October 19, 2010

Open Adoption Roundtable #20

The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don't need to be listed at Open Adoption Bloggers to participate or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you're thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table. The prompts are meant to be starting points--please feel free to adapt or expand on them.

Publish your response--linking back
here so your readers can browse other participating blogs--and leave a link to your post in the comments. Using a previously published post is perfectly fine; I'd appreciate it if you'd add a link back to the roundtable. If you don't blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.

Anyone who reads my blog regularly probably saw this prompt coming. Recent comments and emails tell me you all have a lot to say on the topic. I'll leave the prompt nice and broad, so each of us can focus on the sliver most on our minds at the moment.

Write about siblings and open adoption.


The responses:

Anonymous (first mom) writes in the comments about the complicated emotions brought up for her by her son's relationship with his brother on his first dad's side.

Amber (adoptive mom) at Life in the Last Frontier talks about the resistance they're facing from friends and family who don't understand why maintaining sibling relationships is important to them.

Jess (adoptive mom) at The Problem With Hope shares how the strong relationship with her daughter's bio brother influenced the course of their family planning.

Jenna (first mom) at The Chronicles of Munchkin Land points out that her commitment to openness is as much for her (parented) sons as it is for her (placed) daughter.

Susiebook (first mom) at Endure for a Night remembers a year-ago conversation about siblings with her son's adoptive mom, and compares that to the reality during her current pregnancy.

A Life Being Lived (first mom) at Carrying a Cat by the Tail talks about how her daughter's potential adoptive brothers played into her decision to place and facing her fear that she won't have more children.

Rredhead (adoptive mom) at Adoption.com questions the conventional wisdom about explaining placement to her young son, given that he has older and younger siblings parented by his first mom.

Kelly L (adoptive mom) at Surprised by Hope shares why her daughter's birth siblings are called simply brothers and sisters in their home.

Tammy (adoptive mom) at I Can Only Imagine shares how her children's relationships with their siblings are a "painful thing although with great potential to be something marvelous and nurturing with time."

Sonya (adoptive mom) at The Dobbins Boys tells how the, "You have siblings," conversation came about with her adopted son.

Spyderkl (adoptive mom) at Evil Mommy thinks about the possible day her daughter's first mom has another child.

Katjamichelle (first mom) at Therapy Is Expensive wonders what the relationship will look like between her placed son's adoptive brother and her future parented children.

An anonymous adoptive parent shares about her son's anger that is sometimes brought to the surface by the presence of his biological siblings--and how the strength of those same relationships provides an safe outlet for the emotion.

Tracy (adoptive parent) at My Minivan Rocks says that her adopted son's siblings have become the doorway to open adoption, now that contact with his first mom is off the table for a time.

Amber (adoptive parent) at Bumber's Bumblings shares about her family's relationship with a different sort of sibling: her son's first mom's sisters, now doting aunts.

Michelle (adoptive parent) at Grown in My Heart says it was the siblings interactions were the catalyst for the family's whole open adoption relationship to expand and flourish.


Anonymous said...

Hello, I don't technically blog right now, but I want to add my two cents worth of thought, if that's OK.

So far, in my experience, I am hopeful about the relationship my son is starting to have with his half-brother(who is the birthfathers son, not mine).

I'm not sure if my son really and truly realizes who this little person is just yet because they've only met three times so far.
Once when he was a newborn, at six months, and just recently at one year old.
During these brief visits my son has displayed only a passing interest in his brother.
I'm sure that's because he's a very active pre-schooler and his half-brother is only just starting to walk. I'm sure it would be more fun for my son to play with his brother if he could run around and stuff.
Honestly, I feel jeolous that my sons birthfather is allowed to have his son interact with our son.

I really wish that my son could not only know his brother(s) but his cousins, my own sisters children and the birthfathers sisters children. I have asked many times about including them and the idea has been soundly rejected.
Personally I get the feeling that had they(APs) the choice my sons brother would not be known to their/our son. It's just that my sons birthfather *happens* to bring him to our mutual visits so there's nothing that can be done to change that...

