Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Contemplating major sibling search

All right.  Lots to say about this so better get started.  Oh, I know the last post I forgot to put Nik's Makings in w/ that.  I'll do it in another post.  My head was going in too many different directions today.  Back to the sibling search.  Where to start, where to start.  Okay, I'll start w/ the most recent and then work through country.  Hey, got to do it in some sort of order.  Here goes nothing.

When you go to adopt, you typically will find out a bit of information about the child. Health and if they have sibs.  We've always made it clear to all our agencies that if you find out they have sibs while we're in process, we will take the sibs.  That's a given for us.  That brings us to this discussion.  Summer.  She has no siblings.  Supposedly.  I say supposedly as she spent the first 3 years in the Pleven orphanage and we are sort of skeptical of how records may have been kept there.  I say that b/c we recently discovered a video.  Well, someone else discovered it, sent it to us and it looks like the spitting image of Summer.  Even our adoption agency seems to think we have to have at least some sort of relationship b/twn the two kids.  I mean this child has a very strong resemblance of Summer.  Here, take a look:  link here
And with adopted children, you always want as much of their history as you can get.  I'm not saying her records are made up.  Not one bit.  (why, that's Nik's records...more on that later!).  But, just a part of me would like to know for certain was this really just her.  According to our records, Summer was the only child.  And that's fine w/ us.  We are just curious if another child that has a very strong resemblance to our daughter could have some type of long lost link to her.  You just never know.  Sisters?  Cousins?  Who knows.  Trust me, you never know.  I don't think she is related to Summer as I see many differences too.  I just find it so strange they are very similar in looks, eyes, mannerisms.

Now, Reni and Logan.  They have sibs.  10 of them.  And no, I don't mean here.  LOL.  I will not tell all of their story for it is theirs to tell.  As are all my kids stories.  However, I will say there is one other sib that is apparently in an orphanage.  I will tell you about this b/c I feel it's important for future adopters to understand how and why this can happen.  Trust me, it does happen.  To us, multiple times.  URGHH!!!  We were all sitting at the table doing school work.  Somehow, it turned to a discussion of sibs abroad.  They knew about the 1 other sib in another orphanage, however, they did not know about the others at home.  They were not upset about it.  We've never hidden anything from our kids and questions are welcomed at our house.  They told me the director told them they had a sib at another orphanage in town.  That would mean the child was younger.  Now, we asked about any other sibs b/c in the original paperwork, we can add.  Shocking, I know.  So, if 9 sibs are at home, that leaves three others at an orphanage.  Reni, Logan and .....????  We don't know. They said maybe the sibling passed away or wasn't available for adoption.  We said okay.  However, when we heard that the director told Reni and Logan about their sib, we had to know.  So, waiting to hear from the NGO on this whole thing.  what happened to that sibling?  are they available for adoption or could they be?  No one knows yet.  And, I haven't forced the issue as frankly, we've had a ton on our plate lately.  We're getting things done and sorted so know I will have time to focus on this and intend to.  I feel it is their birth right to know this.

I know there are people who do family Bulgarian searches.  I kind of wouldn't mind doing one.  Not going to yet as my Russian kids are first in regards to searches. But, part of me feels if I were a mother that had to place their child in an orphanage and found out later in the national papers that the orphanage mistreated the children, I'd want to know what may have happened to my child.  Does she ever wonder what happened to Summer when she placed her in Pleven?  I don't know.  I just know I'd want an answer that my child was safe and sound and happy.  I'd love to give that to her if she'd even want contact.  And yes, I do understand some birth families don't want contact, some do.  This is a hot topic for many.  These are just my opinions on the whole subject.

Bojan.  He's from Serbia.  He was adopted in Jan./Feb. of 2005.  His story was different.  Very different.  His birth mother came to say goodbye to him the week before we arrived.  She used to visit him and loved him very much.  How do I know this?  I've kept in touch with her over the years.  though, this past year I have been horrible about keeping in touch and feel bad.  Going to get back into that.  It's been great for Bojan to know his history and where he came from.  To have pictures of his bio sibs and such and his family.  It isn't weird knowing who they are.  It's a wonderful thing.  I know not all cases are like this but ours is and we are very fortunate.

