Upsetting adoption situation in my family (favoritism, detachment) - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 72 Old 09-19-2012, 08:18 AM
 
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OP--any updates?
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#62 of 72 Old 09-19-2012, 09:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

I think that several people posting are finding that this triggers their own emotional pain. Rather than focusing on any sort of helpful insight into how improve the situation and talk to the mom, are turning the thread into something that better belongs in personal growth or surviving abuse. When you make a thread in Adoptive and Foster parenting an unsafe place for adoptive and foster moms to share their experiences, you make it so there isn't a support board for adoptive and foster moms here on mothering.

 

There are other places to vent about abuse.

 

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Thank you for putting exactly what i was feeling into words.


Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
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#63 of 72 Old 09-19-2012, 11:34 AM
 
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The mom herself is NOT posting here. Therefore, I feel the matter can be discussed more plainly. And since the OP seems to have no inclination to go to an abuse thread, how would posting there help her to realize how much the child needs her help?

I hope I have gotten some readers to think about the effects of treating one child differently from the rest. Google scapegoating, and target children, as well as emotional abuse for more info.
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#64 of 72 Old 09-19-2012, 12:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

The mom herself is NOT posting here. Therefore, I feel the matter can be discussed more plainly. And since the OP seems to have no inclination to go to an abuse thread, how would posting there help her to realize how much the child needs her help?
I hope I have gotten some readers to think about the effects of treating one child differently from the rest. Google scapegoating, and target children, as well as emotional abuse for more info.

 

Are you open at all to hearing about adoption issues from the parent's perspective? Just curious.

 

Things have been posted here like (i'd have to look up the exact quote) "There is no problem bonding with a child if the parent wants to bond" which is just ridiculous and not based in science or in the reality of parenting a child who may have attachment issues. And yet those types of things have been spouted on this thread.

 

You keep focusing "the child the child oh this poor baby save her!!" type of stuff...dont you see its the FAMILY who needs help? Its the mother/child DUO that needs help??

 

Wow scapegoating a child or treating her differently is bad for her?? REALLY?? wow. thats just so shocking (sarcasm)...wow no one would ever think that was bad for a child. You know what...i bet the child's MOTHER knows thats bad for the child. I suspect she doesnt know how to change it.

 

This is the Adoptive and Foster Parenting board.


Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
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#65 of 72 Old 09-19-2012, 01:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Read up on emotional abuse. Rejection is a form of abuse, and the daughter is being rejected.

Are you either an adoptive parent or a foster parent because if you aren't I think that you might want to step back from this thread and consider that you may not be able to understand fully the situation that is taking place in the home being discussed.
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#66 of 72 Old 09-19-2012, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK! Yes, I'd like to post a final update and then I'm moving on outta here! This is clearly bringing up a lot of emotional..stuff...for people. 

 

First, pek64 - I'm really, really sorry for the situation it seems you grew up in. I can see you are bringing that into this thread here, a lot. I'm slightly offended on behalf of my brother and his wife though because there is no abuse going on here. They are decent people having a hard time. Yes, unfortunately right now there is a lot of favoratism, "detachement" and even not enough love and cuddles happening. But as I've stated before, they do recognize the problem, they discuss it between themselves on a regular basis, they realize they need to change and ultimately they recognize their daughter as a wonderful blessing in their family. OK? In the meantime, I certainly do give my niece extra attention and physical touch. I make a point to play with her and interact with her in a loving positive way. I plan to continue doing so for her entire life. My mother, my sister, my father and my husband all do the same. That little girl has a very loving extended family. And we see her often (at least monthly). I'm sure as she grows she will know with certainty that she is loved. So please, please, please....you are looking at the situation from your point of view through my point of view. You just haven't a clue what's really going there ok?

 

For everyone else who is interested: I am SO SO GLAD I took your advice and continued to treat my sister in law with compassion and love (all the while smothering my niece with kisses and hugs!). Just recently she was here again visiting for about a week and one day she just totally opened up to me! Completely unprompted! On my goodness, she is having a doozie of a time. She absolutely and totally feels like a failure of a mother which is so sad. She is so disappointed in herself for not living up to her expectations. She is mad at herself for not "enjoying" motherhood more. She is her own worst critic FOR SURE. As we talked she opened up about how nothing in her life has gone how she expected (which, let's be honest, is just how life is isn't it? anyways...): she thought she'd get married much younger then she did. she thought she have a big family and adore being a stay at home mom. in reality, she got married much later in life than she wanted to. by the time she was ready to start her family she was faced with years of infertility. then, she was blessed with a little boy and wham! she found motherhood to be harder then she thought! and then...double wham! a little girl is placed with them just over a year later. now she has TWO babies. she feels isolated, alone, overwhelmed and then she finds herself dealing with birth families and two completely different adoption processes (one baby came home from the hospital with them and the next came to them 5 months old with a personality and habits etc.). 

