A Surprise Sibling? Here’s How to Come Clean.

Letter Writer: Do you have any resources for a birth parent who has both parented and placed children? I know of a situation where the birth mother has an open adoption but she has never included the children she is parenting in the visits with the child she placed.

Now the parented children are 8, 10, and 15. How does she tell them they have a surprise sibling? As much as I’ve searched, I can’t seem to find such a resource to help her figure out if and how to come clean.

— Shanna

surprise sibling come clean
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RNO & BOS

After early summer’s two trips, mid-summer also brought two trips. The first was a couple of speaking engagements at a renowned adoption camp (RNO/Lake Tahoe), and the second was in my husband’s hometown (Boston).

Keynote in Tahoe

The annual PACT Camp took place the week of our anniversary, so my husband came with me to Reno/Tahoe for a working getaway.

I cannot say enough good things about this camp, held at the beautiful alpine Granlibakken resort. I was a bit of an outsider in that I am not part of a transracial family. But everyone at camp, from the young campers to their parents to the staff to Director Beth Hall made me feel incredibly welcome and included. Walking the talk, you might say, cultivating a culture that expresses the opposite of Othering.

On the 4th of July I presented a keynote (The Open-Hearted Way to Adoption) and a workshop (Living Open Adoption: Practical Guidance for Challenging Situations). The response to these got me more than a little high — the kind that’s legal in all states.

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adoption, parenting, mindfulness, open adoption