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I think about the siblings that each of my sons have ( Gabriel with 1 older brother, 1 older sister and Parker with 2 older brothers and 2 older sisters) and worry and wonder and worry more. I hope that someday those will be meaningful relationships....I know I'll work hard to help that happen!

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  • 3 weeks later...
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This past weekend, we had the awesome experience of meeting Joshua's brother and sister (on his birthfather's side) and their mom. (They are now 15 and 13). They are such great kids, and we had a wond

This one is near to my heart. I have been able to witness, with my oldest daughter, how the openness we have with her birthmom and birthbrothers is so vital to Amanda's understanding of herself and

You're not prying at all. Joshua knew about her (age 12) and her brother (age 14), but they did not know about him until recently. I will fill you in at the picnic.

I think about Dante's Birthsibling... I wonder if he is o.k., if he is happy and if he misses his Mother. He lives with his father. I wonder if his father will ever share with him that he has a sibling. I sure hope so, because I truly hope that one day when Dante is old enough that he will want to connect with him.


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I think alot about Clara's half-brother too. He lives with his Grandpa and they have no knowledge of Clara. Not as far we know anyway. I hope, so deeply, that one day we will all meet...............

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We love Camille's birth siblings, and you know, they love us too. Not because we send them pictures, notes, gifts or cards. They Thank us for letting Camille be with them every chance they get. We are looking forward to having them vacation here in SA and the opportunity to help our BirthGrandmother (who adopted the first 4) take them to Sea World and the area attractions. Walker and I are beaming that these kids will have a vacation experience with us. Life is great!

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My boys are very aware that they have a half brother. I designed a tattoo for my mother that she had done on her birthday this year that has a single star for each member of our family: one for my older brother who passed away, one for me, one for my younger brother, one for my mom and dad, one for Jacob, one for Joshua and one for Mason. My fahter keeps pictures of all three of the boys in his office at work, I of course keep pictures of all othem all over my home, and both of my boys carry their own little wallets with pictures of their brothers in them. Joshua is a huge part of all our lives. We even have birthday cake for Joshua on his birthday. One day we would like to be there for his birthday. It almost happened this year, but scheduling conflicts made it impossible. Each birth family and adoptive family is different, but we have not forgotten the fact that Jushua will always be a part of our lives and Larry and Susan are family now too.

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Nichole, its great to see how open adoption works! :)


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You know......when I choose Fiona's AP's it was VERY important to me that the triplets AP's and they would get along and aknowledge their half-siblings. So I called the Triplets A-mom, and she told me about their friends (actually first she said if the triplets weren't so young they would have wanted her) and thats how I choose Fiona's AP's. They still have contact with each other and visit each other even though they no longer live in the same state. And both sets of AP's ask about Alex and all 4 of my BK's know about Alex and that she is their 1/2 sister. So someday I will be able to explain. ;-)

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  • 6 months later...

I was reading this blog post today: The Power of Books in Understanding Adoption. And I wondered whether anyone knew of any book that might be good for (birth)siblings to read to prepare for and understand adoption. Are the usual adoption books, like The Night You Were Born, good for all children?

Thanks, Kay

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I have been looking for books about your topic and haven't seen anything. If you find something, please post it, as we would like to buy a copy as well.

I wouldn't think The Night You Were Born would be good, because it is all about the AP's experience and journey to a new baby in their life.

I just ordered a book by Mr. Rogers (my favorite person :) ) called Let's Talk About It: Adoption. It's not really geared toward birth siblings either, but it does show pictures of families and talks about how families are formed in very different ways.

Perhaps you could just get birth siblings a book about families such as Miss Spider, or something more age appropriate for them? I know of a couple of elementary age/chapter books that deal with adoption themes.

I'll be glad to pass on what I know! Just PM me.

Edited by tksimmons02
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My favorite is Over The Moon -- I read it to my nephews when we were PIWs and they loved it. I think it is a really good book for kids who are asking questions about adoption. After we took placement of Tasia I read it again to my nephews and I started to cry because it completely mirrored our journey. I am now starting to read it to Tasia.

Good Luck!


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I think this one looks very good:

The Mulberry Bird: Aimed at younger adoptees, THE MULBERRY BIRD is an enchanting story about a mother bird who decides to place her baby bird for adoption. It explains why a birthmother might consider an adoption plan for her child. Ideal for reading aloud to very young children, this delightful illustrated book presents a large amount of objective information concerning the adoption process in friendly, non-threatening terminology. The engaging story helps children of all ages to understand that being placed for adoption does not mean they are unloved. Indeed, the story of this baby bird's journey to loving family life explains that for people who become parents under unfavorable circumstances, sometimes placing the child for adoption is the most selfless and loving act of all.

