One of the best things about adoption, for me anyway, is the often unexpected delight of gaining an extended family. Many children placed for adoption have a sibling (or several) either still with the birthmom or who were adopted by other families.
Personally, I believe it’s a wonderful gift to get to know the children and/or families that are biologically connect to your child. I feel extremely fortunate to have our daughter’s birth-sibling, and the family who adopted her, in our lives.
Here are some excerpts from a rather lengthy essay I wrote about our experience thus far:
“To most, the word “destiny” means something inevitable that is meant to happen. For our family, and in particular for our daughter, it means much more. In September 2006—15 months after Ava was born—Destiny was born, and placed for adoption with a family in Illinois.
Since we live in Oregon, our initial “meeting” took place over email. Destiny’s mom and I shared stories, photos, and our thoughts and feelings about how we could ensure our girls grow up together, despite the physical distance between our families. In October 2007, while in Illinois visiting my husband’s family, we met in person for the first time.
Our hope—Destiny’s family’s and ours—is that the two girls will confide in each other when maybe they feel we won’t understand what they are going through because of our color differences (Destiny’s parents are also white). Their connection—biological, but hopefully more—will be life-long, whether they live under the same roof or not. And an unexpected, but absolutely amazing, benefit to “our destiny,” that hadn’t occurred to us before Destiny was born, is that now our family has grown beyond our daughter to include Destiny, her (also adopted) sister, her brother, and her mom and dad.
By its nature, adoption is just different. There are different dynamics with immediate family, extended family, friends, and the community. These differences aren’t bad, they just are. And I’ve always believed that if you plan to adopt, you’ve got to be pretty open-minded and able to roll with the punches—you just never know what your destiny will bring you.
Our adoption journey has led us to grow our family in an unexpected way. We are grateful that our daughter will grow up knowing at least one of her birth-siblings. We’ve formed a family bond rooted in DNA, but not limited by it. Sometimes our perception or interpretation of our destiny is not exactly as we’d hoped or planned—it’s better.”
As our journey continues, we look forward to growing our family yet again by adding another child. And with that adoption may come more family members. The more, the merrier I say!