I have been sitting on some information for about 6 weeks, because parenthood. I have been matched with a new birthmother. O will, God willing and the creek don’t rise, become a big brother in late May of this year, and I will have two children before I’m 30. I’m really excited, and terrified, and working on a new quilt. All the complicated bit comes below the jump.

As you may have noticed, I use initials and acronyms to protect the anonymity of everyone involved. It may make this a bit hard to follow, but I’ll do my best. BMV is the new birth mother, and the birth father, BFM, is in the picture. BFM is BMA’s brother, and BMA is the reason that he and BMV considered adoption and contacted Acadia, which is great, and makes me feel better about BMA’s experiences with our adoption process.

I believe I’ve mentioned before that I was approached with a potential match for when O was only 14 months old, which I turned down because I wasn’t ready. I was approached specifically because the child, AC, is O’s biological first cousin. AC was adopted by another single Jewish parent here in the Boston area, which is wild, and we’ve been trying to keep our sons connected to each other. It’s early days, but I can see O viewing AC as a cousin who he sees frequently. This new child will be AC’s full biological sibling, and therefore O’s biological first cousin.

I’m not sure what this will do to terminology. I was originally planning to just refer to AC as a cousin, but I think that this will just come down to explaining when we talk about birth family relationships. Everyone’s been commenting on complicated family trees, but I think it’s great that all these children will have people around that they share a biological connection with, as well as the lived experience of being trans-racially adopted.

Before I consented to going ahead with the match with BMV and BFM, I contacted BMA to make sure that she was okay with the match. I didn’t do this with any other potential match, but since she is related to BFM and therefore connected to this child and to BMV, I wanted to make sure there wasn’t family drama that would jeopardize O’s relationship with BMA. Which there isn’t, thank goodness. I’m so lucky that all the birth parents are based in Philly, which means I can hopefully consolidate birth parent visits in a way that keeps things equitable between siblings.

The other complicating bit is that AC’s mother seems to want a different kind of relationship with BMV and BFM than I do. She kept them much more at arms length during her match period with them, getting a new phone number, etc., and definitely feels uncomfortable with BFM. I haven’t gotten to meet them in person yet, so I have no idea how I’ll relate to BMV and BFM, but I’m having the same kind of direct contact with BMV as I have with BMA. I’m going in hoping for a similar kind of relationship, with mutual generosity, respect, and good boundaries, but I know I can’t count on it. Maybe AC’s mother is right to only communicate with BMV and BFM through the agency, but I want to try to establish the kind of ongoing relationship that I have, at least so far, with BMA. I hope this won’t cause pain to AC or his mother, but I don’t know. I can never know what the future will hold, but I’m hopeful and thoughtful all the same.


3 thoughts on “Matched!

  1. Whoa, I don’t think I realized the family tree when you were explaining it the other week.

    We call pretty much everyone in the family a cousin. In reality it’s more complicated, they’re second cousins, first cousins twice removed, etc but cousin works. We also refer to most of our close friends as “Aunt soandso” to Leona, even if they’re not remotely biologically related. I’m not sure if we’ll keep this up as she gets older (and wonders why these aunts / uncles are conspicuously missing from family functions). But right now it’s how we refer to anyone we want her to know is “like family.”

    Also, I vote for ridiculous pseduonyms over acronyms, the acronyms were tough for me to follow! Plus the whole thing would read much funnier if everyone was referred to by a state capitol.

    • For what it’s worth, my parents did a lot of the “honorary aunt” thing with me as a kid, and I didn’t find it even remotely confusing. Also, those are still adults I’m close to 🙂

  2. FYI-In Chinese families, first cousins are referred to by the terms for brother and sister. It doesn’t seem to complicate things too much and makes families seem bigger and happier, especially in the aftermath of the one-child policy.

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