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Old 09-23-2012, 08:40 AM
 
116 posts, read 85,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
Why is she sorry? You aren't. You are well adjusted and and positive.
So, Sheena, are you saying that thethreefoldme can't express empathy for the circumstances of Nim's birth and relinquishment? Do you not realize that adoptees have deep feelings of their births and relinquishments? According to you, those adoptees you perceive as having no feelings at all about how they were born and relinquished are "well-adjusted". And those of us who express feelings of sorrow, empathy, or anger are "mal-adjusted". Anyone can look at the circumstances of Nim's birth and relinquishment and know that this was a sad series of events that led to this 16 year old losing her infant. No mother wants to lose her infant. And, keep in mind waht has been said here countless times. The infant feels this loss on a primal level.

I would suggest to you that you look at and read in detail the website that ScootK psoted on here a few days ago: The Second Nine Months:Exterogestation and The Need to Be Held Boba Family
The Second Nine Months:Exterogestation and The Need to Be Held.

ALL infants who lose their mothers go through shock and loss and trauma. ALL infants. So there is no being "well-adjusted" in adoption, Sheena. ALL adoptees learn to cope in some way with this trauma. IT is there. It exists, whether you want it to or not. Just like the natural mother and father and siblings and grandparents and aunts and uncles inthe natural family exist. Just because they are cut off legally and socially does not mean they do not exist. Nor does it mean they are not important to the adoptee. They exist in real life but are seen. They exist as ghost mothers and families that adoptees must cope with on some level.

Please, please read the websites and books that have posted here as resorces. Adoption psychology and humanbiology are vital to learn. For you. For adoptees. For all adoptive parents. For natural parents. For pregnant women before they make the decision to let go an infant....

Adoption to you means building a family.

Adoptionto the other two components of adoption (natural mother and father, and infant), adoption means loss.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:47 AM
 
1,014 posts, read 987,856 times
Reputation: 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
Why is she sorry? You aren't. You are well adjusted and and positive.
I'm sorry that Nim's bio mother was in those circumstances to begin with, I'm sure that Nim did not wish that on her. I'm sorry that their bio-mother was not able to be the one to raise Nim in a loving, safe environment (for whatever reason). I'm sorry that Nim had to experience being in an orphanage. I'm sorry that Nim ever had to feel so abandoned as a baby, as a child. I'm sorry that Nim did not have the opportunity to grow up well-adjusted & positive with their original family (as all children deserve), even if it was what was best for them due to the circumstances.

I'm sorry for all of these things because I feel empathy for Nim.

Most people would prefer being born into better circumstances, how is it seen as a bad thing to express empathy that we weren't?

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 09-23-2012 at 09:31 AM..
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:02 AM
 
393 posts, read 505,242 times
Reputation: 440
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Well-put, A.D. It's clear your mother loves you dearly and is an extremely compassionate person. You are blessed.

What would you recommend be told to children who were taken from their biological parents due to neglect, and abandonment, and the children were old enough to remember the biological parents, along with the neglect, abandonment, and the acute distress and fear they felt at the time? It seems to me acknowledging the sadness of this situation and the valididty of the children's feelings would be appropriate, along with a sort of neutral respect for the biological parents - to a degree; it's not as if they relinquished custody due to their own belief that they were not able to care for their children and that the children would have a better life with adoptive parents

Indicating that the parents were not able to care for the children due to being overwhelmed by problems which had nothing to do with those children would seem apt, along with reassuring the children that it was quite natural that they felt scared and angry and grieved and lonely when their birth parents abandoned them, and that what they experienced was very wrong, and that the adoptive parent is so sorry that they had to go through such a thing, but that they are safe and loved now with their adoptive family would seem to me to be the message to convey...any additional thoughts or suggestions?
Craig,

I don't have neglect in my history, or conscious memories of my mother so how the best way to do so is only from reading the writings of professionals and other parents who have dealt with that situation. Your words seem fairly in-line with them with small differences. What I have read over an over is that: despite being abused children still love their parents and deal with that in a variety of ways including assuming something "they" did was the reason (much like a long-term abusive spousal relationship where the abused feels like they caused it). What appears to help is when discussing the fact that the parents problems precluded them being able to care for the child, is that you state that the parents were not able to care for ANY child - taking the road that it would not matter what any specific child did or which child - it would happen to ANY child.

As to the abandonment feelings (all levels of feelings) - I see that across all types of adoption and in reality any parental death - it's a pretty normal reaction even if it isn't justified based on facts - feelings are funny that way and telling one they are wrong - does not make them go away - just makes them not willing to talk to you about it, and limits your abilty to be there for the child.

I do think you need to be careful that while you can stress the fact they are safe and loved now, that you don't want to make them feel like their feelings are invalid and all is well now so get over it. Perhaps limit that aspect of the conversation and provide more empathy (verbal and physical) for the feelings they are experiencing and reinforce the present at other times. Also, kids pick up on visual cues - for instance they will know something is bad between their parents yet will never have heard a raised voice or disagreement - so be aware that any of your feelings regarding a subject that you would not voice - may still be seen visually and understood.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:30 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,643,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
I'm sorry, Nim. Do you know why?
Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
Yes. She was 16, I was three months premature, and her circumstances were extremely difficult. I don't blame her. Given the same circumstances, I can't say I wouldn't do the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
Why is she sorry? You aren't. You are well adjusted and and positive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
I'm sorry that Nim's bio mother was in those circumstances to begin with, I'm sure that Nim did not wish that on her. I'm sorry that their bio-mother was not able to be the one to raise Nim in a loving, safe environment (for whatever reason). I'm sorry that Nim had to experience being in an orphanage. I'm sorry that Nim ever had to feel so abandoned as a baby, as a child. I'm sorry that Nim did not have the opportunity to grow up well-adjusted & positive with their original family (as all children deserve), even if it was what was best for them due to the circumstances.

