Last night I had both toddlers, wrapped in towels, sitting on the bathroom sink in front of me after their baths. Toothbrushes poised in my hand, Brave begins talking about the fact that he was in my belly at one time.
"That's right, Brave, you were in my belly," I say.
Jubilee looks up at me inquisitively and asks, "I was in yo belly, too, mama?"
"No," I say, searching for more words.
Jubilee screws up her face and asks, "I was in Daddy's belly?"
"No," I say, knowing that I must come up with something other than No.
"You were in someone else's belly," I say. Blank stares from both towels. "We don't know who," I continue, "but you were in a lady's belly, and after that you were in an orphanage, and then we came to you and scooped you up," I say, bringing her into my arms and planting kisses all over her little face, her wet hair dripping onto my cheeks. She is smiling now, and I decide to go on.
"Before we could get to you, we sent you presents," I say.
"Pwesents!" she says. "Candy!"
"That's right!" I say, "candy and toys and clothes and pictures. We couldn't WAIT to get to you. We missed you so much."
Jubilee was beaming now, and Brave was smiling, too, and I was glad the L0RD had given me the words I needed. I laid Jubi in her bed a few minutes later, keenly aware that many, many more such conversations are in our future. I am looking forward to having them, because over time they will link up to a story. Her story. Through her own eyes.