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Old 06-05-2014, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Canada
3,880 posts, read 2,710,067 times
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Sorry, this is kind of long...This is about my adopted neice. My adopted nephew has no such issues.

My brother and his wife adopted their daughter 31 years ago and their son 28 years ago. They told both the kids at an early age that they were adopted. They told them they'd support them if they wanted to find their birth parents. Neither were ever interested, and still aren't as far as anyone (but them) knows.

I've always looked at my brother and his wife as the two best parents any child could ever ask for. First of all, they LOVE their kids with all their hearts, they are very kind and caring people, they sent them both kids university, encouraged their interests, read to them, helped them with homework, took them on trips, helped them financially in any way they could, lived in a beautiful house in a good neighborhood... I think you get the idea.
IMO, any child, adopted or not, would have been priviledged to be raised in their household.

Speed ahead to the present. My nephew has found his future wife and he is contented and happy with his childhood and life. I'm sure he is very thankful for his parents and upbringing, and has told them so and shows them so, with a healthy, happy, relationship.

My neice, all through her younger years until now, never talked about being angry or showed any anger or resentment towards her parents. She always appeared to be, and I think she was, a happy person.

She got along ok interacting with people as a child, but once she became an adult, she went through many relationships poorly, friends, boyfriends, co-workers, etc. My sister in law helped her through these issues and was nothing but supportive of her. My brother left most of the women's talk up to the women and some of it was very petty. He did put his two cents in about more major issues, so I would never call him non-supportive.

After many boyfriends, my niece finally met and married the man of her dreams. After one small altercation with her mother (very trivial), she wrote her mom a long letter accusing her of always being demanding, controlling, non-supportive, and all kinds of horrible things. My sister in law went to a specialist at adoptions counseller and was told by her that the wrong person had come to see her, that it was her daughter that needed to talk to a counsellor, not her.

They are now not talking at all (daughter and son in law's choice), and everything has gone to **** as far as family relationships.

My questions
1) if you are an adoptee, who was raised in a loving, supportive home, with two parents who love you to the moon and back, do you have any residual anger and deep resentment issues about being given up by your birth parents? Did you ever lash out at your parents because of this?

2)Do you feel you were abandoned? Do you think that now my niece is married, she feels she doesn't need her "adoptive parents"?

3) To adoptive parents: have you had the same thing happen with an adopted child of yours that is now adult and accusing you of all kinds of things out of the blue and do you think some of these problems stem from your child being adopted?

Needless to say, my brother and his wife are devastated and heartbroken. I keep feeling that our niece's main issue, is feeling angry about being "abandoned" and she's taking it out on her adoptive parents, (mainly her mother) but maybe I am wrong. Thoughts?

Last edited by gouligann; 06-05-2014 at 08:19 AM..
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
1,470 posts, read 1,287,908 times
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As a woman, she may just have more sensitive feelings about having been adopted.

The nephew, you say, has grown up well-adjusted and has no abandonment issues.

Both the kids were raised well and lovingly.

I gave a child up for adoption in 2008. He is a boy. I have no doubt he is being raised in a much better, more stable, loving circumstance than I could ever provide. Although his parents & I have each other's contact info, I have no interest to meet him not because I don't value him as a human being with inborn rights to love and be loved, but because I am a bit mentally/emotionally *off* with bipolar disorder which is why I'm incapable of caring for children in the first place. Can barely take care of myself. But if he ever seeks me out I will graciously rise to the meeting and hug him and answer any and all questions he may have.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:37 AM
 
1,516 posts, read 1,597,802 times
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I think it depends on the personality of the adoptee. My two adopted kiddos are very different in temperaments. My son is very easy going. My daughter....well I've written pages about her on CD.

I can imagine that when my daughter becomes an adult, we may have similar problems to your brother and wife. The difference is that we've had to tackle anger and resentment issues starting at an early age although becoming pretty bad starting in middle school. "Demanding, controlling, non-supportive" are words I've heard before. Oh and of course how her brother is favored over her and we never do anything to punish him. With her, we walk on egg shells. Everything is fine if she doesn't get pressed. However if I question her about grades, ask her to take out the trash or clean her room for example....the powder keg explodes. We've been to therapists and have tried to really sort this out as a family. Although things have improved somewhat, there are still unresolved anger issues.

Frankly I'm not sure what she feels about her adoption. For awhile when we first started our in home therapy (6th grade), in her mind I was an adoptee kidnaping ninja that swept in and scooped her up illegally. I (never my husband) took her away from her loving family. With time, she realizes this isn't true. We've tried to be very upfront with her and have addressed many things in therapy. She isn't interested in talking about it and at this point, we don't push. She is even resistant about therapy and to be honest, we haven't made much progress in therapy over the years. I think that I got the most out of our sessions together and it helped me become a more understanding parent. It is a really tough situation. My goal is to find another therapist over the summer and begin again. Although she has gotten better as she is older, there are a number of things that need to be addressed. Things that will hold her back from forming healthy relationships, getting and keeping jobs and being a generally happy person.

