V and J are the youngest of 6 siblings who were all placed in adoptive homes within our agency. So, we have them, their older sisters are in another family, older brothers in another, and all 3 families are committed to keeping the siblings in very close contact and supporting each other as family.
It's a really strange thing to meet your kids' siblings' future parents. Then to meet them all at the same time before any of you have actually met said kids is even more surreal. Our agency provided us all with tickets to the Phoenix Zoo to just spend the day walking around and getting to know each other. I was thankful for the giraffes and snakes to break the ice, we took our first awkward family photo, and it turned out to be a lovely beginning.
Our bonus family or adoption in-laws as we like to refer to them is one of the things that is unique about our situation. This is definitely not without its' challenges but the benefits for us and our girls greatly outweigh those...
Kids maintain strong birth family ties The most important benefit is obviously all the kids being able to grow up together and know each other as family. As I've mentioned before adoption is born out of trauma, and this hopes to minimize some of that. While it is certainly a loss to them to not be living under the same roof, they know they will see each other and celebrate birthdays and holidays together and grow up as family. They have not lost contact or the relationship.
People who get it. We are quite literally in the same boat. Adoption can be very isolating, since so much is confidential, and every case is different. But our kids are all on the same case so we're dealing with the same case worker, court decisions, etc. Our kids all have the same birth family and history and it is so great to have each other as a resource. We are also not parents through the most conventional means so often don't have certain things in common with other parents. We don't have birth stories to tell, or breastfeeding war stories to exchange. It's nice to have a built-in network of parents just like us.
Big family (but part-time)
One of the most fun parts of having this big wacky family is the big family feel and our kids having lots of siblings, but we only have to raise two of them. We try to get together at least once a month and between everybody's birthdays and holidays, we have most months covered. We had everyone at our house for Easter, and it was so great to have a full house of kids and chaos, and then equally great to be able to send most of them home. Best of both worlds.
The last and final installment about meeting our girls for the first time on Friday! - How I Met My Daughters Part 5: There You Are
To catch up...
I had a technical glitch that took me far longer than it should have to fix, but I'm back to blogging, promise! Thanks for bearing with me and sticking around. To stay on top of all the latest news, please subscribe via email to get each new post directly delivered to your inbox. It will be hard to keep even close friends and family individually in the loop with each new development, so subscribing to the blog is the best way to do that.