Finally, it happened. I've been expecting it, and I was (sort of) prepared, but somehow it caught me by surprise anyway. Maybe I should post this on our first blog, but this is the most current one, so I'll talk about it here. On the way home from swimming lessons, Ben began questioning me about his adoption story. We adopted Ben 2 years ago. Since he will be 9 years old next month, and he began his questioning asking if he's REALLY 9 years old, and if August 23 is his REAL birthday. I answered the only way I know how to answer anything; with total and complete honesty. We don't know your exact birthday, Ben, but your documents show August 23. When a baby is found in China, someone takes a guess as to how old the child is and gives them a probable birth date. You were found as a young baby, so we do know that your year of birth is accurate. That led to the discussion of why babies are given up for adoption.
Ben seemed ok with the idea that sometimes babies have medical needs and their birth mom's don't have enough money to take them to the Dr. so they take them to the orphanage to find new parents who can take care of them better. What Ben really struggled with is the fact that his foster parents didn't adopt him. Ben lived in a foster home for his entire life, as far as we know. Ben talks about his foster mom taking him to the Dr. ALL the time! Ben declared emphatically that his foster mom had the money to take him to the Dr. "Why didn't she keep me?" Now, I'm pretty sure Ben's foster family wasn't well-off. They ran a farm in China, had dirt floors, and all shared one bed. But in all honesty, trying to explain why a Chinese family can't adopt a foster child had me stumped. I'm sure it's like attempting inter-state domestic adoption here, darn near impossible because of the government. All I could say, repeatedly, is that your foster mom knew that we would be able to take great care of you, provide you with a good education, and the medical care in the U.S. is better. Lame. Lame. Lame. My one wish, right now, would be to be able to contact Ben's foster parents for him. I've tried and only reached dead-ends. So...did I have the right answers for Ben? Nope. I hope he at least remembers that I didn't lie to him. His foster mom told Ben that he was coming to the United States to go to school, and he would return to China soon. The poor little guy spent six months here before he realized that he wasn't going "home." Advice anyone?