Thursday, July 14, 2011

Noticing Differences

Conversation 1
Girl: Is he Spanish? He has brown skin.
Me: No. He's from Africa.
Girl: Oh. Is his daddy from Africa?
Me: No. He's adopted.
Girl goes back to playing. A few minutes later
Girl (to Turo): Did you come from your mommy's belly?
Jose (jokingly to girl's mom - who is a good friend of his): You need to explain adoption to your kids.

Conversation 2
Boy: (Looking at me and then at Turo) You're different.
Me: You mean our skin is different?
Boy: (Nods)
Me: That's pretty cool isn't it?
Boy: (Nods and goes back to playing)

I've known that these questions would eventual come as Turo and his peers become more curious about the world, but I still don't feel totally prepared for them. I know Turo is listening so I want to respond in a supportive, thoughtful way that validates his identity, culture and place in our family (and that will help him formulate his own responses when we're not around). I also want to provide answers that help children understand adoption in a positive way but that doesn't get into too many details (which happened early on with one of Turo's friend's five year old sister, and I think I overwhelmed her a bit with my explanation).

If you are an adoptive parent, how do you answer (or wish you had answered) these types of questions?

1 comment:

  1. This is great...innocent, open. I know this is coming my way in the coming years. Thanks for this insight!