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Old 09-23-2012, 07:50 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,640,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susankate View Post
That would have been nice to find someone that remembered you by name.

I was in hospital/foster care for the first 3 months (I had a medical problem) and have always just assumed that the foster carers wouldn't remember me but I sometimes wonder whether they would have. I do know the name of my foster carer but when I checked the BDM index, she passed away in the 70s.
The caretakers didn't usually remember the individual children. The only reason she remembered me is because I was obsessed with going to the music room and still am a very musical person, lol.

Keep in mind, I was only born in 1989 and adopted in 1993. I visited my orphanage in 2005.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:19 PM
 
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Wow, kaykee, thanks for posting the article about how important touch is for infants. Reading that article was an earth-shattering experience for me. It explained so much.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_K View Post
Three points of view on this, and from each point of view there are at least two ways to consider what you are seeing. This definitely contributes to disagreements as two posters can say the same thing but mean two different things. It's really important not to read anything into a statement that is not implicitly part of it. ie "I'm sorry you lost something." is not the same as saying "I'm sorry you have me."

Adoption is only an event for adopters/relinquishers. For adoptees, it is lifelong. This itself causes much confusion, as parents on both sides will refer to one's adoption as a thing in the past while adoptees don't see that it ever stopped. We are very aware of the timeline of events and are more able to process than most give us credit for. For example, some think there is a choice between adoption and abortion. There isn't. From the moment one becomes pregnant, the baby starts growing. Abortion is only really an option during the first trimester, so the mother makes a decision whether to carry to term or to abort. Until the baby is born, adoption can only be a plan, the child is still physically part of his/her mothers body and cannot survive separately. Once the baby is born, abortion is no longer any kind of option. The choice mom has now is to keep or to place. Two separate decisions, not one. The real confusion around this point is from some of the adoptive parents, who from their perspective are inclined to see the decision differently. As both decisions BEFORE they have even seen the baby, to them the baby doesn't even exist yet. They often conflate the events of the past 9 1/2 months down to one event.

For all parties, there is gain and loss and each must assess this for themselves. These losses and gains are very different and disproportionate. For adopters it is mostly gain, for biological parents who surrender their offspring there is mostly loss and some gain, for adoptees there is a large loss followed by a loss or gain depending on where they are placed.

This is a good explanation. The loss for me also includes my culture which is a lifelong loss. I think someone previously posted that adoption cannot exist without loss, therefore you cannot separate the two, in my opinion.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:44 PM
 
125 posts, read 131,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterbird View Post
I understand that being separated from the family of origin represents a loss. My question is perhaps there is a misunderstanding between some of you based on whether adoption itself represents the loss rather than the initial separation? Just running that by you guys. Perhaps I'm not phrasing the question properly.

And I do appreciate the responses to my posts. Thank you.
I lost my mother in that initial separation. I lost the potential for the person I would have been had I been raised in my family of origin. I lost the context for myself in which my temperament and academic drive would have made sense, although my parents were thankfully of a like mind with my original mother's family. I lost the ability to see myself in others at family gatherings. I look nothing like my father's blond, blue-eyed Scandinavian family, nor like my mother's tiny, red-haired Irish clan. I am tall and dark. I stuck out like a sore thumb in all the pictures. I cannot tell you how relieved and excited I was to see a picture of my grandfather for the first time, when I was 40, and finally know where my big green eyes came from! FINALLY I looked like someone. I also lost the ability to be able to ask for family medical history.

It was so incredibly strange for me to live amputated from part of myself, always wondering what part of me was just me, and what part of me came from the parents who created me. I knew which parts, I thought, my parents were responsible for, and they did a fabulous job of raising me.

Adoption for me is not an event that happened one day, back in 1970. It is something that I live, just like I had a wedding in 1999 but continue to be married today. Adoption so profoundly affected and changed my life that it is part of my identity; it's not the sole part of my identity, but it's obdurate and indelible. How can I avoid it when I know I was born to be someone else but am living now as a different person?

There are things about my original family that make me uncomfortable, to be honest; that makes me sad. I don't know if it's because adoption has simply made things too awkward for us to have strong relationships (there was quite a bit of hiding and lying on their end); or that we are too different ideologically (we are polar opposites). It is weird and sad to me that the people I look most like and share the most with in terms of my temperament are basically complete strangers to me. I recently went on vacation with them, and as they sat around the table exchanging stories about my grandfather, I felt completely left out. I don't share that history with them, and I never got to know him, the one everyone says I was most like. That is a source of ongoing sadness and loss.

As Nim said somewhere, she cannot imagine not being Nim because the sum of her experiences to date make her who she is. I am like that. I cannot imagine not knowing and loving my parents at this point. I have been extraordinarily fortunate. I would not have had (some? most?) of the great experiences I had as a child had I not been adopted, and I wouldn't have the children I have now. It's definitely complicated. I do not wish my past away (or perhaps only selected bits).
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:51 AM
 
1,014 posts, read 987,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MirrenC View Post
It is weird and sad to me that the people I look most like and share the most with in terms of my temperament are basically complete strangers to me. I recently went on vacation with them, and as they sat around the table exchanging stories about my grandfather, I felt completely left out. I don't share that history with them, and I never got to know him, the one everyone says I was most like. That is a source of ongoing sadness and loss.
This resonated with me a lot because I had the same experience when I first met my family. They are simultaneously a part of you & yet no more a part of you than a stranger on the bus. The sense of loss while witnessing these family events can be profound & infinitely confusing.

