We had the opportunity to talk with adoptive parents that were blessed with adopting three biological siblings each individually at birth. They never expected in a million years for their story to unfold as it did. They initially had a failed domestic adoption and decided to pursue international adoption. Little did they know, 9 months later they would be adopting their first child domestically. It was a whirlwind and in three days, they were in court for their adoption.
Thirteen months later they were contacted by Adoption & Beyond indicating the birth mom had another baby and asked the family to adopt again. This was a really difficult decision because initially the family declined the placement because they didn’t feel like they could get the funds in order. Things worked out and they adopted their second child. The running joke in the family was, what if the birth mom has another baby and reaches out, are you going to adopt a third time? That is exactly what happened 26 months later, and the family knew they could not say no, making them a family of five.
Their story is unique and beautiful and we appreciate their willingness to share part of their adoption journey. Read what they had to say:
What is the best part about adoption?
The chance to have a family and be parents, we are no longer experiencing life with a constant void.
What has been the hardest part of adoption?
In the early years it was easy to be insecure about the children bonding with us as their adoptive parents. One of the hardest things to deal with was hearing the phrase every adopted parent dreads that indicates an adopted child wants to find his “real parents.” Even though it came from a place of anger, only happened once, and was apologetic, it was really hard to hear.
What is your relationship like with the birth mom?
We don’t have an open relationship with the birth mom. There was minimal contact at specific times but no contact since the youngest was born. The kids have no interest or desire to meet or see their birth mom. They have no pictures or contact information. We make it a priority to check-in with them occasionally and see where they are at, but up until this point in time, they have no interest.
What are your feelings toward the birth mom?
We are grateful to the birth mom, without her, we wouldn’t have a family.
What have been some of the most difficult questions to answer?
The children have never asked really hard questions; likely because we haven’t given them the opportunity to ask “why.” We always provide information openly and honestly.
What has it been like adopting biological siblings?
It has been amazing and we are filled with a huge sense of gratitude to have adopted biological siblings. We are not sure if the children fully embrace the fact they are raised with each other; they fight like typical siblings.
Describe the different emotions you experienced with each adoption
The first adoption was the scariest because of the recent failed adoption. The second adoption felt like the universe had everything planned out. The third adoption was bittersweet knowing the two older children had a sibling and we would live with a hole knowing we chose not to adopt.
Have there been specific struggles related to adoption for each of your children and similar milestones or ages?
It has been different for each of them. The oldest felt embarrassed in grade school about being adopted and we had to work through that. The middle child isn’t fazed. The youngest would like to meet her siblings that her birth mom parents. They have friends that don’t believe they are adopted.
How have you managed the identity challenges that children who have been adopted often face?
We haven’t dealt with much of this. Sometimes strangers will comment on how much we look alike, we just look and each other and laugh.
What are some of the unique issues you feel like you have experienced with adoption that you think other prospective adoptive parents should know?
Have no fear about bonding, they are your kids, you are their parents, and they will know no difference. Being parents doesn’t mean you have “grown that child.”
Be open with your adopted children. The best way is to give them the foundation to grow up with a positive self-identity. Families are made up all different ways – if you hide it you are damaging them. The best way to raise an adoptive family is to give a positive and healthy view.
It seems like the “public” doesn’t allow you to feel frustration once you have adopted regarding parenting, infertility, etc., because you should feel lucky that you were able to adopt.
What advice would you give to prospective adoptive parents?
Be prepared for comments people make that are hurtful. It is both crazy and normal to feel sadness and loss that you are not pregnant, that you did not give birth, or you are not able to breastfeed. You will likely walk the array of emotions the rest of your life and that is okay. Give yourself permission to feel the feelings and it doesn’t mean you love your adopted kids any less.