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What about Birth Order?

By BraveLittleChicken ~

Having grown up listening to Dobson and reading LaHaye and various other Christian psychologists (including that old Bill Gothard!)... I wonder what is actual fact, and what is religious mishmosh put out there to preserve the "way it should be."

For instance, I am a firstborn. Female. I was told it wasn't appropriate for me to be upset that my parents elected to have my younger brother be the executor of their will... because, see, god had determined that the firstborn female didn't count... god gave all the blessings and birthrights to the males (Adam, Abraham, Moses--let's not discuss poor Esau--it was his own fault!--and of course Joseph with his coat was a special exception...oh, and the whole Ishmael/Isaac thing can be explained if you just follow the story properly!). Firstborn females are supposed to be dedicated to god, and they count...sort of. Like, well, really they don't count, but they sort of do, but it's, well it's just hard to explain...(like everything else)

And when my family adopted, parents were very careful not to displace the god-ordained order of children--they chose a boy (brother was lonely) older than the youngest, and younger than me and #2 brother...because they knew how much it would mess up our tender little psyches to be thrust out of proper sequence. Oddly, adopted brother was a firstborn in his FOO...not too concerned about him, I guess.

Now for the situation setup: DH and I have adopted a delightful child, an "only" child (2y/o, "Taz"). We are going to adopt a younger sibling (an infant "Baby"-and technically #4 in FOO). We have also decided to expand our home to include a foster 5 y/o (oldest of 3 sibs, "Clara").

Frequently Clara and Taz butt heads, and I figure we have the age factor, the territorial imperative factor, the "habitual role of the family" (only and bossy oldest) factor as well as some psychological issues. BUT I think gradually we can work it out...after all, DH and I are BOTH first-borns and we successfully integrated our two only children into a pretty good "firstborn" family.

Now the question: Dad keeps giving me "those looks" and telling me that the Clara is usurping Taz' role (since Taz was there first), and that's why the head-butting, and that it won't ever change because god set up this special order that we are "messing around" with. I guess the implication is that we should stop fostering this one and find another (more suitable) to care for.

What do y'all think? Is there really something to the whole birth order psychology? or is this simply another way to keep certain people "in line"? I'd love to hear if there is actually any studies or research into this realm.