The Birds and the Bees

We’re currently waiting to adopt domestically.  My daughter is four.  She knows that we are waiting for her baby brother or sister.  She knows her birth story and that she grew in my tummy.  She has become increasingly interested by anatomy and how her body works.  I recently bought her a book about the body and we have talked a lot about bones and the heart and what they are and what they do.  She asks a lot about being in my tummy and it’s only a matter of time before we go over how that happened (she hasn’t asked yet, but she will soon or I’ll bring it up).

Being curious about how she came into the world, and knowing that we are waiting to welcome her baby brother or sister, she is naturally curious about how he or she will come into the world.

We had decided earlier that we would be as open and honest as appropriate for her about adopting her sibling.  We have both had discussions with her about her future sibling.

When we talk to her about her future sibling we discuss how she was born from me and was in my tummy.  Then we discuss her future sibling’s mother and how she is growing them in her tummy.  We discuss how we may bring a baby home, but that the baby is still not ours until their mommy decides it so.  Then we go over any questions she has – sometimes she has none and sometimes she has a lot.  We let her explain it to us so that we can catch anything that needs further information or is wrong that we can correct.

I’ll be completely honest.  She was definitely confused when we first began to talk to her about adopting and all that this meant, how her sibling was coming into our family.  Okay, she’s still confused.  More than once she asked me about her sibling being in my tummy, among other misconceptions.  We have patiently gone over it and over it with her.

I don’t think that she fully understands just yet.  Not yet.  She is figuring it out, though.  A couple of days ago, out of the blue, she tells me that she grew in my tummy.  Then she told me that her baby brother or sister will grow in their mommy’s tummy.  I was so proud; I wanted to jump up and down.

She’s getting there.  All it will take is time and backing that up with explaining it over and over, and answering questions openly.

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3 responses to “The Birds and the Bees

  1. I think you’re doing the right thing. Even if you go over it 1000 times, I don’t know how much a kid can really wrap their head around. Heck, it’s confusing for most adults who aren’t directly involved in adoption! I think also if you asked most people about how a baby is “made”, they only know the high school locker room part. Poor Ava is in for it when it comes time for the actual “big talk” (which won’t be for years, I’m all for the “you grew in my tummy” for quite a while) since my specialty in college was developmental biology..

  2. Sounds like she’s getting it. For the longest time after Tank Boy came home, Midge thought everybody got their babies at the air port. We didn’t realize that until my sister was pregnant with her third son, and when we were talking about her having the baby, Midge asked when she was going to go to the airport to get him. It is confusing for the little ones.

  3. I second all of the comments so far…sounds like you are handling it correctly and that even though it is taking time she is really beginning to understand! Keep it up! You are both amazing parents!

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