Adoption Magazine is hosting a weekly blog hop. This week’s topic:
What are your biggest fears regarding adoption?
Jackson has three siblings who live with his birthmother. Iggy* is 18 months older than Jackson. However, uncontrolled seizures when he was 3 caused permanent brain damage, so functionally, he is more like a toddler. He is also legally blind. Princess is 4. CJ is 2.
Cassie has three siblings as well. Sam is 14 and Jason is 10. Both boys have special needs. Jewel is 4. We didn’t get to meet the boys, but we did get to meet Jewel when we were in Louisiana.
My fear is this: What happens to my children’s siblings if something happens to their birthmothers?
As I have said in the past, S doesn’t always make good choices. The situations she puts/finds herself in could cause her to be hurt, or even killed. Her children’s paternal families vary in their involvement in their lives. From what I understand, the state would have to approve anyone (other than the actual biological fathers) who would step up as guardian. No matter what, the children would likely be separated.
Laine lives a different lifestyle and is not in harm’s way nearly as much. However, I still worry. I mean, anyone can be in an accident, right?
In addition to having special needs, Sam, Jason, and Iggy are all older than Jackson. There is no way I’m messing with Jackson being the first/oldest child. It would not go well. I seriously doubt our ability to raise children with needs such as theirs, and we couldn’t afford to insure them.**
Princess and Jackson actually have a relationship. They talk on the phone. Each knows who the other is. If anything happened to S, I would want to be considered as “kin” to Princess.*** I think losing her would be terrible for Jackson. I believe that Jackson and CJ will know one another as well, and, in a vacuum, I don’t see any reason why I couldn’t consider being “kin” to CJ as well. What I’m saying is, if something were to happen to S, I would consider being Princess and CJ’s guardian/parent. Mostly, I don’t want Jackson to lose his siblings. But also, even though I’ve never met these kids, I do consider them family.
We only just met Jewel, but as our relationship with Laine grows, I believe our relationship with Jewel will grow. I know her paternal family is present in her life. I imagine they would become her guardians if anything happens to Laine. I have no idea if they would want a relationship with us, or understand why a relationship would be important to Cassie. If they weren’t her guardians, I believe I would want to be considered “kin” to her as well.
I met Iggy. Before his seizures, he knew us. He could say “Robyn.” Do you know how many 18-month olds can say “Robyn”? Not many. I can think of two – Iggy and Jackson. Even if we couldn’t be the ones to take care of him, I would want some connection to him. I don’t know Sam and Jason, but I hope to, and I hope it would make sense for us to have a relationship with them, for Cassie’s sake.
Notice I’m saying “I” a lot. It’s because Max does not feel the same way. He does not believe that we have any responsibility to our children’s siblings. I don’t think he’d want to lose all contact with them, but he doesn’t feel as strongly as I do that sibling contact is important. He does not want any more children. I suppose his stance could change, and it might if we were faced with a tragedy, but he’s firm on that now. I can appreciate that stance. Children take resources to raise. How many resources do we have? Would our children’s lives suffer more from sharing the two of us with their siblings than from not knowing their siblings?
And how would our children’s siblings feel about us? What would be in their best interests?
Sometimes, I wish my biggest fear could be an easy one, like “I fear my child will reject me when he/she is an adult.” ****
* The children’s names have been shortened or changed to protect their privacy.
** Isn’t it horrible that in America, we have to worry about affordable health care?
*** Because Jackson is kin to Iggy, Princess, and CJ, and Cassie is kin to Sam, Jason, and Jewel, some states would consider Max and I kin as well. That’s how parents who have adopted through foster care sometimes end up adopting their adopted children’s subsequent siblings.
**** Maybe I’m crazy, but I actually don’t fear that.