil. And, the conversations get easier with time and practice. Think of this as practice time where she won't exactly remember what you say - but she will remember if you thought it was an ok topic, or a sad thing...so try to keep upbeat and simple about it. Call me if you want to chat more about it....c

kris said...

I think Carrie gave some great advice, though I guess for me I resist reducing her father in China to "only" a "birthfather"- but I guess that's just my personal choice and opinion. I very much want my own child to grow up feeling connected to her culture and her first family, as much as that is possible, in her heart, and plan to call her 'birthparents' her China Mom and China Dad. Referring to them as "birth mom" and "birth dad" (to ME, opinion only) seems to reduce them to a biological being that physically created my child. And I don't see them that way. They are entirely woven into the history of who she is, even though they are physically absent from her. Kids who lose their parents at a young age (death) - no different. You wouldn't then call those parents birth parents once they were adopted, right?

Just my thoughts on that.

Kim said...

Add me to the guilt list. My Dad lives with us, so she hears me say Dad all the time. I think she thinks Grand-papa is her Dad. I am not sure how I'll be able to straighten that out?

Lisa and Tate said...

Wow... you sound like you handled this question well. It is a tough road being a single momma.

laurie said...

holy moly she's smart. you handled it beautifully. lordy...next she's going to ask you about thw theory of relativity!
xo,
auntie waurie

RamblingMother said...

I have told G that since I am not married but she decided her daddy is in China which is true, you know?

~ Alison n' Mali~ said...

Funny - Mali came out with all this Daddy stuff at age 2 as well, and I was just as thrown by it. I posted on how I chose to handle it all (if you're interested):

http://mychinesedream.blogspot.com/2007/08/daddy-part-ii.html

Now that M's 4.5, she understands the family situation on a deeper level, & is completely accepting (& happy) about the dynamics of our family. She knows she has a China Dad (or 'birf-dad'), and she rarely brings the issue up. When I ask her if she thinks she'd like a Daddy in the here & now, she normally says 'no thank you' . . . . go figure.

We do have 2 books that M *loves* called Mamma's Wish/Daughter's Wish & Motherbridge of Love - they focus on the Mom/Daughter relationship and not necessarily on the absence of a parent.