U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting > Adoption
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 09-09-2012, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,474 posts, read 43,566,158 times
Reputation: 47213

Advertisements

I had a close male friend who confided in me his adoption story. He was adopted as an infant and had a typical loving family. But as a teenager he felt he just didn't belong. (To be fair a very typical teenage problem) Everyone in his adoptive family was extremely education and competitive. Lots of lawyers where the conversation grew very intense. he shunned those conversations and did not do as well in school as his parents wanted him to. He tried college but it wasn't for him He said he always felt out of place and that he just didn't measure up to their expectations.

As a young adult he drifted around with no particular direction. he loved his family but finally felt compelled to search for his birth family. He found them and he said it was like finding a lost glove. everything fit. they were blue collar uneducated people with a very laid back life style. No money and even less aspirations but to him it felt comfortable. he was at ease. Today he is 55 years old with one foot in each world. he never could bring himself to tell his adoptive mother that he found his birth family. he loves her too much to risk her feeling she did something wrong. She thinks he spends time with this family because he is friends with a man close to his age. in reality it is his brother only 10 months older than he is.

He says he appreciates the extras his adoptive family provided for him and he thinks he probably would have gone down a dangerous path like his birth brother did. He does not regret his adoption. he is thankful for it but he is equally thankful he was able to search for and find and relate to the family of his birth.

the lesson I take from his story is that we as parents, adoptive or not, should encourage our children to be who they REALLY are and not try to shape them into preconceived notions of what we think they should be.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-09-2012, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Wherever I want to be... ;)
2,539 posts, read 8,810,517 times
Reputation: 1956
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
I had a close male friend who confided in me his adoption story. He was adopted as an infant and had a typical loving family. But as a teenager he felt he just didn't belong. (To be fair a very typical teenage problem) Everyone in his adoptive family was extremely education and competitive. Lots of lawyers where the conversation grew very intense. he shunned those conversations and did not do as well in school as his parents wanted him to. He tried college but it wasn't for him He said he always felt out of place and that he just didn't measure up to their expectations.

As a young adult he drifted around with no particular direction. he loved his family but finally felt compelled to search for his birth family. He found them and he said it was like finding a lost glove. everything fit. they were blue collar uneducated people with a very laid back life style. No money and even less aspirations but to him it felt comfortable. he was at ease. Today he is 55 years old with one foot in each world. he never could bring himself to tell his adoptive mother that he found his birth family. he loves her too much to risk her feeling she did something wrong. She thinks he spends time with this family because he is friends with a man close to his age. in reality it is his brother only 10 months older than he is.

He says he appreciates the extras his adoptive family provided for him and he thinks he probably would have gone down a dangerous path like his birth brother did. He does not regret his adoption. he is thankful for it but he is equally thankful he was able to search for and find and relate to the family of his birth.

the lesson I take from his story is that we as parents, adoptive or not, should encourage our children to be who they REALLY are and not try to shape them into preconceived notions of what we think they should be.
That's such an interesting story... mine is almost the same, but reversed.

My adoptive family is very laid back, working class, likes to drink too much at times and party a bit, and very social and, dare I say, not very... intellectual. I, on the other hand, have the tendency to be much more uptight and introverted. I don't drink nor do I enjoy get-togethers. I would much rather spend my time reading and learning and keeping to myself. I've always stuck out, needless to say. I over-analyze everything and have the tendency for depression, which is unheard of AFAIK in my adoptive family.

When I met my biological mother it all made sense. It was the most surreal experience of my life. Same mannerisms/preferences that I have were evident with her.

It sounds like you're a wonderful parent, kudzu. Wish I could have been raised by someone as understanding and introspective as you seem to be!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-09-2012, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,474 posts, read 43,566,158 times
Reputation: 47213
How very kind of you to say this. I have been blessed with 7 children, some step, one bio and some adopted. I'm doing my best but of course I stumble and fail just like all parents. If my postings on the adoption and parenting forums can help just one person then I feel I am continuing my contributions to society in some small way.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-10-2012, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
12,193 posts, read 10,366,702 times
Reputation: 11206
I appreciate your stories; they're very personal and fascinating. So would any of you have advice on how to tell a child/young adult whose parent did not give them up willingly, but were taken away from them at birth? I can't really give him the "she wanted a better life for you" schpiel, but I also don't want to demonize the mother by telling him she chose heroin over him (which is the cut and dry truth). The father died earlier this year from an overdose, and the family on both sides are pretty shady, aside from the aunt who adopted his sister. I'm not sure the birth mother will even be alive when he becomes a teenager and may want to find her.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-10-2012, 04:54 AM
 
11,151 posts, read 14,115,713 times
Reputation: 18795
Something like "She wasn't able to take care of you" might be the best approach.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-10-2012, 05:38 AM
 
