We went to CT and MA this weekend for Baby girl to meet her Great Aunt Rosie and then go to DH's cousins graduation party. When we arrived at my Aunt Rosies house one of the neighbor girls came over (because she had been told there would be a baby). My Aunt has no children and is kinda the "aunt" of the neighborhood. So baby girl and I were in the living room with the neighbor girl playing and DH and my aunt were in the kitchen cooking. The little girl says to me "So Baby Girl is adopted so you dont know who her mom is" she then quickly changed it to "you know her real mom" then she got flustered. She is 9. I dont expect her to know adoption friendly language (and I actually dont expect adults to either I just like them to be open to education). I didn't correct her I just told her that the wonderful thing about Baby Girls adoption was that we DID know here Birthmother. It was instantly that the girl started using the term Birthmother to ask questions. It was AMAZING!!! I love how open children are to the world.
I believe that this girl does know other adopted children but the children were adopted internationally (which shouldn't change the language but from my limited experience it does seem that people who adopt internationally seem to have different verbiage). She didn't skip a beat though and was willing to use our language. So DH and my aunt got on the topic of the adoption (my aunt is pretty good about using adoptive friendly language- she does use "give up" a lot and I dont think I'll ever change her). It was funny though because my aunt would ask a question and then the girl would ask a similar question for example my aunt asked who stayed with baby girl the first week she was in the hospital and if her birthmom was able to stay with her. The girl then asked me "Did the Birthmom get to spend a lot of time with her in the hospital." It was a sweet interaction and I hope that I was able to make an impact on this girl.
We spent time with my in-laws on Saturday at the graduation party. My DH's cousin had specifically requested no drinking at her party so of course they all "pre-gamed it" at his other aunts house in the area. They all came a little tipsy which was just annoying to me. I felt it showed a lack of respect to a girl that had worked so hard in school. It also reminded me that I'm never going to change them and well I can only control my own actions which is why we chose not to go to his other aunts house prior (because we had a good idea of what was going on there). DH's aunt who has a son via a closed (originally semi-open though the agency they used no longer exists) adoption asked if we were continuing communication with the birthmom and how that was going. I got the feeling she wasn't supportive so I kept my answer short and sweet. I know his family doesn't understand in our circumstances why we are continuring an open adoption. At this point I think it would be too easy to close the adoption but she has such an amazing extended biological family that I don't think we ever will fully close the adoption. From the outside I can see why people would want us to close it but its not about their comfort with adoption it is about what is best for Baby Girl. If at any point I think the relationship is not healthy for Baby Girl I will not close it but change it to semi-open but so far I see no reason.
So after our long weekend of travel we arrived home to mail in our mailbox. It was from our agency so I initially thought it was a copy of Baby Girls Birth Certificate which we have been promised but still have not received. When I opened it- it was a mothers day card from Baby Girls sister. It thanked us for her birthday gift and told us how happy she is to know her sister has a better life. She also told us she looked forward to our visit in the future. She concluded by explaining why we had not been hearing from her mother (which we already knew). It was so sweet for her to send the card but it also reminded me what an adult this young woman is and my heart aches for her. Baby Girl is so lucky to have such a fantastic older sister and it was a strong reminder of how amazing Open Adoption is.
What do you all call your children's Bio Siblings? We have been calling them baby girls sister/brother even though technically they are half siblings but I think A) its too complicated and B) I think it diminishes the relationship.