My Russian kiddos.  Oy! They have sibs.  All of them do.  It would be a matter of finding them.  For Yana, we knew she had a sister.  found her on the Russian Database.  The orphanage director would not allow us to adopt her.  Said she was bad.  Yes, the director there had that much pull.  She is older than Yana. Maybe we can find and connect w/ her.  Though they say they try to keep sibs together, that is NOT true by all our experiences.  Alex, we found out in court, that he had a baby brother or sister.  Seemed like a brother.  I was trying to translate here and there.  But b/c our case was so complicated, we could not even ask about the sib.  Why not tell us before court though?  Makes no sense as we gladly would have taken the baby too.  Alyona has older sibs.  One was in the university when we adopted Alyona.  She did want to stay in touch w/ whoever adopted her sister.  So, when we find her, I'm sure she'll fill in many gaps.  Alyona's brother is in an institution.  He's older.  Alyona would have had that same fate.  But, she's here.  Nik has many sibs.  5 of them.  2 others are in the US and we're in touch here adn there w/his younger brother.  They look just alike.  His sister Elena was adopted years ago and we don't know where in the US she is located.  His oldest brother lives w/ the grandmother.  Now, before we went, we said we'd take his sibs.  Didn't matter how many.  We were told no, they live w/ the grandmother and she is taking care of them.  Fantastic!  As long as they're not in the orphanage.  Day we had court, day the grandmother dropped them off at the orphanage.  2 of them.  One, was his baby (literally as she was 7 months old) sister and the other his younger brother.  URGHH!!!  Wanted to scream.  It's frustrating.  It really is.  Irina's is an unknown history.  Max does have older sibs.  No idea where. 

So, there you have a very, very brief synopsis of their sibs.  We would love to connect w/ them.  I do believe some would be open to it.  I know not all may be and that's okay.  You go into this knowing that fact.  What you also need to know going into this is your kids and how they may react.  My kids are ready.  Even the new ones.  The kids were not ready a few years ago.  They would be better prepared now to handle whatever may come their way.  I've found over the years that the  boys could careless about their family history or where they came from.  Girls want to know.  You must find someone honest if you want to do a search and someone that knows what they're doing.  Also, getting a group together is another one.  There is a search that may happen in September.  We are debating whether to do this one or not.  This is not an inexpensive process.  And, just as with adoption, an emotional one.  I've known many who've done sibling /birth parent searches.  Some are successful, some are not.  Sometimes, not so great things are found out.  I think we're at a good point in all our lives to do something big of this nature.  For us, we had to think about it.  For years.  I've found a searcher for Russia.  He is actually from Irina and Max's small village.  I will keep you posted if we decide yeh or ney on this.  I'm leaning towards yeh.  Can only do 2 searches at a time.  And since Max and Irina are the oldest, I'd start w/ them.  I started this post awhile back.  Just wasn't sure whether to share or not as it is so personal for each and every family.  It really is.  Each and every child and story is so unique.  Once we find out info, I'd allow my kids to share on here.  It is their story from here on out for sure and their choice what to do w/ info that may be provided to them.  I know if I were them, I too would want to know what happened to me.  I think it is only natural.  Well, time to go work on Presidential stuff. 


  1. I saw that same video and thought the same thing-even almost sent it to you today!

  2. Are you sure that isnt Summer? The resemblance is too similiar!

  3. I saw that video a while a go and had to double check that it wasn't Summer.

  4. As an adoptee myself, I am always left wondering who my birth parents are, why I was given up but am always glad I was with my adoptive parents as they raised me, and did SO well! :) I think girls are very emotional and that's why we care so much about our background. I might be wrong on this. Glad you're thinking of doing this for those that want to know.

  5. I swore it WAS Summer in the video! Wow!