Pollito is almost 6 but in many ways is so much younger so he seems more like a 4 year old. Over the past few months he has begun to show interest in his adoption story and has wanted to hear it again and again. Our return to Boston has brought up some memories for him so he has begun to ask more about his life "before Texas." On the trip here he was very concerned that he could remember his crib and his toddler bed but he couldn't remember his old room or the color of the walls. As soon as we got to our old house he was excited to see the room he slept in (although he actually slept in our room much of the time for safety reasons) and he also remembered sleeping in our room. Since then he has called up some memories from the past and we have pointed out important places as we see them (favorite park, pond, daycare center, grocery store, etc.) He seems to remember some of this.
I had some pictures I needed to add to the photo album we put together for his birth mom in anticipation of our visit with her. He offered to help me and we reminisced about where the pictures were taken and how old he was. As we talked he asked me who the pictures were for and I told him they were for his and Tortuga's mother. He seemed puzzled so I stopped and repeated her name asked him if he remembered who she was. He said he did not so I pulled out the pictures from our visit with her last summer. He looked at it for a few minutes and said he did not remember her or our visit with her. I told him it was OK. We kept working with the pictures and he asked me his mother's name again. Then he said "I think I am supposed to love her. I don't remember her and I don't think I love her." I told him whatever he felt was fine. I also told him that she loved him very much because she knew him since before he was born, had him in her belly, gave birth to him, and was the first one to meet him and take care of him when he was a tiny baby. Since he dd not remember much of this he might not remember loving her and that was fine. He then said his brother, Tortuga, tells him he is supposed to love her and also tells him that she is his "real" mother because he "grew in her tummy." Then he said, "I think I am confused, Mom." I asked him to elaborate and he said "I think Tortuga is right .... BUT, I feel like I grew in your belly. Is that OK, mom?" I assured him it was perfectly fine to feel what he was feeling and that as he grew up he would understand more and more about his birth story, adoption, and all his mothers. He smiled and said he would dream about being in my belly because that made him sleep "good."