I asked Honeybee if she wanted to write about how she feels when I am sick to help other mothers understand how their children might feel. This is what she wanted to share with you.
When Mommy is sick I feel sad and have bad feelings. I am afraid that she will die because my Mom died before by getting sick. When Mommy tells me she only has a cold, I just feel madder because it just reminds me more that she might die. It doesn’t matter that it is only a cold.
If Mommy dies I will die too. I will, because then I wouldn’t have a mom and my life would get awful-er. If you don’t have a mom, it feels like you don’t have nobody to talk to. I wouldn’t get that much love because Mommy gives me a lot of love.
Moms should tell their kids that they are not going to die and they will be okay.
From my Mommy perspective, I think Honeybee feels that if her first mom died (which left her motherless for eight years), it is too good to believe that she will now have a mom who will see her into adulthood. It’s as if her heart believes, “Bad things happened in my life, and they are going to keep happening.”
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In Attaching in Adoption, Deborah Gray writes about a boy who believes that the trauma in his life was somehow caused by something inherent to him. “I am the kind of person that things like this happen to.” (p. 119)
I see this in my children from “hard places”. There is a hopelessness that believes that life can’t change and can’t be good. There is a very real fear that the old life of being an orphan cannot be overcome.
I need to speak truth and life to my children. “I am a healthy mom and I will take care of you.” “You will always be part of our family.” I know I can’t promise that I won’t die, but I can affirm the truth that I am taking good care of myself and I hope and plan to be alive long after my children are grown.
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