 

Yes, she needs some help. I gently suggested a therapist so she could talk through her emotions and work past those feelings of unmet expectations. I suggested mommy groups or online forums where she could talk with other adoptive parents. 

 

I also noticed a real change in how she treated her daughter. I saw her speak sweetly to her and clap and cheer as she was taking some steps. I saw her pick her up and cuddle her. I saw her kiss her! She still exclaims "bedtime is mommy's favorite time of the day!" in a way that makes me cringe a little, but hey! progress! and not everyone is a "baby person". I can totally see her enjoying her kids more when they're older and can talk and play and do fun things. My brother also has been showing a ton more physical affection towards her. I even saw them both show a lot of frustration for their sons tantrums/high energy/"terrible two's" moments. etc. Less favouritism! 

 

In conclusion, thank you all who encouraged me to express love and show compassion. Thank you for helping me let go of judgment. And also, thank you for those who expressed concern for my niece. She is just a helpless child who is unable to change her situation. But thankfully, her situation is changing for the better. 

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#67 of 72 Old 09-19-2012, 02:31 PM
 
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That is sooooo wonderful! You know, empathy trickles downhill and your warm regard and acceptance of her very well may have been the thing that allowed her to pass on more warmth to her baby.

 

This is so heartening--plus she still sees you as a support now. YOu have the lines of communication open. Yee hah!
 


 
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#68 of 72 Old 09-19-2012, 03:20 PM
 
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So glad to see a positive update.

 

I joined this board seeking support b/c I felt the same way your SIL does. (And tell her it does get much easier when they're older.) It takes time to bond. Babies are hard. Sleeplessness is hard. Adjusting to having your happy little routine is hard. And coming on here and seeing people get criticized for not handling everything perfectly isn't helpful. I didn't have the nerve or the clarity to post seeking help. I was ashamed and embarrassed that I felt anything but overjoyed to finally be a mom. I wish this thread could have become a source of support for other moms who may find themselves in this situation, but honestly all the judgment flying through here from people who have never even adopted or experienced trouble bonding with their babies would shame anyone away. And that's unfortunate, b/c I know I would have benefitted from knowing there was another mom out there, somewhere who felt like I did. I'd probably be a much better mom than I am today for it.

 

It's a horrible cycle, to feel like you're failing your child and then continue to fail him/her without being able to recognize or stop it on your own. And even worse when you do finally realize how awful you've been, and have to find a way to fix it. The guilt is horrible. Pile judgment from other moms on top of that, and see how quick some people give up, feeling hopeless. I really can't believe how unsupportive people can be on a board meant to provide support.
 

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#69 of 72 Old 09-19-2012, 05:43 PM
 
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Really great update, sounds like the family is moving forward in a positive way.
 


Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
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#70 of 72 Old 09-20-2012, 12:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bashismybabe View Post

OK! Yes, I'd like to post a final update and then I'm moving on outta here! This is clearly bringing up a lot of emotional..stuff...for people. 

 

First, pek64 - I'm really, really sorry for the situation it seems you grew up in. I can see you are bringing that into this thread here, a lot. I'm slightly offended on behalf of my brother and his wife though because there is no abuse going on here. They are decent people having a hard time. Yes, unfortunately right now there is a lot of favoratism, "detachement" and even not enough love and cuddles happening. But as I've stated before, they do recognize the problem, they discuss it between themselves on a regular basis, they realize they need to change and ultimately they recognize their daughter as a wonderful blessing in their family. OK? In the meantime, I certainly do give my niece extra attention and physical touch. I make a point to play with her and interact with her in a loving positive way. I plan to continue doing so for her entire life. My mother, my sister, my father and my husband all do the same. That little girl has a very loving extended family. And we see her often (at least monthly). I'm sure as she grows she will know with certainty that she is loved. So please, please, please....you are looking at the situation from your point of view through my point of view. You just haven't a clue what's really going there ok?

 

For everyone else who is interested: I am SO SO GLAD I took your advice and continued to treat my sister in law with compassion and love (all the while smothering my niece with kisses and hugs!). Just recently she was here again visiting for about a week and one day she just totally opened up to me! Completely unprompted! On my goodness, she is having a doozie of a time. She absolutely and totally feels like a failure of a mother which is so sad. She is so disappointed in herself for not living up to her expectations. She is mad at herself for not "enjoying" motherhood more. She is her own worst critic FOR SURE. As we talked she opened up about how nothing in her life has gone how she expected (which, let's be honest, is just how life is isn't it? anyways...): she thought she'd get married much younger then she did. she thought she have a big family and adore being a stay at home mom. in reality, she got married much later in life than she wanted to. by the time she was ready to start her family she was faced with years of infertility. then, she was blessed with a little boy and wham! she found motherhood to be harder then she thought! and then...double wham! a little girl is placed with them just over a year later. now she has TWO babies. she feels isolated, alone, overwhelmed and then she finds herself dealing with birth families and two completely different adoption processes (one baby came home from the hospital with them and the next came to them 5 months old with a personality and habits etc.). 

