Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Reason #15- Sisters, Revisited

I have written before about how I would like Abigail to have the experience of having a sister. But as I continue in this journey and think more about the reasons I am adopting, I have more to add.

Someone close to me recently expressed concerns about how this adoption will affect Abigail. It is their opinion that the adoption will be detrimental to Abigail, detracting from the time, resources, and finances that I can dedicate to "securing a good future" for her. These are valid concerns. Certainly, having another child will mean that the time I have with my children will be split between 2 children instead of directed only at Abigail. Certainly, having another child will mean that Abigail might have to miss out on things such as ballet classes or that, as the children get older, perhaps I won't be able to attend every field trip as a class mother. Certainly, having another child will mean that my budget is tighter and Abigail won't be lavished with gifts from me.

But having another child does not mean that I will not be able to express my love to Abigail in an effective way. In fact, as I read more about attachment and parenting, I think my skills as a parent are growing, and I am purposely participating in activites to grow the bond and attachment between Abigail and I (not that there is a problem with it, just that why not enhance it if I am learning how to do that anyway.) Even though I may not be able to spend as much one-on-one time with Abigail, I don't feel that it will be detrimental to her. In fact, I believe that the more love one experiences, whether it be from parents, grandparents, siblings, or friends- the better! And the more love one is exposed to- be it observing the love between your parents, grandparents, parents and sibling, or friends- the better!

While the resources I have may be split between Abigail and her sister, I think that this can be a good thing for her. She has pretty much lived a protected life, but as she grows, learning to help care for her younger sister- learning to help out, or read to her sister, or teach her sister how to write her name because Momma is spreading her resources more thin- well, I think that is a good thing. The skills of helping others, sharing, and creativly finding ways to accomplish tasks are excellent skills to prepare her for the future.

And yes, my budget will change with a new child at home. But I don't feel like I even need to address this one very much because people who know me well know that I am not one to promote the accumulation of wealth- the accumulation of things and stuff. I am much more interested in raising a caring child than a child privledge to have all the latest "stuff."

More importantly, the more I examine my life- the more I think about how I became who I am and what experiences really shaped me, the more I realize that it was not just my mom that had a hand in that, but rather the experience of being a sister and one of my mother's children that truly helped craft me into who I am. I've come to realize that at 5, I was glad I had a sister, at 15, I was not so glad, but by 25 I was once again glad about it. And I anticpate that the appreciation I have for having my siblings is likely to continue at 35, 55, and beyond.

I want both my children to experience the joy of being and having a sister. It will make them better people. It will make them more compassionate, more aware of the thoughts and feelings of others. And it will give them someone to dance and sing and laugh with:

Or this:


Ted and Lori said...

Who are these people "helping" you out by telling you all the reasons you shouldn't be adopting? Oh my.
Having a sibling is so much more of a gift to Abigail than the stuff that being an only child can bring. I think you've articulated very well your reasons for wanting a sister for your daughter, but honestly, if I had people in my life telling me why I shouldn't be following the beat of my own drum, I'd be tempted to tell them to...well you can imagine.

Stacie said...

Well said! There is no calculating the value of siblings - I wouldn't be who I am without my big sis and my little bro. And, even if we can't afford it, we're going to find a way to adopt again because we so value siblings and want our son to have at least one (maybe two :).