Child's Healthcare

My Dream, My Daughter - IV
- Purnima Mirchandani

Letting your child know that she is adopted seems to be a daunting task. Here's how Purnima Mirchandani handled this situation. Read on to find out how the family coped.

When Malavika was little, we brought her up on stories of Krishna and how Yashodha loved him very much. Krishna too loved her, though she had not given birth to him. The word "adoption" was not used at that stage, but the concept was introduced. Gradually, whenever there was occasion to talk about it, we did, and the word "adoption" was also introduced.

When she was 6 yrs old, we decided that she was mature enough to understand the fact of her adoption. We were also advised by the social workers at the adoption agency to tell her the truth as early as possible. We decided to take her for a holiday - just the three of us - so that when we told her about it she could ask us all the questions that were in her mind, instead of getting stressed at school. We spent a lovely week in Goa. On the second day, when we were sitting on the beach at sunset, we told her about it. I told her that there are some people who cannot have babies, as there is some medical problem. I had such a problem, and God told us that there was a baby whose mother could not take care of the baby, and so the baby needed parents who would love her, and that she was meant for us and we should go and take her as our own.

Her only verbal reaction that day was that it was not true, God could not talk! When I said that God came to me in my dream, she accepted that. That evening, she did not ask any questions, though through the evening she kept "blowing hot and cold" with me. She either kept hugging me very tightly or hitting me playfully but hard. Obviously, she did not know how to voice what she was feeling. My husband thought that she had not understood it, but obviously she had - otherwise she would not be reacting the way she was.

The next day, the questions started. Her first comment was that I was fooling - she still could not fully grasp it. When I assured her that I was not, she accused me of lying to her about the fact that she was born in my stomach. Well, over the years, when her friends had discussed where they were born etc., I had neatly evaded direct questions. When she had (as all children do) asked questions about how children are born, I had shown her pictures from an encyclopedia showing the stages of prenatal development. When she asked me if she was born in my stomach, I had said that she was born in "Mama's" stomach (not my stomach!). I reminded her of this, and told her that the lady who had her in her stomach could not take care of her, and we were her parents.

She had millions of questions, and asked how we had got her and why she was not born in my stomach. She did ask about her "real mother" (a friend put that idea into her head), and when I told her that I was her "real mother" and that God had put her in another lady's stomach, as I could not have babies, she accepted that. She did question why that was so, but when I told her that God told me that my baby was born in some other lady's stomach and was waiting for me to go get her, she was thrilled to be special. She even told her best friend about it, who took it matter-of-factly, and it did not change their relationship.

My Dream - My Daughter - I

My Dream - My Daughter - II

My Dream - My Daughter - III

My Dream - My Daughter - V

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