This is the second time I have participated in the Open Adoption Roundtable at Production Not Reproduction. The topic for this Round Table is open adoption and siblings.
Those who have read my recent password protected posts know that things have not gone well lately with Colin’s birthmom. For those who have not read those posts, I will just say that Amy has made some very poor choices in the past few months, and we will not be visiting her for some time. We may continue to write. We just don’t know right now. There are a lot of things up in the air.
Our open adoption with Amy did not work out as we had hoped it would, and that has been incredibly disappointing. Heartbreaking, really. She had some great opportunities, but she made some very bad choices. Right now we don’t think it’s in our family’s best interest or in Colin’s best interest to have a relationship with her.
However, we do not regret pursuing an open adoption. When things started going badly with Amy, Christian and I discussed what we would do as far as this open adoption goes, and whether or not we would try to pursue a relationship with Colin’s siblings. Christian said, “Of course we will. They are part of our family now.”
So, while things with Amy may be in limbo for the time being, pursuing a relationship with her over the past two years opened doors for us to get to know the rest of Colin’s birthfamily, especially his brother and sister. Their names are Jason and Hailey, and they are 12 and 10.
I have heard some adult adoptees say that the most important relationships they had with their birthfamilies were not with their parents, but with their siblings instead. Maybe Colin will feel the same way eventually. Or maybe he won’t. At least we are opening the door for him to make that decision for himself some day.
We are planning to visit Jason and Hailey in a few weeks. We are still building our relationship with them and trying to figure it all out. Sometimes it’s awkward. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes we just don’t know what to say to 12- and 10-year-old kids who have already been through so much in their short little lives, but we are working on it. They live with their paternal grandma, so we also keep in touch with her and make sure that it’s OK with her that we have contact with them.
We are friends with Jason and Hailey on Facebook. It’s touching when Hailey makes Colin’s photo her profile picture or when Jason writes, “My awesome lil bro,” under a photo of Colin.
Also on the topic of siblings, what will Noah and Zoe think of the relationship with Colin’s half-brother and half-sister? Honestly, we don’t know. They went with us the first time we visited Colin’s birthfamily, but did not go the second time just because it was easier for them not to. It is, after all, slightly less stressful to do a long round-trip car ride in a single day with a two-year-old that it is to do it with a four-year-old, a three-year-old, AND a two-year-old.
They will go with us on the trip in a few weeks though. We want them to be involved, too. I wonder if they will think of Jason and Hailey as “cousins” someday? Maybe they will think of them as their own “half-brother” and “half-sister,” too? Or maybe they will just be “Jason” and “Hailey” and we will all feel comfortable enough with the relationship that we don’t have to figure out a label for it. Maybe we will all just be able to say we are “family.”