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 09-21-2012, 12:30 PM
 
125 posts, read 131,417 times
Reputation: 110

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by gcm7189 View Post
It is my feeling that it is parent's job (adoptive or bio) to nurture a child's nature. Adoptees come into their adoptive families already programmed in the nature department. As such, adoptive parents must take a unique approach to parenting in order to nurture a child whose nature did not originate in the adoptive family. It is my feeling that the most successful of adoptive parents are the ones who find a way to step back and observe the child they are raising so that they can encourage the child's nature to blossom.

If our natures are nurtured in an honest, open and communicative environment, we have a better chance at feeling secure in ourselves.
I am fortunate that this was my experience. I was always told I was adopted; I cannot remember not knowing. My temperament and interests were such that they were a good match for my adoptive parents, and they nurtured my interests as I grew. I was allowed to be myself, in great part, although there were a few parts of my temperament that I know my mother did not like. When I met my original mother's family in my 40's, I could see, however, that I had inherited certain bits of my emotional makeup from her.

My adoptive parents celebrate all of me, though, and love, for example, the language abilities I inherited from my original mother, as well as the love of history that my adoptive mother groomed in me. I see myself as a web of interests and abilities, not this-or-that, pitted against myself. I will say, however, that it has taken me into middle age to find a place where I feel that I've integrated all my pieces into something that I feel is all my own. In my case, I had to search first to find my peace. Not because I was at all unhappy with my adoptive family but because I knew there were things about myself that my adoptive parents couldn't explain. I knew I had a family history and genes that came from elsewhere, and I wanted to know about them. This desire to search isn't present for every adoptee, of course.

It creates a false dichotomy to say that knowing you're adopted promotes sadness and not knowing is bliss; I think few adoptees would say that they were completely in the dark, even if they weren't told. I know a great many adoptees, and all the late-discovery adoptees in my acquaintance have been very upset and hurt by the secret. Pretty much everyone in their adoptive families conspired to keep the secret from them, even into adulthood, which is infantilizing and cruel. Why should others feel the power to make this decision about what constitutes their "happiness" for them? None were happy afterwards, and most cut off their relationships with their family after their discovery, or had very strained relationships, at best. How can you trust people who aren't honest with you? What other lies are they telling you?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 09-21-2012, 02:04 PM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,170 times
Reputation: 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcm7189 View Post
I am also not fond of the "most loving act" rationale. This rationale never made sense to me as an adopted child and still doesn't really. As a child, I thought "uh, if my mother loved me, she would have kept me."
Yeah, I struggled with that same thought as a kid. When your adoptive parents are trying so hard to convince you to feel something different, it can shut you down in a way. The message is either they are not able to understand how you feel, or what you are feeling must be wrong -- so you keep it to yourself.

The older you get, the more you learn to keep to yourself.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-21-2012, 02:22 PM
 
125 posts, read 131,417 times
Reputation: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post

The older you get, the more you learn to keep to yourself.
I agree. My mother doesn't want to know much about my relationship with my original mother, and that's fine. I think it's best to keep it all quite separate. There is too much possibility for hurt feelings, both ways; I have been burned on both sides. They are jealous of each other in weird ways, and I don't want to be in the middle. They have to deal with their own issues, and I don't want to be their therapist/scapegoat/whipping girl.

I also think gcm7189 is correct that the statement, "[Your original mother] loved you so much, she gave you away," is very troubling. We don't give away the people we love, as a rule. It can set up a troubling precedent and be very unnerving for a child to believe this happens when there is love involved. It's better to say, "She could not take care of you [at that time]," which is the truth. I did grow up worrying that people I loved would leave me, and as much as my parents love me, I worked super hard to be "perfect" so that I wouldn't be sent "back," wherever "back" would have been. Of course, no child can be "perfect," so I always operated with some level of anxiety. It was another layer of emotional complexity in being adopted for me.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-21-2012, 05:47 PM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,855,574 times
Reputation: 1462
Quote:
Originally Posted by MirrenC View Post
I agree. My mother doesn't want to know much about my relationship with my original mother, and that's fine. I think it's best to keep it all quite separate. There is too much possibility for hurt feelings, both ways; I have been burned on both sides. They are jealous of each other in weird ways, and I don't want to be in the middle. They have to deal with their own issues, and I don't want to be their therapist/scapegoat/whipping girl.

