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By Answering We Help Others

On Halloween night this past fall, as we walked by lawns decorated with haunted graveyards, skeletons, and ghosts, my 8 year old daughter asked me a very tough question…”How do people die?”

As I quickly pondered how best to answer that question, the irony was, my husband and I hadn’t even figured out yet how to tell her specifically about the day she was born. 

Even when she was just an infant, we began reading whimsical books to her about adoption and over the years tenderly expressed to her that she was adopted. But then one day not so long ago she asked me, “How big did you get when I was in your tummy?”

With her ability to understand more, and also with the “Adoption Affirmation” book I recently co-published out on the market, we realized the time had come to tell her more of her story.

Cuddling with her on the couch, her daddy and I took a collective deep breath and then shared these words with her, “Someone else gave birth to you.” Before we could go on, she said, “I didn’t know that!” and without missing a beat she asked if she could go back to playing Legos. The answer to that one was easy, “Yes!” She soon after asked the name of the person who gave birth which I answered by sharing the person’s first name. Then I said, ” And we were the lucky ones she chose to be your Mommy and Daddy. You were born in our hearts and an answer to our wishes.” She gently smiled, hugged us, and went back to her building blocks.

An hour went by and she asked, “How do babies end up in bellies?” By then daddy had run to the grocery store so I did my best to answer that question. I know she will have many more questions in the days, months, and years to come, and we will have thoughtful answers, however what I hope she will never question is how much her daddy and I have loved her from even before she was born and every day since. 

So I guess the lesson for me and hopefully for all of us is, to live our lives in such a way that those we love never question what’s in our hearts. And also may we all remember to patiently answer questions that are asked of us…especially those that help the other person better understand themselves.