We adopted A.J. at 11 days old, and it was my wife’s and my goal to use “adoption language” easily and freely, without hesitation, so that A.J. never feels like it is a taboo subject.
Last Saturday, 6-year old A.J. and I had a nice Father-Son day where we shared a movie (Escape From Planet Earth, which was a lot of fun by the way), some popcorn, and some frozen yogurt. On the car ride to the theater, our discussion led to families and how they are different, and I had an opening to talk about adoption.
After we talked about how our little family was made, I told A.J. if he ever had any questions about adoption in general or his own adoption, he could ask anytime. I thought that would be it.
“Yeah, I saw that sign at the fire station,” he said.
Surprised, I took a moment to think about what he meant.
The day before we had taken photographs in front of a local fire station for a school project. Suddenly, it hit me. He must have seen a “safe haven” picture, but I was surprised that he would make the connection between this and adoption.
“Yes,” I told him. “The fire department is a great way for Mommys and Daddys who can’t take care of their own kids to help someone else become a Mommy and Daddy.”
There were no more words about adoption after that, but I went away realizing how deeply our kids think at such a young age and how important it is to respect that.