By An Adopt4Life Community Member
When my husband and I were waiting to be matched through adoption, we imaged openness would look something like this: sending pictures to birth mom twice a year, or maybe even meeting birth mom once a year for 1 hr in a park.
For some reason it never occurred to me that my potential match would have other family members that would want to be involved. What our life looks like now is our kids have a third set of grandparents who are actively involved in their life and lots of aunts and uncles. I wish I could say its amazing, that the more people to love our kids the better. I’m sure one day I will feel that way, but for now, it’s hard.
How can our parents become trusted and loved Grandparents to our kids when that role is already filled? How will our siblings bond and connect with our kids when they already have so many fun and amazing aunts and uncles? It looks like the answer is, slowly.
I know that by maintaining contact with the kids’ birth family we are helping our kids feel safe, and loved and easing them into their new family. I also know that when we are all together for celebrations I get sick with anxiety from worrying about our family’s feelings. When my kids can barely look away from what they are doing to acknowledge our family’s arrival, and then scream with delight and run to their birth family for huge hugs and cuddles.
When my sister tells me, she wouldn't give them half the access we do, and my mother in law suggests that the kids are still struggling because they see their birth family too often, I grit my teeth and have faith.
I am so grateful for Adopt4Life and I'm trusting that what its members tell me is true. In the long run this will benefit our kids and I've even been told we will love our third family and all they offer eventually. For now, its hard, its awkward but I’m getting there. Until then I will focus only on the benefits for my kids and delight in their smiles and giggles when they see their birth family.