I know I say this every time. But it is true. We have awesome support groups. This last Thursday the topic for the evening was 'Biological Children and How They are Affected by Adoption'. We were given the perspective of the adoptive families birth children. One birth child had just turned 18 when her parents adopted (a sibling group of four), and she has always taken a strong support role. One young man (22year old who now has a baby of his own) was ten or eleven when his parents adopted his brother. He shared of his appreciation of the experience but also of how he became the parentified older brother.
We also had a brother (13) and sister (16) share their experience, loving their very wounded and challenged adopted sibling, who they are grateful to have in their lives despite the difficulties and challenges of his mental illness. That very week he had just come back from a year’s intensive out of placement care.
Now these were not necessarily the stories one shares with the faint of heart. But as anyone who has adopted can tell you, adoption is not for the faint of heart.
Their experience highlighted one important fact that should never be ignored by a prospective adoptive family. Adoption is not an individual experience. It is not mom’s “project” or “just something my parents want to do.” Adoption is a family experience. It affects the lives of everyone in the family and the commitment and involvement of everyone in the family is needed to make it successful.
P.S. The Parent's group for December will be a pot-luck, meet and greet. Date is still pending.