I've been planning Christmas. One of our celebrations is spending time with one of our sets of siblings birth parents. Twice a year we get together celebrating Christmas and our children's birthdays. Years and years ago I wasn't keen on openness. In fact we don't have openness with any other birth parents except these ones for multiple reasons. Mainly protection and health related issues. I just got off the phone with a birth parent discussing our Christmas plans. What's nice is, they're a part of our family now. While we talked, we giggled and not only discussed the children that are related between us, we discussed the rest of our family. The rest of their siblings. We're bonding as a big family related to each other through adoption. Twice a year we unite. I will admit it wasn't easy. Establishing who we are, who they are and creating boundaries was and is difficult. I as the legal adoptive mother have and will always keep making decisions accordingly in regards to the well being of our children. Adoption isn't just adopting a child. It's adopting a package of loss, not only the child lost their birth family, the birth family lost their child. Regardless of the reasons, it's still a loss. As exciting as adoption is for everyone, it's a dedication into a complex package of forming several different types of openness, it's developing the understanding and having compassion for their culture (their bands) into your families lifestyle. For us, adoption has brought us absolutely everything. Most importantly it brought us more love to adapt into our lives. For this sibling group, they didn't loose their birth parents to addiction or abuse. They needed an adoptive family because their birth parents are special needs. For us it's an atmosphere we're getting used too.....when we all get together, it's supervising more children but regardless of their cognitive abilities, one thing is evident - they love their children just as much as we do. Very challenging sometimes but very honouring to know through adoption, through openness - we're all together. We didn't adopt to be selfish. We wanted to adopt to grow our family, to dedicate ourselves raising children that needed and wanted a family. In the beginning I never thought I would meet birth parents......now we have seven plus birth family members interconnected with us in one form or another. While on the phone today planning our annual Christmas celebration with their birth mother, we both agreed on something. Time is passing by so quickly, and our children are growing up. It made me tear because as much as I know time is passing by quickly, their birth mother waits for time to pass to celebrate with her children. We all have a story......we all have circumstances that have landed us where we are today. We all are human, we love, and we hurt just as much as the other. I can't imagine waiting for a holiday to see my children. In this scenario it's good, we have agreements that we follow, boundaries that must exist and everyone knows their roles and that's why routine, even for openness is important to follow. Funny, from their birth grandmother I've been told to relax on what I do for our celebrations.....I responded, "I can't. We want to do what we do, and I'm just so grateful to have adopted such special children from a special family such as you" Adoption didn't just change our children's lives, it has changed everything and every ones lives that we are close too. Whether accepted or not - what I know for sure is that we're surrounded with more people that care for children that I've ever seen before and that's adoption. That's openness. That's our life. If you're considering adoption, or in the process and want more information - I have lots of our own experiences and thoughts towards adoption. Just keep in mind as much as adoption can be exciting - every year after placement there's new challenges, and enlightenment's. You need to be open and prepared for anything - most importantly keeping in mind, you might be the legal parent - but birth parents love too. Too conclude, I'm looking forward to our family Christmas celebration and just witnessing the love for our children is gift enough for me.