Stop growing up dammit!

It has been one year already. My daughter is growing up too fast.  There is a pinch of sadness each time we pack away a set of clothing that no longer fits, sadness along with the joy and pride each time she does something new like crawling around in the bathtub and saying her own name (I swear she did!)

Each of these milestones is one step closer to us having to explain to Lamia that her big brother and half-sister live in another family, way over the other side of the country. A huge part of me just wants to keep quiet about it. If we do not tell her, she will never know. It will never affect her. She will never have anything to wonder about. We could be her only family. She is our flesh and blood, she looks like us, is there any reason for her to know her siblings even exist?

This little voice tells me we are setting her up for more issues if we tell her about Sprog’s family than if we do not. Let her think she is our firstborn. Why not? Then she can have a normal childhood and not have to tell people at kindergarten that she has older siblings and have the teachers think she is making up stories.

I think I would do it that way, if we did not have a continuing relationship with Sprog’s family. I know that sounds horribly wrong, perpetuating the secrecy in adoption. But when it is to protect Lamia, to make her life easier, more normal… is that such a terribly bad thing?


7 Responses to “Stop growing up dammit!”

  1. Flip this around. If Sprog’s parents were to never tell him he’s adopted, would that be such a bad thing?

    You can ask the adult adoptee bloggers that question, if you have any doubt…. =)

    But–I do hear you. Sometimes I wish Sunshine didn’t have to go through this, too. And yet, honestly? At age four and a half? It’s not a big deal. And she’s a sensitive type, quiet, a thinker.

  2. Forgot to say: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Lamia!!!!!!

  3. Nic you beat me too it. Ditto. Substitute ‘first/birth’ for ‘second/adoptive’ and you’ve got the same dilemma – if we don’t tell them, they’ll never know (works for areas where genetic lines are similar – you’d *never* guess Danno was not our bio child if we did not tell you) and wouldn’t that be more peaceful and happy and easier and man this open adoption stuff is just too much work and really, I don’t think it’s good for them to be in pain over something they can do nothing about, right?

    These days, I see, in a hundred small conversations, my six and a half year old son struggle with the fact that he does not live with his brother. I see him work to wrap his mind around it. I see his sadness. I can do nothing about it other than to love him and to witness honestly, empathize and validate that his pain is real and is just. That is *not* easy. It is his truth though, and like any other child born in this world, he has the right to all the pieces of his life, not just the pretty ones.

    You know what, though? I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve witnessed personally an adoptee finding her biological family and watched the peace she gained within herself having her whole history, her whole story, at last. Her adoptive family were not monsters, nor were her biological family. They were simply people who had done their best in a system and a culture that allowed no different. That I could participate in a system that would offer different was something I jumped at. Because I believe in my bones that it’s better. Not perfect. Just better.

    I never wanted Danno to have to go through that. I’d rather he not wonder about missing pieces as he was growing up, to regret not even being aware of his blood-kin, to not be able to look at another child and say ‘hey, we have the same toes’ and realize that they’re connected in a special way that no court can ever take away from them.

    So, you get that I care very much for you. After how many years if you don’t get that I’m coming up there and slapping you. I have AMTRAK Rewards now so it won’t even cost me anything. 🙂

    Welcome to my world. Now, suck it up and go introduce your daughter to her brother and sister. In the end, it will be worth it. Promise.

    Hang in, and big hugs.


  4. Oddly, perhaps, making your children’s life easier and happier isn’t actually your job. It’s tempting, but I believe the most important part of parenting is to teach your children to be people of good character. And what is more fundamental to good character than truth? Telling the truth, and dealing with the truth.

    If you start telling her now, it will just be part of her life. These days there are no “normal” families, other kids at school will have families that don’t all live together. And even if they didn’t, being average isn’t that important, really.

    If you start telling her now, making it just part of the narrative of her life, like where her grandparents live or what you do for a living, there won’t be the traumatic day that she finds out that the truth is not what she thought it was. That the people who are teaching her how to be strong and decent and honest couldn’t bring themselves to tell her the truth.

    I know people mean well when they keep these secrets. But don’t.

  5. Yeah. I know. Good points by all, especially Celera. Need to rethink my role somewhat. It is hard to avoid being an overprotective parent to the second child when you have missed the opportunity to protect on any level with the first. Probably hard to avoid, period, but this is my world.

    BTW Regina, have I told you how much you terrify me? 🙂

  6. Mwhohahahaha (that’s an evil laugh). Be afraid, be very afraid. 🙂 🙂


  7. Karma’s teacher a few years back did tell her she was lying about having a younger sister. Really frustrating for me because I think she could have asked me first. For all she knew, Karma’s dad slept around a lot and had kids everywhere… She did apologize to Karma though after I talked to her, so overall good thing.

    I didn’t have the option to decide to tell or not to tell since karma was old enough to know. I don’t know what I’d do in your place. I know I’d come clean before she was the age Karma is now when she is old enough to explain it to stupid teachers and also now that she is old enough to decide whether or not she want’s to tell people.

    I can’t believe it’s been a year either! It goes quick.

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