Kids are honest. I love how they just ask whatever they’re thinking about without any hang-ups. This conversation happened with my friends’ 3 year old son last year while we were visiting them. I wrote it down at the time but haven’t shared it until now.
Ben: Did you have a baby?
Me: Alianna is our baby. We have her.
Ben: Was Alianna in your belly?
Me, thinking: How the heck am I going to explain this to a three-year-old?
Me: No, she was in a different woman’s belly. She had a different mommy before she came to live with us.
That was the end of the conversation but I brought it up again later when his parents were present so they could help explain it to him. Ben has two younger siblings, the youngest was just a month old at the time so he understands that babies are in mommies’ bellies before they’re born.
A while back I also had a conversation with friends’ daughter who I think was about 7 at the time.
Ruby, admiring baby Alianna: Maybe one day you’ll have a baby of your own, too!
Me: Well, you know what? If we get to adopt Alianna, then she’ll be our own. She’ll stay with us and be part of our family forever.
Ruby: Big, delighted smile. Yeah!
It’s kind of amazing how a simple, honest answer satisfies a simple, honest question, isn’t it?
Have any of you other foster or adoptive parents had interesting conversations with kids about the process? Foster care seems particularly difficult to explain sometimes (without getting in too deep about abuse or kids getting taken away from their parents) but I haven’t had any negative experiences trying to explain the basics. What about you?