Monday, March 17, 2008

Now here's something weird

The Perfect ***tainer. You always hope someone's reading your blog, and dread it at the same time. Like maybe the someone who's reading your blog will turn out to be a hater or even a relative you just wrote about. Anyway, not sure how they found it because I don't really know how this all works yet, but a contain*r company, touting themselves as The Perfect C*ntainer Company, has a link to my post that talks about my son saying all the red lights on the 401 would fit on a single conta*ner. I guess they have crawler programs, and they found the word (which I'm going to change right now). Nothing against things that you put things in, or the companies that make them, but it's just a bit too weird to have that as my first big link.

In other news: bigger news, actually. My brother's sister got married not long ago, with my brother as an usher, and my parents, who are not the bride's parents, as guests at the family table. I typically read several blogs by adoptive parents, chronicling their family journeys. Here's ours.

My brother has me, a sister and a brother, and we all grew up together with our mom and dad. He also has a fully blood-related sister (the beautiful bride of recent) and brother (his best friend) and birth mother and birth father. We adopted Christopher when I was about eight, and he was less than a week old. Back then, there was no question of open adoption -- it was against the law, or something like that.

I was initially upset that our new baby wasn't a girl, but then my mother reminded me I wouldn't have to share my room, and I was happy. Happy at how beautiful adorable funny and amazing my baby was.

People over the years have asked how we managed to adopt a baby so easily even though there were already two kids in the family. We got to the front of the line because we accepted the placement before he was born; others on the list did not want a baby of sex/health/issues unknown. We all figured that if mom were pregnant, we wouldn't know the sex of the baby anyway, and we'll find out soon enough. Also why we got to the front: baby was expected to be born in the summer. People wanted to go away on summer holidays and not have to stay home to wait for the baby. Unbelievable. Unbelievable. So we lucked out because the others on the list were weird (my 8-yr-old point of view).

He knew he was adopted from early on -- did I come from your tummy, Mommy? -- and whenever the topic was handled (and mis-handled) on "very special" sitcom episodes, he'd get very quiet, and sometimes sad. But otherwise in our day-to-day lives, the topic frankly didn't come up much. He always planned to try to meet his birth mother -- that's really all we were expecting he'd ever find -- when he turned 18, and omigod, he sure did, finding out in a beautiful letter, that a few years after he was born, she and his birth father reunited, got married and had two more kids.

It practically blew his mind. Ours too. And, as I've found out years later getting to know his sister (he calls her his sister because after all she is his sister), that it certainly blew her mind to find out she had a big brother. He met with his birth parents (I drove him to their meeting), and found them to be very nice, decent people. He got a few questions answered, but not all. Then for years after, he wasn't up to handling communicating with them -- too much potential obligation -- until he became a father himself. Then -- wow!

Today, many many years later, he is friends with the blood family, and our parents are friends with his birth parents, and in particular, the two mothers like to compare notes. Our brother is friends with Christopher's brother, and I'm friends with his sister. I talked to our parents on the weekend, and they said they were made to feel like full family, and were seated at a 1st-tier family table.

We all feel lucky -- his birth family is a bunch of nice -- very nice -- people. Our mom too is sensitive to Christopher's birth mom's original loss of him, and his birth mother is very sensitive to our mom's possible feelings of -- you're trying to take away my baby!

Omilord, we did have those feelings too. He had a sister! More of a sister than me! Over time (a fairly short time), I realized he's still my brother, and you can't erase our childhoods, and even tho he's close with her, there's always enough love to go round. I guess it's like having a bunch of kids -- it is possible to love the next one as much as you love the first one. Also helping is the fact that she's totally sweet, and his blood brother is his closest friend -- they both agree that if they had in fact grown up together, that might not be the case.

I have a close friend who's mom to a young girl adopted from Asia. She gets upset with couples on the fertility rollercoaster who refuse to consider adoption. But, from my perspective, everyone has to realize that adoption, while it is wonderful, it is complicated, and you have to be prepared to be not just a parent, but an adoptive parent. Your child's going to have questions, and you're going to have to face them, and face the possibility that you have to let them go running into the arms of their first parents, leaving it up to them to come back. It was hard. But we are so very, very lucky.

A word on my funk. I'm thinking it's hormonal. And possibly sleep deprivation related. Hormonally induced sleep deprivation. Also: I'm leaving behind my childbearing years, and even though we didn't plan on another, and adoption will always as far as I'm concerned be on the table, this peri-menopause thing is making me really sad.

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