Intro and question

Hi! I've been a lurker on this board for quite some time, and I've gotten some really great insight from all of you. I thought I'd introduce myself now, and also ask a question if you guys don't mind :)

I have 2 children, a 7 year old son and a 15 month old son. My 7 year old is not biologically my husband's child (my husband and I married when DS1 was 5) but my 15 month old is my husband's first biological child. We are currently going through court proceedings to terminate parental rights of DS1's bio dad due to abandonment and failure to assume parental responsibility, so my husband can adopt DS1. Even though his bio dad has absolutely no interest in DS1, he will not agree to termination. So we are going to trial next week. My attorney and the guardian ad litem are very convinced we'll win the case, as bio dad has no leg to stand on in court, and it's clearly in DS1's best interest to terminate. 

So, now you have the background, here's the question I have: Do you know of any children's books on adoption that I could get to try and explain to my son better? He doesn't know that his bio dad is his actual father, because bio dad never wanted to be called dad and has never formed a father/son relationship with DS1. DS1 has called my husband "daddy" for years, even though he knows that my husband has not always been in his life. He asks questions like "were you there when I was born?" And we are always truthful to him, and tell him that my husband didn't meet him for several years. DS1 seems to understand that that isn't how things usually are with parents, but he hasn't seemed to make the connection in his mind yet about what that truly means. We are always there to help him understand in simple terms that no, DH wasn't there when you were born and didn't know you as a baby, so we've never lied to him about that and we wouldn't lie to him about adoption either, I'm just unsure about how to help him understand better. I thought maybe a children's book might help. Any recommendations? 

Also, have any of you gone through a stepparent adoption before? What was the homestudy and paperwork like? 

Thank you all in advance!!

Re: Intro and question

  • Hi and welcome!

    One thing you may want to consider is making a personalized book to explain things to your son. You can start with pictures of him as a baby, then have pictures of you and your H dating (including pictures of you guys with your DS1), then wedding pictures showing that he was 5 when you guys got married. You can caption it to talk about how and when your H came into your lives so he can start making the connections.

    And at least IMO, it's OK that he doesn't fully make the connections yet, as long as you're not hiding things from him. He may be asking those questions just to get validation from you that the things he's sorting in his head are true, and it will all come together later. DD asked similar questions about family relationships until she had it all sorted out. Now she knows who's related to whom, and how her birth family plays into the family structure.

  • Thank you, Dr. Loretta! The photo book is a great idea. DS1 loves to look at pictures, so we already have a photo album for him in his room that he looks at often, that includes pictures throughout his life, newborn photos up until now, but I love the idea of a more targeted captioned book to help him understand when DH came into our lives. Thank you for the suggestion!
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