Saturday, February 5, 2011

How do you explain it?

Since we first got the letter from the people who are adopting two of Mac's biosiblings a few weeks ago I've struggled with how to explain this.

Mac has no idea he even has other siblings out there. He just turned three - he's never lived with them - he has no idea.
Apparently they know about Mac. His older half-brother apparently ran through the house, waving Mac's picture & yelling, "This is a picture of my little brother {birthname}!" His mom said she had to explain that he was no longer {birthname} but now was called Mac. She said she told him it was a nickname, which is fine. I know it must be hard since they've called him {birthname} his whole life.

But Marshall and I both want Mac to know about his other siblings. We've always said that any adopted child should know their siblings if there are any. But how do we do that?

How do we explain that he has a brother and two sisters out there who do not live with us? How do we explain that their mother gave up on all four of them (not something I plan to explain before he's 12 or so)?
How do I explain that two of them are with one family and another is with an entirely different family? How do I explain that all three of the other children are with biological family (two are with their biofather & stepmother (who is adopting them) and one was adopted by an aunt and uncle), but he is the only one who is not?
How do I explain that they are his siblings and not SB's?

This is something I know I would need to do, but never thought about HOW to do it.
How do I do this?


Heather Baird said...


I can't be a lot of help because neither I nor anyone in my family has been through this, but my best friend did go through being adopted by some of her family members. I know how she feels about it, and what her perspective is.

First of all, PRAY! God led you to this child and gave him to you. He won't abandon you or leave you to yourself to raise him and deal with these tough questions.

Secondly, this will probably be something you deal with over years. Tell him what he can handle, when he is able to understand (according to his age). Be patient. Answer his questions. Be there when he gets angry or frustrated over this. And be a shoulder to cry on (all the things a mom is there for).

Thirdly, maybe you can enlist the help of the other parents with the other children and discuss it together. Use them to help you figure this out, and use other parents who have been through similar situations.

Just know you are not alone. Many people are praying for you. I am sorry I don't know the exact words to say. I hope I was able to help in some way.

May God bless you as you go through the coming weeks and months dealing with how to address these questions. May He give you wisdom and provide you with the answers you seek.


Holly said...

So, will you really tell him at 12 that his birthmom gave up on all 4 of them? I don't think I'd want to hear that at 30... I'd say there really isn't a way you can explain it perfectly for him to understand everything now, but w/ time he'll know...

Beth said...

I hesitate a lot to attempt to give any advice. I'm not a mother yet; i'm just an observer of humans.

And from my pov, i think that maybe, you (pray a lot; i'm sure you already have been) tell your son that the family that he had before he came to be your son still loves him and wants to know him. Then you let the Holy Spirit guide you as he asks the questions that come to his mind. Sometimes, those little minds understand these things so much more simply than our adult minds ever could.

God bless you as you go down this road.

Anonymous said...

I've wondered about this too! :)



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