Patiently Waiting | Explaining Adoption to a 4 Year Old

I'm a Mommy!

October 3, 2017

Throughout this process of adoption, I am often asked if we have shared with Levi that we are adopting. This is not something I could keep from him, so we told him early on in the process that we were going to have baby sister join our family. He has been so excited and keeps asking us if baby sister is here or not. To give him a frame of reference, I told him that we have to celebrate his birthday, Daddy’s birthday (probably- her due date is right around Josh’s bday), and then baby sister would be here; so anytime recently he was out and people asked how old he is, he always said, “I’m about to be 4. My birthday is September 25. And then it’s Daddy’s birthday. And then baby sister is here!” This was all said in one long string in less than 5 seconds. It made me laugh so much. He knows his birthday has passed, so he’s waiting for Daddy’s now and then baby sister will be here!

We did not explain right away the concept of adoption to him. I honestly wasn’t 100% sure how to explain it to him. We had planned on ordering some adoption books, but the only one I ended up ordering is more allegorical, so it didn’t really explain adoption. We decided to wait until he asked us. He’s pretty bright and picks up on things, so we kind of expected him to ask us sometime in the past months. He knows he came from my belly and has seen pictures of me pregnant with him; but he never asked us why mommy’s tummy wasn’t big with baby sister… until last week. We were laying in bed together before nap and out of nowhere he asks, “Mommy, why is baby sister not in your belly?” I asked him why he knew that, and he told me, “Because your belly isn’t big like Ms. Amy’s.” Amy is my best friend who is also pregnant with her second child, due one day after our birth mom. He has noticed her stomach growing with their baby and he finally put it together to ask me.

I told him that God brings babies into families different ways. God brought him to our family by putting him in my belly and God is bringing baby sister to us by growing her in another belly. He asked me why she had to be in another tummy and not mine. I told him that God has amazing plans and wanted her to grow in another mommy’s belly to be able to join our family. Later, I talked about how my nephew is adopted and told him about how he grew in another mommy’s tummy. He totally got it! (Well as much as a 4 year old can understand adoption.)

I have had the blessing to go to OB appointments with our birth mom the last two months, and I normally have Levi in school or get someone to watch him while I go; but this appointment was changed last minute and I had to take him with me. I’m actually glad he had to come with me to one appointment. He got to see our birth mom and see her belly. He got to hear baby sister’s heart beat on the doppler. At the end of the visit, he ran up to her and gave her belly a big hug. I asked her immediately if she was comfortable with it and she said yes. He put his ear up to her belly and said he was listening for baby sister and then kissed her belly. Ever since the appointment he tells everyone that he knows where baby sister is.

I’ll be lying if I didn’t say parts of this journey weren’t hard for me to not carry this baby myself. It’s been awesome and hard to stand on the sides- awesome because I have been blessed to be a part of many appointments and ultrasounds, but hard because I have to stand to the side and not be the one to experience it; but I remind myself that I would not be getting OUR baby that the Lord has planned for us this journey. It helped my heart to see Levi understand and really get it. I am praying daily for our birth mom and this last month of pregnancy and I ask you to join me as well. Thank you all for walking with us in this journey of infertility and now adoption and whatever the road may lead us to from here. We are blessed. God is good.

  1. Gisel

    October 3rd, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    I love how honest you have been with your son. Well done! God will honor it. So hard to find parents in this world who would be courageous enough to be honest with their children. Looking forward to meet your baby girl.

  2. mandi

    October 4th, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks sweet friend. I really appreciate it!

  3. Meg

    October 3rd, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    I love your story. He’s going to be the best big brother!

  4. mandi

    October 4th, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks so much Meg! I really appreciate it!

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