I am not an expert in adoption. I’ve only been “in it” for 4 years. I am a loving mother hoping and praying I’m doing the right thing for my kids by telling them and showing them the truth.
Last week we met with both of my childrens’ biological mothers. Many of my non-adoption friends were weirded out by this. I understand. It’s a weird situation, but here is what it looks like for us.
Our sons biological mother met us with her boyfriend and his son at a local park, though I have been to her house and she has been to mine. When we saw her last week, she was the happiest I’ve seen here in the last 4 years we have known her and that made my heart very happy. Her life isn’t perfect just as ours isn’t perfect, but to us she is an angel. She is the one who made us parents. Our son deserves to know his and our angel. He is only four and doesn’t quite understand our relationship with her. We tell him that he grew in her belly and she (and him) picked us to be his parents.
“I bet you kicked her belly really hard when she looked at our profile book.”
We all call her by her first name. He doesn’t have deep conversations with her about how he came to be (yet) but they just enjoy each others company. Really he just runs around like a crazy four year old and she watches him and laughs. We have no preset RULES on how and when we see her, we just text or fb message each other and say “hey, lets get together.”
Yeah, it’s different, but it is what it is. It in no way makes me feel like less of a mom. My child comes home with me and has his temper tantrums when I’m at the grocery store, gives me wet kisses, and pees all over my floors. It’s magical. This also in no way makes her less of a mom. She gave him life. We are not better or worse than one another. We are both his mother. He may never call her ‘mom’…. or maybe he will someday… but she is not my competition. She is my angel.
We met with our daughters biological mother at her home this past week as well. We met more of her extended family and the kids played and played. We celebrated our daughters first birthday together. It was honestly a good time. Our daughter has a biological half sister as well. We plan on encouraging a sister like relationship for them. I’m not sure how, but I’m designing a book for them both now.
The main difference between me parenting my children and you parenting your biological children is the conversations we occasionally have about adoption. When we visit their biological families we say that we are vising OUR family. Because they are OUR family. We don’t talk about adoption everyday, but if we see a form of adoption on tv or in nature we briefly compare adoption stories. “She is adopted just like you.” We have created their baby books with their adoption story in it so they can pick it up anytime and ask questions or ignore it completely. Mostly the adoption conversation is child-led. I’m just there to answer questions. I’m certain adoption will get more complex as they get older, but this is where we are today with two small children.
Not all adoptive families have contact with their childrens biological family. I consider myself lucky to have the relationships I do with my childrens families. I consider myself lucky to even know these women! My children get their beautiful looks from them and parts of their personality from them. They get a lot of their personalities from my husband and I as well. It’s funny to see them grow into the tiny humans they are. I want to know as much about their biological families as possible – especially things that might help me better parent our children.
I can say with 100% certainty that I deeply love my childrens biological mothers. Not only for their decision to place their children with us, but also for their decision to maintain contact with us. It cannot be easy for them to see us raising these little people that look like them. They gave up a LOT when they placed their children with us and I KNOW that they know that. I hope they know that I know that.
What about their biological fathers you ask? We would love a relationship with them as well, but thus far neither has had much interest. I’ll keep track of them and continually invite them to speak with us, but I also don’t want to push them away. It’s a fine line. My children may want to look for them and meet them someday and I want to help them as much as I can.
I want our children to know and understand the truth – whether we continue to have contact with their biological family or not. I understand anything can happen and tomorrow we could lose touch with either or both of these amazing women (which would devastate me). But for today, this is what we are doing.
There are no two adoption stories that are the same. There is no one perfect way to parent. Just be real with your kids.
This is our “plan”. We are wing’in it.