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Adoption Blog: Adoption: Not Just My Profession, My Life

Talking About My Daughter’s Birth Story

Our two-year-old daughter is still a bit too young to understand the complexities of adoption, but that doesn’t stop us from speaking about adoption on a regular basis. It helps that she has two older brothers (ages six and four-and-a-half) who ask all the questions that help us form our narrative about R’s adoption.

Right now, the boys are in the habit of asking, “Tell me about when I was a baby,” each night before bed. We go in birth order from oldest to youngest. We talk about how they grew in my belly, then they were born and we got to hold them in our arms. After we told S and J their birth stories, it was time to tell our daughter’s story. The first time we did it, I asked them what they thought would be different about R’s story. They knew about Momma J and that my belly never got bigger with R, but they hadn’t connected the two on a larger scale until we started having these nightly talks. R’s birth story begins with growing in Momma J’s belly, and ends, days later, when we first got to hold her in our arms. Each night, my boys take turns telling R’s birth story.

I keep my eye out for ways to naturally talk about adoption with my children and continue to normalize it in our family. Sometimes it is the simple things that open up conversations. Our agency had a 5K event to raise money for their fund that helps expecting and birth parents who might be struggling financially. Our friends and family put together Team R to show support. My son’s preschool teacher, who is also a personal friend and a member of Team R, always talks with the kids about their weekend plans at the end of the week. On the Friday before the 5K, she and J began to talk about how they were looking forward to racing together, which opened up a conversation about adoption. J came home from school excited that he got to share about his family with his school friends.

Even though R is still young, it’s never too early to talk about adoption with your child. Starting as early as possible is recommended. We began at infancy. She would stare and coo as we talked about her birth mother and when we first held her in our arms. As I rocked her to sleep reading Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You, my eyes would fill with tears knowing how much she was (and is) loved by Momma J. Not only is it great for R to grow up exposed to adoption language, but, the more I talk about it, the more comfortable I become making it just a part of who we are.

Now that R is two, she grasps a little more each day about how she came into our family. I know there will be a time when there are lots more questions, including some I won’t have answers for, but, for now, we try to open up conversations about adoption any time there is an opportunity. We want to foster the idea that it’s not something we hide, that questions are always welcome, and we want her to be able to come to us with the hard stuff, too. Her feelings will always be valid and, though we can’t fully understand what she experiences as an adoptee, we are here with open arms and listening ears to be there beside her as we navigate this world together.

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Kristy Hartley-Galbraith

Kristy Hartley-Galbraith


I have recently adopted or am adopting from...
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