Where do babies come from? Oshawa, apparently. At least according to my son. When my sister had her baby, I told my son that he had a new cousin. He asked, “Did they get him from Oshawa?”
“No, the hospital.” But right: his foster family lived in Oshawa, hence he figured that’s where all babies come from.
Recently we ran into a mother at the daycare who had just had a second child. When my son saw the baby in the stroller, he said to the mother, “He’s cute. How old is he?”
She told him: “Two weeks.”
My son asked: “When did you get him?”
The mother answered: “Two weeks ago.”
My son was a bit confused and asked again, “How old is he?”
This mother, now a bit confused herself, repeated: “Two weeks.”
My son, again: “But when did you get him?”
Ah, of course, I realized that for him – and his biological brother, his adopted sister, plus many various friends – there are two dates: the birthday plus the date he came to live with his forever family. He wasn’t too familiar with women giving birth to babies and taking them home right away.
We talk to our son about his adoption. He knows his story, the basic plot points mostly, and it’s natural to him. It’s not a secret and not something he has to discover when he’s older. We’ll fill in more details as he gets older and provide age appropriate answers when he asks questions.
He still doesn’t ask much, though. He’s content with what he knows so far. He was born in the city. He went to live with his foster family who took care of him while we looked for him. We had a home and love to share (thanks, Todd Parr, for some language to frame it!) and our social worker helped us look for him. I tell him that we went to Oshawa and met a boy who was sweet and loving and kind. But he was already taken, I joke, so we went to the house next door and took their baby. He laughs and then says, “tell me again, from the beginning please.”