We have 4 dc, 3 are bio and our youngest was born in Guatemala. She is now almost 4 years old. Yesterday my ds8 piped up with "Mom, you're not Mia's real mom" I was sad to hear this. All the kids were sitting around the table eating and I know that ds didn't say this to hurt Mia's feelings, but just because he was trying to figure things out. He was only 4 when we brought Mia home, so I guess he just didn't absorb it all. My 2 older kids jumped in to say that yes, I am Mia's real Mom. I did my best to explain but I felt pretty inadequate and also like I've neglected telling the story of how our family came to be. I guess I should be telling this lots more often.
So...how to do this? What are good words to use? How to bring it all up naturally and so it makes sense to the kids, especially to my dd4 and ds8? It's not that i've never thought about any of this before. I guess it just hit me that I need a "refresher" course and we as a family need to do a better job of explaining all of this to our kids.
Sorry to be so long winded here.
Results 1 to 7 of 7
09-15-2006, 08:33 AM #1TiffanyKRegistered Userhas no status.
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- Nov 2002
Help! Ds confused about our adoption storyTiffany
Mom to Meredith, Peter, Isaac and Mia (home 2/28/03)
09-15-2006, 08:39 AM #2
do you have any adoption related books like a mother for Choco, or blessed from above? Sometimes getting the concept of what adoption is from tools like this help grasp the real life story.cfc mommy to
Ryan, Jacob Guatemala, Chloe Guatemala
09-15-2006, 08:54 AM #3
i always tell my kids bio and adopted. my dd was born from my tummy and was born in my heart. i told him that he and his newly found bio brother were adopted by moms and dads taht wanted more children to love but didn't want them to come from their own tummy. aaron knows that he had another mommy who's tummy he came from but she couldn't take care of him so she asked us to be his mommy and daddy instead.
09-15-2006, 08:56 AM #4
You know, it might not be that he doesn't understand adoption, but that he's using the wrong words to describe how Mia came to be part of the family.
Perhaps if you redirect him and explain that the only difference is that Mia didn't grow in your belly/tummy. And that when you (as a family) adopted Mia, she became a "real" part of your family and you are her real Mama.
What about writing down Mia's adoption story, using words that all the children can understand? Besides finding some adoption related books. Cam always liked "Tell Me Again About the Night I was Born" even though it's the story of a domestic adoption.
09-15-2006, 10:27 AM #5springRegistered Userhas no status.
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- Mar 2002
I'd second what Michelle said, plus add a little twist. We have a son who was born to us and two daughters who came to us through adoption. We made an effort from the time they came home to tell our daughters their adoption story (mostly so *we'd* get comfortable with it), and one of the first things I realized was, we needed to talk to our son about *his* story too. So just like our girls have their stories of their lives in China and their adoption stories, our son has his own special story of how he was in my belly and we went to the hospital etc. Each of our children loves hearing their story AND their siblings's stories - in some ways I think it's less the story itself than just the closeness of being close and listening to mom or dad talk about them, kwim? But the thing it did for us is help us as parents get really really comfortable with talking to them all about adoption, and with taking away worries about how our children who had been adopted might feel about our son not having a "birthmother" who is no longer a part of his life. In our family my son chooses to call me his birthmother and we talk about how all children have a birthmother and a birthfather, but not all children stay and grow up with their birthparents. Talk about it, it may feel uncomfortable or awkward at first, but as you talk through it you'll find the words you want to use and it will become easier and easier.
I made a lifebook for my older daughter and it's been a HUGE help in two ways. The first way that was sooooo helpful to me was that in writing it I had to think through how I wanted to talk about every little thing, from birthparents to abandonment to what she ate at her orphanage. So by thinking it through to write it on paper, I figured it out in my head how to talk to her about things. Then, when she started asking questions, if she asked a tough one I pulled out the book and just started there to answer it. Having the text as a starting point helps so much as a conversation starter especially when something you aren't ready to answer comes up. And... my daughter loves her lifebook! She likes to ask to look at it by herself a lot, and she also loves to have me read to her from it.
I haven't had time to make a lifebook for my other two children yet, and I really hope to do it! Including making a book for my son - who wasn't adopted, but still loves to hear his story and would love to have his own book.
DTC Dec 2001
09-15-2006, 12:37 PM #6
You've gotten a lot of great advice already. I especially agree with Michele, that he may understand, he just doesn't know the best words to use. Like Spring, we also enjoy telling all our kids (bio and adopted) their stories. They enjoy hearing each other's too. They all have such unique stories.
One thing that has helped my kids to learn positive adoption language is to integrate it into their stories. Ileana will tell you that she came from her tummy mommy, stayed for a while with her foster mommy, and now she has a real mommy. That's not meant to be negative to her bmom or fmom at all. We have pictures of them. Letters and keepsakes from fmom. We talk regularly about how much they both love her and how hard it was to say goodbye to her, and they both did it out of great love for her. But, I am the mom who is doing all the "real" work day in and day out of parenting her. And, of course, I'm the only mom she has any memory of. Anyway, that's how we've handled it with our child who's had the most moms.Carmen
Tamrat - 17 (Ethiopia)
Lucas - 13 (bio)
Ileana - 9 (Guatemala)
Abel - 7 (Ethiopia)
Aiden - 3 (WA state)
09-15-2006, 02:34 PM #7foelschgRegistered Userhas no status.
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- Sep 2002
- San Francisco Bay Area
I'm going to add my agreement that your son probably just used the wrong words. We also use the term tummy mommy in our house. Even at almost 6 Maia said she likes it better than birthmother. I think we've only had the "real" discussion once in our house and it brought up lots of topics about the fact that neither one of us are pretend, we are both real, but one is an everyday mommy and one was the tummy mommy, etc.
It's also possible that your son may have heard something at school or with friends. As Eric has gotten older (he is 10 now) I have had a few of his friends ask how come he and Maia look different and we just explain she was adopted and the kids accept that.
Good luck getting your story the way you want it -- I know it can be hard.Gail, Mom to:
Eric DOB April, 1996
Maia DOB Oct, 2000. Home from Guatemala April 2001
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