This one looks excellent too:

What is Adoption: Helping Non-Adopted Children Understand Adoption :

This book helps adults explain and talk with children about adoption. It also provides reassurance for adopted children about their ability to feel secure in their home environments. Finally, it provides easy-to-understand insight into the adoption process for children who live with their biological parents, and thus helps them to form supportive friendships with peers who are adopted. Concepts covered in the book include: positive use of adoption language; different ways of forming a family; different processes for adopting children; possible reasons for adoption; privacy versus secrecy of adoption details; taking adoption into account when forming a sense of identity; and the permanency of adoption.

Others that are more generally about diverse families:

Who's in a Family?

Todd Parr's Family Book

All Families Are Special

Best, Kay

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Kay those sound great! Maybe I'll get one for MJ's little girl. I'll talk to her about it next week. Thanks so much for your research!


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  • 4 weeks later...

A few weeks ago Shane out of the blue asked "Where are my brothers and sisters?" I explained "You don't have any brothers or sisters here but you do have a birthbrother and a birthsister in Texas." He looked at me and said "Mom, They aren't my birthbrother and birthsister, they are my brother and sister." I said "You are right they are your brother and sister." What insight!!

Then I was talking to Shane's birthmother this weekend and she said her oldest had been really mad that Shane wasn't there with them. I didn't know what to tell her. It brought up all the sense of loss that everyone always speaks of. She said he seems to be doing better with it now though. I am sure there will be many more conversations like these in the future as the boys grow up.

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Out of the mouths of babes, hmmm? Jeanette, my heart goes out to you and Shane and his people, too... these are such "tender affairs of the heart" (as my good friend Jackie Mitchard puts it). But time and time again, I've heard adoption experts like Lois Melina and Joyce Pavao say that what's crucial in such conversations is not that the adoptive parents have all the answers to make things "right" for their child, but that they are able to validate their child's feelings, to empathize with their child's sense of loss and to assure the child that it's okay to feel whatever they're feeling and to share these things openly with Mom and Dad.

And knowing you and the loving mama that you are, I know you do this for your son, already. Hopefully you'll have plenty of opportunities for Shane to spend time with his siblings in person, so that they are all able to enjoy a continuing relationship, even if life could not afford them the opportunity to grow up under one roof!

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  • 1 month later...

"Mom, They aren't my birthbrother and birthsister, they are my brother and sister." That was how I was raised. My adoptive parents got divorced when I was five. My mother remarried years later and he adopted me and my sisters. Then they had a child together. My mother laid down the law when we were little. There is no steps in our family. When I found out that I had a older sister and two brothers. I told my sisters that we had an older sister and two younger brothers. No birth, step, adopted. Nothing. They are family.

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A touching tale, out of Michigan, about sisters separated by adoption who reunited later in life: When Sisters Meet. The text is copied below in case the link goes bad, but be sure to try the link, first, to see the amazing photos that accompanied this article!


By Susan Harrison Wolffis - The Muskegon Chronicle - February 4, 2008

As a child, Joyanne Converse used to look in the mirror and wish she looked like somebody -- anybody -- in her family.

Someone with the same color hair. The same eyes.

The same smile.

The same nose.

But as the youngest of Ed and Lucille Bell's five children growing up in Muskegon, all of whom were adopted, it seemed an impossibility.

"I didn't know anyone who looked like me," she says.

It is a familiar lament among those who were adopted years ago, back when court records were routinely sealed and off limits to adoptees, leaving them little information about their heritage or birth families.

"I was brought up by a blue-eyed Norwegian blonde (mother)," Converse says."I thought it would be fun to to find someone who looked like me."

Someone with her same dark hair, expressive eyes and electrifying smile.

As luck would have it, there are five "someones" who look like the 50-year-old Converse -- five biological sisters with whom she's been "miraculously" united this winter, even though none of them knew she even existed until June 2007.

"From what I hear, they felt compelled to find me after they found out about me," says Converse.

Once found, she discovered she has a very full family tree: Sharon Cross, 53, of Royal Oak; Kathy Heiser, 48, of Fort Gratiot; Nancy Falk, 46, of Goodells; Terri Schmitt, 43, of Port Huron; and Christi Jones, 36, of Clarksville, Tenn.

"I am so proud to be part of them," Converse says.

In a poem Converse wrote to her sisters after meeting them for the first time, Converse called the five her "constellation."

She is no longer on her own.

"I don't know how to explain it," says Converse. "I felt very secure in my (adoptive) family situation ... but alone."

Not anymore.

"She just fits right in with everybody else," Cross says. "She's one of us."

"This might sound funny to some people," Schmitt says, "but it's been effortless. It's just so easy."

But the circumstances of their lives are not easy. At times, they're difficult to share publicly.

