Extended Family Collateral Damage

Received the following from my sister this a.m.  The subject line said "Warning: Adoption Related Do Not Read If Not In Right Headspace"

Of course I read it.

"Last nightI was driving home from picking the kids up at mom and dads.  Somehow we got on the topic of birth order, and Corbin wondered out loud if he was the “middle grandchild”. 

Kayleigh: “Well, let’s see.  [my daughters amended name] is the oldest and Stefan is the youngest, so let’s figure it out from there”

Alex: “I’m confused, what do you mean [my nieces name which is the same as my daughters] is the oldest?  Nicole is older than her”

Kayleigh:  “No, Alex…Aunt Suz’s [daughter name]”

Alex:  “Huh?”

At this point it dawns on me that while we frequently speak of [daughter name], Alex doesn’t seem to have either processed it, or assumed whenever we spoke of  [daughter name], it was [niece name] M. we were referring to.

Kayleigh: “Yeah, Aunt Suz had a baby before Nik, but she had to give her up for adoption”

Alex: “What’s adoption, Mom?” 

Okay…I take a deep breath…and try to come up with a way to explain this to my naïve 7-year-old in way that he might understand.  While I’d like to say that it is when a baby/child is ripped from its mother and sold to the highest bidder, I don’t think that is the best route to go in this conversation.

Me:  “Well, it is when for whatever reason other people raise someone else’s baby or child.”

Alex: “I still don’t understand, but whatever” 

Talk about collateral damage…how does one explain this to a 7-year old?  How do I explain that he has a cousin he has never met?  That his cousins have a sister they have never known? That their favorite aunt (yes you are their favorite by the way) has another child that….aww hell,  I really f***ing hate adoption…have I ever told you that?

Love ya,

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