Also, there were times I had similar feelings in my adoptive family, especially at holidays where baby pictures, birth stories, & ancestral pride can be abundant. You sit around a table trying to partake, but you end up feeling as left out/awkward as you would if a friend's family suddenly busted out entire albums of their extended family.

At times you never feel completely part of either family. Significant, yes, but still somewhat separate.

While the rest of your adoptive family gets to be emphatically curious about one another/get their questions answered, you are usually left thinking to your self, "Whose eyes do I have? Who was there when I was born? What was my mom like when she was pregnant with me? What was my grandmother/grandfather like? What were my parents like? Do I have siblings? Aunts? Uncles? Cousins? Do any of them look like me?"

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 09-24-2012 at 05:03 AM..
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:21 AM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,864,566 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
This resonated with me a lot because I had the same experience when I first met my family. They are simultaneously a part of you & yet no more a part of you than a stranger on the bus. The sense of loss while witnessing these family events can be profound & infinitely confusing.

Also, there were times I had similar feelings in my adoptive family, especially at holidays where baby pictures, birth stories, & ancestral pride can be abundant. You sit around a table trying to partake, but you end up feeling as left out/awkward as you would if a friend's family suddenly busted out entire albums of their extended family.

At times you never feel completely part of either family. Significant, yes, but still somewhat separate.

While the rest of your adoptive family gets to be emphatically curious about one another/get their questions answered, you are usually left thinking to your self, "Whose eyes do I have? Who was there when I was born? What was my mom like when she was pregnant with me? What was my grandmother/grandfather like? What were my parents like? Do I have siblings? Aunts? Uncles? Cousins? Do any of them look like me?"
We are neither here nor there.

We have had our nature and nuture separated and when we do decide to "face our past" and thus try to amalgamate our nature with our nurture, it can be a total rollercoaster.

Though I have felt very comfortable with my bfamily, a lot of that is because it is only with extended family - since uncle/niece and cousin/cousin relationships can often take any shape or form, then I do feel fairly comfortable in my position as niece/cousin. That's not to say there aren't difficulties - even though I feel fairly comfortable as niece/cousin, I do still find it hard to work out my place as my bmom's daughter - because she died so young and so long ago, there are some very bittersweet feelings and undercurrents that I can sort of sense - not unpleasant but interesting.

Anyway, the point of the above ramble is that when one does face one's biological past, there are so many paradoxes and feelings that come to the surface, it really is an emotional rollercoaster.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:24 AM
 
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I've enjoyed reading your experiences, posters. Best of luck and wishes for peace on your journeys going forward.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:29 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,678 posts, read 23,284,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nimchimpsky View Post
My parents told me the truth--my biological mother abandoned me at the hospital right after giving birth.
This is what I told my daughter because it is true. I did not but down the woman who gave birth to her. I told her that I though at her young age and as a university student she did the right thing. She focused on her education and did what was pragmatic rather than sentimental

We are a pragmatic family who also values education. Our daughter is the same as us and the woman who birthed her. She would not let an unplanned pregnancy ruin her goals.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
This is what I told my daughter because it is true. I did not but down the woman who gave birth to her. I told her that I though at her young age and as a university student she did the right thing. She focused on her education and did what was pragmatic rather than sentimental

We are a pragmatic family who also values education. Our daughter is the same as us and the woman who birthed her. She would not let an unplanned pregnancy ruin her goals.
& you think a young child is capable of processing abandonment as a pragmatic, positive thing? You think a young child is able to see being abandoned for an education as anything but a bad thing? From the child's perspective you are saying they were worthless to their family, or that merely existing would have ruined their lives so therefore there is something very wrong with them. The way you discuss this is as if these things are simple to adoptees & our families of origin -- as if children understand the importance of college, or if it was easy for our parents to choose education over their child.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:48 AM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,678 posts, read 23,284,047 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark of the Moon View Post
I can only speak for myself. Separation from my birth family was only the first loss of many.
I am very sorry to hear that. Truly sorry.

I think that it is a primal loss and in the RAD thread, I wrote about what I did to minimize the possibility that my daughter would suffer from RAD. I do not minimize this.

Multiple care givers also increase the possibility of RAD. Neither of my children were in day care. With my daughter who came to us through adoption, I was choosy about who help her. And I did not care who I offended.

I think that people must first come to terms with their infertility before adoption. Your child through adoption can not be a substitute for the child or children you could have had.
If a PAP even has a small idea that this is a "Plan B" (credit given to Nimchimpsky for this term)
- the child WILL SENSE IT and feel rejection.

I have seen this on this forum and IRL.

At the same time, people who have been adopted and were adopted into imperfect homes should think about the fact that plenty of people were also born into imperfect - and worse homes.
My parents were always mildly rejecting of me. However if I keep calling myself an Adult Child of Rejecting Parents, who wins? Certainly not I.

The same applies to referencing myself as a Secondary Infertile.

There is more to me than narcissistic parents and a disease.

I am glad that I could only have one child.

As a teenager I read a book called "The Family Nobody Wanted" about a minister's wife who was unable to conceive and went on to make lemons out of lemonade. She adopted 8 or nine children, many non white children. This was in the late 40s and 50s and as a minister, they were under a lot of judgement from people in their church for this.

I was about ten when I read that book and it had a huge impact on me. I knew then that I would adopt and bear children.
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