19 November 2008

"How many children do you have?"

One little question. Harmless. Pretty normal. But this one little question can also be a loaded question, one full of misery.

Someone asked me this question at work the other day. I have become well practiced at clenching my back teeth and not blinking an eye while responding with "I have two children" LIAR! IT'S A LIE! the inner voice inside my head screams whilst I proceed to tell the asker of question their ages. BUT YOU HAVE 3 CHILDREN, NOT 2 the voice is furious now. It hates the Lie. And the Lie has become so frequent of late.

There was a time I dared to tell the truth and include my lost daughter in that count but it became harder to disguise the truth and so the Lie came out and it has stayed.

But not without a Price. The voice doesn't let up and the guilt creeps in. How does a Mother deny her own child? How can anyone possibly understand how a small question can lead to days of feeling so guilty and as if I have betrayed my daughter? Yet another example of the distress adoption plays in my daily life... a simple answer can turn into so much heartache.

I hate denying her. Usually I try not to but few people would understand the truth or care to hear the full story. To tell a stranger my deepest pain would be like allowing them to reach in and hold the handle of the dagger that is so deeply embedded in my heart. Allowing them this far allows them to turn that dagger and my already so badly wounded heart bleeds anew. There is only so many times one can fix a hole.

So here, where anyone who reads can see... the truth to the answer in the title is: I have THREE beautiful children. I have two amazing daughters and one gorgeous son. And I love all three so very, very much. They are all part of me, part of who I am and part of my family. Just because one does not share my home in the physical sense does not mean she is not with me. She is thought of EVERY day, often and spoken of daily. She is not a secret within her family. And we wait, I wait until the day she takes her rightful place here, within her family where she was always meant to be...


  1. I run into this issue everytime i go to the hairdresser. they ask about children and i always want to scream 2! but the circumstances are too personal and the public can be ignorant so its a burning truth and scorching lie instead.

  2. Oh, dear Myst...
    o you are so right
    how we can casually respond on th the outside... if people could hear the screams going on inside.

    I was only able to have one child. I am able to completely divert the issue by responding with "I have two cats." This way I am not outright denying him, and hopefully they will take the hint and be willing to talk about their pet or ask questions about my kitties.

    Of course there are the dull ones who INSIST on proceeding with their own program and press on with the child subject...
    I have been married for over 12 years now. And so people will ask 'when' I'm going to have children. Or nicely put (as if it's any of their stinking business!!!) Why don't I have children.


    I'm sorry, I know how it hurts.
    : (

  3. I have always wondered what my mother though/felt when asked this question, having relinquished two of her three children.
    I do know the answer she gave was "one" but I cannot imagine it came without a hint of pain.
    Another question forever unanswered due to closed records.

  4. my answer is "i have two daughters, but i only raised one", before they were grown . . . "i have two, but i am only raisng one." . . . most people will not pry into the whys of such a personal situation. if they are rude enough to ask, you can reply that you would rather not discuss it or simply say "it's none of your business".


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