Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Adoption question

For those of you who have adopted, I have a question....or a couple questions:

How did you talk to your child about adoption? At what age did you start conversations about adoption? Did you read books that talked about being adopted?

As Samuel's vocabulary grows, I'm beginning to think about how and when we will start talking about adoption with him.

I'd love ideas, suggestions and what's worked from personal experience!


Leah said...

Do you have any adoption books? I don't have great advice as our baby isn't in our arms yet, but it's something we talk about a lot. We have bought books on adoption, and we plan on reading them immediately, even if our little boy can't comprehend. I definitely think the earlier you talk about it the better. . . even if Samuel has no clue what you're talking about.

Cathy said...

I'd love to know, too. We talk to my daughter about her brother growing in my belly and more than once, she's said, "I grew in your belly too!"

How to explain??!

lowly said...

Well, we have got it kind of easy in that department. Our oldest was three when we adopted her, so she can remember it, and then she remembers us adopting our youngest, and now we are going through the process again, and she so she really gets it. We do read books about it: "A Mother for Choco", "A Place in My Heart", "My Adopted Child, There's No One Like You", etc...
We tell our kids their story regularly, (what we know of their birth parents decision to place them, our finding out about them, and then going to get them). Our youngest is only 18 months old, and has no contact with his birth family, but we still send pictures to the agency in case they ever want to go see them, and I'll just say, "Let's take a picture for K's birthmom!"
If we are talking about her hair or skin I'll say things, "I bet you have hair/eyes/nose/ like your birth mom/dad..."
On their birthdays I mention to them that their birth family was there for that, and is probably thinking about them on this day.
...sometimes these sort of things open up conversations, and sometimes they don't. But either way, their birth family is a part of our normal conversational life, and they know if they are wondering about them, and even missing them, that that is ok, and even good and normal, and they can talk to us about it.
I hope this helps. Our oldest is 5 and our youngest is a year and half, so obviously our youngest doesn't get it like our oldest does, but he will in time.

Becky said...

Sorry I don't have any personal experiences to share. Yet! I have read quite a few adoption books and from what I have read, I definitely want to begin talking to our child early on. I don't want their to be a traumatic memory of he/she finding out they are adopted. I want adoption to be something that can always be discussed openly in our home. One of the ways I have heard of doing this is through a Lifebook.

I know Wendi from "Life in the Polar North Defrosts" recently recommended "A Blessing from Above."

tea said...

Our son is 2, so I don't really know anything from experience, but we talk about his adoption when it comes up (I know he doesn't really know what we mean yet) and we talk about his "Ethiopia mom" and show him her picture a lot. I'm working on making a little storybook for him about his adoption. It'll just be a simple story (and pictures) of his early days and months and how he came into our family. I'm just planning to print it out on our computer and put it into a small photo album for him. Since he loves to be read to, I thought this would be a good way for him to start hearing a more full story of his adoption early on.

Dan and Karen said...

We have a two year old we adopted from China when she was 10 months old. We know nothing about her birth parents.

What we do is talk often about when Mommy and Daddy went to China to bring her home and how happy we are that she is a part of our family. We have the book "Love you like crazycakes" which speaks of Chinese adoption.

We are now adopting baby 2 from China and we are preparing Baby 1 for this by saying that Mommy and Daddy are flying to China to bring home a sister like we brought her home. I'm also working on a "life book" that will explain their stories in very simple terms. Our first doesn't seem to want to talk much about it but we do bring it up when the situation arises and always tell her what a happy event it was for us.