When our son turned two years old, I made a book for him about his arrival (at 3 ½ months) and about our family. He is now almost three and has asked to hear "Eric’s story" many times. Once he told a friend, "I’m ‘dopted – it’s in my book."

A few days ago, we were reading the book again, and he had a reaction that touched me deeply. When we turned to the page with his foster mother’s picture and read… "the nice lady loved him and was sad to see him go, but she knew that he was his mommy and daddy’s special baby … She was happy he would be with them," Eric’s eyes filled with tears. He seemed to be experiencing such a deep emotion that I felt he needed to just sit for a moment. These tears seemed to come from the depth of his soul.

I asked why he was so sad. He only said, "sad …sad" and pointed to the picture. We simply sat together for awhile, then we talked about it a little. For about an hour, he continued to be subdued and inward.

Although I cannot know the meaning of this for Eric, I felt I had received a gift in seeing briefly into the depth of my child’s being. It brought to mind how sad leaving and loss really is and how valuable a shared moment of deep feeling can be.

  personal experiences : child's perspective