Adoptees- How did your parents treat adoption - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 03-10-2007, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think this belongs here.
If you were adopted how did your parents parent you?
Was your adoption incorporated into your lives?
Did they discuss it, your birth parents, searching, reasons why?
What was the attitude about adoption.

Emilie
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#2 of 27 Old 03-13-2007, 12:52 AM
 
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My parents never made it a secret that my brother and I were adopted. We grew up knowing and understanding. The woman who ran the adoption agency told them to tell us when we were old enough to understand, but young enough to forget. (The conversation, not that we were adopted.)

They have always been very open to any questions we may have brought up to them. My mom was very honest in telling me that, although she would be hurt if I chose to find my birthparents, she completely understood my feelings.

I can't speak for my brother, but I personally don't have any yearning to find my BPs. My parents are the wonderful people that raised me, put up with my oh-so-lovely teenage years and helped me through rough times.

I'm thankful that my BPs chose to give me up for adoption. They made a very hard decision, but it was the decision that gave me a fufulling life.
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#3 of 27 Old 03-13-2007, 02:08 AM
 
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I was adopted when I was 2 days old, so obviously I don't have any conscious memories. Still, I always knew I was adopted. My favorite bedtime story as a young child was hearing about my birth. I loved the part when my parents would tell me about how they got a phone call in the middle of the night and they rushed to the hospital and counted all my fingers and toes, etc.

There are things that my parents did that I don't agree with now that I'm older and have worked through my adoption issues. A lot of this was discovered when I read the Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier. For instance, one thing that I think adopted parents do (meaning well) is telling their child that they are "special" and that their birthmother "loved them so much she gave them up." This teaches the child that love= abandonment. Major major trust/rejection issues revolving around adoption. I definitely recommend the book to all adoptive parents and adoptees alike.

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#4 of 27 Old 03-13-2007, 08:05 AM
 
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that sounds like a great book

I grew up always knowing I was adopted, but I was 3 months old and was in a foster home in between

I've had major abandonment and attachment issues my whole life and a few years ago, realized that they were due to the adoption. I am steadily working through them and can actually talk (on a light level) to my parents (AP) My mom actually gave me an article she found on depression and adoption describing the trauma experienced by the adopted children.

I DO want to say that I think my BM was acting in an unselfish way judging by her circumstances (which I may share at a later date)

I am lucky to have such a great family, but I have always felt very different from them in many ways.

AM is supportive of me searching out BP, she said she would like to thank them and that she is also curious about BM.

                                Whatever will be, already is...
 
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#5 of 27 Old 04-12-2007, 05:55 PM
 
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I was adopted late, when I was 8. My new parents were my grandparents, and they definitely talked about it. They spent 60k to get myself and my brother, and never let me forget it. they didn't pester him about it, but they did me... I was "ungrateful" about everything they did to 'save me.'

Lately I've been thinking a lot about my son, and wondering how his parents are raising him.

I think it would be my worst fear to find out he has had anything less than a wonderful life. I sometimes forget that we're all human and just doing our best, I guess.

Even my grandparents.
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#6 of 27 Old 04-14-2007, 11:06 PM
 
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I was adopted at birth and always knew I was adopted. I don't remember ever being sat down and being told so, so I'm assuming it was something they talked about with me from very early on.

My parents were great parents. They were MARVELOUS parents to me when I was young, although as a teen they were a bit too controlling and strict.

Honestly, the adoption issue didn't really come up all that much. I think that my mom always strived to make me feel as loved, if not moreso, as my sister (she got pg with my sister when I was 13 months old after being told she was infertile).

Anytime I asked questions, she always readily gave me what info she had. I was very in tune with my mother's emotions and I could tell that me asking questions made her feel uncomfortable, even though she would have denied that it did. So, I didn't ask often.

The overall attitude about my adoption was that I was an answer to their prayers. They told me that my bio mom (bio dad was never mentioned) loved me, but that she wasn't able to take care of me.