 

Yes, she needs some help. I gently suggested a therapist so she could talk through her emotions and work past those feelings of unmet expectations. I suggested mommy groups or online forums where she could talk with other adoptive parents. 

 

I also noticed a real change in how she treated her daughter. I saw her speak sweetly to her and clap and cheer as she was taking some steps. I saw her pick her up and cuddle her. I saw her kiss her! She still exclaims "bedtime is mommy's favorite time of the day!" in a way that makes me cringe a little, but hey! progress! and not everyone is a "baby person". I can totally see her enjoying her kids more when they're older and can talk and play and do fun things. My brother also has been showing a ton more physical affection towards her. I even saw them both show a lot of frustration for their sons tantrums/high energy/"terrible two's" moments. etc. Less favouritism! 

 

In conclusion, thank you all who encouraged me to express love and show compassion. Thank you for helping me let go of judgment. And also, thank you for those who expressed concern for my niece. She is just a helpless child who is unable to change her situation. But thankfully, her situation is changing for the better. 

 YAY that is progress keep lovin on that beautiful girl and her mom! Your a greal aunt/sil!

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#71 of 72 Old 09-20-2012, 08:32 AM
 
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Ok I re read my words and I am sorry. It is how I feel but I probably could have said it nicer or said nothing at all. I read quite a bit on adoption and there is some merit on the post adoption depression stuff. And I think she should seek support... or call her adoption agency and ask for counseling.
The blank slate theory is from ancient times and proved false.... tabula rosa..... so whether you get a baby minutes after birth or a five months they are already there own person.
I am glad she is coming around and talking about it and trying. If she dislikes the birthmother this can sometimes link to disliking the child or fearing g the child will be like the birthmother. My own mother had this..... she says she was fearful I had bad blood.

Being a mom to two little ones is hard..... with the Internet and more adoptive parents sharing their feelings weare hearing more of these stories. For me at times it can be hurtful.... but its sort of like I always knew.

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#72 of 72 Old 11-18-2012, 11:59 PM
 
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helping the mom deal with her issues IS helping the baby -- and I think people need to be careful with smothering the baby with too much affection before the mom and dad and baby have a secure bond -- many adoptive parents really limit the amount of physical affection they allow others to give their adopted children until the children learn who mom and dad are...(or mom and mom, or just mom or dad ;-))  yes, this baby may need extra love from others if things don't turn around for mama, but for *now* it seems like this family might need some alone time -- have the birth family visits been curbed a little? I'm all for open adoption, but mom and baby need time to feel like a mom and daughter pair.... it might also backfire if everyone starts lavishing baby girl with attention due to mom's distance, and ignoring (to some extent) baby boy -- I almost think it would be better to spend extra time with the boy so mom can care for the girl, have some time with just her, etc....

as for treating subsequent kids differently, it's quite possible that they regret co-sleeping and are trying to break the habit with their son, while not starting the habit with their daughter... we co-slept with our first two, and our eldest didn't leave our bed until she was around 11, and we're still working on it with our youngest bio (2nd child) who is 11 now.... we co-slept with our adopted kiddos, but I knew we needed to get them into their own beds asap, as I was not interested in another decade of co-sleeping. ;-)  I homeschooled our two oldest (bio) until dd started school at age 12 (son is still homeschooled) but I do NOT have the mindset to continue homeschooling for another 15 years, so we found a beautiful little school for our youngest two, and they will be school kids... lots of other things are very different, having 4 kids instead of 2, having parented for a long time, the younger kids having older sibs, etc..... it's just different, but not necessarily worse... I am not as tied to my ideals now because I see that my ideals were really not all that important -- my relationship with my kids is the MOST important thing, and we are all happier if I am happy, and I'm really thrilled to be a working mama now, while I was thrilled to be a SAHM with my first two.... I love my two youngest (adopted kiddos) just as much as my two oldest, but it has not been an easy road to get to this place of genuine love over the last two years... It is HARD to adopt, especially when it isn't a newborn that we are hardwired to fall in love with, and for a woman who already had one baby and then suddenly was placed with another one -- my heart goes out to her, and I hope she can find a way to take care of herself enough to really dig in and do the work required to love her baby girl like her baby girl deserves to be loved.

and pek64, huge hugs to the hurting little girl inside of you...


We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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