Izabella is starting to figure out babies come from a Mommy's tummy. She first started noticing this when we were at church during Christmas--she calls her "Mommy Mary". Then she's says you "Mommy Lisa". Pretty precious.
But the other day--she came upstairs holding her baby oh so tenderly and with the sweetest, soft little voice she began this conversation with me.
I: Mommy. I had a baby. My baby come from my tummy. Isn't she beautiful!
M: Oh yes! She's very pretty Izabella.
I: Mommy you have baby in your tummy?
M: No. I didn't grow any babies in my tummy."
I: Izabella in your tummy.
M: No. You grew in your China Mommy's tummy.
I: Oh. I grew in your heart. China Mommy tummy.
I have never felt a "void" for not having bio children. Never even a pinge of disappointment. It's not that I didn't want to have children. I wanted a family. I just never thought that meant giving birth to a child. I always wanted to adopt and that was as exciting to me as anything, if not more. I will say, the roller coaster ride we were on when we tried to get pregnant early in our marriage was not fun. But that wasn't disappointment about not being pregnant each month--as much as it was the thought of not being a mom at all. As Dan was so opposed to adoption at that time.
BUT, for some reason, this question, coming from this precious little girl--looking up at me with those dreamy brown eyes, holding her little beautiful baby doll I got her for Christmas touched me in a very deep way. It was as if I was hit with a JOLT of reality, as I the words poured out in answer, "No. I didn't grow any babies in my tummy." Brings a tear to my eye now just writing this. Oh goodness!! I thought to myself, "Wow. I never grew a baby in my tummy. AND I never will." Good thing Izabella was sitting next to me, or I might have melted into a complete emotional wreck right then and there. Good thing the question came from the lips of the most precious thing I've ever met--even if I didn't grow her in my tummy. God is good to have delivered this jolt of reality from such a beautiful source of love--His gift to us--her.
Deep breath, exhale, and on with our evening. In the coming days, she started asking at least once a day, usually at bedtime. "Mommy, did you ever hold me like this?" As she cradles her arms together as if to cradle a tiny baby. This conversation is equally as difficult. Although I think for me more than her.
Then a few days ago. I was cradling her in my arms, like "my baby." And I realized I do this a lot. And often when I do it--she will talk and act like a baby. And I have to admit--I love her complete submission to me in those moments. As I look in her eyes and tell her how very much I love her, and kiss her forehead sweetly. She coo's like a baby--then is up and off doing her toddler thing!
Recently, we were doing this, and instead of running off--she locked eyes with me. She stared at me for what seemed an hour--but was probably more like 15 minutes. All the while, I watched her scan my face with the most blank look. As if she was taking in every detail of my face. I couldn't look away. It was as if I was hypnotized by her face, her look.
She's done this before for brief moments--always memorable. But this one will remain so clear in my heart.
Next time she asks me if I cradled her like a baby. I will tell her, "Yes." And I will do so until you're a very old woman if I can.