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“I wasn’t a keeper, was I?”

Updated: May 14

“Why did my birth mom not want me?”, cried five-year-old Samantha to her adoptive mom. For the past few months, Samantha’s parents had noticed that she was beginning to put the pieces of the puzzle together about her adoption process.

Part of that process was wrestlin

g with the “ultimate question” all adoptees deal with, either verbally or non-verbally. “Was I a bad girl?” “Was my mom too poor?” “Did the police take me away from her for something bad she did?”


Author and adoptive parent Eileen Smit shares a true story about her daughter Soo, adopted form South Korea. One day as they were walking down the sidewalk near their home, Smit ran into a friend who had recently had a baby. The friend was pushing her new baby boy in his carriage. Upon Smit’s inquiry about how she was doing, the new mom stated, “Well, I’m not getting a lot of sleep, and he’s been pretty colicky lately; but he is a keeper!” After the conversation, Smit and daughter Soo continued walking. Then 6-year-old Soo stopped and asked her mom, “I wasn’t a keeper, was I?”


How would you respond to Soo if you were her parent? I’d love to hear your responses. In my next post I will share some “What to say and what not to say” responses if/when your child asks this tough question . . .


Photo on Unsplash by Jordan Whitt


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