We tell Atticus and Norah their adoption stories frequently. They each have little books from kodak.com that have pictures relating to their adoption along with the script we generally follow. At three, frankly, they don't really understand it at all. Norah insists that she was born in Bonga like Atticus because jumping up and down while yelling "Dessie" just isn't as much fun as jumping around while yelling "Bonga!" Some recent conversations:
I got out a box of baby clothes to sort through before a garage sale.
Atticus: Look, Mama! Clothes from when we were babies! When we were adopted!
Me: That's right Sweetie! You and Norah were babies when we adopted you!
Norah: (struggles valiently to cram her body into a 6-9 month outfit) Look at me Mama! I'm adopted again!
Atticus: (gets out a baby outfit for himself) I want to be adopted again too!
At three o'clock this morning as he sat on the toilet:
Atticus: Mama, I was sad before I was adopted.
Me: You were? Why were you sad? (Thinking: Wow, I did not expect to have our first meaningful Atticus-directed discussion about his adoption at three in the morning in the bathroom. Is it too early for coffee? Too late for wine?)
Atticus: Because I didn't have a big toilet. I only had a little potty.
Me: No, babe, you wore diapers. Your Ethiopian mommy changed your diapers and then when you went to live at Toukoul the nannies changed your diapers. Then after we adopted you, Mama and Papa changed your diapers because you were still a baby.
Atticus: No, I didn't have a big toilet in Ethiopia before I was adopted. Just a little potty.
Clearly, we still have a ways to go before our work here is done.