We were told in foster parent training that the kids we are placed with may have been sexually abused. So, it’s important to have privacy when anyone in the family is changing clothes or using the bathroom. This protects everybody and strong boundaries should be in place until your child is legally adopted.
“What if we’re at a street fair and I have to use a port-a-potty? I won’t leave my child outside,” I protested.
“Bring them inside and have them turn around,” I was told.
And we did. All year, a closed-door has meant “knock please.” Morning routines have included “please wait” as we cover ourselves out of the shower and have Squirrel turn around when we pee. Cumbersome. Weird. Especially as someone who believes in raising a body positive girl. But I also believe in safety no matter what. And until trust was fully built and we learned more about her history, I did not want to risk triggering our new daughter or breaking the rules of being a foster parent.
I knew we’d reached a higher level of trust when Squirrel began begging to see us naked.
“Please, Mama! Just let me see your boobs!” she’d whine in the mornings. We didn’t get to breastfeed her or hold her on our chests in the moments after delivery. I took her boob obsession as a great sign. We explained the limitation and how once we were all officially a legal family, it would be fine to change clothes in front of one another if we all wanted to.
After a fairly intense 2 weeks leading up to Adoption Day, I knew we could all use a good laugh.
So when Squirrel stumbled into our bedroom groggy-eyed on the morning of October 16th, I pulled off my tank top and stood there topless in front of her.
“Happy Adoption Day, Lovebug!” I cheered, striking a triumphant pose. She screamed with joy. Danced in circle. And fell to the floor.
“Mommy, look at your CUTE BOOBS!” She was thrilled. She ran to find Mama Lynn.
“Now YOU!” she demanded. Lynn complied with a little grumbling. Squirrel was delighted to be in a room getting dressed with her Mommies. What a perfectly normal thing for a family to do. But for us, it was our first time and it was special. It turned our Adoption Day into Mardi Gras…a tradition I’m sure we’ll keep up each year.
Once dressed herself in the special dress we’d been saving, Squirrel spun in a circle on our bedroom floor.
“Look at my Adoption dress, Mommies!” Then she pulled the dress up over her head. “And look at my little Adoption BOOBS!”
I have maybe never laughed so hard.