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Does anyone think that separation from Birth Mom can have long lasting effect? - Page 2

post #21 of 32
Danaalex, I am so sorry to hear you say your mother insists that you didn't "bond" when you were an infant. Ugh. That has got to be really, really hard to hear.

Part of why I'm sensitive this is that my mom makes the same claim about my sister -- but both of us are her biological children. My sister was born very ill and had to be hospitalized for a few weeks. My parents lived about an hour and a half from the hospital, so my mom had virtually no contact with my sister all that time.

My mother claims that she and my sister have never been "close" because my sister "bonded" with the nurses instead of her. And, as her story goes, that's why my sister cried for a year, and why my mother could not console her. I am skeptical in the extreme. Maybe the crying was my sister "pining" for the nurses in the hospital (doubt it!!), maybe she had troubles with the formula, maybe she had a problem with my mom virtually ignoring her, who knows? But it grieves me to think that my mother's decision that it was "too late" for her to bond was a self-fullfilling prophesy, you know?

I've learned recently that it was something of a mini trend in the sixties for people to think about infant-parent bonding in this very narrow way, and it may have stemmed from some contemporary research into how certain birds "imprint" on the first creature they see. That creature, bird or not, becomes the mother. End of subject. But humans aren't birds! Attachment is much more complex in humans, and has much more to do with an infant getting his/her needs met consistently. It can happen well after birth, as most of the adoptive parents in this forum know!

Okay, rant over.
post #22 of 32
thanks. the "not bonding" idea that she has doesn't really get to me. my mom is an over reactor LOL. she thinks that if you don't agree with her you are against her. SHE has a lot of issues, that are all hers, all her own. most of the rest of the family doesn't agree with her. except her mom, my grandmother ALWAYS sides with my mom and has the same judgemental, over reactive emotions, and issues. they are both a little crazy.

what has really hurt has been just how mean my mom can be towards me because we don't do things the same or see things eye to eye. in that respect, it might be easier to be with someone that more similar to yourself, but there is no guarantee that a birth child will be just like the birth parents either. my mom can get down right vicious.

my family and i drove from FL to MD in june of this summer to visit her and basically when we got there she said she wished we weren't there and that she'd rather us go home and come back at the end of aug. then she spent about 2 hrs screaming at me that i'm not like all of her friends daughters and if i were any other kind of daughter she wouldn't mind us being there. so, we left the next day. i called her on my DD#1s birthday in aug. to thank her for the gifts, and that is it. she has called a couple of times, but i don't really have anything to say to her. it's that kind of stuff that hurts way more than her telling me we never bonded.
post #23 of 32
Wow Danaalex! I think your mom and my mom should get together... My mother can be a little extreme in what she says at times too. I love her, but there are times that it hurts and we don't talk for awhile. I'm sorry that you have to go through that. It can be tough!
post #24 of 32
Hi everyone, I'm an aussie nubie but I've been reading for a little while now.
I'm 30 and was adopted after 4wks in hospital. I don't know my birth mother but I know that she was 15. My adoptive parents are wonderful.
I am so very grateful that my birthmother and her parents made that awful decision 30 years ago to adopt me out. I recognise that this decision would have been the hardest ever. Being a mum myself I can not imagine how to deal with a lifetime of not ever knowing about the daughter you only held for a minute (if at all).
I also could have been one of the thousands of abortions that occur every year.
I am in no way damaged by my adoptive heritage. In highschool it was an interesting part of me that not many others had. I thought I was a little more unusual and special.
My adoptive parents told me from day one that I was their wonderful gift. They were open and honest about where I was from and celebrated my 'adoption day' every year. I have a natural born brother and there was never any comparison between he and I.
I love my adoptive parents and thank God every day for them and their little ways. I could have been 'damaged' much much more by remaining in my birth family.
I don't think being adopted is the deciding factor in whether or not a person grows up with social and other issues. It is much more complex. To blame it on adoption is like stereotyping.
post #25 of 32

Adoption, Attachment a view from the "other" side

Here is a small window into the world of an adoptee that has come to grips with many of her feelings.

I'm hoping to do this in a kind gentle way.

I was adopted at 2.5 and before that I was moved around a lot with my birth mother and with other family members. I know who my birthmother is, and we speak at least once a month. I know who my birthfather is and spoke to him once before he died last year. I met them over the telephone about 3 years ago.

My mom and dad (I call my adoptive parents mom and dad, they earned it! my birth mother is Carla) gave me a wonderful life. Although they have faults they did their darn best. I was rarely spanked and brought up to be very tolerant of others. My parents now believe that no child should ever be hit and that if they could go back they would not have spanked me. I can be very abrasive but I have a soft heart. My parents bailed me out of all kinds of muck.

