Monday, July 1, 2013

Thoughts on biological families...

As my children are growing, they are becoming more aware of their reality. They are adopted. They have other people out there that are related to them biologically. Because my family is so diverse, they all have very different stories. I am honest with my children, and try and give them information as they ask or as situations arise. I take into consideration their age, and I try to explain it age-appropriately.

We don't live in hugely populated area. Four of my adopted children who were adopted from foster care have bio parents that live right here. Close. Very, very close. We all basically live in the same little city. I have seen them when I have been out and about. I have not run into them when I have had the kids with me yet, but I am sure that day is coming. One of my adopted daughters has a biological mom, grandma and great grandma that all live only a few minutes from where we live. I have a semi-open adoption with the mom, however, she always wants her mom and grandma to be a part of it, and for the first visit after our adoption, I did allow them to come, as long as they went by my rules. They send gifts, they are in love with my daughter, and just weren't able to get their lives together enough to take care of her. I do have a place in my heart for this biological mom. She has had a very difficult, hard life, and addictions have taken the place of being able to parent. I have to walk a fine line while trying to keep my daughter informed, and in touch with her biological mother, and while also trying to maintain a healthy relationship between the two with boundaries. I still pray for her. I know that when the Lord brought my daughter into my life, He also gave me a burden for her biological mother. And so I pray, and we pray together for her.

My sweet little spirit from China has another very different story. China is a complicated place when it comes to children, babies, the one child policy, etc. I have told my Chinese daughter that we may not ever know who her tummy mommy is. She is still so young. She is happy that Jesus brought her and I together but also wishes she could see her biological mother one day. I can't tell her for sure that it won't ever happen, but it will be a miracle if it ever did. So many people still think that mother's give birth in china in private, then abandon their babies out in plain sight where they will be easily found, because they can't keep them due to the one child policy. The fact is, there are many, many other reasons why and how a child in China might be abandoned. The culture is very different there. Many married couples live with the husbands' parents. They make the call. Sometimes it is the grandparents that take the babies and abandon them, while the mother grieves. Sometimes it is a single mother that must abandon the baby since you must be married and apply to have a baby in China. If not, your child will not have an identity or be accepted. Other times it is the one child policy that drives the abandonment. There is no way to know in any situation when a Chinese baby is found without a note or any clues who's baby this was or where it came from. Awhile back I had an assessment done to find out if there were any leads on where our daughter could be from or if there were any clues to who left her. Based on the findings, and the location of where she was found, it was determined that it would be almost 100% impossible to know. I will have to break this info to her as she gets older and understands more about her birth country. There still could be clues in an orphanage file somewhere that has not yet been disclosed. Also, if it is God's will, I know that He can do anything and reveal her biological parents to us one day. Anything is possible, but from what I understand at this point in time, not very much is probable. This is one reason why I think going on a heritage tour is so important with a child adopted from china. They will gain a much greater understanding when they are there, and they will see many other children who have similar stories.

I don't know all the answers. I can't say I am doing it right all the time. All of their stories are so different. I don't know how they will feel when one has contact with a biological parent and another does not. That is a more difficult aspect when there are multiple adopted children in one family. I will continue to pray for wisdom and guidance as time goes on.

I will always reassure them that they are right where God, their heavenly father who loves them so much wants them to be. When I do, I see smiles and faces that look content and happy. With that,  I am at peace, and I know I am right where I am supposed to be too, loving these precious kiddos the Lord has so graciously and generously given to me.


Tammy ~ Country Girl at Home ~ said...

They all have a unique and beautiful story that God is writing. You are blessed Michelle!


Michelle said...

I struggle with the biological family issue sometimes- our adopted daughter's birth mom drank during pregnancy and neglected her, so I have days when I resent the bio mom because of what she has done to my daughter. My daughter will always struggle because of the choices her birth mom made. I try to answer questions with a neutral tone, but it's difficult somedays. I also have a daughter from China, and I hope I will have some good answers for her too when she gets old enough to ask.
Keep up the wonderful work you are doing! The other Michelle :-)

Michelle said...

My dd from fostercare struggles with Fetal Alcohol exposure and ADHD that are a result of her birth mom's choices and neglect, so I struggle to stay neutral some days when the subject of birth mom comes up. Keep up the good work with your kids- they have all been blessed to have you for a mom!
The other Michelle :-)

Tereasa said...

Michelle, I really like what you have shared here. Our son's story is much like your daughter's. I have often thought about doing a search, but don't even know where to begin. As a safe haven baby, there are laws protecting his mother that I have to be respectful of. It would be nice to take him on a heritage tour, even if it is only states away. I think it would benefit both of our adopted children.