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#7 of 27 Old 04-15-2007, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My mom got pg when I was 3 months old too- after trying for 8 years and being told it would not happen.
I hear you on being in tune with your mothers feelings of uncomfortableness. To this day if I bring it up- anything about it up- she looks blankly and then starts talking about something else- gets a "beep" on the phone or anything else..... but when I ask her why she does this- she denies it at all!
They claim to be open and honest about it but yet they are anything but?
I find it causes me lots of guilt and frustration.... I would rather them be honest with me and work thru it ya know.
I too always knew.
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#8 of 27 Old 04-15-2007, 06:37 PM
 
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Hmm, I don't harbor any resentment towards my adoptive mother. She always tried to come across as open, but knowing her like I do, I could tell she was uncomfortable. And putting myself in her place, I can certainly understand her feelings, especially seeing that she has never been overly blessed in the self-confidence department.

For me, it was always easier to think about my adoption and my bio parents alone. I didn't want to discuss it with my adoptive parents. Maybe because I didn't want to hurt their feelings, I guess.

I can understand how it would be upsetting if your mother always tried to change the subject on you. Why do you think she did/does that?

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#9 of 27 Old 04-15-2007, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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From what I know now I think it is because she is in denil about my even being adopted. Also that she can not understand that my interest in my adoption or my birthparents does not mean she failed somehow.
She was told that i would just forget about my birthparents and "get over it". She can not understand how I can "do this" to her. IE- want to know my birth parents.
She felt if she just ignored it long enough it would go away.
When it didn't she was very angry at me.... and still is.
I harbor resentment towards my mother because she can not be an adult and deal with my adoption like an adult. You know- by dealing with it- at some point. She just ignores it or puts blame on me for harming her in some way.
I think if she would talk to me about it- or talk to someone preferably she may be able to help herself and I and our entire family..... but instead she just insists I keep this part seperate- which is fine.... but does tend to drive a wedge between us.... since I can not be honest with her.
I am annoyed with my mom cause I see it from the standpoint of the 12 year old girl whose mom called her original mother a whore.
Pretty much. She thinks of me as inherently bad..... yada yada..... and I wish she had known more- or there was more to know.....
I just wish she was different pretty much.
em
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#10 of 27 Old 04-15-2007, 11:06 PM
 
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whose mom called her original mother a whore.
Oh goodness. What a horrible thing for your adoptive mother to say. My adoptive mother only said kindly things about my bio mom and she prayed for her every night.

I'm sorry that you and your adoptive mother have such a bad relationship.

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
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#11 of 27 Old 04-15-2007, 11:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Emilie View Post
I think this belongs here.
If you were adopted how did your parents parent you?
Was your adoption incorporated into your lives?
Did they discuss it, your birth parents, searching, reasons why?
What was the attitude about adoption.

Emilie
My parents were instructed to tell me (and my abrother, I have no direct siblings who aren't adopted) that we were adopted from the time we could listen, and they did. I grew up knowing I was adopted, "special". In fact, my mom likes to tell the story - and I remember it - of proudly telling some girl on the playground that I was adopted, and she, unbelieving, came to my mom to ask if it was really true. I don't remember feeling badly about being adopted, it just was a fact of my life, like having brown hair or hairy arms I told everyone without guilt or shame.

My parents told me everything they knew about my circumstances, which was almost nothing because my adoption was a closed one done through the DCFS. I was put into a foster home until 6 weeks old, and then placed into my parents' home after they returned from out-of-country travel. I still have the letter my foster mother sent to my amom about my personality.
In the foster home, and at home, I was not slept with, and my mom tells me I didn't like to be held or cuddled. They did not ascribe this to my adoption, but rather my personality. Which to me never seemed accurate.

My parents also had a special adopted-baby baby scrap book with my physical and developmental milestones as well as adoption-related ones.

