P: Mama, I want a sister. We don't have enough kids in our family. A's family [our dear friends] has three!
me: I'm not having another baby, honey.
P: Well, can't you just get a kid? Isn't there, like a place you can go to for one? Lots of kids don't have families you know. We could adopt!
me: ...ermm...it's not so simple....It's not like it's Target, sweetheart.
me: I'll talk to Papa, okay?
She's had the same discussion with her father. I know, because one night S came rushing into the bedroom, adamantly wishing to know if I had promised Panda that we were going to get her a sister. (I hadn't.)
The thing is, we've never mentioned adoption to our kids. I suppose they may overheard one of our late-night chats, but I think that Panda just has a heart as big as Ontario. She needs to help. She's fascinated with the idea of rescuing people/pets/random spiders. Also, she may or may not have watched 'Oliver and Company' on repeat once too many times on a long road trip. She is convinced that she needs a new sister exactly her age who loves Frozen as much as she does, who could be the Anna to her Elsa. Each time she brings it up I am treated to a righteous little lecture on how there are kids who need families because their mommies and daddies are mean, and like, pull their hair and stuff. And each time I try to explain that yes, there are kids whose mommies and daddies - for whatever reason- can't take care of them properly and keep them safe, it is true, but it is a loooong process to adopt a child, and anyway, does she realize she'd have to share her toys? And her brother?
But it doesn't put her off. She's determined. I'm worried that when we do finally tell them -we are holding off in hopes of avoiding as long as possible the adoption version of the question "are we there yet?", incessantly repeated at regular intervals - anyway, I am worried that when we do finally tell them, she will think that we are doing it because she talked us into it. And if the transition is rough with the placement, or the kids fight a lot, I am worried that she will blame herself.
Of course, she might just be mad at us, because are hoping to adopt someone a year or so younger than Pickle. Our daughter has never held the opinion that her executive powers should be less than that of adult, and I can just hear her sighing deeply and patiently explaining to us that we were SUPPOSED to get a girl. Her age. Who likes Frozen. And then giving us that eyebrows-slightly-raised 'are we clear now?' look, and expecting that we'll obediently toddle off back to the placement worker and put in a request for a proper sister.
And if we ever decide on place to move to, and get through the application process in that new province... who knows? Maybe she'll get one. Is four that much more work than three?