I feel a bit like the Velveteen Rabbit. Josh has been asking lately if I'm his real mom. I'm not sure where it's coming from - although we've always been open about the fact that he was adopted, it's not a daily topic of conversation. We bring it up when he asks questions. But this newest questions was a little heart breaking the first time I heard it. My 5 year old is wondering if I'm his real mom? What other insecurities is he feeling? Lord, how do I handle this?
The first time, I asked him if he thought I was. He reached over and patted me and said "you feel real." :) The next time, I asked him what he thought. He said he thought I was. I said "you didn't come out of mommy's tummy, but God chose us for each other, and I'm your real mom forever and ever." Another time, I asked if he was my real boy. He laughed and said "yes, mom, that's a silly question." We've now decided that we are real, and we know because our hearts tell us so. He still asks, but he knows the answer he'll get. When he's mad, he will tell me that I'm not his real mom. As my heart breaks a teeny bit, I tell him tough luck - he's stuck with me as his real mom who loves him bunches.
So how do you explain real to a 5 year old? The velveteen rabbit turned real because someone loved him...maybe it works for moms too!