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How Can I Make Them Understand?

I'm 25 and an adoptee. I've been in contact with my three older biological sisters for several years now. Two are full siblings, the oldest is a half sibling.

My parents were supportive of the reunion, until I started to call them sisters and allow my children to refer to them as their aunts. They keep telling me that they're not my sisters nor are they my childrens' aunts. They keep saying since I was adopted by them, that my sisters technically never existed and that I needed to remind my children that they are not aunts but merely biological strangers. I pretty much have stopped talking to my parents. It was fine and dandy until I started considering my sisters part of my family. I was raised an only child, so I was overjoyed to find out I had sisters. I love my family, both adoptive and biological, but how can I make my parents understand that it's up to me and not them?

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:17 PM on Nov. 21, 2009 in Adoption

Answers (25)
  • You're hurting their feelings. It sounds like they just want to make sure you appreciate them for everything they've done for you. Spend some time with them, and let them know that you would not change anything about the way you've grown up. Tell them that even though you've met knew family does not mean that it replaces the old. Show them, don't just tell them, there's room in your heart for everyone.

    i dont think they want to make that decision for you, they just think they're going to lose you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:45 PM on Nov. 21, 2009

  • I'm so sorry your family is not supportive now that you've found your older sisters. I'm not an adoptee (I'm an adoptive mom with two open adoptions), so all I can do is wish you well. There are several adult adoptees who visit this forum, and they may have some helpful ideas. I hope they will do the right thing and support you in this.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 10:45 PM on Nov. 21, 2009

  • OP here... How am I hurting their feelings, Anon :45? My birthparents are dead, never got to meet them and even if they had been alive, they wouldn't have replaced my parents. I consider my bio siblings my sisters and my childrens' aunts. My parents have no right to tell me that is not true nor do they have the right to tell my children otherwise as well. I love them, but I won't be constantly told that "those women" are not my siblings and that I need to "make it straight" with my kids. My adoptive family is my family, there is no denying that, but my bio siblings are my siblings and my adoption doesn't change that either. My parents have to learn to accept my relationship with my sisters and acknowledge that they are, in fact, my sisters.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:53 PM on Nov. 21, 2009

  • That is just awful... I can't imagine what you must be going through.

    I am so sorry :(.. You just keep doing what you feel is right. They are YOUR sisters and your children's AUNTS. I think it's wonderful you have relationships with your sisters! I know I don't know where I would be without mine - and two are my half-siblings, one my full.

    If I were you, I would just tell your parents that you love them, but this is how it's going to be. They will come around :).

    Answer by rainfalls at 11:24 PM on Nov. 21, 2009

  • OP-I, too, am an adoptive parent, and want you to know that you aren't doing anything wrong. You are sisters and they are aunts to your children. Your parents may see your family as "either/or". EITHER adopted, OR biological. Try to explain to them that because they adopted you that you have MORE family than you had when you began. You have their extended family which are your children's aunts/uncles/cousins, etc and you have your bio extended family as well. That you want your children to know ALL of their family ties (thru your AP's and your BP's).

    In your parents' defense, they may not know how THEY "fit in" with your newly found siblings. In other words, your sis's are aunts to your kids, so is your mother now "grandma" to THEIR kids? See what I mean? By including your sisters (and you should!) she may see that SHE is being excluded, even though that's not your intent. I hope you can resolve it w/her, it may take time.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 11:28 PM on Nov. 21, 2009

  • OP- I think that Doodles answer of INCLUSIVENESS is great! If you can get your parents to see that yours and their life will be fuller instead of less, that really may help. Guilt and fear play such a huge role in adoption and reunion. Be strong, and know that they ARE your sisters, you are doing nothing wrong, reassure your parents as I know you have, and give it time.
    They are afraid of losing you, and don't see that they are pushing you away. I'm a first
    mother to a 23 yr old, and a mom to a 21yr old and 14 yr old. And you know what? We make mistakes!!!! We screw things up, all the time. Know that they love you, and are trying. And continue to do what you need to , in a loving way.
    So, So happy you found your sisters and have become an Aunt!!!!! Congratulations on adding to your family. You can never have too many people to love. Blessings to you!
    I hope and pray, that one day, My daughter will let me do the same :( Hugs

    Answer by stillamom1213 at 5:18 AM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • Im an adoptee who choose to keep my reunion with my family of origin a secret from ALL my afamily.
    I did not want to deal with any of the stress guilt that I knew I would get from them. But keeping the secret brought it's own stresses and I felt terrible that I involved my husband and kids friends and coworkers to swear to keep my secret, or else...

    It's an absolute shame that were stuck in the middle of choosing sides and worrying about loyalties and trying to keep everyone happy. We wind up with our needs and wants coming last. Sigh.

    All I can suggest is you give yourself permission to do what's best for YOU!
    You don't need parental approval in picking your friends...hopefully, your parents did not feel the need to qualify and approve any familal relationships with your (husbands) family...and you don't need their 'permission' to have other family in your life.

    Your parents feelings and issues belong to them.

    Answer by adopteeme at 6:55 AM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • I hope they will come around, for you!

    Btw congrats on your reunion with your sisters!
    Siblings found are the BEST part of my reunion. I cherish them all. I found 5.


    Answer by adopteeme at 7:01 AM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • Try to sit down and have a heart to heart talk with them. Be kind and explain to them your excitement to find siblings after being an only child. Pray! God can change their hearts.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:47 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

  • It's not about them; its about you. They're being selfish.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:34 PM on Nov. 22, 2009

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