Finding Normal; Visits with Adopted Siblings

Brothers and Sister needlessly separated by adoption.

Last Minute Plans and Adoption Visits

This post is dedicated to the lovely Miss Doom, whom was not only the inspiration and catayst of the whole visit, but also, quite a trooper. She gets my “Favorite Person of the Week” Award!

Maybe it just had to be like this. No advanced planning, no time to think, no opportunity to worry, wonder of second guess; just a chance to hit the road and once again, begin the journey back to Boston, back to my son. Could it be that I was actually going to Boston for a work function and my son, relinquished, searched for, found, and now four years into reunion, was meting us to watch the kids for me? A child care crisis gives adoption reunion a new name: NORMALITY

That it was the day before Mother’s Day and officially, urg, Birthmother’s Day made it only the more sweet.

Max and I were texting to each other most of the way up; from the good morning and we are on our way, to the we’re here and where are you? We had no problem getting into the city, but there was both a Red Socks and Celtics game in town on Saturday, so Max got a bit jammed up. While the social networking got underway, I tried to chat, with one eye on the door…holding back the goofy smile as I know I am minutes from seeing my son. Yet, I didn’t feel the need to explain it at all to everyone, even while being physically in Boston…the other center, along with New York, of my adoption journey. No, all I did was say, “my oldest son lives here in Boston and he’s coming to watch the kids”

Eventually, the kids got bored of waiting, and my eyes scanned the traffic until I recognized the driver..quick hugs and we load up the kids and off they went. Amazingly enough, Tristan, Scarlett and Max went off to spend the next few hours together and I went back to my work brunch.

So, after the brunch it had started to rain and Miss Doom and I took a walk down the street. Max and the kids had gone to the Boston Aquirium and were finishing up lunch. We made our way to the Boston Commons, somehow missing the. “SlutFest” that was occuring there at the same time, and hide from the rain. Nope, due my excitement I had taken the sunny morning for granted and unlike New York, when the rain starts the umbrella street vendors don’t come out and save you! Again, we texted until, again, I saw the black ford explorer coming down the street. We ran to the car and jumped in before the light changed and immediately started hearing about their adventure.
Max at the Boston Aquarium with his naural siblingsI’m not sure how the did so much in such a short period of time, but I was thrilled that they had gone to the aquarium. Neither child had been to an aquarium before at all, much less the prestigious Boston Aquirium and I was tickled pink that they got to do this first visit with Max. They, all seemed as pleased as punch as well. Apparently, there was a plot to kidnapp a penguin, but as Max tells the story, “I told them I didn’t think Momma would like that!” They also saw sharks and went the the ray petting zoo and ate chicken nuggets. I didn’t have happy children, I had three estatic children.
Max driving us about in Boston MAWhat do you do with happy kids on a rainy day? You go get ice cream, of course. Unless you are in Boston, then you have to get frozen yogurt. I’m told it’s super trendy. So we drove about…I’m terribly amused that my Max was quite dependent on a GPS to get around the city. We made it to Brighton as we had a chance to actually find a parking space. Did I mention it was game day? Earlier, I had mistakenly dialed my brother’s number and he called me back. I think he was rather surprised by my answer to his, “What are you doing?”. He did not expect me to answer that I was a few miles away! He and his girlfriend Jennifer decided to met us for yogurt!

Typical to Max and I, after driving around for a while, we find some weird public place to sit around and talk. The first face to face meeting we spent hours at the Burlington Mall, this time Mixx Yogurt in Brighton was our spot.

Brothers and Sister needlessly separated by adoption.Now, I have to share just how hysterical the kids all were. First off, they would not leave Max alone! They were climbing all over him. Taking turns making him give them piggy backs, climbing all over him, talking non stop. At one point, they must have spent a good fifteen mintutes squishing his nose as he made weird squeaks and groans. All I could do was look on and smile. Miss Doom would catch me looking, and I guess I got a special look on my face, because she could tell and would say, “Oh, you’ve having a Momma moment!”

Eventually, Matt and Jenn got there and we spent a bit playing with the wacky photo features on my iPad, and then, full of yogurt, we went to dinner! See, this is the part where Miss Doom gets my favorite person award. What was her work day idea became my insane family reunion day. I kept on telling her that she could pull the plug on the insanity at any minute and we would all be fine. After all, she had the drive home ahead as well, but nope, we were in for the long haul. I was not complaining!
Family Reunion for Birthmothers DayFunny moments, like that Matt and I both had sandals on and Max looked down and said, “oh my god, you have the same feet!” Granted, he and I have compared and we have a male and female version of The Foot, and Tristan has a smaller boy version, but I think seeing another man foot that looked the same was one of this moments.

So off to a restaurant. Can’t tell you what restaurant, but food was decent and really crazy affordable. We all crowed around the table. The kids both insisted on sitting next to Max. I don’t think there has ever been a time that at least one of them insisted on sitting near me, but I was completely forgotten when it came to Max. And dinner, conversations and mood was, again, surprisingly normal. I think the closest we ever came to an “adoption” conversation was when we were busting on Max for his wicked Boston accent. The kids were completely fascinated by it and kept on making him says different words, especially “garbage” which according to them, sound like “cabbage”. In any case, talking accents, Max brought up his folks and how they sound… Nothing shocking, nothing weird, just “my other father, my other mother”.

Adoption separated this family

We ate, we talked, we laughed… I paid the bill and said our goodbyes to Jenn and Matt. I love that my brother has an excellent girlfriend… Leave it to a female to say; “We all live so close..we should get together!” Meaning, of course, that Matt and Max should (with her too!) Hugs all around and then back to Max’s car.

