My little girl has always been surrounded by a diverse group of children, so it's only natural that as she matures and becomes more inquisitive, she's going to ask questions.
The other day as we were driving home from daycare she asked me about adoption. “Mommy, what does it mean to be adopted?” she asked. I explained to her that sometimes people have babies, but aren’t able to take care of those babies when they’re born. I told her that there are many people in the world with lots of love in their hearts who want to have a baby, so they adopt those babies in need. They choose to become their mommies and daddies, and give them the love and support that they need – and they become a family.
“You mean like how you and daddy adopted Keyla?” she asked. Keyla is our dog. “Hmm kind of..” I said hesitantly. “Keyla did have a doggy mommy and daddy, and we did choose to bring her to our home and take care of her and love her as part our family.”
She thought about this for a moment, and I could see the wheels turning as she took it all in.
“My friend at daycare was adopted, and she has very dark skin and curly hair. And my other friend that I also know was adopted and she has brown skin and curly hair too. Does that mean that people who are dark with curls were always adopted mommy?”
I explained to her that people come in all different shapes, sizes, and colours, and that anyone, no matter what they look like, can be adopted. She seemed satisfied with this answer and moved onto a new train of thought…
“Mommy, why is it that people with longer legs are faster runners, but cheetahs can run faster than giraffes, and giraffes have longer legs?”
While I was glad that she had moved on to a lighter topic of conversation, it brought me to realize that we would one day have this conversation again. That I would have to tell her that I was adopted and that I didn’t come out of Nana’s belly. In my opinion it’s not important whether or not my parents gave birth to me, but it's part of who I am and I feel like it’s important to be honest with my children about where I came from and how my family came to be.
I will tell her one day, but not today. Today we will talk about the necks of giraffes and the speed of a cheetah.
Have you talked to your children about adoption? How did it go?