still shell-shocked from yesterday and thoughts on siblings

I’m still reeling from yesterday. So many things went wrong and I’d do it all so differently if I could go back. Most importantly, I learned a lot. Everything from not going to the zoo in the middle of the day on a warm sunny weekend (way too crowded, bad time of day for M who usually naps then), to how to manage visits with M’s bio family members so that neither of us get overwhelmed.

It appears that Cindy did not come back to our state. It may seem unrelated, but somehow after yesterday, I am totally good with it. I don’t think I would say yes to Hermanito if he was born in my state anymore. It mostly comes from the fact that I feel that M needs my undivided attention, at least for the next few years if not longer. She is a high energy, somewhat high needs child, but as I said in my post yesterday, because she gets the full attention of myself, and my mom, and other caregivers, she is learning to follow rules and express herself in healthy ways. She truly enjoys the company of adults, like many only children. Her behavior is markedly worse around other children who are not well-behaved, and I worry that that would include any siblings she’s raised with, even if I do the raising.

I think that she would lose out on more than she would gain, at this point, by having a sibling. I don’t care if it’s labeled “spoiled”, I feel she gets the most benefit from her world being tailored to her right now. There are children her age out there who adjust and end up just fine, but I hear way too many stories every day about how parents are sick of their kids always fighting and having to be their referee all day. I remember from my own childhood, how having sisters (after I turned seven and gained two step-sisters close in age) really sort of ruined everything. If they couldn’t behave, we couldn’t do anything. Somehow experiences, even Christmas, were ruined by fits, fighting, and bad behavior. I was the oldest and the most mature by far, having been an only child for seven years, and I hated sacrificing so much and missing out because the other two couldn’t get it together.

I see my two sisters and older cousin with their singleton girls, ages 4 to 11, and they are all so happy and so close to their daughters. The girls are all so mature and happy, too. They are able to do things with them and give them experiences that they never would have been able to if there were siblings. None of these girls is upset that they don’t have siblings, just like I was very happy as an only child and even more happy when my stepsisters were out of the picture (after divorce).

The experiences I want her to have includes a lot of traveling, which would be one hundred times harder with a sibling. If that sibling is a foster child or not adopted or biological, forget it, no passport. Can I manage two children going overseas? Don’t want to contemplate it. Can I afford three airfares??? No, not in the forseeable future. What about admission to the zoo, science museums, and fairs? What about the activities that she loves, like gymnastics, swimming, and soccer? How could I afford that for two children, and wouldn’t it be limited based on scheduling, price, and time? I don’t want her to give up anything to be “fair” to someone else, or just because having two means I wouldn’t be able to keep up. Plus those activities that require my participation for which I’d need babysitting, which I don’t have.

If she was my biological child, I wouldn’t even consider siblings for those reasons. It’s only wanting to give her a biological link that is more than just occasional visits that makes me want her to have a bio sibling being raised with her. I don’t know which scenario would have the longest-term benefit for her. As an adoptive parent, I’m lost somewhere between wanting to give her links to her first family and wanting to keep the negativity and drama far, far away from her.

My only hope is that Hermanito goes to a loving, stable family who gives him everything he needs to grow up healthy and well-adjusted. I hope I can know who they are to keep in touch for M’s sake, too.

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Categories: adoption, parenting

5 Comments »

  1. I’m with you on this. Though a large part of me is sad that Evelyn will not grow up with a sibling close in age, I am also relieved and happy it’s just us two. Evelyn is a really easy going kid, and she loves hanging out with adults. She’s good with kids, too, for sure. But she really is mature for her age and tends to hang with the adults when we get together with friends/family. I do not think Evelyn would do well with adding a sibling to our family – she doesn’t like to share me.

    And I’m with you on the travel, too. Imagine how much harder (read: impossible) traveling would be adding another kid to the family. Travel is so important to me (and you, clearly), and I think adding another child to the mix would suck the opportunities for it right up, if not logistically, at least financially.

    Maybe this experience is exactly what you needed so you could have confirmation in your mind that being “one and done” is what’s best for your family.

  2. I only have the one child for many of the same reasons you stated. My guy is autistic so I didn’t want to risk not being able to give him 100% of my attention when he was little. I’m glad now, even though he has recently started wanting siblings. Lol! Not so much gonna happen at this stage.

    You are making clear headed choices. Oh and, I think you did a great job yesterday. Simply making it home with a child with behavioural issues like A is a success in my books.

  3. I had two. Both now have singleton children and will not have more children. Time, attention, and money to go places and do things are a large part of why. The world is very different now than 50 and more years ago; far more interaction with other children outside the home, huge cost differences, huge differences in opportunities and costs of raising and educating children. I totally agree with and support the decisions my children have made about family size and think you are totally reasonable and rationale in terms of your family size and how you want to raise your daughter and your financial resources. Do not be pushed even if M asks for a sibling… when children ask for siblings they really really really have no idea what that means or what that experience is actually like. (Much like most first time parents who want babies do not really deeply truly understand what it means to become a parent…). You are doing great! M is too.

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