At first, I wasn't sure it was such a good idea, but we went with it after seeing her reaction to singing 'Happy Birthday' to 'Her Majesty'. She laughed and laughed and laughed. Scrunch can be an intense kid and is not always so easily amused so it was worth her reaction. I think she might have been better behaved than usual because Her Royal Highness felt the obligation to set the example for her subjects. She was so excited that all of Primary would sing to her ON the actual day of her birthday.
She seemed to love her birthday this year. As the first one up she got to spend a little more time just with Mom and Dad which she usually forfeits by being my latest sleeper. She carefully reviewed each of her presents before opening them. Her gift wrapping is one of her favorite parts and it has now become a tradition to see how they are wrapped. The glittered 'after Christmas sale' ornament bows seemed to cut it this year. I was so proud of her when she said 'Thank you' after opening each present without being prompted. We put off a 'friends' party for another year and I was worried she might regret it when we went to a birthday party on Saturday, but she didn't even mention it. You just really never know with her.
The last several weeks have been filled with some intense conversations about her adoption as she processes what it means. There have been tears when talking about her Birthmom and lots of questions. I read some really great articles from qualified professionals that used the metaphor that processing your own adoption is like climbing a mountain every adopted child has to climb. Depending on their personality it may affect how they approach it and at what point, but they all have to do it. Some choose to go around it, others ignore it's there, others a little bit at a time, and others up and over. True to her personality Miss Scrunch seemed to take it on and not stop till she had conquered it.
These questions and all the talk of adoption kind of came out of nowhere. We've always been open and just treated it as a fact. "All babies grow in tummies. Not all of Mommy's babies grew in Mommy's tummy." Things like that. At one point she commented that she had been for sale. Turns out she heard somewhere how adoption is expensive and because she knows that her Birthmom 'chose us' she interpreted it to mean she had been for sale. She took a few opportunities to push the limits and made some comments about not really being "part of this family". I was so grateful to be able to tell her about the temple and her sealing to us and for her to be at an age where she could understand a little bit more about what that means. We finally figured out that all of this wasn't really about her Birthmom, but about her. She is still 6 so in her mind the world still revolves around her.
My pregnancy opened up some questions for her as to where she fit in. I knew we'd address the fact that other children were biological at some point, but I didn't think it would be kindergarten. I was thinking more along the lines of 13. But that is Scrunch. One morning I told her she was my favorite Scrunch and would always be. She asked me if she would always be the oldest in our family and I told her that she would always be my first baby. We talked a little about the night she was born and that was it. She seems to be cool with it and hasn't mentioned it since. On her birthday I told her that we loved her and hope she knew how much we loved her. "I know Mom. And I know C loves me too." She looked at me waiting for my response. "Tha'ts right. We all love you very much." She smiled and that was it.
Her birthday is the one time we make contact with her Birthmom. I had given her the option over the last couple of weeks to draw a picture or write a letter to her but she wasn't interested. I sat down last night to write her my yearly email and debated whether or not to tell Scrunch. When she came in to ask what I was doing I told her and asked if there was anything she would like me to tell her. I was a little bit nervous as to what she would say and whether or not I was prepared to fulfill my promise to relay the message. "Tell her I wish I could drive and that I got a bean bag for my birthday. Also that I am going to see Frozen again in the movie theater." You got it. Your wish is my command. Happy Birthday Your Majesty!