Where Were You?

We have close friends who have a baby that we and little M just love to pieces. Over the past couple months, one of little M’s favorite things to do is play baby R…she pretends that she needs a bib, and I need to feed her, of that she needs her diaper changed, or is taking a nap, or needs a bottle…you get the idea. We do this several times throughout her week (in addition to pretending we are wonderpets, or the incredibles, ha!).

Last week we were playing baby, and little M made a baby bed, pretended that she needed her diaper changed, and informed me that when she (the baby) cried, I (the mommy) would come to get her.
She did her fake cry, and I swooped in to pick her up. Then I would lay her back down so we could do it all over again…

Again, she did her fake cry, and I bent to pick her up, making all the appropriate cooing noises and concerned expressions… and then she wasn’t fake crying. My little M was sobbing. For real.
And my fake concerned expression turned into a real concerned expression.

I sat and held her, and she cried for a few minutes. I asked her why she was sad, and she replied that she didn’t know, she just was! After a couple minutes, she stopped, was happy, and said she wanted to play again. Um, okay… little M is an intense feeler, she even cries during cartoons if someone looks hurt.
I was a little shaken, but she seemed fine, and jumped down to play baby again.

This happened two more times! She would start fake crying, and then burst into sobs that left her breathless. I sat and held her, and prayed…
The third time, she looked up at me with sad, sad eyes…
“mommy, when I was a baby, I was in China.”
“yes, baby,” I said, with tears in my eyes.
“mommy, when I was a baby, I cried, and you didn’t come!” she said, with tears running down her little face. “Where were you?”

We both cried. I told her I was sorry, I told her I loved her more than anything, and I promised to always come when she needs me.

This definitely left me shaken. The depth of her feelings, and her intense grief were so raw, and I felt so helpless in the face of her sadness. We cuddled and talked for a long time about China, and family, and feelings. I told her I wished I could have been her mommy when she was a baby, and that I missed her, too. I told her that I knew God had a special plan for her, and that I was so glad she was in our family.
She told me that she has a family now, but some babies don’t. She said she is happy, and she has a mommy, and daddy…

Then, she hopped down, and ran off to color. But the outpouring of emotions seemed to be cathartic and even therapeutic… she was happy and affectionate, coming to me often for hugs and kisses, for the rest of the day.

We knew these questions would come, but we weren’t sure when. I am so thankful for my girl, and so grateful that she trusts me with these huge feelings. I know there will be many more, even harder, questions to come, and they will probably all leave me a bit shaken, right?
I just know that I love this little girl that our family has been so blessed with, and feel so privileged to parent her and walk through tough times with her, but I would definitely appreciate prayer for wisdom, and the words to say when my little girl has questions…


  1. Musings from Kim K. on February 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Wow. That's pretty amazing considering how young M is. Josie goes back and forth with her questions about China. She definitely asks for reassurance that she will always have our family.

  2. ourchinagirls on February 23, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    It sounds like you are doing play therapy and it is working very well!! I am glad that she can open up to you and what a wonderful way to do this.

  3. wendi on February 23, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    My daughter is almost 8yrs old. She has many questions. He raw feelings and emotions come out night, at bed time. She will weep. I take her and cradle her in my arms like an infant (the years I missed), look into her eyes and touch her cheeks. I let me talk and cry. We pray and when she is done I tuck her back in. I have read your blog for quite awhile, you are doing an amazing job. Thank you for being honest.

  4. Brianna Wachter on February 27, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Wow, this is…I was just tearing up. So many emotions. I think people often overlook the amount little people feel. You are doing such a good job with Little M to be so aware and she loves you and you love her and what a beautiful family you are.

  5. J Willis on March 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Ok so I'm reading this at work and crying ….I wonder as we embark on a journey to our own lil girl about this grief she will surely also feel~ although we can't get that time back with them – you got there as fast as you could and you love her SO much!!!Thank you for sharing this moment with us – a peek into life with your sweet M ;)BlessingsJanice http://sunshine-and-grace.blogspot.com

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