They were always non-judgmental with me about being adopted, and framed my own adoption as birthmom doing something for my own well-being, and how sad it was that she had to give me up. My dad can be very compassionate, and he was for my bmom. My mom shared what she knew but never her feelings. Easier for her. However, as I got older, Dad made comments about how could I be pro-choice if I was adopted - you know, "Gosh Honey, your mom could have aborted you! How do you feel about that!" kind of thing. This never made sense to me, since I logically concluded that we wouldn't be having this conversation if that were the case.

No one EVER mentioned my bdad. Ever.

Despite everything, I didn't start to process my own feelings of grief about adoption until I was ready to have children of my own. And since then, I've discovered a whole new perspective of grief all my own.

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#12 of 27 Old 04-15-2007, 11:21 PM
 
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Despite everything, I didn't start to process my own feelings of grief about adoption until I was ready to have children of my own. And since then, I've discovered a whole new perspective of grief all my own.
What do you mean? I am curious.

For me, once I had children of my own, I was stricken with how sad, desperately and utterly sad, my bio mom must have been after placing me. And I was and am amazed at the courage she must have had to admit that she wasn't able to care for me.

I have never really felt sad about not being raised with my birth family, though. My mother was an alcoholic who married an abusive man. My 3 half-brothers all were physically, sexually and emotionally abused by him and other friends and family members. All 3 of them are in federal prison now. My mother died in 1997 from complications of alcoholism. She was 41. I can only imagine what my life would have been like.

The only guilt I have is that I was spared all of that and my brothers weren't. They didn't stand a chance.

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
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#13 of 27 Old 04-16-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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It means that I didn't start to see the emotional effects of adoption in my own life until I got pregnant, but especially after dd1 was born. I grieved the physical parts of being mothered by my birth mom - breast feeding, cuddling, cosleeping, etc. Then, a few years later, after I learned my bmom died when I was 13, I grieved the loss of a woman I never met except in utero, and perhaps at birth. I also grieved her own circumstance, my loss, my children's loss of a family member, her family's loss, and the overall losses of origin all adoption brings.

It is possible for me to grieve all of these things without idolizing or viewing my potential past with rose-colored glasses. It is truly sad that children are separated from their families of origin, even if everyone agrees an individual adoption/placement is the lesser of all evils.

TLO, I am just terribly sorry for your own family's losses and struggles.

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#14 of 27 Old 04-16-2007, 12:51 PM
 
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Aww, Skim, I am sorry that you never got to know your birthmother. Mine died a little over a year after I met her. Although her life was very screwed up and seeing her so messed up and ill caused me a lot of pain, I was glad that I got to know her. As painful as it was, it did bring me some closure.

I guess I've never felt sadness about being separated from my family of origin, but maybe it was because I had a really terrific adopted family. More than anything, I am saddened that my birth mother had to endure the pain of being separated from her child and that she felt shame regarding my placement. I've often thought that the events surrounding my adoption probably contributed to her developing alcoholism in the following years. At the same time, though, I don't blame myself. It was just a sad situation all the way around.

A pic of my bio mom and a pic of me:
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f2.../lisapatty.jpg

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
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#15 of 27 Old 04-16-2007, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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you are both so beautiful.
right now i am scratching the surface of getting to know my bdad. it is cool to find similarities but painful for me to..... you can read about it in my blog a little.
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#16 of 27 Old 04-16-2007, 05:05 PM
 
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My bio mom gave me the name of my bio dad. He took off to Florida when she told him that she was pg with me. He didn't sign any adoption papers or anything. I guess they tried to locate him, but either they couldn't or he didn't want to be found. A couple of years after my birth (actually when my bmom was in the hospital giving birth to my 2nd half-brother), bdad contacted her asking about me. Too late, huh?

