1n 1995, the move Apollo 13 brought the saying, “Houston, we have a problem” into our everyday lexicon. The only problem? The film created a now famous misquote.
It’s one that’s used over and over and over again in a million different scenarios. Car trouble. Work trouble. Relationship trouble. Where’d-that-darned-cat-go?-trouble!
But I prefer the original: “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” In the original, the problem has already occurred, and now it’s time to fix it. To move forward. It’s semantics that probably don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, except that those words entered my head on the visit with Cupcake last February.
However, unlike with Apollo 13, I am so proud to report that our problem is one that was worked through.
During one of their discussions about adoption, the visit, and how I carried Cupcake in my tummy before Dee became her Mommy, Cupcake had some questions as four year olds often do. One of those questions was about me being Cupcake’s Mommy too. Specifically, she asked, “When is TG going to come be my Mommy that I live with?
At this point in the story, my ears perked. My antenna turned up. I froze not knowing what the next part of the story would be.
Was this Dee’s way of saying that contact is too confusing for Cupcake?
Are we going to be pumping the breaks?
Do visits with me stress Cupcake out in some way?
Is Cupcake afraid of this vision of the future?
My mind raced to a million different places before Dee could get the next words out.
I refocused and Dee continued by telling me how she explained to Cupcake that we’re both her Mom in different ways. I’m one Mommy, who carried her in my tummy and is very special because of that – so we visit with me and keep in touch and remember that we are very, very special friends. (Yes, I take issue with the “friends” bit a little, but today that seems nitpicky in light of this conversation!) Dee went on to explain how she is her everyday Mommy who she will always live with.
And that was that!
What most interested me in the telling of this story is that Cupcake didn’t ask this with fear or concern or anything. More with curiosity.
Furthermore, Dee didn’t react with fear or concern. She just explained the answer.
This wasn’t a giant red flag that open adoption is a catalyst for confusion and that we must shut it down immediately. This didn’t become some larger than life issue that plagued our visit or our communication. This wasn’t a cautionary tale that I needed to be wary of.
Basically, Dee didn’t let this be more than what it was: An honest question, from a curious child.
And for that, I give her a great deal of credit.
And so today I can sit here, happy that we didn’t get caught in a situation where we have confusion – something that’s ongoing, problematic, systemic. But rather that we’ve had confusion. Episodic. Momentary. Will it happen again? Probably. But I’m confident that once again we’ll deal with it and continue to move forward.