Discussing adoption

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My family has adopted two children of different race, and when I sent my child a picture of our family she asked, "who is that baby?" How do I explain/discuss adoption with my compassion child? I'm afraid something might get lost in translation. is adoption a concept my child will be familiar with?
Photo of Caralee Brooke Duncan

Caralee Brooke Duncan

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Posted 5 years ago

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Photo of Emily


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Hi Caralee! Thank you for sending your child a photo of your family. I know they love receiving pictures and this helps them to relate to you on an even deeper level. Although the term 'adoption,' may be communicated differently in the countries we work in; many of our children understand being raised by caregivers other than their biological parents. In other cultures, it is very common for children to be cared for by elders in their communities. For example, Compassion's previous President, Wess Stafford, explained that as a young boy living in Africa, the mother's in his rural village took all of the children under their wing and treated them as their own. Sometimes children are taken care of by older siblings or may live with grandparents, aunts, or uncles because the parents have passed away, left to find work, or other reasons. You are certainly welcome to explain in a way that you're comfortable, that you are their mother or they are your children.  One way you might word it could be, "The child you asked about in the photo I sent you is my baby. He is part of our family and his name is..." Whether you choose to simply state that they are your children or explain a little further that you are taking care of them because their parents are no longer are able to, is up to your discernment. It is evident that your family loves children. Thank you for the difference you're making in their lives! 
Photo of JMM


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We have adopted children as well.  I have simply introduced them as part of our family, saying "They were born in (country), we adopted them, and now they are a part of our family."  None of our sponsored kids have ever really questioned that.  Some of our sponsored kids are from a country we adopted from and that is a very meaningful connection for both of us. 

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