Anyhow, I did track him down and just as I figured, he's a pretty big loser. I spoke with him one time on the phone and that was enough for me. He seemed really unintelligent and he also is an alcoholic and not someone I wanted to get to know. One time, about 6 months ago, I got curious and did an Intellius search on him and he had been arrested in Virginia for public intoxication. Lovely. I have a few pictures of him that his daughter, my half-sister sent me. She, on the other hand, seemed like a lovely wonderful person, but we have lost touch.

Sligtly OT, but are any of you adopted people semi-obsessed with whether or not your children look like you? That seems to be my one lingering 'issue' with me being adopted. I really want my kids to look like me (and I would have loved to have a dd that looked like me). Isn't that kind of silly? I'm thinking it comes from years of not looking like anyone I knew.

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#17 of 27 Old 04-16-2007, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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nooooooo..... I really want dd to look like me- ds looks just like his dad. I hate it when I thinkn she doesn't..... and it is definetly not clear but I just got a pic of bdads twin sis and she looks just like dd!
DD has curly hair like my bmom which everywhere we go folks want to know where she got it from. It is really curly. I sometimes tell them her grandma- or my side of the family- cause not everyone has to know ya know- if I know the person I tell them from my birth mom.
When bmom was here a lady at pizza hut said She gets her curls from you to my bmom about dd and bmom freaked out.
I have since told my kids about my adoption because it affects them too.
My bdad ended up turning his life around- he was on parole when bmom met him.
He has a masters degree and works for the US army. He has a family and is an upstanding man. I had expoected to find him in prison.
Bmom on the other hand is nice but a drug addict.
em
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#18 of 27 Old 04-18-2007, 08:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamasBoys View Post
There are things that my parents did that I don't agree with now that I'm older and have worked through my adoption issues. A lot of this was discovered when I read the Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier. For instance, one thing that I think adopted parents do (meaning well) is telling their child that they are "special" and that their birthmother "loved them so much she gave them up." This teaches the child that love= abandonment. Major major trust/rejection issues revolving around adoption. I definitely recommend the book to all adoptive parents and adoptees alike.
That book does sound interesting. I was adopted at 3 months and like others, I just grew up knowing. They told me they were special because I picked them.

I vaguely recall having conversations with my folks about being adopted and they said they would help me if I ever wanted to try to find my bio parents but I really wasn't ever interested in pursuing it. My bio parents were 15 years old when I was born. I know medical histories and where my ancestors are from and that's really all I need or care to know.

My cousin, however, is also adopted, and he didn't find out until he was much older...like 20-something. While he has an incredibly close and solid relationship with his adopted parents, when the subject of his bio mother comes up, he gets very angry at her for abandoning him (his words) and that if he ever met her, he'd hit her. He acknowledges that his life probably would have turned out to be very different (possibly bad), but he blames her for his mental problems and hates her for it.

The Lucky One brings up something else that's interesting. I do find that I'm jealous at times by how much my son resembles my husband. When he was born, he looked a lot like me, but now he's a spitting image of his Dad. My husband is always remarking about that and I can't help but cringe every time out of jealousy. I never really thought that it might be related to my adoption.
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#19 of 27 Old 04-18-2007, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I never really thought that it might be related to my adoption.[/QUOTE]


There are many things about me that I never would have thought related to my adoption either..... but as I peel back and think about things and speak to other adoptees and other people in general I have all sorts of Lightbulb moments- Like OH MY GOSH. And I shudder.... oww.
And then I work thru it and I get to know myself better and who I am and why I do certain things and it makes it easier to be okay with me and I act better so far.

