I recently shared that we had begun telling Maddie how she joined our family. You can find that post here. Many of you commented on the way I told her and I wanted to give credit to the EA momma that originally shared the "tomato baby" story. Below is original post that inspired me. It was her story that encouraged me to start a little garden to have a launch pad for talking about seeds and telling Maddie her story. Our little garden has also been a great way for me and Miss Maddie to bond. She loves taking care of her little tomato babies and gives them a drink every day. I love that we can share this time together and love it even more that it can illustrate the beautiful way she joined our family.
Here is the original story:
I was also
struggling with how to tell my daughter (who celebrated her 4th birthday
in June) about how she came to be my daughter. The question of "to tell
or not to tell" was never a question for my husband and I since our
daughter has a tan (native american/hispanic) skin tone and we are light
skinned. Hopefully I won't offend anyone by writing this, but I do
beleive that we should "tell" our children. As long as a single person
besides the mother and father of a child know about the embryo adoption
the possibility of the child being "told" at some point is too great to
ignore. I feel that it is best if the "telling" is done by the parents
in a positive way rather than by "who knows who" in "who knows what" way
"who knows when". I know that is probably easier for me to say than for
people who have children who like them since there was no question that
I would have to "tell" my daughter. The answer of how to tell my
daughter presented itself over the summer.
family has a "garden" of EarthBox planters on our patio. This year we
planted tomatos, corn, and watermelons. Each food had its own EarthBox.
My daughter had the best time planting and watering the seeds. She was
so excited when they sprouted. She called each of the sprouts "tomato
babies", "corn babies" and "watermelon babies". She was thrilled when
the babies were "born" (bore fruit). One day when we were picking the
tomatos from the tomato EarthBox, my daughter noticed a stringy vine
that had grown through and wrapped itself around the tomato plants. At
the end of the vine was a single half-open bud. My daughter looked back
and forth between the bud and its surrounding tomato plants, then said
matter of factly "Mommy, that tomato baby doesn't look like her family."
"No, he sure doesn't" I replied. I'll never forget what she did next.
She petted the bud gently and then attempted to hug it and said "It's
okay little tomato baby , I don't look like my family too. Mommy, why
don't tomato baby and me look like our family?" I froze in panic. I'd
had four years to come up with a good explanation and still didn't have
one. I hugged my daughter (and the "tomato baby")! and told them that I
would have to think about how to say it but that I would tell them in
the morning. Then I stayed up half night and prayed that the answer
would come to me. It did. When my daughter woke up the next morning the
first thing out of her mouth was "Did you think about the stuff to tell
me and tomato baby?". After breakfast, we went out to the patio. The
half-open "tomato baby" bud had bloomed into a single perfect miniature
sunflower. "MOMMY !! TOMATO BABY IS SO PRETTY
my daughter exclaimed. "AND ,AND, AND, AND, TOMATO BABY ISN'T A TOMATO
BABY SHE'S A SUNFLOWER BABY. HOW IS SHE A SUNFLOWER BABY MOMMY?" I asked
my daughter to look up above the tomatos and tell me what she saw.
"and what's inside the birdfeedeer? "
"Yes !!! So why do you think sunflower baby doesn't look like her family?" , I asked.
we put the tomato seeds in the tomato family EarthBox and they got big
and they are tomatos and the sunflower seed went down in the tomato
family Earthbox and she grew up and she's a sunflower baby." she
!!! They look different because they came from different kinds of
seeds. So why do you think you look different from your family?" I
After a moment of intense thought she responded "Because you put a tan girl seed in your tummy, Mommy ?"
"Yes, that's exactly right , because I put a tan girl seed in my tummy."..... ......... .
then my daughter occasionally volunteers to people, "My mommy is white
but I'm tan cause my Mommy wanted to have a girl grow in her tummy but
the girl seeds in her tummy wouldn't grow good and the nice people had a
pretty tan girl seed and they shared the pretty tan girl seed with my
Mommy and the doctor put the seed in Mommy's tummy and I got big and I
think knowing she came from a "tan girl seed that the nice people
shared with Mommy and Daddy" has made my daughter feel comfortable about
who she is and how she came to be at a level that is perfect for her
age. I don't know if this explanation would work for everyone, but it
sure has worked for us !