Goose, my 6-year-old daughter, was recently discussing her plans for when she grows up. “I want to be a mommy when I get bigger, but I don’t want to grow a baby in my belly. I’m going to get one from the shelter.”
For those who don’t know, I work in a veterinary hospital (12 years and counting), and before that, I was a volunteer for a greyhound rescue. All of our dogs and cats have been rescues of one sort or another. Discussions about homeless animals and responsible pet ownership are common in this household.
Me: You’re going to get a baby from the shelter?
Goose: Yes, I want to be mommy to a baby that doesn’t have a mommy. Maybe one that’s zero years old, but maybe one that’s bigger because it’s harder for older kids to get families.
Me: That’s true, Goose. And I think that’s a wonderful idea. But children who need homes live in a place called an orphanage or a foster home. The shelter is where dogs and other pets go. When you add a child to your family that way, that’s called adoption.
Goose: Just like when we adopted Frances (the dog)?
Me: Something like that.
Goose: How will I find the orphanage or foster home, mom?
Me: You’ll find the way. Your heart will lead you.
Goose: Yeah, I have a big heart.
Yes, you do.