An Adoption Conversation Between 5-Year-Olds

The joy of listening to a five-year-old talk adoption.

Candise Gilbert June 03, 2014
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Adoption is a very comfortable topic in our home. It is something we celebrate, something we reverence, and a subject that is often discussed. We welcome any and all questions from our daughter and want her to always feel safe chatting about what is on her mind. She asks lots of questions and seems to have a great age-appropriate understanding of adoption. She also does a fantastic job answering questions asked by her friends. A photo album containing photos of our daughter with her birth mom sits on a shelf in our living room, and we often share it with visitors. Adoption is part of our everyday lives, and we do our best to make our home a place where we teach about the beauty and blessing of adoption.

As my daughter grows, I love to listen to the conversations she has with her friends about adoption. One of my favorite conversations occurred when she was 5 years old. She was asked,

“Do you have a birth mark?”

At the time she had no idea what birth mark was, and replied with a quizzical expression,


Her 5-year-old friend went on to (incorrectly) explain that birth marks happen when you are in your mom’s tummy, and since she was adopted, and never in her mom’s tummy, she probably didn’t have one. Comments like this tug at my heart strings a little, and I was anxious to hear her reply. I could tell she was a little fed up with the conversation and replied with a firm and confident,

“I don’t have a birth mark, I have a birth MOM!”

I was so thrilled, I could have done a cartwheel right there in the kitchen.

I could tell that, in her mind, whatever “privilege” her friend was speaking of, this “birthmark,” was nothing in comparison to what she had: a birth mom.

The conversation was dropped shortly after this exchange, but I spent the rest of the day grateful that my daughter was proud to have a birth mom.

I did take the time later on to explain to her exactly what a birth mark is, and that she did indeed have one right above her elbow in a spot that is tricky to see.

What a lucky gal, to have a birth mark AND a birth mom!

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Candise Gilbert

Candise is the mother of 2 darling girls and the wife of a fantastic husband. She became a mother through the miracle of adoption and parenting is her favorite job! She makes dinner every night, loves a good book, talks about adoption as often as she can, and tries to surround herself with fabulous people.

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