When I was heading to an appointment with Cary Lynn the other day I was stopped by a hello baby girl aren't you getting so big? I had to take a second look cause I was pretty sure it wasn't me they were talking about (and if it was they might be getting yelled at).
It was actually Cary's biological brother and his adoptive mom. Cary Lynn has two bio brothers. Both are older. Both are adopted to separate families. The bio parents have no rights on any of them.
After a hello we made small talk. For me it is awkward. There is no Peggy Post on how to handle this. Cary's bio brothers are adorable. The oldest has multiple special needs as well. He looked happy in his walker and spent time trying to bop Cary Lynn on the legs while I was talking.
I enjoy talking with both families. I like seeing them proudly show off their children. The children are flourishing and growing with their families. But we adults have had to make some tough choices.
The toughest one has been what do we do with sibling relationships? For Marvin it was cut and dried. The bio family is out of the picture and due to the severe abuse it is for the best. But Cary Lynn's siblings are in good places. They are loved and cared for. When we see each other at appointments they seem so glad to see her. They talk about how well she is growing and how much she can do. We chat and talk about what our kids are up to. We share how much they look alike. How they are joyful happy kids.
It is a dance. We are careful not to step on toes and I am careful not to share too much. I see them looking at her and the wheels turning. There are unspoken words that hang around as we are careful not to overstep boundaries that we lay down.
For me I am torn. Being adopted I know what it is like to have all sorts of questions that have no answers. To wonder, to question. To think about things. I don't want Cary Lynn to feel resentful that I have taken something away from her. I know the other families feel that as well. We have often voiced it. I feel guilty after these meetings often. Did I give her enough time? Was I supportive of her feelings? Did her bio brother have to hit her that hard?
We watch. But so far the children are all little. They don't understand that the person who is right next to them is a blood relative. So for now we have decided not to force relationships. Someday Cary Lynn will be older and if she wants to form new relationships with her bio brothers we will support her. She will be ready for it then. I speak from experience on this one. It is better to wait for now. Until she is old enough and ready for the truth.
Cary Lynn's world is our family. Her brother's aren't the ones out there. Marvin is the one she calls "brub". I'm Mama and Shannon is Dah. We have become a strong unit and an amazing and dynamic family. And I am blessed to have them all in my life:).