Talking about Adoption with an 8-year-old

Adoption

When BE and I were at the market this summer, she asked me about something that might or might not have happened when she was a baby. I responded, “I don’t know, I guess we’d have to ask your first parents.”

This kind of comment in our family isn’t unusual. but that day, BE gave an unusual response. She said, “shh, don’t say that so loud, I don’t want anyone to hear.”

Up until now, my kids haven’t been shy or outspoken about their adoption; so far, it’s just been a normal fact of life. But, lately, BE seems to be more embarrassed by her adoption. I don’t know if it’s really embarrassment, or just a desire to fit in.

As my kids change (and their attitudes about adoption) change, I’ll be challenged to keep up. But, then again, not much stays the same, not even my own opinion about adoption. It’s likely my thoughts will continue to evolve right along with theirs.

Talking about adoption with a 4-year-old

Adoption

In a previous post, I wrote about an adoption conversation I had with BC when he was 3. Now he’s 4, and our conversation has changed slightly.

Our adoption talk used to be initiated by me, and mostly consisted of me telling him that he has two moms and two dads and then reciting our names. Recently, he has started asking that I tell him about when he was a baby. I’ve answered this question enough times now to understand what he wants to know (I answered it “wrong” – according to him anyway – quite a few times).

So usually here’s what I tell him, “First mom (FM) and first dad (FD) were married and you grew in FM’s tummy. After you came out, you lived with aunt S and your grandma and grandpa. Then, you stayed with AL and CL (foster parents) until you could come live with us. Now, you’re our son forever.

Thankfully, this simple story satisfies him for now. I’m not looking forward to the time when he asks why all these things happened (BE hasn’t asked about this either). Obviously it’s not a happy story. It will be challenging to answer honestly, but in an age appropriate way.