One day this weekend, we were driving in the van and the kids had been teasing each other in good fun when Mister piped up and said "Mom, can we change our order and get a boy instead so I can teach him to harass "Muffin"?" It was cute in the moment, and Dan and I exchanged a quick smile before I explained to Mister that we are not "ordering" a child, and equipped him with the proper terms.
After listening to my explanation of the process, Mister thought for a few seconds and then said, "But Mom, there's is only one problem with that."
"What is that?"
"Well, she's not really going to be my sister."
"Of course she will be, just like "Muffin" is your sister"....
He thought for a little while longer, "Well how can she be my sister when she isn't going to come out of your tummy?"
Insert the explanation of how families are made up in all different ways, not just biologically. I then realized that although we had been open in our discussions about the adoption, that I never fully explained what I thought was the obvious. We always speak of the adopted child being their brother or sister etc... and it never clued into me that he wasn't fully aware of how this thing called "adoption" works. I referred to his Chinese adopted friend, and I explained the process of fostering, bonding, attaching, then going to court to declare that you will love this child forever and ever. That we will always be their Mommy, Daddy, brother and sister. I explained that it was same promises that I made for them when they were growing in my tummy.
Fast forward 2 hours. We are sitting with Dan's Mom and Dad, when Muffin walks up and says "Guess what Grandma and Grandpa? I am going to court!!"
She raised a couple of eyebrows, and Dan and I laughed and explained her new found enthusiasm.
I now realize that we have many more discussions that need to take place to fully prepare them for this process. Sometimes I take for granted that Mister understands it, just because his sister does. I need to go back to the drawing board and look at this from a 6 yr olds perspective!