Just over the last few months as I've really begun to come into myself I have realized more and more how much I really am like Carla. She has had Cervical cancer (only had one pap smear in 40yrs...good advertisement for your womanly visits), and some other health problems related to the chemo and radiation. She and I share many of the same feelings and thoughts about situations. We are both married to wonderful charming men, who worship the quicksand we walk on. I love my mom and dad, but feel extremely attached to Carla in a way that I cannot explain to someone who is not adopted.

What I really recomend to people who's children ask about their birth parents and for those that can't find or don't want to find the birth parents for whatever reason you choose (I am not judging you for making this choice...there are still people in this world who are not fit to be parents, even if they can procreate) is to find an adult who was adopted who had a good experience. Someone who fits in with your lifestyle of gentle parenting etc. I have spoken to many young adoptees about how they feel about being adopted and what it means to them. I speak to them frankly and honestly, but don't cross any lines that the parents have set up. I feel so strongly about this that I am getting my BA (and hope to someday get my masters) in adoption social work. I found the most difficult time for me was as a teenager. I was trying to find out who I was and it was so incredibly difficult. I think it was doubled because I had no one to look at and say "oh, that's where my thick eye brows come from, and oh, that is where my sarchasm comes from. It's really difficult for an adoptive parent to totally understand this, no matter how educated and how much you care. My parents are incredibly educated and wonderful kind gentle people. There was not way they could have ever known.

I am incredibly attached to my birthmother. Do I feel my mom and dad did me a disservice for not being in contact with her, no! They did what Carla asked of them (actually she stated this her wishes for the person or people who adopted me) and took me out of the area where I was born and where Carla's crazy mother was. She wanted something better for me.

Carla is not my mom, my mother, or my mommy. She is Carla, and she is who I look like and who I blame the crazy thoughts that come into my head on..HA HA She gave me some insight into some of the reasons I may the way I am, ie the obesity, and the mental illness (I have clinical depression as did her aunt and her mother). As for my birthfather. He was a sperm donor. It was the 70's. I spoke to him once and spoke to his mother a few times and spoke to his son (my half brother) once. I also spoke to my uncle once (his brother). Turns out that my birthfather was not a very nice person. I guess that helps me be not so attached. I do look like him though. My hair, my eyes, and my smile. His mother says I look like his other four children. It's nice to know those things. It makes me feel good.

I have gotten many things from my mom and dad. They are both truely dedicated to education, and although I don't want to teach in a classroom, I consider myself the original teacher as a mother. I am truely dedicated to my children! The list could go on for hours of how I identify with my mom and dad.

Separation from a birthmom can have a long lasting effect, but so can the love and caring you can give. Doing your absolute best is all that can be asked of you. Finding a friend who can mentor your child through the difficult times in his/her life may help.
post #26 of 32

adoption and rebirthing

I and my bro and sis were all adopted. We all have abandonment issues, and I believe dealing with abandonment is part of the life work for most or all adoptees. (This doesn't mean we are worse off than other people, we just have certain issues, like everyone.)

I highly recommend rebirthing for anyone with adoption and/or birth trauma issues. It is essentially a breathing technique practiced with a trained rebirther. the process leads a person to regress, so s/he can deal with the trauma again in a positive and healing way. I had a lot of depression and a huge amount of anger all my life and didn't know it, much less why I was so unhappy all the time. Rebirthing changed my life. I was able to let go of some of the negative feelings and thoughts that had been holding me back for 30 yrs, so I could begin to build the life I wanted to live.

I'm not sure I'd recommend rebirthing for young children, however. I think it's better for people who have developed some coping skills. (though some rebirthers might disagree with me.) so for how that should influence your parenting, I have no idea.

Could write so much more, but baby's fussy . . .
post #27 of 32
BEBA: Building and Enhancing Bonding and Attachment - A Center for Family Healing

I believe this place is in Ojai, CA, near Santa Barbara, which is 2 hours north of Los Angeles.

Birth Psychology
Another website that might be helpful to you.
post #28 of 32

i was abandoned,adopted, and believe its just another aspect of nature & nurture

i was abandoned in a trash can some time before my adoption from a Korean orphanage at 3yrs old. when exactlly i was born or where, and why i was abandoned are not known, i do not know if or how much biological family i may have. when people hear this, they think that this must be very hard on me and ask if i want to find my "real Parents" or "go back". ive never considered either, really. imagining being raised by others is as difficult as imagining myself as a completely different person. changing one thing in our past would change everything, i am as much of a product of my genes as my enviroment as the next person. generally, i hear about people going back to find biological parents, i think of people going back to their roots or back to their home town. i fear it's about a void, something lacking in the now. or at worst, an excuse to blame behavior on circumstances. ohh, so and so is troubled because they were adopted, thats why they misbehave. ive met adopted people with wonderful, close relationships to their parents, and birth children with no real attachment to their parents. it about the individual. also- i dont believe it is essential to bring a child that was born in another country back to visit. they are your child now. their culture is your culture. take me- i am definetly a product of the italian mother and polish father i was raised by. i may look asain, but christmas eve i make perogies and christmas day lasagna. but i did seem to have an easy time in chinese medical school, hum, maybe it's in my blood....
post #29 of 32
I too am an adoptee and all I can share is my experience. But I do have to say that I think it is wonderful, all these ap mamas here.