Location: Kenmore, WA
7,455 posts, read 6,446,546 times
Reputation: 10797
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepinksquid View Post
My adoptive family is very laid back, working class, likes to drink too much at times and party a bit, and very social and, dare I say, not very... intellectual. ....
Remove the "laid back" and replace with "overly emotional" and "argumentative" and you've written my story -- except that I did go through a spell of drinking and self-medicating until I finally came to terms with my life. I am glad you found your center faster than I did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
I have been blessed with 7 children, some step, one bio and some adopted. I'm doing my best but of course I stumble and fail just like all parents. If my postings on the adoption and parenting forums can help just one person then I feel I am continuing my contributions to society in some small way.
You help all of us just by being the person you are, and I am grateful for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
So would any of you have advice on how to tell a child/young adult whose parent did not give them up willingly, but were taken away from them at birth? I can't really give him the "she wanted a better life for you" schpiel, but I also don't want to demonize the mother by telling him she chose heroin over him (which is the cut and dry truth). The father died earlier this year from an overdose, and the family on both sides are pretty shady, aside from the aunt who adopted his sister. I'm not sure the birth mother will even be alive when he becomes a teenager and may want to find her.
I think I would go with explaining it with a respect for all involved, simply saying that his family struggled with situations that were more than they could deal with and as a baby there was concern for his well-being. Don't vilify, and don't glamorize. Never lie. Don't tell him you don't know, when you do. (You can say you have more information that you can share with him later, when he's better prepared to deal with it -- in a light and happy way that won't scare him.) Let him know that as he becomes older and more capable of navigating his own life, you can help him discover that portion of his life, but for now encourage him to be the most he can be to prepare himself for his future.

Who knows, perhaps some members of his former family will overcome their struggles and at some point it will be good for him to find and learn on his own.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-10-2012, 07:23 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,474 posts, read 43,566,158 times
Reputation: 47213
I agree with most of what the previous posters said except the part about telling him there is more you will tell later. That would be too much for most kids I think. Just like everything we teach out kids, make it age appropriate. We don't start off the birds and bees talkS with sexual intercourse and conception. I think you should start with "They couldn't take care of you properly" then if he asks more later explain they had situations they could not handle which made them ill. At about pre or early teen you could say it is your understanding there was a lot of addiction in his birth family and make sure he is aware some of this can be genetic and make sure he has all the information he needs so he can avoid dangerous situations.

When my own son started drinking beer in high school I asked him how much, did he binge, how often did he get drunk etc. I think he was very honest with me. I explained to him how alcoholism ran in our family, how my brilliant brother could not hold a job because of it, how my uncle almost killed somebody in a wreck because of it and how I found out I simply could not tolerate alcohol and always barfed before I could even get drunk and decided I could live without it. I gave him signs of drinking getting out of control and he has acted accordingly. You could do the same about using drugs and how addicting some are and why even take a chance with his genetic background?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-13-2012, 06:27 AM
 
Location: Southern California
394 posts, read 1,334,134 times
Reputation: 516
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
I agree with most of what the previous posters said except the part about telling him there is more you will tell later. That would be too much for most kids I think. Just like everything we teach out kids, make it age appropriate. We don't start off the birds and bees talkS with sexual intercourse and conception. I think you should start with "They couldn't take care of you properly" then if he asks more later explain they had situations they could not handle which made them ill. At about pre or early teen you could say it is your understanding there was a lot of addiction in his birth family and make sure he is aware some of this can be genetic and make sure he has all the information he needs so he can avoid dangerous situations.
I think that's very appropriate. Kids don't need to know, nor would they understand, everything at an early age. Let them ask questions in their own time. They'll let you know when they want to know more.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-13-2012, 06:43 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,594,821 times
Reputation: 12532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
I appreciate your stories; they're very personal and fascinating. So would any of you have advice on how to tell a child/young adult whose parent did not give them up willingly, but were taken away from them at birth? I can't really give him the "she wanted a better life for you" schpiel, but I also don't want to demonize the mother by telling him she chose heroin over him (which is the cut and dry truth). The father died earlier this year from an overdose, and the family on both sides are pretty shady, aside from the aunt who adopted his sister. I'm not sure the birth mother will even be alive when he becomes a teenager and may want to find her.
You could keep it vague by saying "Your birth mother was in circumstances that made it impossible for her to care for you." If you want to go more into detail, you could say: "As you know, as humans, we all struggle with our own issues, and your mother had some issues that she was dealing that made her unable to care for you." As your child gets older, I think you could even be honest and say: "Your birth mother was addicted to drugs because she had a hard life and drugs were her way of trying to cope. She was unable to overcome her addiction at the time, so the best thing to do was to give you to parents that could care for you--us. " That kind of explanation is truthful about the drugs but places compassion before judgment. And you could emphasize that it's says nothing about his value as a person, because as his parent you know that he is the greatest son and deserves nothing but love and care, but that addiction is a very powerful and for addicts, their addiction comes before everything else. In other words, that choice was about her inability to love him and NOT about him not deserving to be loved. He was given up for adoption precisely because he deserves to be loved. My birth mom was heavy into drugs, crime, and alcohol and I know that those choices of hers had nothing to do with me, so however my parents framed it to me growing up, I got the right message. It's your love for him that will help him handle the truth.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-13-2012, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
15,254 posts, read 12,495,718 times
Reputation: 22075
I wasnt adopted but brought up by ma mothers sister and her husband thinking until I was 15 that they were my mother and father..... I found out from a stupid teacher at school.. while asking the class who were going abroad on holiday to France, their fathers name.. when she got to me she asked for mothers name... I laughed and corrected her saying.... "no miss you mean father, its Matt".... "I know what Im saying " she said,,,, "now whats your mothers name?" I liked this teacher but never forgave her, what a stupid thing to do and yes it affects your life, well did mine..my stomach heaved and I felt sick in front of the whole class... after that I went investigating amongs papers and found my birth certificate....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting > Adoption
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top