Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Only child

Mr. is an only child, sort of.

Up until a little over 3 years ago, he thought he was an only child.

Mr.'s mother and father were divorced. His mother got very sick the summer I was pregnant with Boo. I spent much of the summer in New Mexico taking care of her. She died one week after Boo was born, my birthday and the first day we were able to hold Boo. She never met Boo.

Mr.'s father came to visit us when Boo was 6 months old. He was sick at the time, over the previous summer, he came to find that his thymus cancer had returned. Several days before Boo was born, he suffered a massive heart attack. We didn't find this out until the night Boo was born. (for more on this story....)

He stayed with us for a week. The morning of the last day here, I was getting ready for school. Mr. had already taken Boo to the sitter. FIL came to me and told me that he didn't know if he should tell Mr. as it wasn't the right time, but he wanted me to know and decide when to tell Mr. something important.

He told me that when he met MIL, she was pregnant. She gave birth to a baby boy about 3 years before Mr. was born. She gave him up for adoption. FIL was telling me this because although he had promised MIL, he felt Mr. had the right to know that he had a half brother out there somewhere. I told him that I wouldn't tell Mr. right away and I'd let him know when I thought Mr. should know.

Of course I went to school that day, thought it over and decided that I couldn't keep a secret like that from my husband. I told him when he got home. He had just put FIL on a plane back to St. Simons. He was upset, understandably so...he said he'd always wished for a brother. He also was worried that the reason FIL told me this was so that someone would know.

Later that year, Mr. finally talked with FIL about it. I remember Mr. taking notes while on the phone with FIL. (Mr. only talks on speakerphone, don't ask....) This was early December. FIL gave as many details as he could remember.

FIL passed away December 29th.

Mr. is an only child. He thinks sometimes that he would like to find this brother, but is sort of afraid to. What he wants, he doesnt' have. He wants someone that can tell him what he was like as a child. He wants someone to remember the good times and bad times with him. His grandfather passed away a few weeks after FIL. His grandmother is 85 and not doing particularly well.

Mr. doesn't want Boo to have to go through this. Boo shouldn't have to decide to stop life support by himself. He shouldn't have to balance taking care of parents on opposite sides of the country. He wants there to be someone here for Boo after we are gone. My parents in over 75. They won't be here to support Boo when he's our age.

We don't want Boo to be an only child.


Duck said...

WOW sorry to hear about the very hard time that your husband had with his parents.
I agree it can be difficult if you're an only child when it comes to making decisions regarding the parents. BUT at the same time, I'm sure your child will have friends, perhaps a partner or children of his/her own that will help your child make any of those decisions.
there is always so much hype about being an "only child" about them not being social or not sharing, and it's not true, all the only children I know are usually more generous, and have more friends, I think they learn to appreciate friends at an earlier age then people with siblings.

MoxieMamaKC said...

What a difficult thing for your husband to have to face. Don't be so worried about the future. I have learned the hard way that sometimes your real family isn't necessarily your biological family. It's a good thing to have plenty of support, which I'm sure you will...

DD said...

I don't even know what to say in regards to your husband's half-brother. I'm sure a lot of uncertainity may be centered around the fact that he can never talk to his parents, specifically his mother, about it. There's an injustice to that.

As to your hopes that Boo does not remain an only child...I hope that for him, too, so very much.

Anonymous said...

my grandmother is an only child and she is spoiled and selfish. I don't think that happens to usually, though.

What a difficult position to be in!

I'll keep you in my prayers!

Paranoid said...

I know (kind of) how you feel. One of the things that stinks about infertility is the idea that you may never give your child a sibling. I know it's something I've struggled with a lot.

I hope your DH finds some peace, and that you end up making your little one a big brother!

seriously? said...

It must be very difficult to want to have a second child and not be able to. I don't come from a large family but I do have a brother to share things with.

I don't think there is anything wrong with being an only child though. I have many friends who are and as we struggle, I think if we have a child it might be and only and that's ok.

I wish you the best, and baby 2.0

Laura said...


I know the overwhelming need to ensure that your child is not an only child. My husband very definitely is an only child and I don't want that life for my son.

I wish you both success in your journies, both to continue the next generation and reunite the current one. said...

I'm totally with you on an only child deal. We always thought our Johnny would be an only child. It made me so sad. I love my brothers...I can't imagine life without them. We were lucky enough to get our Pea-girl. It took 7 years, but we've got her. Good luck my friend...good luck!

alicia said...

oh what a sad story. You have had so much lose in your family. I can understand why you would want another child, I really hope that happens for you!

Here from NaComLeavMo

Brigindo said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I do hope Boo gets a brother or sister and that Mr. finds his half-brother when/if he's ready to look.

Sam said...

Gosh, wow, what a story. You just don't know what you don't know!

I feel for you all, but also for your MIL as she would have all that heartbreak to deal with.

Also, I hope that should Boo not have a brother or sister, Boo finds the partnership that you and Mr have so that he WONT be making those decisions alone.

Jendeis said...

Here from NaComLeavMo. Thank you so much for sharing this story. What a hard journey your family, not just Mr., are having to travel right now. Whatever you decide, I hope you have peace in your lives.

ScientistMother said...

Wow what a situation. It is so difficult to be in that situation, and understand not wanting to leave boo BUT as someone who isn't close to her siblings (though I wish I was) there is no guarentee that they will be close and 'friends'. One the hardest parts of dealing with the estrangement from my family (the first being guilt and blaming myself), is the feeling that I somehow failed as a daughter and sister because I don't have that relationship with them when in reality it may not be my fault or theirs.

Queenie. . . said...

After my MIL's parents died, she was contacted by a woman who was her sister. It turned out that her father had been married and divorced, before marrying her mother, and she never knew it. The first wife moved away and took the baby with her. It has turned into a very close relationship. No one ever could have imagined, though.

These are really hard issues. I hope you have a great fresh cycle, and part of this one gets solved for you!

Q said...

Returning the visit from NCLM.

I am an only child and had a wonderful childhood. I am about 99.9% certain that the baby I am pregnant with will be an only child, too.

It sounds like your Mr. has had quite a lot of loss to deal with. I hope you are able to give Boo a sibling.