Saturday, June 4, 2011

Adoption Option: Teaching Your Children About Their Adoption

My oldest daughter knows she is adopted. How have we approached that subject? Well, we have told her from the day she was born about her miracle arrival into our family. As she grows up, there will never be a time she can look back on that she didn't know where she came from. She will have always known.

Being adopted may be different, yes, but to our daughters it is normal, it is part of their story.  To my husband and I, it also feels normal.  We don't have any other experience to compare it too. So, while adoption has created miracles for us, it is not something we look at as odd or really that different.  These children are ours just as if they had been born to us.

The word "adoption" will not be a secret in our family.  Yes, we do know people that found out they were adopted when they were thirty years old and it was not good for them. We have all heard the stories of Uncle Bob or Aunt May popping up and telling a child they are adopted at a family dinner. This seems too dramatic for my husband and I.  We are of the opinion that it does not need to be a secret. It is something we are very happy about and we celebrate it. 

So, the big question is, how do you teach your child about their adoption?  I believe it depends on the parents.  My husband and I have come up with a couple things that work for us, but we are still learning and I'm sure it will be different over the years.

The first thing we do is tell our daughter's the story of their adoption.  Just, once in a while when the moment comes up we tell them about it. Nothing fancy, just the simple story. I could be putting my daughter to bed, or we could be playing in her room and I tell her how happy her daddy and I are that she is ours forever. Then sometimes, I retell the happy story of how she joined our family.  

Another thing we do is tell them about their birth mother. We tell them that she was not ready to raise a baby, but she wanted them to have a good and happy life with a mommy and a daddy. So she chose to place them for adoption with us and we are so glad that she did.  Our oldest daughter recognizes her birth mother and knows her name now when she comes for a visit.

A few months after our oldest daughter was born, we decided to make her a book that she could look at, telling her about her adoption.  It is a short 20 page book mostly with pictures. I made mine at, but I know there are several other websites that you can make books on too.  Here are a few of the pages out of her book.

Front Cover.

These are pictures from our first moments together.

These are pictures from the adoption placement with a poem written by our daughter's birth mother.

This is one of the last pages.

Our daughter loves to look through this book. We will be making one for our new baby in a few months.

Each parent will do what is best for them, but these are the ideas that have been the best for our family.  Am I worried a day will come when my daughter will scream out that I am not her real mother? No. She may say that, but I know that I am her real mother and I also know that children who are not adopted get mad at their parents and say they wish they were adopted so, I don't  think there are any worries to be had for us in that department.

1 comment:

  1. That book is such a great idea Julie! Kids love books, so what an awesome idea to have a picture book about them - adopted or not, that is awesome. I wish I would have thought of that.... maybe you should do a blog post just on that - making a picture book for your kids ;o)

    good idea