We were in the car on the way to a play date when my youngest piped up from the back seat: “Do my birth siblings know I exist?” We have five minutes in the car and this is when my son decides to ask this tough question that I don’t have an answer for. The good news is that he knows he has birth siblings because we have that information in his lifebook. He tends to forget the details, but as he grows older, the fact that there are these other people who are genetically related to him has raised questions in his mind. Do they know that I exist? Is there shame connected with my birth or being? Why would they not be told about me? Do they want to meet me? Which also leads to, “can we call my birthmother?”
I love that my boys feel free to ask all kinds of questions. I just wish they would do it when there was more time to talk! I sometimes think that these fleeting encounters are all they can handle at one time. The short bursts of questions with limited time to talk, is all they are really looking for. I try to respond with frank answers, even if just to say I don’t know, we’ll have to look for more information. Just the fact that I would talk about birth siblings, birth mother searches, and the questions these “facts” raise for them, seems to be enough to quell their fears. Who hasn’t wondered if other people really know you exist?!
Relationships are so important and family form the basis for relating to the rest of the world. Father’s Day is also our Family Day. It’s when we received our first son. We read through both boys’ lifebooks to reconnect to their roots. We also look at our family albums and books to strengthen the bonds of our family and secure both boys in our love. Those photos help them know that other people really know they exist!
What hard questions have you had from the back seat lately?