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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I'm the proud God-mother to a lovely adopted girl who is now 5. She is 3 months younger than my dd and they are bessie mates as Paula would say.
My daughter often asks questions about not only herself as a baby, but my Gd as a baby, and what was she like, was she bigger or smaller etc. My gd's parents have a family book for her which was prepared by her foster mother. They got her when she was 6 months old. But they do not talk to her about her being adopted, and when her bio mum sent her a birthday card this year my friends found it too hard to show it to my god-daughter.
I feel kind of on edge wondering if my gd or daughter will eventually ask me questions about "being in mummy's tummy" etc -
My friend is over-sensitive and I do not want to upset her in anyway.
Any advice on how to handle this really, really sensitive issue would be great.
Fee xxxxxxx

 

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Hi Fee
Hope you had a good holiday.
Maybe you could ask your friend about how she would like to you tell Laura about GD. At least you know then exactly what you friend wants you to tell Laura whilst she is still quite young? I don't know if this is an option but it maight be worth a try.
Chick
 

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Fee

There is a really good book for kids called Nutmeg gets Adopted - you can buy it on Amazon.  Your GD's parents should be talking to her about being adopted as this is part of the agreement you enter into when you adopt them.  There is a good book by BAAF for parents about explaining adoption to children - again available on Amazon.

Like Chick said I would ask her parents how they would want you to answer these questions so that you don't compromise what they might be telling her.  My sister has done this already with me to explain to my nieces who are 5 and 4 why Auntie Karen is having two children and isn't pg.

Hope this helps
Love
Karen x
 

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Hi Fee

I think the other's are right.  Maybe you should ask your friend how she thinks you should tell Laura about your Gd.  I can understand how your friend feels, she's had her little girl since she was a baby and probably wants to think of her as only having been her daughter.  It's not easy to be reminded that another woman gave birth to her child.  When you've waited so long for a child and you get one it must be tempting to wrap yourselves in a cocoon and shut out all the painful reminders that the child wasn't always yours.

However as Karen says we are told that we should let the children know from an early age.  The children need to know that it's not a bad thing to be adopted, nothing to feel ashamed about.  Also when she grows older these questions will become harder.  You might start out keeping things a secret with the best intentions but sometimes it can lead to them growing out of proportion.  A friend of mine was 16 when she found out that her Dad wasn't her biological father, her parents had never told her.  It was a real shock to her and led to a distrangement between her and her Mum for a while.

There is plenty of literature available to help us tell our adopted children where they come from.  Maybe you can mention anecodatlly that people like Karen and I are also having to go through this and the books that we've been looking at.  You don't want to upset your friend but maybe you can explain that you don't feel right lying to her daughter.

Best of luck with this difficult issue.
love
Cindy

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all.  I will try to find some time to talk to my friend - maybe I should take her out for a drink or something away from kids. I think the lead should come from her. Thanks Karen for the tip about the book. I'm going to order 2 copies! One for me and one for my friend if she would like one.
Lots of love - and so exciting to read about your journey.
Thinking especially of Karen meeting her girls today
Fee xxxxxx
 

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wow that is a tough one fee!
our friends got their daughter at 3 months. They often get out both the photo book her SW made, and the photo book they made in advance of the adoption. They don't think  "xxxxx" really understands it all yet, but they talk freely about it in front of her, and she loves looking in the books (she is 3 and a half). I think the more relaxed an open about it, the less an issue it is.
I know someone who won't adopt after her failed IVFs because she is scared the child will love the birth mother more..... again I reckon by encouraging discussion, talking about feelings and being open there is no need to worry.  Sure, kids are kids, and I think we need to be realistic enough to know that most teenagers will find something to kick off with their prents about, to worry over, and adoption is a pretty big deal!- so it will be a big issue at some points. But there is so much proof that openness is the way to go, and like Karen said the nutmeg books and stuff make good starting points for discussion.

Children aren't silly. they notice when things don't quite add up, even from an early age. I would put money on it that your god daughter has some idea that things are a bit different, and five year olds are very open to new ideas and stories and they are also developmentally very interested in themselves, so now would be a great time for your friend to start, if she hasn't already, talking about her history.

good idea to take your friend out for a coffee- away from the kids. I'm guessing you will be telling her what she already knows, but maybe she is really frightened, and giving her the chance to talk about it without two five year olds present might give her the opportunity to vent her fears without worrying about wht they might see.
you sound like a great godmother by the way, and even though it might be a hard discussion to have with your friend I know deep down she will appreciate it and clearly needs it!
 
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