Explaining Hard Stuff

As you may recall, my daughter recently learned that she has some biological half-siblings living in the great state of Texas. Her birthmom has three sons. My husband and I had not been hiding their existence from her. We had just been waiting for the right time. From the time of our daughter's birth, we have just tried to keep our discussions age-appropriate. We never hid the fact that A was adopted, but we didn't sit her down and tell her formally until she was three. We waited until then because it didn't make sense to tell her she didn't grow in my tummy when she didn't know she had ever hung out in anyone's tummy at all. Once she started to figure out how things work, at least in a vague sense, it was time to tell her.  So we did.

We felt we should wait until she knew more about reproduction before mentioning that she also has a birthfather and some siblings floating around in the world. I know she has some on her birthfather's side of the family as well, but that is a whole other can of worms - which shall remain safely closed until further notice.

She didn't say too much about the boys after receiving a letter and photos from her birthmom a couple months ago. I predicted she would have questions later on and sure enough, she's had questions aplenty over the past couple of weeks. She is primarily concerned with what the boys know about her. I told her that the oldest one asks about her. He was four when she was born (or possibly five - I've lost my mind in the intervening years) and he does remember her. He last saw A when she was around 15 months old, I believe. The younger two boys are too young to understand this adoption business, so I explained that to my daughter.

Over the weekend, she drew a picture of herself for her older brother and I mailed it to him today. She drew hearts on it so that he will know that she loves him (she pointed them out specifically). I am sure she will have more questions as time goes on, and I will just do my best to answer.

In related news, A was asking her father why we can't all just have penises. The topic came up during dinner. He gave me a "save me!" look, which I helpfully ignored. So, he turned back to her and said, "Because that's where babies come out. Through the vagina."

The expression on our daughter's face was pretty priceless. She turned and gave me a quizzical look as if to confirm that her dad wasn't pulling her leg. I nodded and confirmed that yes, some day a baby may indeed exit her body through her hoo-ha. She, in turn, promptly announced her newly and hastily-developed plans to remain childless all her life.

"Oh, you'll be a mom someday," I said. "And, with a little luck, your daughter will come to the dinner table every night and announce that she can't possibly eat the garlic bread because it's 'just a little too dark.'"  God willing.


Sam said…
My sister's children are adopted and recently her 8-year old asked how babies come out of mommies. My sister told her they come out of a woman's vagina and my sweet niece was horrified and said, "THAT'S why you adopted us!" :-)

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