Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: on the beautiful prairie of MN
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I agree with preparing for a long and difficult transition. We adopted out of birth order, and ended up with an artificial twinning situation. We're 4.5 years post-adoption, and things are just fine now.
At the time of the adoption, our bio kids were 5 (boy), 3(girl), and 1(girl), and our adopted DS was nearly 5.
To be honest, I'm not sure how much of our transition difficulties I can attribute to adopting out of birth order. Other factors that made the transition hard were the fact that DS2 was an older child (not a baby or toddler) at the time of adoption and that we didn't speak the same language.
In some ways, adopting out of birth order wasn't *that* big of a deal and actually worked well. It was nice that DS2 had instant playmates in his siblings. He was comfortable with and attached to his siblings more quickly than he accepted us (me and DH) as his parents. He latched onto DS1 very quickly, which was a little difficult for DS1. Although DS1 enjoyed playing with DS2, he did get sick of having to entertain DS2 ALL THE TIME. DS1 was already used to being an older brother, but it was a shock to him that DS2 wanted to tag along and do literally everything that DS1 was doing. I worked very hard to find separate activities for the boys and scheduled lots of playdates for just DS1 so that he wouldn't feel so overwhelmed.
The artificial twinning that we were concerned about has been a non-issue. DS1 is 7 months older than DS2. Regardless, they've always had a very firm older brother/younger brother type of relationship. DS1 is much more of a leader than DS2, and the two of them don't usually compete. They are in different grades at school, and their academic levels are quite different. HOWEVER, there have been some rivalries between DS2 and DD1, who are 14 months apart in age. DS2 is a bit small for his age, and his academic achievements are average for his grade level. DD1 is average size, which means that she's about the same size as DS2. And DD1 is quite academically advanced and has skipped a grade, which means that she's in the same grade/class as DS2 in school. I think that DS2 has been bothered by some of this (and it doesn't help that DD1 likes to be a show-off sometimes). We don't compare the kids or encourage rivalries, but we talk a lot about how different people are good at different things and that we all have strengths and weaknesses. Although there are occasional issues, for the most part it works out.
New signature, same old me: Ann- mama of 2 boys and 2 girls, partnered to a fabulous man.
I'm an unintentional weasel feeder and I suck at proofreading.