Sunday, August 21, 2011

A twist on birth order...

This post should be proof that my mind is ALL.OVER.THE.PLACE. ;)

The other day, my mom and I were talking about all the many transitions the kids are going through... and while there is certainly some "kick back" from each of them in their own way, ultimately they are doing amazing under the circumstances. This conversation led into how hard transitions can be, etc.

This reflection upon our adoption transition period somehow moved to birth order issues. If you are a prospective adoptive parent, or an adoptive parent... guaranteed it is something that you have thought about. Some say you should "NEVER" break birth order... some say you shouldn't think twice about it. I fall somewhere in the middle... just so ya know. I think a family must consider and weigh all factors very carefully. It's been a topic around our house for a bit, because we have moved from the "we would never break birth order" camp to the "under the right circumstances I would do it without doubt" camp. Neither here nor there... but that's been the conversation.

The twist is this... what I realized while recounting with my mom is that I never thought about how breaking the birth order of the child being adopted should require the same attention. While I noticed certain behaviors, I didn't necessarily attribute it to "birth order" per say. While E had no bio siblings... He was the oldest in the orphanage... in the area that he spent almost all his time in. He then came into our family as the youngest. This was a tough transition for him. He was used to calling the shots... being the leader... and then we had 2 dominant children stacked right on top of him. It was tough. I probably didn't give it much thought at the time, but now it is something I'm certainly thinking about.

So often times we think about "OUR" situation... "OUR" current family... and how "WE" will be impacted by the change, when it comes to breaking birth order. However, it's probably wise for us to really consider both sides of the coin on this one. For some reason, once I had that thought, I was able to muster up more compassion for the things that drive me crazy about the behaviors related to this. It's not only hard to have your world change, but to change your position in the world is tough, too. And anything to help us become more aware and emotionally available for our kiddos, the better. Just something to think about.

This random thought brought to you by...

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  1. Mitzi, I love this post! I agree that it is something that should be considered, I have had a few conversations about this very things given A's previous circumstance. It's a little...well, it's interesting that we generally only think of the children in our home and our lives and not what our new child has been through. Good food for thought, that's for sure!

  2. I totally agree with you. Just so you know something that I have been praying about for myself (taking in 2 older boys (distant cousins) for the time being and seeing the impact....a lot of tough power struggling and the results of sin from what they have been through) I was also impressed to pray for you and your family. Not only with your current family, but what you will go through in Africa. You will have kids in your home who mess up this birth order all the time, and you will see the chaos that the results of sin bring, the impact (both positive and negative) this will have on your family. I have been praying for God's hand of protection on your family, that he may use the good and the bad to mold you and your children to His image for His glory. You will go through this phase again in different framework and on a more difficult level (not trying to be discouraging but leaving you with hope after the comma), be prepared, put on your armor like never before and know that others are praying for you guys and for what you are expecting and for what you are blindsided by. May God be your rock and shield and hold your gaze on the cross. Love you all. I hope you see my love in this, I long to see you all stand firm as a family in Africa and run this race with success. This would bring me great joy!

  3. That's interesting. I figured if you ever adopt, you're affecting birth order, either you're adding an older child, pushing the oldest bio out of order, or you're adopting a baby, pushing the baby out of order. I choose to foster and adopt. I've not given much thought to birth order, but then I also don't hold much stock in the whole theory. I totally understand those that do, my aunt is nearly fanatical about it and is always worried about my baby not being the baby anymore.

  4. Oh, this is good! I hadn't thought about it from the "other side" either. Great to consider when our time comes! Thanks!

  5. You're a smart cookie! (o; Good thoughts, hadn't considered it before! Miss you friend!

  6. I hadn't considered this from the "other side" before. We started out saying no to breaking birth order for our oldest, but at the snail's pace our adoption is taking, I'm not sure it will even be an issue that will come up for what we've requested.

  7. Mitzi, this is wonderful perspective. We were adamant about staying in birth order until just recently. How important it is to look at the world through their eyes. Our new son came from an orphanage and enjoyed being with the younger kids and helping them so he is pretty good with the younger boys. That might not have been the case.
    Excellent post.


  8. Would you be willing to let us feature this post on "We Are Grafted In"? ( It is a Christian adoption website that seeks to encourage adoptive parents and those considering adoption as well as those with a passion for orphan care and foster care.
    If you are willing, I'd just need a brief bio and a picture to use when it is featured so we can direct our readers back to your blog.
    Just let me know!

    abby @ sparrow-fund . org