Not every question "can be answered by love, fun or ice cream," says NPR's Scott Simon.
As part of StoryCorps' National Day of Listening project, Simon explains how he responds when asked, "Where did I come from?" by his 6-year-old daughter, Elise.
Simon and his wife, Caroline, adopted Elise and another daughter, 3-year-old Lena, from China. They've grown up knowing they were adopted and are naturally curious about their birth mother.
"We don't conceal any details from our daughters — they're cunning enough to catch us anyway. But every few months they absorb a little more and the older and smarter they get, the more questions they have for which we have no real answers."
So far so good -- they know they are adopted, they feel free to ask their parents questions, their curiosity about their birth parents is natural, and no details are concealed.
I wish it could leave it as just a cute story, but I have to mention that the story he tells Elise -- we wanted a family, so we went to China -- is woefully incomplete. He is telling HIS story, not hers. I believe that every (and if you've been reading here for a while you know I hardly EVER say EVERY about anything!) adopted child's story should begin with the child's gestation and birth -- "You grew in your birth mother's tummy until it was time for you to be born." Without this piece of the puzzle, an adopted child can't really know what adoption means. Now, it could be that they talk about that piece, too, but you wouldn't be able to tell that from the audio report, so I felt I had to mention it!