The Second First Child
The Second Time Around
My son was the first person I told aside from my husband when I found out we were expecting again.
His on the brink of turning two and doesn't know too many words yet and if it isn't babbling about toys or his dog, he doesn't have much to say other than requests for his favorite foods or drinks.
"You're going to be a big brother, do you know what that means?"
I hear his adoptive mom gasping happily in the background. I know she is smiling. We have talked a lot about how they wanted to have more children just as we planned and how much fun it would be for all the kids to grow up in a jumble of kinship.
He doesn't really respond to the question but he's two and instead starts humming to himself in his happy way that brings a smile to my face.
Many people have asked what we were thinking, planning to have more kids after putting up up for adoption and there is still the stigma with some of the people estranged in our lives.
I often test the waters when we make new friends, unsure how they will feel about the whole situation having to review the highlights of the situation.
Many say that they wouldn't have had the heart to stay in an open adoption and I explain to them its actually a great thing. I love the phone calls, texts, pictures, and play dates with my son. Just because I don't see him every day doesn't mean anything about my love for him.
At the time we found ourselves pregnant the first time, it was very different that the current situation and that was the grounds for the best plans being made for him at the time.
Is it possible to have a sucessful relationship with your child after you go on to raise others in your home? It was always something that I worried that my son would have a later rivalry with his siblings so I wanted to explain as early on why he was being raised by his adoptive family and their children and the others in our home.
A Medical Miracle
I amazed my gynecologist.
It wasn't that they hadn't seen similar situations, it was the coming into the office and finding out at the end of a second trimester that I had no symptoms and that only an in office blood test was showing I was pregnant with my son.
I only gained thirteen pounds in the nearly seven months and I easily had attributed that to weekends of eating fast food and not getting enough exercise as the summer faded into crisp autumn mornings when it was too chilly to go for a run as I usually did.
Having Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome since a teenager, I never thought my lack of having a period for months to sometimes over a year at time was anything unusual so until I was having pains from being stretched out on the inside as the baby began to move around I never believed anything was wrong.
With no time to plan for his arrival and nothing saved to make a good life for him my husband and I had looked into adoption and found the perfect family that was desperate for a child of their own. We were a perfect match and we had our first meeting with him just after he was born. We munched brownies and talked about our plans for his future.
With no prenatal care except for the third trimester, he was perfect. No medical problems to be seen and we were all thankful.
Although my husband and I had talked of having more kids when it was time, I wasn't sure with the PCOS that we would ever find ourselves able to conceive again. It took two years, but here we are.
With the PCOS I wasn't sure that we would ever be able to have another child and it took months after coming off the birth control to get a positive test, something that only happened in a doctors office with my son.
Different But Just As Special
Not knowing that my son was coming, I wish now that I had more time to bond with him when he was still in the womb. He was a tiny baby, only five pounds at birth so that might explain why I didn't feel the extra weight of his little form.
He didn't move around that much until the very end and at that point it was open season at kicking me rapidly in the kidney all night when I was trying to sleep.
Once I knew that he was coming and had precious few weeks to bond with him, I would read him stories and play music loud enough for him to hear. I have heard that babies remember your voice, and that still seems to be true when I video chat with my son or see him on a play date, he remembers me each time despite his age.
Even as an infant he would have no issues with my picking him up and never fussed when he stared up at me with adoration. As a rambunctious toddler now, he grabs my hand with a ferocity and tugs me towards the thing we are about to play on.
This pregnancy though even though it still early on, I seem more aware of what is going on within me. I know that this sibling to my son isn't where they can hear yet, but still I talk to them just the same and give my belly a little pat when we are sitting around.
I talk to them about things going on with their brother and can't wait to have the kids on video chat with each other.
Eventually Some Explaination
While everyone in the adoption arrangement has said that we always want to explain to each child that comes in the uniqueness of the relationship and emphasizes how each part is just as special and we all come together to fit into this family, now that it is real, I am already wondering just how to explain everything.
My son will grow up knowing that his parents have adopted other kids and that they all come together into a special family in their home and that whatever children I have will live in our home that they will come and visit and share special occasions with.
Perhaps the future adopted siblings of my son's will also have siblings living with their birth families or in other placements adding another level to the story.
I want my son to understand early on that his adoption had nothing to do with not wanting him but wanting another baby instead.
I think some family members don't understand that fact of why after going through the bittersweet events of the adoption, that we still wanted to have more kids once we had our feet on the ground.
The reason we chose adoption with him was just the timing, it had nothing to do with him as a person and just as having another never means that we were trying to find a replacement for my son either.
In The Months To Come
Given time before the arrival, I plan to have my son help celebrate what it means to be a big brother and have the arrival be as much a part of something that is happening to him as it is to us.
By the time the baby will be born, he will be nearing on three and will have a bigger vocabulary as he becomes more expressive every day. He knows already things that are explained about the open adoption but it really hasn't sunk in but by three, he can be looking forward to the days that we get together to celebrate him and use that time for him to get a bond with the new baby.
I plan to have him be as much of a helper as he feels comfortable with, and as much as his mom is OK with as I don't really know if at three either of us will trust him doing much more than running over toys and sitting in someone's lap helping them hold the baby.
While it makes me sad all the things that I missed out on with him as the baby's arrival gets closer, I look forward to all the things I have to bond with him over going on in his own life at daycare and around the house.
I know he will be a great big brother and I hope the kids are close enough in age to be great friends as they grow up.