Have to note here: seeing the huge city rat in the parking lot was a thrill for all. Rat count: Boston 1, New York City 0

He drove us back to the parking lot where we all hugged again and said goodbyes. I think Tristan”s reaction to the whole visit was most interesting. He was so young when he first was told about having an older brother that the had never met, I doubt the had any comprehension at all. Even at the wedding, when he met Max For the first time, he was just 5 and seemed a bit lost and confused by it all. And plenty of times over the past few years he has said things along the line of; I don’t feel like I actually have and older brother. It’s kind of weird to never see my brother. This time, the day before we left I heard him say, more to himself, “It will be good to see someone else in the family with blue eyes”. The desire for genetic mirroring, the need for a tong by to have good role models.Adoption Separates Brothers

Tristan who is quite shy and takes a while to warm up to people. Tristan who can seem standoffish and rude, doesn’t like to make decisions, do new things, and folds under pressure, Tristan, my odd little man, hugs Max over and over again with a veracity I don’t think I have ever seen. I have to peal him off again and again.My blue eyed boys

These are the moments that make me hate adoption all over again. The losses never end. No matter where you might go and in what direction, with adoption it seems like every step exposes something new. I could clearly see what was missing from my youngest son’s life – his oldest brother. In part, I hate myself in a much deeper way because I did play a part, but I do know my intentions at the time. I can forgive myself for being young and confused, but I cannot say I fully trust the intentions of those I delt with. Yes, these are the moments that fuel my determination to fix what I can. Hopefully, somewhere in the world there are brothers that not have to b separated by adoption. All I know is I can’t dwell on the pain that is cause by seeing my children denied a good thing in life due to a mistake I made. I’d rather fight the system rather than hate myself.

Along with Tristan’s viselike hugs, Scarlett had demands for emails and I think she campaigned heavily for a Thanksgiving visit. How odd is it that she seems to be so fixated with Thanksgiving? That’s alway been my biggest emotional holiday; when I feel very close to my mom as I make all her dishes. I know my brother makes the yearly treck for the food. She just knows that Thanksgiving is sacred. I made multiple requests for Facebook adaptation. Silly boy claims he doesn’t dare go on facebook because he does not want to deal with stupid high school stuff. I laughed and told him he had no excuse; he has a whole other identity that he could go under and only people he choose could find him. Maybe that was a case of too much adoption on my mind because I immediately took the adoptee angle there, but that’s me. It’s not like I ever really do feel awkward, but sometimes I think that I should? How silly is that?

But I don’t feel awkward and I don’t think anyone did on Saturday. I realized one thing about my family; I think were all pretty lame. I mean that in a good way. We were were all genuinely happy to get together at the last minute and enjoy the day, but we are all lazy asses that get too involved in day to day crap and don’t make plans. i think it’s what happens if you have a family of homebodies. No wonder why my mother, her parents and my married uncle all live within five blooms of one another. And that’s OK; that’s who we are. That’s my lame family. We suck at Christmas cards, catch up phone calls, birthdays and planning. We do a mean Thanksgiving ..and Halloween.

I realized on the way home that the whole visit was surprisingly normal and that was completely new and very unexpected. It was just good…real good. And so good for all…I was so delighted to see the kids interacting with such obvious joy in just being with their brother.

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About the Author

Claudia Corrigan DArcy
Claudia Corrigan D’Arcy has been online and involved in the adoption community since early in 2001. Blogging since 2005, her website Musings of the Lame has become a much needed road map for many mothers who relinquished, adoptees who long to be heard, and adoptive parents who seek understanding. She is also an activist and avid supporter of Adoptee Rights and fights for nationwide birth certificate access for all adoptees with the Adoptee Rights Coalition. Besides here on Musings of the Lame, her writings on adoption issue have been published in The New York Times, BlogHer, Divine Caroline, Adoption Today Magazine, Adoption Constellation Magazine,, Lost Mothers, Grown in my Heart, Adoption Voice Magazine, and many others. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather, Montel Williams and appeared on Huffington Post regarding adoption as well as presented at various adoption conferences, other radio and print interviews over the years. She resides in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, Rye, children, and various pets.

9 Comments on "Finding Normal; Visits with Adopted Siblings"

  1. What an awesome day!! I am very jealous and hope that one day I can have a day like that with my sister or that Liam can have a day like that with his big brother.

  2. Sally, part of this world too. | May 11, 2011 at 8:03 pm |

    What a great post for Mothers Day! Kudos to Max for making a day great for all. Spontaneity is one of the spices of life. Understanding and participating in life as it happens- What appears to be a visit to the aquarium and a great meal, was worth a million dolla’s to this family bank of memories. Love the video, and the ability to not only interact, but to engage the moments. Scarlett has found a wonderful outlet for film and fun with her older bro. Tristan found a brother and was able to have and to climb on. A mothers magical moment, witness’s too, so she doesn’t have to pinch herself and think it’s a dream. Rock on. Rate this adventure a 10!

  3. I was smiling the entire time I was reading & watching the video. I am so very happy that you guys got to have this wonderful day together!

  4. Awww, Claud! the kids are so happy with their big brother!! loved this!

  5. I swear I posted this already! Sorry if your remember that too and commented. Google ate them!

  6. I loved hearing about your fun and normal day! It’s hard but adoption doesn’t just end with the birthparents and the adoptees but affects the sisters and brothers on such a deep level too.

  7. A beautiful grown-up baby!!! Your kids all look like you 🙂

  8. Hope you get to see all your kids this holiday season and/or soon!!

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