Anyway, our short answer to the question of when and how was 'now and as naturally as possible'. I'm a firm believer in truth and that dishonesty comes back to bite you, especially with family. One of the ways we encouraged her to talk to her child about her adoption was with books. A story about adoption or an adopted person is a perfect opportunity to compare adoptions and happily say things like, "She was adopted just like you are." Or "He came out of her belly just like you came out of your birth-mom's belly." I do this regularly (I'm guessing my four-year-old knows more about birth and unborn babies than a lot of kids his age do) but I think it's important for him to understand as early as possible that adoption is natural, normal, and positive, and that coming out of someone's belly isn't everything. It's something, of course, but not everything.
This conversation could be applied to situations other than adoption, I'm sure. Being honest with family goes much farther than that. I think it's so sad for kids to grow up believing something only to find out that their parents were lying to them the whole time. It kind of makes me want to give up the Santa charade, but I'm bowing out to the husband on that one.
If you want to check out my new favorite adoption book, it's a picture book called A Mom for Umande about a gorilla whose mother can't care for it. It's eventually adopted by another gorilla. It's not about child adoption, but there were so many parallels to Trooper's experience that it was easy to talk to him about his own story. Even if you don't have an adopted child, it's an interesting read.
Thanks for reading. Subscribe here.