Originally Posted by Niamh
Wow. I felt a bit attacked by Tigerchild. Thanks for your post.
If you feel attacked by me, I'd appreciate it if you say WHAT it was that I said that made you feel attacked (I even said that not wanting adult child rejection didn't knock you out because that is EVERY mother's fear regardless of how she gets her children), instead of passively attacking ME.
I'm thinking that probably you shouldn't read the adult adoptee sites, if my even acknowledging that this is might create difficulties for you in your adoption journey makes you feel attacked. You're going to be absolutely horrified by what you see on the boards then, when in fact I don't think it has anything to do with adoptive parents, and everything to do with the internal struggle/emotions that some (SOME) adult adoptees are working through. Nothing more, nothing less.
You can't make all parenting decisions based on fear of what your adult children are going to think. You can't control that. And that has nothing to do with adoption.
If you want to adopt, then adopt! But don't do it with a spirit of fear and worry about what other people (including your kid) are going to think about you for doing so. You are going to hear completely mindnumbing inconsiderate and cruel things coming out of people's mouths once you start on that path. But it is *really* different than some of the horrific things people say to pregnant women, biracial families, families of a different socioeconomic status than the speaker, families who have 'too many' children, ect? I suppose in a way, because adoptive parents (and adoptees) are encouraged by society to think of themselves as "less than" (though most I know throw that off, it's hard not to feel that pang when someone close to you makes an ignorant unintentionally hurtful comment). And some adoptive families also have to deal with leftover baggage from the classless things people said to them during their period of infertility and afterwards (and BOY can people come up with some doozies there), which compounds things.
If you had read my post, and not checked out after the first phrase that insulted you, perhaps you would have gotten my complete message--sure, check things out, but once you make the decision to adopt, then don't allow anyone else to ruin your joy in your family. It'd be nice to expect that outsiders would rewrite their points of view so we don't have to hear them, but it's not going to happen anytime soon. As an adoptee I had to learn to have a thick skin. I would think that as an adoptive parent you have to do that even more--because you don't just worry about you, you also have to be willing to stand in and protect your child. My parents were abusive, and used my adoption as an emotional battering ram. Yet, I'm not negative about adoption. And you know what? I know twenty other adoptees that were in similar situations and feel the same way I do.
Who cares what a few people have to say about how adoption is evil? I can guarantee you that there are just as many who say that it's wonderful. Does it creep me out a bit when people have unrealistic expectations about adoptees? Well, yes, a little. But no more than what I feel when people who aren't parents tell me about how they're going to be perfect and won't abide anything different. You parent, you make mistakes, you learn, you grow--together. Period, beginning of story. You can intellectualize all you want, but I really don't think you know how you're going to do it until you just do it. You love your kids, you'll find a way. And you have just as much of a guarantee as anyone else that it'll all come out right in the end.
We've heard stories about some of the jaw dropping things people have said to mamas on this board. But did they throw in the towel? No. Adoption is having children. You find a way to deal with it, and you do the best you can. I dunno, maybe for some people the adoptees boards are going to be like the What to Expect books--going to cause needless worrying and worst-case-scenario-ing. If you think that's going to happen to you, then personally I'd recommend just leaving it alone, blowing off the people who want to be so negative (since I'll bet not one is a parent by adoption!), and continuing on your journey. If you can't, then I gently suggest that there's something else blocking your path other than fear of other people's rejection, and once you find out what it is and deal with it, you'll be on your way again.