Movies, TV shows and books make great conversation openers about adoption, or so they say. Take the opening episode of Pingu where sister Pinga is born for example.
Pinga started her life as an egg nurtured and warmed by the bottoms of various family members. Pingu, of course, just made mischief with the egg. Miraculously, the egg survives, and eventually, Pinga’s pointy beak pecks through her shell et voila, a mewling baby arrives on the scene much like any other cartoon penguin-person.
I immediately asked Theo if he also came from an egg, thinking this would be a great opportunity to talk about his beginnings.
In typical three-year-old fashion, he exclaimed loudly: “No! I crack through the egg, jump up and poo!”
Surprisingly, he didn’t squeeze in a monster reference.
Nothing brings the facts of life up close and personal quite like adoption. After I stopped laughing, my brain wheels started spinning, and I thought I should say: “No … actually, you didn’t crack through the shell of an egg, you came from your birthmother [insert name].”
Then the second-guessing and backtracking began. Hmmm… nah … maybe I should say: “No actually, you came from your birthmother S’s tummy (oh no, then she becomes the dreaded ‘tummy mummy’)…. No… belly! No stomach… No … uterus! … [Mom - what's a uterus? - no not ready for that] … how about … “Well … you see your birthmother S. and your Birthfather K., well they, um… anyway… Do you want a juice?”
When did you explain the facts of life or adoption to your kids? And how?