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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Adoption Talk

“So…when are you having the talk?”

A friend and I were discussing adoption. He knew what we’d gone through to be united with Little Danger, and he had settled on a point of curiosity. I was confused by the question.

“Which talk, birds and bees?”

“No, THE talk.” I stared back at him blankly. I raised one eyebrow, quizzically. I’d always wanted to do something quizzically, anyhow.

“When are you going to tell him he’s adopted?” he asked, as if it were the most natural question in the world.

“Oh, we’ve already done that,” I answered, as if it were the most natural answer.

“But he’s not 1 yet…when are you going to tell him so he’ll understand?”

For us, that’s just not an issue. It’s something natural, something we bandy about. When he plays with that one certain toy, the one his birthmother gifted to him, we call it by her name. We call her his birthmother. We talk about how we love her, as a family, just like Memaw…well, maybe an aunt or uncle. Memaw is irreplaceable, moon pie.

Adoption is a fact, it will always be there. It’s his story, his background. It’ll be part of the scenery for us, just as it should be.

I mean, we don't go's not like we sing "Head, shoulders knees and toes you're adopted". But we also don't hide it. It just is.

We talked a bit more, but my friend still didn’t get it. “No, Danger, when do you tell him about it?”

This had gone on for a little while, and I had struggled to get the point across. Finally I saw my opening.

“Well, when do you think T is going to tell her kids they’re black?” He stopped talking, the look of a man just hit by a conversational 2x4 on his face.

“Oh, OK,” he said. The light of understanding had come on in his eyes. Sometimes, only the absurd example will work. We moved on to the really important stuff…football scores and wines.

I was reminded of this by Single Dad Laughing, and I can say I’ve been lucky never to have come across some of these rude damn questions. I am truly thankful for that.


  1. Maybe you can tell him the same day you tell him he's got red hair.
    The interesting part (for me at least) is how the fact that he's adopted is so easily forgotten. There are many times he's done something that is so much like my kids that I think "you can't fight genetics. Oh, wait..." The important thing for him to know is that he is so loved. His birthmother loved him so much that she gave him to the two people that she knew could love him as much as she did. He's so loved in this house that there is a Little Danger is sleeping over countdown. It may or may not belong to the kids. I have a feeling he is loved my Meemaw too.

  2. I think it makes all of the sense in the world to just make it an inherent part of his life story. They make some great books that would be appropriate for even a toddler. Little Danger is a lucky dude.

  3. At some point(s) in their lives, everyone needs a conversational 2x4 upside the head. Some people just need them more often.

  4. "Head, shoulders knees and toes you're adopted "

    Oh, my God, that made me laugh.

    On a more serious note, I LOVED this. Little Danger is adopted. It's a fact. It's not a hot-button issue or a big secret. It IS. I think that's fantastic-- and it's something I needed to hear. While I know the adoption process is an all-consuming process, those of us who've never had any interaction with adoption in any form are pretty clueless. So...thanks for this. Christ. Could I GET any cheesier up in here?

    Is that a skull on Little D's hat? Because that is freaking awesome.

  5. @mybella I'm feeling the love. Totally. LURVE.

    @Onion We have one or two of those. Right now he's engrossed in Mouse on the Moon, though.

    @Jester This is true. Very, very true.

    @ Nicki You could, I think. Thanks for not taking it to Velveeta levels. Yes, it is a skull and crossbones, because he is awesome. :)


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