My parents adopted me when I was 2 mo. old. and I grew up in a very affectionate, loving ap-style family. My mom stayed at home with us and we were the center of my parents lives. I always knew I was adopted and had "my very special day". I also have an older brother and younger sister who is biological to one another. I know that I was much more of a clingy child than my siblings. My Mom always thought it was because of when I was in foster care, I wasn't held enough. I think that I did probably long for physical attachment.

Growing up I didn't feel different except at birthdays and on "my special day". Maybe I didn't want to be different and thats why it hurt so deeply. I had a closed adoption, as all were in the 60's. When I got into my 20's, I got non-identifing info. from the adoption agency. I still wanted more, so I searched and found both bio-parents. It was an emotional rollercoaster for all of us. But still, to this day, my parents are my parents.

For me, I think searching and finding more info. filled that void and the questions. I am alot like my birthmom in so many ways. BUT, my mother is my mother and my birthmother is Liz. My Mom was the one who taught me how to parent and be the mother I am today. She nurtured me and has given me such a great gift to pass on to my children, the gift of love and how to love.

In October, my mother laid dying in the hospital. I called and told my birthmom of her condition and even though she had told my mother "thank you" before, she wanted me to tell her that again. So, through my tears, I told my Mom. She told me my "birth story" of when they got me and how I just cried and cried and she knew that she had to take me home and love me. I cry now as I type this and cried as she told me this two days before she died. She was my Mother. Now that she is gone, my relationship hasn't changed w/my birthmom. We still talk once a month and she is still Liz. No one can replace my Mother.

Having that intense, loving, biological bond with my children has really filled the "missing link" for me too and has helped in my healing process.

Warmly~

Lisa:bf
post #30 of 32
I totally agree with I STIK M. I am adopted and I must say I get somewhat offended when I hear about all the "trauma" and "wounds" adoptees have. My mother is my Mother and my father is my Father. Period. I was never "told" I was adopted. It was always just a fact of life. Since we got my sister when I was three, it was just normal to go pick up a baby. I knew that the woman who gave birth to me wanted a better life for me than she could provide. My parents provided that. I have no desire to search out my birth mother. I have no clue what I would say to her, really.

What I think I am trying to get across, is that people do more damage by stressing about adoption and the effect it has on a baby. The baby is still just a normal baby. Once the baby is in your arms, you are its mama. Go from there. Raise it as you would a baby you birthed.

Marlene
post #31 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mleavell
I am adopted and I must say I get somewhat offended when I hear about all the "trauma" and "wounds" adoptees have. My mother is my Mother and my father is my Father. Period. I was never "told" I was adopted. It was always just a fact of life. I knew that the woman who gave birth to me wanted a better life for me than she could provide. My parents provided that. I have no desire to search out my birth mother. I have no clue what I would say to her, really.

What I think I am trying to get across, is that people do more damage by stressing about adoption and the effect it has on a baby. The baby is still just a normal baby. Once the baby is in your arms, you are its mama. Go from there. Raise it as you would a baby you birthed.

Marlene
ITA.

Does that mean I don't think that some adoptees have separation/abandonment issues? Nope. I think every CHILD is different, whether adopted or not. As to the OP, my guess would be there is some jealousy and insecurity about her brother knowing and having a whole other aspect to life and family. I would definitely say some sort of counseling would benefit you both, but especially her. Good luck.
post #32 of 32

There IS something more to it!

Hi! Just read this thread today. IMO:

As I posted before, I am 29yo, and have two young brothers 8&10yo - all three adopted. I was adopted at 2y10mo, one was 3y2mo, and one was 15mo - Alex, the 15mo, was separated the day of birth. He has INTENSE abandonment issues (spent the next 15mo with nurses and in an orphanage). He gets sad when mom and dad go out, even when I am watching them, or when they overnight at my house, whcih they both LOVE to do! He is very needy of attention, love, and encouragement, but can be a downright pisser at times too!

I told mom this, and I'll tell you as well. For whatever reason (and NOT due to you not giving her enough love), she has approval/abandonment issues, and would do well to see a good adoption couselor with experience in these issues. I waited until 28yo to start counseling, and WHAT A CHANGE it has made! Something toconsider just to keep an eye out and help her grow through these issues - if not, they will transfer into her friendships and her romantic relationships as well. I was very lucky to have such a wonderful, patient, UNDERSTANDING dh! I don't know that everyone is so lucky in THAT respect...
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