Friday, October 8, 2010

"Mommy, am I an Alien?"

I know that question just sounds like a silly something that a toddler might say after being playfully bullied by their older sibling or cousin. It takes on a whole new meaning (and sometimes a frighteningly emotional meaning) when it comes from your adopted child.

We have all read the books that talk about the proper way to discuss the biological process of birth to adoptive children. The books all warn you to make sure the child knows they were made and born the same way any other child is born. It seems silly sometimes as an adult but in fact this is a real issue with young children.

My son asked me this question in some form by the age of 3. He wanted to know where he came from. If he was born like other kids. It is hard to explain such things to one so little but I have found that for my very smart and inquisitive child the best way is the straightforward way. I generally explained the process of pregnancy and childbirth in the most appropriate way I knew how.

The result? Somehow I give the impression to my kid that mommies cannot pee because they have babies instead. This is one of those {am I really cut out for motherhood} moments. In the end I think he understood that women can pee, but they can also have babies. Jeez>

After clearing all of that up...I explained that sometimes a woman that gives birth isn't able to mother a child and so she looks for a loving mother to take care of her baby because she loves the baby too much to not give it a proper mother.

I have found now that my son will ask small questions. Sometimes I want to go on and on to make sure he is satisfied. He will simply say "Mommy, that is enough" sometimes. It makes me laugh. Don't we all do that? We want to give them everything they need, sometimes what we give them is MORE than that.

It is hard to know when a child is ready to know more about adoption. If it is part of his/her everyday life it just simply "is". It is OK for kids to have questions, but I try to remember that the most important thing is to be honest when they ask. I sometimes will bring it up with my kids just to make sure they are aware that they can talk about it. I don't try to push it on them but we read lots of stories on adoption and have friends and family who are adopted so the topic will come up from time to time. I love it when my kids ask me "is he adopted like me?".

<3 Sarah


  1. Great Post Sarah. One day, as Joseph was boxing a cardboard sign, I commented that he was very strong and might make a good boxer some day. He asked if they boxed in the Army. When I said yes, he grinned and said, "that is where I learned it-when I was in the Army in Melissa's womb." I love that he values that part of his life and that he knows his birth mother gave him many gifts-although he might be bit off on how he learned the boxing.



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