I would have 1 or 2 years ago- and I HAVE- swore up and down my adoption did not affect me..... I was wrong.
I am sure others have a different take and I fully support that.... for me- it was imperitive that I delve into this and I feel there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I have been shocked to find that other adoptees feel the same way I do- not just about adoption- but about quirks in their personality- their innermost thoughts.... etc.
Things I did not realize others did not feel and even things that are common in everyone finding a source for it....
I am rambling.
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#20 of 27 Old 04-19-2007, 05:00 PM
 
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Sligtly OT, but are any of you adopted people semi-obsessed with whether or not your children look like you? That seems to be my one lingering 'issue' with me being adopted. I really want my kids to look like me (and I would have loved to have a dd that looked like me). Isn't that kind of silly? I'm thinking it comes from years of not looking like anyone I knew.
Before I had my kids, I worried about that. It was hard to not look like anyone else I knew when I was growing up, so the thought of having children who didn't look like me pushed all the wrong buttons in my head. But now that they're here, it just doesn't matter anymore. There are aspects that make me realize they're "mine", and other aspects that may have come from the donor side or from my side but not visible in me. If I hadn't found my b-parents, however, I think it would have been much harder. Seeing the range in their families makes it easier to feel that we're part of the family too, even if we look a little different.

Sorry to hear about your b-family difficulties, LuckyOne. FWIW, my circumstances were polar opposite: I was adopted INTO an abusive, alcoholic situation. The laws don't protect everyone. Sometimes I wonder if they protect ANYone.
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#21 of 27 Old 04-19-2007, 05:03 PM
 
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Beautiful post, Skim (#13). Thanks!!
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#22 of 27 Old 04-19-2007, 05:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Skim View Post
However, as I got older, Dad made comments about how could I be pro-choice if I was adopted - you know, "Gosh Honey, your mom could have aborted you! How do you feel about that!" kind of thing. This never made sense to me, since I logically concluded that we wouldn't be having this conversation if that were the case.
I'm glad you mentioned this, Skim. I don't want to go into any details HERE, since I know how hot the topic is, but just wanted to pipe up with a "me too" so you know that you're not the only one who sees the larger picture about the causes and effects of unwanted pregnancies.
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#23 of 27 Old 04-19-2007, 05:25 PM
 
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Hi all,
I can't remember not knowing I was adopted. My mom always talked about my birth parents in a positive light. When my birthday came around, she would say that somewhere out there, someone else is thinking of you and wishing you a happy birthday (This was very comforting as a kid...but makes me feel a bit guilty as I'm now also a birthmom, and can't remember the exact day that my birthdaughter was born).

I never searched for birthparents or birthdaughter, but lurking on some of the adoption threads has gotten me thinking that I will. I might be moving overseas in a year, and it also has dawned on me that I'm getting kind of old. My birthdaughter will also be turning 20 this year. In addition, now having a toddler (my first child since my b-daughter was born), I'm feeling much more of a pull to get to know them.

My feelings about being adopted had a lot to do with why I didn't terminate my pregnancy back when I found out I was pregnant with b-daughter. However, I never turned out to be the anti-abortion activist that everyone expected I would. I viewed what I did as my personal choice, and my firm belief to this day is that the best thing you can do regardless of your take on this issue is to work for a society where mothers and children in all situations get the support they need.

At the beginning of the month, I am going to send in some paperwork to CC to start a search for my birthparents. I hope that they are still alive. I will also start the search for my birthdaughter.

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#24 of 27 Old 04-19-2007, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anthasor- congratulations on your decision to look for your bps and bd.
I wish you all the luck in the world!
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#25 of 27 Old 04-19-2007, 07:14 PM
 
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I'm glad you mentioned this, Skim. I don't want to go into any details HERE, since I know how hot the topic is, but just wanted to pipe up with a "me too" so you know that you're not the only one who sees the larger picture about the causes and effects of unwanted pregnancies.
My mom and I have also had that conversation. My cousin, who hates his birth mother says he wishes she would have had an abortion.
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#26 of 27 Old 04-19-2007, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow. That is interesting and I wonder if that also shows that you know- some adoptees are affected by their adoption?
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#27 of 27 Old 04-20-2007, 12:06 AM
 
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VegHipMama, thanks for your support and kind words. It means a lot to me.

And athansor, wow! Best wishes on your journeys ahead. I hope you can check in somewhere on MDC if you ever need to about stuff. Maybe on the Personal Growth forum?

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