Ava’s Understanding Of Adoption

I’m often asked if/when/how Walter and I plan to tell Ava that she is adopted. For us, honesty has always been the best policy and so we have always spoken openly in front of Ava about her being adopted, about her birth mother and about how she came to be placed with us. We regularly show Ava photo’s of her birth mother and it is our intention that she always know that we encourage her to be as open and honest with us about how she feels about her placement, that we will always be open and honest about the details of her placement and that she has nothing to feel guilty about when asking these questions.

But what always astounds me is how wise this child of ours is. Wise beyond her years, she has a wisdom that shines through her deep brown eyes and as she’s getting older, she verbalizes her wisdom too.

Lately she’s been expressing, in her own way, what she understands about adoption and it has amazed and astounded me.

Her understanding is that my tummy is broken, and so she grew inside another mommy’s tummy until she was strong enough to come to me. She will also tell anyone who will listen that her baby sister, Hayley, is growing in another mommy’s tummy until she is strong enough to come and live with us.

And I love that at the tender age of 3 she can grasp the concept of our infertility and her adoption the way that she has. Walter and I entered into adoption for the long haul, not just to raise a child till they come of age, but to be apart of her life forever and for always. We have always believed that by lying or withholding the truth we would ultimate destroy the  the bonds of love and trust for all in our adoption triad and so I am very proud of my little girl, of her wisdom and compassion and understanding of a concept that should be foreign to a child.


  • Yvonne

    February 21, 2013 at 11:41 am

    That is wonderful. My uncle an aunt have two adopted children (aged 13 and 11 now) and also explained it to them like that from the beginning! I firmly believe it is the only way to go. Their children are preteen/teen now and know they can ask questions or see pictures any time, but generally they choose not to.

  • Pandora

    February 21, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    We have also been quite open with our daughter. We don’t have pictures to show her except of the day we came to fetch her. However she has shown little interest in the whole thing so we do not make an issue of it. In fact we always pray for her tummy mommy and I wondered why she never asked questions about what a tummy mommy is. I got my answer a while ago when she said her prayers and said ‘Bless Mommy’s tummy!’. So we are open about her being adopted but I won’t elaborate too much until she asks questions.

    • Denise

      February 21, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      We’ve taken the same approach with Jaden. He knows my tummy is broken and he grew in another Mommy’s tummy. He is happy with that for now and when he wants more information we’ll give it to him. Sadly we don’t have pictures or a happy story to go with his adoption but we’ll be as honest as we can.

  • Ncumisa

    March 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    This is wonderful.

    Our daughter is three & we also are open about the fact that she grew in another mama’s tummy. I so wish we had photographs to show her, but alas, we don’t. It’s difficult to know how much she understands but we are glad she will grow into the understanding as opposed to having a big shock one day. She comes up with new questions from time to time & we try to answer in an age appropriate way. I so agree with you about the bonds of love & trust.


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