Eli, our 3-year-old, doesn't really have much of a clue that we are adopting. It's a bit of a hard concept to explain... much harder than mommy's growing tummy that has a "baby inside." The other day I had my first "real" conversation with him on this topic, and I was actually impressed with how much sank in...
Me: "Guess what Eli? You are going to have a baby brother or sister someday soon who will come live in our house!"
Eli: Looking confused "Who's it gonna be?"
Me: "I don't know yet, but it will be a baby brother or sister."
Eli: "I'm going to have a baby sister" (smiling) "And she will be Emmie" (referring to his beloved cousin)
Me: "No, it won't be Emmie. Emmie already has a mommy or daddy. Our baby will come from a place called Ethiopia. Our baby will need a mommy and daddy, so we will bring the baby home to our house to be part of our family!"
Eli: "When's he gonna come?"
Me: "We don't know yet, but hopefully someday soon."
That was the end of the conversation, but apparently Eli continued thinking about it. The next morning when Micah woke him up, the first thing Eli said was... "I'm going to have a baby sister but we don't know who it is yet." Ha Ha! So cute! Hopefully he won't be too disappointed if it ends up being a baby brother :) I'm sure once we have some pictures and a name this will be the excitement of his life!
It has also been interesting to watch how God is moving in his little-boy heart to help him understand this treasure of adoption, even though we haven't tried to explain it. Lately, whenver we are reading stories, Eli seems to point out any "baby/child" (whether human or animal) who doesn't have an obvious mommy or daddy nearby. He repeatedly asks "Where's his mommy?" or "Where's his daddy?" The other day he told me that the baby bunny in one of our stories "needs a family." I was like... what?!? How do you even comprehend the concept of "family" at such a young age? But he does, and I think this is part of God's beautiful plan in helping our"big brother" gain a heart of compassion and love for his new sibling, as well as giving him a childlike understanding of the beauty of adoption - finding families for children.