I'm sorry for all of these things because I feel empathy for Nim.

Most people would prefer being born into better circumstances, how is it seen as a bad thing to express empathy that we weren't?
I don't think thethreefoldme was saying that I am sorry.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:41 AM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,643,874 times
Reputation: 12537
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaykee View Post
So, Sheena, are you saying that thethreefoldme can't express empathy for the circumstances of Nim's birth and relinquishment? Do you not realize that adoptees have deep feelings of their births and relinquishments? According to you, those adoptees you perceive as having no feelings at all about how they were born and relinquished are "well-adjusted". And those of us who express feelings of sorrow, empathy, or anger are "mal-adjusted". Anyone can look at the circumstances of Nim's birth and relinquishment and know that this was a sad series of events that led to this 16 year old losing her infant. No mother wants to lose her infant. And, keep in mind waht has been said here countless times. The infant feels this loss on a primal level.

I would suggest to you that you look at and read in detail the website that ScootK psoted on here a few days ago: The Second Nine Months:Exterogestation and The Need to Be Held Boba Family
The Second Nine Months:Exterogestation and The Need to Be Held.

ALL infants who lose their mothers go through shock and loss and trauma. ALL infants. So there is no being "well-adjusted" in adoption, Sheena. ALL adoptees learn to cope in some way with this trauma. IT is there. It exists, whether you want it to or not. Just like the natural mother and father and siblings and grandparents and aunts and uncles inthe natural family exist. Just because they are cut off legally and socially does not mean they do not exist. Nor does it mean they are not important to the adoptee. They exist in real life but are seen. They exist as ghost mothers and families that adoptees must cope with on some level.

Please, please read the websites and books that have posted here as resorces. Adoption psychology and humanbiology are vital to learn. For you. For adoptees. For all adoptive parents. For natural parents. For pregnant women before they make the decision to let go an infant....

Adoption to you means building a family.

Adoptionto the other two components of adoption (natural mother and father, and infant), adoption means loss.
I think that both you and Sheena have a point. Adoption is beautiful in that it is an opportunity to show that love makes a family, not blood. What a beautiful thing that a family could take on a child and love that child as their own. On the other hand, abandonment does have an affect on any child and that is a reality I wasn’t willing to recognize for a long time. On top of that, I was abused in the orphanage, and if I weren’t adopted I wouldn’t have been through that. However, I am very grateful for my circumstances now and am very glad I did not grow up in my biological mother’s circumstances or in the orphanage till graduation.

Like most things in life, there is an upside and a downside. Adoption has positives and negatives. Some parts of it are beautiful, inspiring, and heart-warming. Some parts of it are heart-wrenching and depressing. It’s okay to acknowledge all the parts—positive, negative, and neutral. Everyone’s story is also different, and no two adoptions can be completely compared. There are some parallels among all adoptees and some things that are unique to each adoptee. Some of it has to do with unconditional love, resilience, open-mindedness. Some of it has to do with loss and grief. It’s not all good and it’s not all bad. It is what it is.

I don’t think that there is any point in dwelling over how things could have been better or worse. Things turned out as they did and I am who I am today because of it. I wouldn’t be Nim if I weren’t adopted. I wouldn’t be Nim if my mother hadn’t given me up for adoption. And I believe with every fiber of my being that it all happened just the way it did for a reason, and that it was meant to be.

I think we all go through our life experiences to learn how to turn blame into compassion, abandonment into unconditional love, anger into sympathy, oppression into empowerment, repression into freedom, shame into pride, abuse into healing, and to develop emotionally and spiritually. I think that all adoptions, and things in life, happen as they do, in order to teach us all how to do these things.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:40 PM
 
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Nim, your post above is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom, insights, and compassion.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:43 PM
 
10,532 posts, read 8,455,844 times
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And thanks to other posters in this thread who gave thoughtful responses to my question a few posts above. Much appreciated.
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Old 09-23-2012, 12:53 PM
 
1,194 posts, read 1,428,108 times
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Does adoption mean loss? Or does abandonment and separation from the family of origin mean loss?

I think some of the disagreement and intensity here is in definitions. Adoption means that a child is taken in by another family. Certainly that is not a loss. The individual experiences of those involved will be debated as to whether the specific adoption was a loss or gain.

eta: Or rather, whether the adoption proved to be of benefit or not.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:47 PM
 
1,014 posts, read 987,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterbird View Post
Does adoption mean loss? Or does abandonment and separation from the family of origin mean loss?

I think some of the disagreement and intensity here is in definitions. Adoption means that a child is taken in by another family. Certainly that is not a loss. The individual experiences of those involved will be debated as to whether the specific adoption was a loss or gain.

eta: Or rather, whether the adoption proved to be of benefit or not.
Winterbird, it is not as simple or black & white as you are trying to make it. It's not that it's either/or, because it is usually a mixture of both benefit & loss.

A child would not be available to be taken in by another family without first losing their family of origin. You lose one family, but gain another. The family you gain might be wonderful & loving (they may even be the best thing for you), but that does not mean you didn't lose out on knowing members of your other family (including sometimes brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles). Even if it is a benefit to be raised by another family, we still experience loss. Even children from incredibly abusive environments report experiences of great loss when they are removed from their homes/families. Every infant that is separated from their mother experiences loss & even trauma. How that person rationalizes what they lost later in life does not negate the fact that they experienced losses.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 09-23-2012 at 01:59 PM..
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:59 PM
 
1,194 posts, read 1,428,108 times
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thethreefoldme: Not trying to make it anything. Just sharing thoughts, ideas, and some experiences. As is everyone else. Thanks for your take on my question.
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