Where’s My Daddy?
This is a question that came to me via an adoption related list serve. All geographic details and names have been changed at the author’s request.
I’m a single mom, my daughter, adopted from Columbia at 6.5 months, is now 2 years 4 mos. She recently started asking about “daddy” – “Where is my daddy?,” I want my daddy,” etc… Isn’t she a little young? I didn’t think this would happen so soon!
We have no information at all on either of her birthparents. She knows and can say that she was “born in Bogota ” and that she “lives in Albany.” She also knows practically by heart a storybook with pictures that I made her of me going to Bogota, when we first were in each other’s arms, coming back to the bay area… so she “knows” her adoption story.
I would be grateful for any tips anyone has to offer as to how to respond to her. So far we’ve talked about all the people in her family (including extended family), particularly her “papa” – my dad/her grandfather, who she adores.
If at all relevant, she is also talking about the baby in her tummy or in mine (or in my breasts – which comes from us observing babies nursing), and holds things up to her tummy to show that is where the baby is.
Thanks for your words of wisdom! -Joan
Yes, two is a little young. Not to have the question but to articulate it so clearly. She is looking around and noticing that other families have daddies and wondering where hers is. She is asking a family structure question, not about sex. She is hip to the role women play in making babies, she can see it around her. But the role men play will be invisible to her for quite awhile yet. I highly recommend The Family Book by Todd Parr. The book creates an easy lead in for a conversation like this: ”We have two people in our family, a mommy, me, and a daughter, you. Some families have a mommy and a daddy. Some families have two mommies or two daddies. Some families have lots of children. Our family has just one mommy and one child.” Remember that your family is great just the way it is and covey this to her when you speak about it.
Later when you she understands (or begins to question) the biology you can say that everyone has a biological mother and a biological father. That’s how babies are made. But not all families have mommies and daddies. Mommies and Daddies are how children are cared for. All families need at least one grown up to take care of the children but families come in lots of different forms. Fortunately where you live you are sure to have a wide range of models to point out.