I also think gcm7189 is correct that the statement, "[Your original mother] loved you so much, she gave you away," is very troubling. We don't give away the people we love, as a rule. It can set up a troubling precedent and be very unnerving for a child to believe this happens when there is love involved. It's better to say, "She could not take care of you [at that time]," which is the truth. I did grow up worrying that people I loved would leave me, and as much as my parents love me, I worked super hard to be "perfect" so that I wouldn't be sent "back," wherever "back" would have been. Of course, no child can be "perfect," so I always operated with some level of anxiety. It was another layer of emotional complexity in being adopted for me.
I think when we think of love, we often think love=want, want=love, so when a child hears the phrase "[Your original mother] loved you so much, she gave you away" she can also hear "[Your original mother] wanted you so much, she gave you away" - one can see that that doesn't make sense.

I think I was fortunate because my APs never said anything like that. They just gave us the facts as they knew them and I did understand the societal pressures because I knew how judgmental people could be re unwed mothers and their children. I think I could see even then that whether she wanted me or not was an irrelevant factor in my relinquishment, that it was more about which type of women were more worthy of being mothers. I think I realsed she was a woman caught between a rock and a hard place. I think also with my just being told the facts without embellishment meant that I did think of her as being human and I neither thought of her as being a "princess" or being an "egg donor", just a girl pregnant at the wrong time.

Note again the want=love, love=want thing with our aparents. Because most APs wanted children so much, then there is that equation want = love, love=want. How often do we say, our aparents loved us because they wanted us. An adoptee often later realises that their parents wanted a child and probably any child would have done. Before anyone thinks I'm putting down APs by saying that - not at all, quite the opposite. What I mean is that many of them had a lot of love to give and they would have loved any child that they were able to adopt.

So it can be hard for adoptees to separate the love=want, want=love equation. Also, when one later realises that nmoms were (and still are) told that their "wanting" their own child is selfish and immature and that when thinking about what they "have to offer" compared with others, they are told to take their "selves"(feelings etc) totally out of the equation, thus making the comparison as if between two random strangers, then one can start to understand how adoption counselling works. The result can be that when a person is making a decision for another while taking their "selves" totally out of the equation, the other person can sometimes inadvertantly feel that the decision was made for them without any of the other person's heart being part of that decision, so they can end up feeling they weren't wanted.

Last edited by susankate; 09-21-2012 at 07:16 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-21-2012, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Western Canada
89 posts, read 101,634 times
Reputation: 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
Basically, is it the knowledge that they are adopted that brings on these feelings or is it something deeper like a biological reaction to the loss of their birthmother?
I've been corresponding with the adoptive mother of a 17 year old boy who has never attached to them. I never bonded to my adopters either and we've been sharing experiences for a month or so now. Both of her adoptions are open. She has related how the older of her boys didn't want to let go of his natural mother at one of their early visits together, that it was obvious he knew there was a connection between himself and the "stranger" holding him. This mirrors my own experience, walking a mile shortly after I learned to walk to go look for my mom. His younger adoptive brother displays none of this, neither does mine. I have often read that in families where there are two adoptive children, one will often act out and the other will withdraw.

I cannot speak for anyone else. In my own case, knowing I was adopted was a relief, that I WASN'T related to these people and didn't need to turn into them. My search for my mother began before I developed language skills, before I was told I was adopted, so I'm convinced it is something deeper than mere angst. "Primal Wound" by Nancy Verrier should be required reading for any adult getting involved in any area of the adoption industry as well as for any potential adopter before bringing baby home.

Check out The Second Nine Months:Exterogestation and The Need to Be Held Boba Family
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-22-2012, 05:47 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,170 times
Reputation: 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by susankate View Post
Note again the want=love, love=want thing with our aparents. Because most APs wanted children so much, then there is that equation want = love, love=want. How often do we say, our aparents loved us because they wanted us. An adoptee often later realises that their parents wanted a child and probably any child would have done. Before anyone thinks I'm putting down APs by saying that - not at all, quite the opposite. What I mean is that many of them had a lot of love to give and they would have loved any child that they were able to adopt.
This is a very good point. Although my parents never said anything to make me feel this way, at a young age I can remember being very aware of the fact that they would have taken whichever girl was available to them first & that easily could have been someone else.

Perhaps that is why I put so much effort into being the perfect daughter. I felt that I wasn't as special as everyone wanted me to believe, because their love was based on being a girl available for adoption, not for me specifically. So began the journey to prove to them I was worthy of being special for my merits instead.

On the outside I appeared to be doing extremely well (always made good grades, had lots of friends, & excelled in many extracurricular activities). However, my motivations were fueled by a very low self-esteem & the need to prove myself worthy of love.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-22-2012, 06:20 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,594,821 times
Reputation: 12532
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
Yeah, I struggled with that same thought as a kid. When your adoptive parents are trying so hard to convince you to feel something different, it can shut you down in a way. The message is either they are not able to understand how you feel, or what you are feeling must be wrong -- so you keep it to yourself.

