The Next Child: Having A New Baby After Adoption
My Oldest Child
I love the family that I selected for my son at the time of his Open Adoption.
We talk several times a week, I Skype and share videos with Little Man as he goes about his daily adventures playing at the beach or when his parents take pictures from daycare or playing around the house with his dog.
I have had my moments of regret, wishing that if I was in a different situation where I could have supported him at the time of his birth that I would have kept him with me. I made the best choice that I could for him, gave him the best family that I could find after interviewing them several times. I never had a doubt that they will never fail him as parents.
I knew that they planned to adopt other children.
They are extremely excited to add to their family, after all they had waited four long years of parenting classes and being certified as foster parents before I had found them and it was love at first sight for all of us when I saw the way they beamed while holding my son. I knew that he would get to be a big brother to their future children which was just what I wanted for him as he played great with other children in daycare and always wanted to be one of the big kids even before he could walk.
As I thought I would never want another child at the time of his birth, thinking that I couldn't possibly divide up my love any further, its the more time that I have spent with him that makes me realize that my husband and I are ready to have another child.
His adoptive family always planned for other children, which was an ideal situation when he was adopted. I wanted my son to be in a big loving family; blended by both his relations through his parents, and the family my husband and I have that also love him and celebrate time with him. It was because of my relationship with my Oldest Child, that I feel the urges to have more children and that we are now trying.
Brother To Both
In Open Adoption, the child knows their birth family, and remain in contact, whatever those terms may be decided by both the Birth Mother, and Birth Father, if in the picture, and the adoptive parents. While some may choose to just share pictures, emails, and occasional phone calls; the adoptive family lives close enough that aside from our exchange of content during the week, we get together when we can to spend time together.
In their opinion a child can never have too many people that love them.
While the outings may change as my son gets older and may decide that he doesn't want to get together as much, or maybe more, it will always be on his terms when he is old enough to understand all the adults involved just want what is best for him.
I never knew I wanted more children until I would come home from seeing or talking to him on the computer and realize how a piece of me was missing. I worried though that having another child could be seen as a replacement and that I could love someone else the same way I love him.
His family is on the list to adopt again, this time thinking they would perhaps like the idea of a girl although they are extremely open on their profile to any child in need of a loving home regardless or race or disability.
I didn't know how to tell my husband I was ready to start trying for our second child, but when I finally said it, he explained he had been feeling the same way but was afraid to say something after seeing me on my down days when I am missing my son so much all I can do is cry.
Having another baby in the house won't be a replacement for my relationship with him, and when I explained my feelings to other family members and the the adoptive family, everyone was supportive to my surprise.
Growing up in a further complicating situation, my son will get to be the Oldest of two families, and I have thought about how we adults will all have to sit down and explain how he has a sibling in two families that is not a sibling to each other.
What if the adopted sibling he gets also has other siblings either still with the birth parents or in another adoption or foster care situation?
Blending families can be complicated and beautiful.
If the adopted sibling he gets has other siblings that will further complicate the situation, but we plan to let my son and whatever other children they have and my children with my husband enjoy growing up together in a blended situation that will be best for all the children involved.
Sharing The Attention
My biggest fear between my son and further biological children is that there might be a sibling rivalry. With everyone young enough to grow up with the Open Adoption being the norm, my son is just becoming old enough to understand what that really means and when we have our special time together we will go to a a place that he can play and often he will get treats or presents that I have been saving like an Easter basket or books and clothing that I have been saving for the next visit.
He's really getting into books as all the adults involved enjoy reading to him so I have a collection of little kid block books with colorful pictures of animals and letters waiting for the next time we get together to play.
With adding children though, I hope to have my kids grow up knowing that although this special time is about everyone sharing their love from their brother and celebrating our time with him and his family and whatever children they also have- it is a time for all the kids to build a relationship and play.
I know it may come up with my son and my biological kids at home that there will be questions of why he lives with someone else, do I love one kid more than the other? Would the children at home ever be sent away or treated any differently?
These are questions I don't really know how to answer but we will take it as it comes.
I want all the children to understand the situation that lead to my son's adoption was that I wasn't in a good financial situation to have a child and that wasn't his fault. I didn't give him away. I am still in his life and they will be in his life as much as he wants us to be growing up.
It may be confusing for all the children to explain the relationship, but it is far from a new situation.
It may be confusing to those on the outside to understand how our relationship works between the families, but it isn't for them. Our arrangement will flex and change as needed as my son gets older and maybe wants more contact or less, more special days out together or begins to feel that having play days is too babyish.
Blended families are becoming the new normal as the many types of families blossom from divorce, adoption, and other types of families where other families are part.
With my husband and I have more kids, and the adoptive family continues to adopt children, they will hopefully all be close enough in age to grow up as friends.
I look forward to how they will react to each other? Will the relationship between my Oldest and the next child at home with me be stronger because they grew up in separate households? Will there be the typical sibling feuding and sparing or will be be close and protective of each other?
From the outside the situation may seem strange to those that are looking in from the outside but for all the children involved it will be completely normal.
Making Siblings Understand
From the time he was little, my son was been working towards knowing that my husband and I are his birth family and this is a special relationship. He recognizes us when we Skype, he wants his freedom but he has no issue with my holding him or playing with him on our days together.
As my next child grows up, our situation will be completely normal that their older brother lives with another family but he is a big part of our lives and we will talk to him during the week and get pictures and videos.
I will work with the adoptive parents to see how they are explaining to their other children so we are all saying the same things, using the same terms. Although my son will have siblings that aren't related to each other, this is no different than any other blended family situation with foster, adopted, or step children in the same family. Perhaps we will come up with some word that defines the relationship between both sides of siblings, or let the children figure it out for themselves.
I don't plan to have special treatment of my son and when there are birthday parties, special visits, or other activities, all the children are welcome. I hope that maybe if they do have a girl and we end with one ourselves, that maybe my son's sisters' will be close friends around the same age.
If I have a boy, I hope that they will enjoy the same type of activities and maybe play on the same sports teams or be in the same clubs.
There is also that possibility that the kids won't want much to do with each other and it will be the same as when family friends get together and bring children along that are forced to play for the day.
Whatever the situation is, all the adults are committed to what is best for all the kids involved, and there can be nothing better than that.