About two weeks ago, a good friend of ours gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Ping had been following the pregnancy, and she knew that "Jennifer had a baby in her tummy". And last week when we went to visit the their family, Ping knew that the baby came out of her tummy. But, then she asked the next obvious question, "Whose tummy did I come out of?". It is a normal question, but one that I hoped to answer when our adopted daughter was slightly older than three years old.
So, Lis and I have begun to work on building the birth story with Ping. Luckily, there are some good children's books designed for children adopted from China, and we have been using them for bedtime reading most nights. At first, it bothered me a little that Ping assumes that every picture of a Chinese baby is a picture of herself. It seemed to reinforce the stereotype that all Chinese people look alike. However, I am beginning to realize that she doesn't have enough exposure to other Asian children to understand that they were Asian babies also.
While reading When you were born in China a few nights ago, Ping began telling the story herself to us: "That is where I slept, and that is a picture of the nurse carrying me to you". We were thrilled and a little choked up to hear her clearly explain her adoption story. She turned the page and pointed to a wooden door in the background of the photo and said, "That is where I fought the scary robot". "Robot?", my wife says. "Yeah, a scary robot." "Honey, you didn't fight a scary robot. That was in a movie you saw yesterday." Ping thought about it and says, "Yeah, I didn't fight him cause I didn't have my sword."