Talking about Adoption with Your Toddler...
This morning Annika joined me on the patio for a casual Saturday morning-toting her blankie with rumpled hair and her straight-out-of-bed look. She sat beside me munching on a sprinkled donut (a little weekend treat) while I sipped coffee. We played a game where we interpret what the birds are chirping about. My turn:
Bird: Good morning Annika. So glad you could join us. What’s for breakfast?
Annika: A donut.
Bird: Oh disgusting! We are eating worms. Want one?
And so on. Soon enough Annika shifted focus to her bare feet. She held up her two feet and placed them in my lap. Recently tackling the skill the counting to ten, we counted her toes together. “One-Two-Three…Ten.”
Mom: You have ten toes. Let’s count your fingers.
Holding her chubby, sweet 5 year-old hands in mine we counted her soft fingers. “One-Two-Three…Ten.”
Mom: How many eyes do you have?
Mom: How many ears do you have?
Mom: How many moms do you have?
Mom: You have two moms, me (big hug) and your birth momma.
Mom: Yep, that's right. How many dads do you have?
Mom: Three. Dadda, Matthew, your birth dad, and your heavenly father, Jesus.
10 toes, 10 fingers, 2 moms and 3 fathers
As simple and factual as numbers are-Annika’s identity will similarly include that invariable fact that she is adopted. It will not define her, but it will contribute to the wonderful, caring, adventurous, and joyful person she is.
Here’s my thought, we begin teaching colors and numbers and letters in preschool. So as an adoptive parent, it is just as critical to teach Annika about her identify, her family and her Creator.
Baby albums and bed-time stories can help to communicate about adoption and faith, but it is these everyday moments that help cement both as the foundation of who she is.
God is the Alpha of Our Child's Adoption Story...
The Alpha of Annika's story (as is all of ours) is the premise that the Lord created her and was the Master craftsman of her existence and place in this world.
Scripture for the Road...
Your eyes saw me before I was put together. And all my days were written in Your book before any of them came to be.
-Alison England, LMSW Author of Best-Selling Book in Adoption-Tandem: A Devotional for Adopting with God in the Lead
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