Adopting Again

In the adoption community, it is common to hear children speaking of their desire for siblings. Over the years, I have heard my friends talk often of the comments their children make about the possibility of adopting. Children ask for a baby sister or brother, or both! Family photos are drawn showing one more that the current family. Innocent prayers are offered by children with a plea to send a sibling. Often children join their parents in anticipating a quick match and placement.

I have to admit that for quite some time, stories like this made me a little envious. My daughter was adopted at birth and never once seemed interested in a sibling. She was 3 when we completed a second home study, and I tried without success to excite her about the possibility of adopting again. She was certain that a new baby in our home would just be trouble. She could think only of the crying, messy diapers, and the spit-up. Oh, the idea of spit-up was repulsive to her!

I tried not to worry too much about her apparent aversion to babies, and I occasionally and casually mentioned the possibility of adoption. She loves children, and I felt sure that if and when the time came, she’d welcome a new little one without a moment’s hesitation. But she still continued to show no sign of excitement at the prospect.

In what seemed like a breakthrough, she came home from first grade one day sulking a little. She had learned that she was the only child in her class of 28 children that was an only child. I wasn’t surprised, but my heart did ache for a moment. It gave us a great chance to talk about adoption and our hopes to adopt again. Though she didn’t enjoy being the sole only child, her desires for a sibling did not seem to increase.

A short time later, she told me something that made it all make sense!

We were having one of our frequent conversations about adoption and siblings. With all the confidence a seven-year-old could muster she said. “I don’t really want a baby… I just don’t know if I can share the love!”

I realized then that it had nothing to do with crying, or dirty diapers. She really does dislike spit-up, but that wasn’t the reason, either. She was concerned about sharing the love that she felt in abundance in our home. It had just been the three of us for so many years, and a new little one would undoubtedly change the dynamics of our home and family.

We spent some time talking about this and assured her that there was plenty of love to share!

Our second adoption was a surprise, and we checked our daughter out of school in the middle of the day to join us at the hospital to meet her new baby sister. Her love for her sister was immediate, and the two of them share an unmistakable bond.

Despite years of hesitation, she is a fantastic big sister. Her role as big sister isn’t something she dreamed about, looked forward to, or anticipated for years. It just happened! Shortly after becoming a big sister, she said, “I just can’t imagine our lives without her!” None of us can imagine our lives without the new baby. The love in our home has increased immensely.

She still doesn’t like spit-up, but she has learned that in adoption there is more than enough love to share.

In fact, just last week she asked, “So, when are we going to get a little brother…?”