I’ve written before about how scared I was about introducing her life story book to little Miss. Getting the timing, tone and wording right felt like so much pressure and I was dreading it. We knew though that now was the right time to do it. So, 2 weeks ago, we took a deep breath and got the book out.
Having read some stories about inadequate life story books, or no book at all, I’m pleased to say that the book prepared for little Miss is very good. Some of the detail was incorrect but that was easy enough for me to change. Other than that, the book is ideal. It has the few photos that exist of little Miss and her birth mum, all of her siblings and her foster family. It explains in age appropriate way, the basics about why she couldn’t live with her birth family.
It’s a while since I’ve gone through it and there are another few tweaks I need to do to it. I also need to get the letterbox contact letters together and keep adding them in as we get them. Overall though, it’s a really good book.
As good as the book is, it didn’t ease my concerns that going through it with little Miss would change our relationship forever. My worst fear was that once she knew she has brothers and sisters, she’d want to meet them. Despite our hope that we’d have direct contact with her little brother, that hasn’t come to fruition so there is little possibility of her meeting any of them during her childhod. I was really worried about how we’d explain that to her.
We all sat together on the settee and started to go through it. We didn’t read all of the words to her and mainly just focused on the pictures. The details of the wording is something we’ll read together when she’s older. She loved seeing photos of her favourite toy Eeyore which came with her when she arrived. She thought the photos of her as a tiny baby were funny and she tried to tickle her nose.
I felt more and more anxious though as we got closer to the section about her siblings. I felt physically sick when I turned over the page. The reaction I was expecting, however, didn’t happen. In fact, there was no reaction at all. She studied the photos and asked their names, but wasn’t upset at learning she had brothers and sisters. That really took me by surprise and I don’t know if it’s a good sign or not.
It felt like a huge relief though to have gone through the book with her. I’m sure it will be a slow burner for her and she’s processing everything. No doubt there’ll be questions from her when she’s ready. She’s asked to look at the book twice since then. The second time, she started to get upset when we looked at the photo of birth mum.
We’ve been talking to her for a little while about her tummy mummy saying that she grew in our hearts and in her tummy mummy’s tummy. She’s seemed fine with that. However, when I said the photo was of her tummy mummy, she started to get upset and said that I was her tummy mummy. That broke my heart. I love her as much as I would if I had given birth to her and I hope that that will be enough to help her through as she starts to understand her history.
We were bracing ourselves for a downward spiral in her behaviour after looking at the book, but that hasn’t happened. If anything, she’s gone the other way and has been very cuddly with me in particular. I’ve been making the most of the glorious cuddles as I’m sure they won’t last and she’ll go back to rolling her eyes if I ask her for one!
Starting the journey of teaching little Miss about her history has been very emotional for me, and all the more so because we’ve just found out that birth mum is pregnant again. So we’re back on the rollercoaster we left behind just over 2 years ago, agonising over whether we want to be considered as adopters for the baby. Whatever decision we make, I have a feeling it won’t be the last addition to her life story book.