Personally, I have decided that having another child is something I am NOT going to do! I don't even plan to find a 'mate' or anything! It's just not one of my goals in life, and not neccessarily a good idea for me for a variety of reasons.
For one, I feel like my son would notice if I had another child and parented that child. I just don't want to risk the affect it might have on him. If he knew that I choose not to parent him, but did another.
That being said, I don't think that my sons birthfather being a father to other children will bother him as much.
It has always been obvious to me (and probably my sons APs) that, for my sons birthfather, adoption was not what he wanted to do, he had to be convinced and overpowered by sheer will and reason from all involved.

For my sons birthfather,I believe it is more important to him than it is to me that our son know his brother(s). As much as I think it's good that my son know that he has brother(s), I wish it went further than that. I want him to know just how much 'family' he has, be by adoption, birth, etc...

Mostly because knowing that you have that much support in life is very valuable. People who have large groups of people supporting them usually do very very very well. I just want that for my son, all the kinds of support that life(or open adoption) can give him.

Amber said...

Great topic, thank you for posting it! I responded here.

Jess said...

Alright! Mine is sort of longer than usual, BUT....I had several aspects (kids under my roof, maternal bio side, paternal bio side, next kid bio v. adoption decision) to talk about. I hope people will still read! ;)


Jenna said...

I just wrote about my sons and their birth sibling-hood. Viewable here.

Anonymous said...

Mine is up! http://susiebook.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/open-adoption-roundtable-20/

A Life Being Lived said...

Mine is up too. It's my first Roundtable, be nice :) a-cat-bythetail.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Mine will be up in the morning.
I'm opening myself up for lots of insults and turmoil. I guess that's what a good prompt does, eh?

Kelly L said...

I blogged about this a couple months ago...nothing new to add to this at the moment, so here's the link to what I wrote before! :)


Tammy said...

Here's mine... it's all rambly and stuff in my usual fashion, but to our family, sibling hood is not a nutshell issue. It covers the spectrum of life every single day.


Sonya said...

Mine's up...very timely discussion for our family!

spyderkl said...

Mine's not technically about siblings - we're raising our daughter as an only child - but more like a "what will happen when" thing.

katjamichelle said...

no real insight. just wondering and worrying, but it's posted none the less. http://therapyisexpensive.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/open-adoption-roundtable-20-someday-siblings/

Anonymous said...

So, I don't blog much. We do have a son who has two biological siblings that we do not parent. The first, a son born 1 1/2 years after ours, was at first raised by his birth parents. By age 2 it was clear they were no more prepared to raise him than their first, placed child. This child is being raised by birthfather's family members, who were the only consistent caregivers from 0-2.

The second child was born just last year and is being raised by our son's birthfather and his girlfriend.

Our son is 8. Our adoption is fully open, so he not only knows about his siblings but he also visits with them.

It has not always been easy. He struggles with the fact that he has a brother (and now a sister) but is an only child. He is angry about this. Sad. Angry at birth mom specifically, but it comes out at me because I am 'safest'.

Because we kept those ties strong all those years he was able to have a very candid and, yes, finally angry discussion with his birth mom. I don't know exactly what was said nor should I. She said later it was 'rough'. He was, after that, at peace though. More at peace.

This is where keeping those relationships strong, even when it's soooo easy to say it's not needed when they're 3 and 4 count. Because later they're 7 or 8 or 9 and those relationships are needed in very important and specific ways.

Does it suck? Yeah. I've wrestled with many emotions over the years. It is the hardest thing in the world to see your child in pain and not be able to do a damn thing to resolve that, simply because there are things we can't fix.

There is also great fun in being able to show both boys how their chins are the same or their fingernails or their toes and they just light up. To look at the baby girl and say 'my goodness, she looks just like him as a baby'.

It's worth it.

A Life Being Lived said...

Just wanted to clarify I'm a first mom not an adoptive mom :)

Heather said...

A Life Being Lived - Ack--what a typo! It's fixed now--I'm sorry about that. Hopefully it was clear from the rest of the description.

Anonymous said...

I finally got mine up: http://myminivanrocks.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/open-adoption-roundtable-open-adoption-and-siblings/

BumbersBumblings said...

Just posted mine, as well!


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