Their birth mother, Shirley Dorn Edmonds, who died in 2002 was diagnosed with schizophrenia and a delusional personality as a young adult. In and out of mental hospitals for much of her life, she routinely abused alcohol, drugs and her daughters.

She was married twice, both of which ended in divorce. Five of her daughters were removed from the home and raised by their maternal grandparents in Marysville, a small town near Port Huron.

Converse, the second born in the "constellation" of sisters, was the only one in her birth family who was adopted.

Edmonds was not married when she got pregnant with a baby girl she named Jill before releasing her to an adoption agency.

No one in the family talked about that baby, although before she died, Edmonds would beg her daughters -- with whom she stayed in contact -- to find "baby Jill."

"There was a handful of times when she'd talk about Jill, but we blew it off to alcohol or Valium. We thought it was just one more of her delusions," Cross says.

Converse grew up always knowing she was adopted but because of the times -- and her adoptive mother's personality -- she knew little else.

"Mom (Lucille Bell) told us the adoption agency burned down with all our records," she says.

The youngest sister, Christi Jones, 36, was unable to attend the reunion.But when she was in her teens, Converse found her baby book and poured over the few details revealed about her life. Her biological mother was Greek; her biological father, Irish. They were not married. She had an older sister.

"I've been looking for my sister and mother, on and off, for 35 years," she says.

Ten years ago, Converse decided to search in earnest. She signed the necessary court documents, granting permission to identify her if anyone in her biological family came looking.

No one did.

In the meantime, she was busy with her life. Married with four sons, she works as a travel consultant at Pro Travel in Muskegon. Finding her older sister and mother was constantly on her mind, but with no names or specifics to go on, Converse had to wait to be found.

In the meantime, Edmonds' best friend from high school -- Char Bowen, 74, and her husband, Jerry, of Marysville -- were debating how much to tell the five sisters. The Bowens are Heiser's godparents, and they began to feel an obligation to break the silence.

"We mulled it over for quite a few years. Should we tell them or shouldn't we?" Char Bowen says. "Finally, we decided they had a right to know."

The decision didn't come without emotional consequences.

"Of course, the questioning began," Bowen says.

She had to tell the five sisters that their mother had "a fling" outside of marriage and got pregnant.

Of all the people in the sisters' lives, Char Bowen is the only one who remembers Edmonds before she was ill and incapacitated. She remembers how much Edmonds loved playing baseball as a girl and that she cried the day she heard that Hank Williams died.

And she remembers the day her friend showed up in her kitchen, told her she was pregnant and was turning the baby over to an adoption agency.

"I don't know, it just seems like her life really spiraled down after that," Bowen says.

In June 2007, at a family graduation party, Bowen and her husband decided it was time five members of the sisters' "constellation" needed to know there was someone missing.

"When we found out about (Converse), there was just a rush of emotions," Schmitt says. "I was worried it would take years and years to find her, you know, going through all the red tape. I even wondered: Is she still alive?"

Their search didn't take years. It took only three months.

On Sept. 25, Cross called ProTravel after getting a lead that the sister was a travel agent.

"Oh, my God, we found you!" she shouted into the phone.

Within days, the sisters arranged a reunion.

The minute they met, they all said the same thing, even the Bowens: Converse is the "spitting image" of their mother -- and one look at them together, and there is no doubt the six are sisters.

"She has our hair, our smile, it's incredible," Schmitt says. "We even sound alike."

After meeting the first time, Schmitt wrote a letter she called "I Never" and sent it to Converse, listing all the things they didn't get to do together, growing up. Simple things like eating ice cream together or holding Converse's sons when they were babies.

They even cry alike.

"It's eerie," Converse says."We are so much alike in so many ways, even though we didn't grow up together.

"It's amazing."

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Wow this story made me cry. I am so thankful for open adoption and I hope we never lose contact with Curan's birthfamily. I hope he always knows his siblings and has a good relationship with them.


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  • 2 weeks later...

After everything that I have done for Mason and Jake to know all about their brother Joshua (including meeting him) my ex's family had the nerve to tell them one weekend that Joshua was not their brother anymore and not our family. Mason is still a little bit young to really understand, but Jake knows good and well that not only Joshua, but Larry, Susan and Lydia are our family. We might not be what you would call a "home grown" family, but we are still family none the less. I knew just how to handle the situation with the boys, but not some much with the close minded rednecks that were trying to mess with my kids minds. It just goes to show you how spitefull some people can be...

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Well, that just shows what little they know...and how narrow their view of "family" is!! The most important thing is that WE (including the kiddos) know we're family! :wub:

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  • 7 months later...

I know I read about a children's book geared towards birth siblings to understand why their mom placed another baby. I can't find the title in this thread. Does anyone know the one I might be thinking of?!?

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