Brown Bear has been talking about how he grew in Mummy's tummy and Blue Bear was born in another mummy's tummy. He says it in front of his brother and at times I wonder if it makes sense to Blue Bear. He is now 4 years old, but I don't know it he truly understands what it means to be adopted. Why would he ? We weren't in his life for the first year. So much happened in that time. He lived with birth mum, then with foster family then finally he came to live with us. We keep in touch wtih his foster family and it's really important that they are in his life as they hold the memories of that time before we knew him. They met birth mum and they took care of him when she couldn't any more.
We had a birthday party for Blue Bear - his first one - and invited his foster family and the children they currently care for. It was a chance for them to see him in a social setting and they saw how he has made friends and is confident and fun to be around. It was also really touching when I saw my Mum talking to his foster 'mum' and getting on so well with her. It wasn't easy for them to let him go and trust us. So many times they took Blue Bear for contact visits with birth mum and she just didn't turn up. He would get distressed and they would have to take him home until the next time. When we were matched as his family the foster carers were very protective of him and wanted to be assured that this little boy in their care was going to the best home. I like to think that when they see of how happy he is they believe that.
Brown Bear knows what a foster family is, but Blue Bear isn't entirely sure. As time goes on we will be more explicit about how important they have been in his life. He already knows they love him very much. Explaining the journey that brought Blue Bear into our family is not a one time thing. It's ongoing and sometimes unexpected things will bring it into focus. Watching a movie about how a pig was adopted by a sheepdog gave me pause for thought today. Did Blue Bear really understand ? It doesn't matter.
I watched Blue Bear lying against Hubbie on the floor this afternoon. People often comment on how alike they look and it is uncanny. Then later the boys were playing a bowling game on the wii and they were laughing and wrestling on the floor between rounds. For all the fighting and the noise this is what we hoped for.