July 15, 2010

Different Perspectives

Beth's new apartment is decorated in a style she and I affectionately dubbed Firefly Shrine. Pictures of Firefly are everywhere you turn and there is a small bookshelf filled with framed photos and mementos. Personally, I can't understand why anyone wouldn't want to surround themselves the faces of either of my fantastic children. (I may be a wee bit biased.)

Firefly typically takes a long time to warm up in unfamiliar places. But she settled in on Sunday in no time at all, kicking off one shoe, climbing up and down the couch, and testing how far her demands for crackers would get her. I wouldn't be surprised if all the photos that she very seriously observed when we first toured the apartment played a part in her comfort level. What better way to win over a two-year old than to surround them with themselves?

It's been interesting to observe the differences in how Firefly and Puppy organize their thinking about adoption and family. At their tender ages they are both still very much concrete thinkers, of course. But by the age Firefly is now, Puppy had a definite, strong sense of Ray and Kelly as his people (and Beth as Firefly's). He already paired Kelly and Ray with each other in his mind, even though we interacted with them separately. And he paired them with himself, talking about my dad, my birth mom, my Ray. Firefly's birth and adoption, in particular, marked some steps ahead in his adoption processing when he was just two.

Firefly, on the other hand, is hyper-focused on the people who live with her. We are her world at the moment.  Her favorite person is her brother; she always needs to know where he is and what he's doing. While she talks about other key people in our life, if she views them as connected to her in any special way she hasn't articulated it yet. I've yet to hear her talk about adoption or use any adoption language. And she doesn't display the sort of regard for Beth that Puppy shows his birth parents. (I know that has been hard for Beth, as much as she understands that every child is different.)

All that to say that when Beth asked Firefly at the end of they day if she liked visiting the apartment, she just sleepily said that there should be some pictures of her brother, too.


luna said...

how interesting the different ways in which kids process things.

I love that firefly thought beth should have pix of puppy too!

Maru said...

Aww... That was so sweet of Firefly!

Interesting to see that kids can have different perspectives about adoption. A friend of mine has a 3 year old and he also interacts with his birthparents separately. He understands he grew in his birthmom's tummy, he tells his story and says that, but he cannot understand the role of his birthdad, make them a couple, put them together and grasp the concept that both are his birthparents. He just says he's a friend of his birthmom's.

Lynn said...

Very interesting. Our son is only 10-months old, so he doesn't understand who his birth parents are (or their families) are. In fact, he still finds them a little bit scary, as he does all people he doesn't see daily.

Sonya said...

Funny, my two boys are the same. Our older son SO understood his adoption story and a very young age. Our younger is 3 1/2 now and does not have a clue or talk about adoption much. Maybe it's us as parents that are determined with our firstborn to "get it right" that we don't focus on it as intently the second time around. Our younger son does refer to his bmom Nikole as "my Kold"...I guess she's just hoping he will pronounce her name right eventually! LOL

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