One Big Extended Family
When my son came to me through the foster care system at the precious age of three months old, he stole my heart and forever changed me. He was the first of more than 70 special needs foster children placed with me over a 10-year period, and I was fortunate enough to adopt him.
Although I was told he was adoptable upon placement, his social worker informed me they had been in touch with his biological family who would probably take him. Heartbroken over this devastating news, I vowed to enjoy the rest of our time together, which included composing a song for him that we still sing today.
The Biological Family
On my son’s next social worker visit, I was informed that his family was unable to take him, but hoped to stay in contact with him. This was an unexpected answer to prayer, so I called immediately to say yes, we wanted to stay in touch also.
I spoke with both my son’s biological aunts, hoping our families could get to know each other better. To my delight we all shared strong bonds of family and our Christian beliefs. Otherwise it may have been difficult to establish, and maintain friendships between us.
The Nay Sayers
Several people tried to discourage contact between my son and his birth family, citing adoption horror stories. But I felt it was important for my son to get to know his family, and stay in contact with them.
Family medical history is an important reason to maintain contact with biological families, and there also comes a day when children want to know more about their roots. I didn’t want to keep anything from my son; I wanted him to get to know his birth mother, his grandparents, and their entire family.
Since the Adoption
Two years later my son’s adoption was finalized; I had him baptized in his family’s faith, and retained the names his mother had given him at birth. The next year we traveled back east to meet his loving grandparents and delightful cousins for the first time.
After several years my son was able to speak with his birth mother over the phone, and although mildly traumatizing for both of them, they now converse on a regular basis. My son’s birth mother has been out to visit him for the last three summers, and they have become very special friends.
It is my personal belief that we can fix anything that might be broken, with enough time, love, and consideration. I can also proudly say my life has been blessed with a son I was fortunate enough to adopt, and his wonderful birth family who wanted to stay in touch. There is always room for more family!