The older you get, the more you learn to keep to yourself.
Totally agree with this. I was a tomboy growing up and still am. My family always tried to push dresses and jewelry on me. I don't think that's an adoption thing but it definitely did shut me down in a way. I felt like I was wrong for being who I am and still struggle with that to this day. I can't imagine what it would be like if my family had taken the same attitude towards my interests, which, thank God, they didn't.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-22-2012, 06:23 AM
 
16,025 posts, read 19,571,183 times
Reputation: 26194
Quote:
Originally Posted by MirrenC View Post
I am fortunate that this was my experience. I was always told I was adopted; I cannot remember not knowing. My temperament and interests were such that they were a good match for my adoptive parents, and they nurtured my interests as I grew. I was allowed to be myself, in great part, although there were a few parts of my temperament that I know my mother did not like. When I met my original mother's family in my 40's, I could see, however, that I had inherited certain bits of my emotional makeup from her.

My adoptive parents celebrate all of me, though, and love, for example, the language abilities I inherited from my original mother, as well as the love of history that my adoptive mother groomed in me. I see myself as a web of interests and abilities, not this-or-that, pitted against myself. I will say, however, that it has taken me into middle age to find a place where I feel that I've integrated all my pieces into something that I feel is all my own. In my case, I had to search first to find my peace. Not because I was at all unhappy with my adoptive family but because I knew there were things about myself that my adoptive parents couldn't explain. I knew I had a family history and genes that came from elsewhere, and I wanted to know about them. This desire to search isn't present for every adoptee, of course.

It creates a false dichotomy to say that knowing you're adopted promotes sadness and not knowing is bliss; I think few adoptees would say that they were completely in the dark, even if they weren't told. I know a great many adoptees, and all the late-discovery adoptees in my acquaintance have been very upset and hurt by the secret. Pretty much everyone in their adoptive families conspired to keep the secret from them, even into adulthood, which is infantilizing and cruel. Why should others feel the power to make this decision about what constitutes their "happiness" for them? None were happy afterwards, and most cut off their relationships with their family after their discovery, or had very strained relationships, at best. How can you trust people who aren't honest with you? What other lies are they telling you?
MirrenC....You put your feelings out there and You may have helped so many others who cannot identify their inner conflicts, nor put them on paper. Thank you...I am happy that you had the type supportive, confidence building love that every child should have....it has nothing to do w/ whether a person is/isn't biologically theirs....It is a love that builds character, encourages natural curiosity and inner strength. We should all turn out so well. Thank you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-22-2012, 06:47 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,170 times
Reputation: 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
Totally agree with this. I was a tomboy growing up and still am. My family always tried to push dresses and jewelry on me. I don't think that's an adoption thing but it definitely did shut me down in a way. I felt like I was wrong for being who I am and still struggle with that to this day. I can't imagine what it would be like if my family had taken the same attitude towards my interests, which, thank God, they didn't.
Oh, man... I was a total tomboy, too, & my mom sewed dresses for me until junior high!

I had many non-adopted girlfriends who experienced the same & hated it growing up, but I have to say there is an added element for adoptees. My non-adopted friends could relate with gender-identity issues & may have even felt something was wrong with them, but they did not necessarily struggle with, "I was not good enough for my biological family & now I am not good enough for my adoptive family."

Feeling wrong for being who you are carries a different weight in an adoptive family. The fear that they might regret adopting you, that you are so wrong or so bad you are not worthy of any parent loving you for you...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-22-2012, 07:01 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,594,821 times
Reputation: 12532
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
Oh, man... I was a total tomboy, too, & my mom sewed dresses for me until junior high!

I had many non-adopted girlfriends who experienced the same & hated it growing up, but I have to say there is an added element for adoptees. My non-adopted friends could relate with gender-identity issues & may have even felt something was wrong with them, but they did not necessarily struggle with, "I was not good enough for my biological family & now I am not good enough for my adoptive family."

Feeling wrong for being who you are carries a different weight in an adoptive family. The fear that they might regret adopting you, that you are so wrong or so bad you are not worthy of any parent loving you for you...
Tell me about it. My parents never ever did anything to even suggest that they didn't want me, so I am absolutely not blaming them and realize it was a lack of my own self-confidence and self-worth, but I did used to wonder if they really wanted me, especially when they would guilt-trip me about anything (which I think is a common discipline tactic in many families). My mind would immediately jump to "Do they regret adopting me?" which is a completely unhealthy place to go, but as a child I didn't have that "rational voice" to counter those thoughts.
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. The time now is 07:39 PM.

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