When our oldest daughter was about 4 years old she asked me this question out of the blue one day. “Mommy, was I borned or adopted?” Another one of those questions I was not ready for. And I challenge you to look for it in any parent or adoption manual. Trust me, it won’t be there.
When I talk to “parents to be” about adoption, one of the topics I most like to talk about is when to tell your child they’re adopted. I find it interesting that this is part of the home study assessment. That question never crossed my mind prior to our first adoption. I figured I’d always tell him or her from the beginning. That’s one secret it would be impossible to keep hidden. And why would you want to? After all, it’s their story and a huge part of who they are. It’s that nature vs. nurture thing – something else covered in the home study.
Now back to the original question I was asked. I know you are all waiting with bated breath (I have no idea what that means) as to how I answered the question. I first paused for a moment to think (remember to answer in a language and a way she will understand for her age). “Well, you were born AND you were adopted. Remember, you grew in your birth mother’s tummy and then your daddy and I adopted you.”
“I wish I had grown in your tummy,” came her sweet reply. “I do too, sweetie. But then you wouldn’t be who you are.”
Wow! Two birds with one stone – a talk about being adopted AND about nature vs. nurture. It was a “hallmark moment”…