When we were initially exploring open adoption, I imagined the first post-placement visits as terribly tense and uncomfortable. Maybe they are in some circumstances, but that hasn't been true for us. Not to say there wasn't an iceberg of emotion underneath the surface on Saturday, but we had a pleasant time together. Ms B came along with two dear friends we are also getting to know. There were gifts and pictures and much agreement over Firefly's perfection.
We're still getting to know one another, so we don't have the benefit of being able to read the other people well. I'm trying hard to not overanalyze the time, because I will only fret over how much I don't know about what Saturday was like for Ms B or exactly how many times I put my foot in my mouth (likely many).
I've read that gaining a sibling through adoption often is an impetus for adopted kids processing some of their own adoption. Puppy is barely over two years of age, so I didn't know how much that would be true for him. But I've kept it in the back of my mind.
Because we were out-of-town longer than we expected when Firefly was born, my parents ended up bringing Puppy to us for a night. He visited Ms B and Firefly in the hospital and saw them together. (I had gone back and forth on whether that would be helpful or not. It ended up being fine.) Soon after we returned home with Firefly he asked why Ms B hadn't come home with us, too. I think he understood that Firefly belonged with us and also belonged with Ms B, and was trying to make sense of that.
Then on Saturday, he and I were hanging out with Firefly before Ms B came over. He knew we were getting ready for her visit and that she was coming to see Firefly. He looked at Firefly and got thoughtful.
"[Ms B] coming? She her birth mom. [Firefly] have birth mom. I have birth mom too? [K]. [K] birth mom." (When he's deep in thought he speaks in sentence fragments.)
He paused, so I said, "Yes, that's right."
"I miss her," he told me. This is the first time he's verbally expressed anything like that. (He and I decided we should call K on the phone.)
I think it is beginning to sink in for him that there is a break in continuity when a child is placed for adoption. And maybe he is starting to work out for himself what it means when we say that he was with K and R before he was with us.
Lately after every visit with K or Ms B I want to have a biological child. I get mopey and gruff. It only lasts for a day or two, but it's driving me up the wall.
What really gets me is that this is pretty much the only time I feel this way. I'm proud of our family and beyond content with my children. Heck, half the time I feel bad for all those pregnancy-only moms out there who don't know how amazing adoption can be. So I'm not coming by this desire honestly, because if I were I would feel it other times, too. Not just after hanging out with my kids' first families.
I don't imagine I would love a non-adopted child any more or less than Puppy and Firefly. But I'm guessing there would be differences in my experience of raising a bio kid, because there wouldn't be the added layer of adoption. I can't change (and don't want to change) the fact that my kids have dual family trees. Yet sometimes--like after a visit--I'm hyper-aware that most parents don't need to do what we do. There is no adoption to navigate. And my mind escapes to the unwanted fantasy of having a bio child. I don't think it's really about the hypothetical child at all. It just seems so enticingly...uncomplicated.