Friday, March 28, 2008

Thank You For Adopting Anna

F.G. really loves kids and she has been having a ball playing with Anna for hours. The other night we were eating supper and F.G. was just gazing across the table at Anna. She said, “Dad, thank you for adopting Anna.”

From time to time CrazyMom and I will get asked a question about how the birth kids are faring since the adopted kids have arrived. The question stems from a concern that adopting might have had a negative impact on the birth kids.

Well, we have been very fortunate and all of our kids are doing great. Adopting has added a new richness to our family in areas such as culture, race, food, and awareness of the plight of others in the world. It has been wonderful for our kids and our family.

The transition to an adoptive family may have been easier for us than for some since we were fostering before we started down the path of adoption. Our birth kids were ecstatic the first time we told them we were adopting. Adopting meant that the next kids who came into our home would get to stay and would not have to leave.

Another reason why birth kids do well is the same reason adoptive kids do well. Kids are just so adaptable. Our kids from Ethiopia arrive on the scene where everything is different and they just say, “So this is how it is here. OK.” And they go on. Our birth kids do the same. “So this is how it is now. OK.” And they go on. Oh, to be young again.

After all of this talk about how wonderful everything is, it is important to say that things are not always pretty in our house. People get annoyed with each other. We get upset with the kids. The kids fight and carry on as kids do. But it is just the normal family stuff. A difference I do see, however, is that when two of our birth kids are fighting, I don’t think much of it and I deal with it as I normally would. When a birth child is squabbling with an adopted child, however, I find myself sometimes overanalyzing the situation. I don’t know if this hyper-sensitivity to how relationships are going will eventually fade or not, or even if it should.

So in this area of concern about adopting – is it good or bad for the birth kids – for us it has been a blessing. Our birth kids are the better for it.


Katie said...

Thank you for the comment the other day (the other week maybe? oops!) it was very helpful!

I may not comment as often as I read, but I really appreciated this post very much. I think it addresses a big concern that comes up for families considering adoption. We have seen just how adaptable our children are and are not worried in the least, but it is a concern that has come up with our extended family. And I'm glad to hear a family who has gone through this process more than once to debunk the myth. :-)

I truly believe that this is one of the many situations in life where your children will respond the way you condition them to. If you make lots of little comments about the potential issue or overstress on sibling bonding they will sense that and react accordingly. We've brought home many new babies in the last few years and the big question we get is "How do you deal with sibling jealousy at such young ages?" My response is "What jealousy?" :-)

Sherry said...

We have already had a few questions like that directed at us...and our three new kids are not even home yet. But, like you said, kids adapt so much better than we give them credit for. :) Ours are actually getting excited now instead of just accepting...and they keep asking how much longer until their new siblings can come home.

Anonymous said...

I'm catching up on your blog after brining our two girls home from Layla house in November, 2007.
As for bio and adoptive kids AMEN!!! Our lives have been so enriched by our adoptive daughters. We are blessed again and again and again
carol, mom to 4 lovely girls, including 2 from EThiopia