I saved one of the nicer parts of adoption to this week for a very special reason.
The official adoption week focussed on the negatives but for our family we had a fabulous adoption week.
I received a phone call last week from a woman who is the adoptive parent of one of my boys younger siblings. After asking periodically for nearly 7 years to, have some kind of contact set up, a mutual acquaintance put us in touch. It was a short conversation as I was on my way out to pick up on the school run, so I arranged go and meet the other adoptive mum on Wednesday last week.
It turns out that our local social services department has been telling porkie pies to some of us, and I imagine that it wouldn’t be an unusual situation. I have to wonder what the issue would be about letting us be in touch with each other – especially when all the public information seems to point to keeping channels of contact open. Whatever the reason, I doubt that we will actually ever get to the bottom of it.
I was a little apprehensive on the way to meet her as this is all new territory to me and I didn’t know if she would be totally open to the boys meeting. I shouldn’t have worried. I was introduced to her daughter who helps her care for adoptive and foster children and I immediately felt at home.
We chatted and reminisced about the things that we had both been through to adopt and then we chatted about the boys. Her son and my boys had never met, but the similarities and behaviours were incredible. The same medicine that doesn’t work for my boys doesn’t work for her son. He has the same sleeping and eating patterns and much much more. Nature really does play a huge part as their lives have been so different.
After time whizzing by for a couple of hours, it was time for me to leave, and I asked if the wee lad could come to the club we go to on Saturdays as I felt that would be a good place for them all to meet. A fleeting meeting in a crowd is soo much easier than being faced with each other in a room and not knowing what to do.
I told my boys that their little brother would be at the club on Saturday and I tried not to get their hopes up, just in case his mum didn’t manage to get him there.
Saturday came and my boys talked about nothing else. It was all about the little brother they were about to meet. They had football matches, and it was middlers birthday, but that all paled into insignificance with the prospect of a sibling meeting on the horizon. Thinking back, it just have been quite daunting for them all. At least my three had safety in numbers on their side. The poor little toot that was about to face my pack had to do it alone.
My boys door watched for the first 10 minutes of the club and then went to play badminton. When I saw their little brother arrive with his mum, he looked so little and scared. He sat with middler for a while to play Lego, although they ignored each other, but each aware of the other sitting across the table. Littlest and elder plucked up the courage to go and speak to him after about half an hour and from then on, tootie, littler and eldest were joined at the hip. I’m not sure middler really understood and he was happy to puddle on with what he was doing.
Tootie and my boys chased each other, played football and their faces smiled non stop. It was lovely to see them getting on so well for a first meeting. One of the other mums who is lovely was choking back the tears as she watched them playing. It was a long time coming.
On the way home in the car, I asked the boys if they liked their brother, and two of them said yes.
Then littlest pipes up:
“he didn’t act like a brother.”
“why not,” says I totally confused
“well he was too nice to me to be a brother.”
That had me stumped.
Little bro is planning to come back to more sessions at the club and although I am waiting to hear from his mum to find out how he was afterwards, I am hopeful that this is one contact that will remain forever in their lives.