That's the question Mariah asked me tonight. It turns out that she thought that she grew in MY tummy. How she had rationalized why she was in Ukraine in an orphanage for 4 years and 3 months, I don't know.
I guess it makes sense though. I was the first mama she ever knew. I was the only mama she ever knew. Her bio mom relinquished her parental rights when Mariah was a few weeks old.
Mariah said something tonight about WHEN she was in my tummy and I said, "Oh Mariah you didn't grow in MY tummy."
Well, who's tummy did I grown in?
I explained as simply as I could that she had a tummy mom in Ukraine and that's who's tummy she grew in. I asked if she wanted to see a picture of her? So we looked at her memory book that I made when she came home and for the first time we named the lady in the photos as "tummy mom."
"Where's my daddy?"
We looked at a few pictures of her bio dad.
"Did he take care of me?"
And that's when I started to tear up. Because he didn't. He couldn't. For so many reasons and one of them being that he chose not to. I don't fault them. The conditions, environment and society they live in was not a good place for a premature baby with cerebral palsy. But how does one explain that to a 5 year old?
We flipped through the book and looked at pictures of her little sisters that live with her bio parents.
"Did I sleep in THAT crib too?"
"Why not? Why didn't they put me there too?"
I explained as best as I could that she was born too soon, was very small, and very sick so she had to stay at the hospital for a long time and then go to her grouppa where they could take very good care of her. Her mama and daddy in Ukraine couldn't take care of her like they wanted to so they made sure someone else could.
"Where were you, mom?"
I was here. God told me about you when you were bigger. He told me that I needed to come find you and bring you home and I came as fast as I could.
"But I was sad in my tummy mom's belly in Ukraine. I missed you. I wanted you."
I'm sorry I couldn't come sooner. I came as fast as I could...