I don't have a good answer or feedback to your question. Perhaps your niece will come around with time. As a first step, I think it would be helpful for your brother and sister to meet with a therapist to sort through their feelings. It is heartbreaking to pour years or love and support into a child, adopted or not, and then be disowned at the very end. It sounds like your niece was generally happy growing up so perhaps this is just a phase and with time, she will sort out her feelings. Good luck to you all!!
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Canada
3,880 posts, read 2,710,067 times
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Zelpha, parents of an adopted child thank God every single day for people like you who realize that they are unable to take care of a child for whatever reasons, and want a better life for them. I'm sure it was a very difficult decision to give up your child, but if not for people like you, some people would never have the enrichment of being a parent, so NEVER beat yourself up or second guess your decision.
I wish you well if your son ever contacts you, and hope you can have some sort of good relationship. Thanks for your reply.

Siggy20, thanks for your reply. Our own two children (not adopted), are so different in so many ways, it is hard to imagine that they came from the same set of parents. I guess sometimes it just matters what the adoptee's personality and temperament is like, as to how they handle life in general, including adoption.
Good luck with your daughter and I hope you can all deal with your problems in a civilized and loving manner. Funny how both your daughter and their daughter blame mainly their mothers. (not really funny at all)

I was just looking to find out if this is a common trait/occurrence of adoptees having issues, or if this is just personality issues with my niece.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:30 AM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,734,044 times
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OP it may be something that is connected to her marriage and not her adoption. The therapist is correct, she needs to have professional counseling. Many people are influenced by their spouses, either positively or negatively, adopted or biological.

It could also be feelings about being adopted. One just can't say for sure. Hopefully they will pull through. Therapy is definitely what's needed...but your niece has to want to go.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:58 AM
 
1,516 posts, read 1,597,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gouligann View Post
Siggy20, thanks for your reply. Our own two children (not adopted), are so different in so many ways, it is hard to imagine that they came from the same set of parents. I guess sometimes it just matters what the adoptee's personality and temperament is like, as to how they handle life in general, including adoption.
Good luck with your daughter and I hope you can all deal with your problems in a civilized and loving manner. Funny how both your daughter and their daughter blame mainly their mothers. (not really funny at all)
Addressing your bolded part. This is quite common. My daughter knows that she has a safe landing zone with me so oftentimes, I'm the target of her abuse. I don't use the word of "abuse" lightly either. Our therapist said that this is quite typical and we've spent many hours around the therapy table discussing this.

I do know that my daughter loves me. I was diagnosed with cancer this past year and she was a wreck. She was the one who wanted to visit me most often in the hospital, the one going down to the school counselor office in tears. It touched her deeply and she was so sweet to me during my recovery period. And the best part....I got a respite from her behavior for five months!!! She is actually much better behavior wise as I stated in my post so things are improving. We just need to work on some deeper issues and hopefully she knows that I'm here for her.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Canada
3,880 posts, read 2,710,067 times
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Jaded, don't I and her parents know that she should seek counselling!! The problem with her is, is that she thinks it's all her parents and not her, which is often the case of someone needing help. It's always the "other" guy.

Siggy, glad to hear that things are better! I hope it continues that way.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:57 PM
 
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My first reaction to the OP remains - is this necessarily about adoption? Tell the story with adoption cut out and it still resonates with tons of parents. It's quite possible that these are simply mother/daughter issues. Your niece has married and may feel a real need to loosen some ties to mom that she didn't do as a teenager. Her assertions don't sound especially adoption-centered. Viewing your parents as controlling is relatively common, especially where some of the great things you mentioned they were given can sometimes be perceived as coming with strings and expectations.

This stuck me more an issue of family relationships; mother & daughter, asserting independence, transferring intimacy to a spouse, possibly expectations on your SIL's part of a continued primary relationship in her daughter's life. Lots of parents & children have trouble navigating these evolving relationships. If your brother & SIL are what you feel they are, loving etc. - this will pass. Personally instead of going to an "adoption specialist" I'd be heading to a plain old family councilor & reviewing the relationship with my child, adopted or not. Start with what you can control - yourself. Your SIL's reaction to this can make or break a future relationship with her daughter. [plus there's always the possibility your SIL is controlling]. If adoption plays into it then that is probably a journey your niece will have to work through herself.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:29 PM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,601,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nj185 View Post
My first reaction to the OP remains - is this necessarily about adoption? Tell the story with adoption cut out and it still resonates with tons of parents. It's quite possible that these are simply mother/daughter issues. Your niece has married and may feel a real need to loosen some ties to mom that she didn't do as a teenager. Her assertions don't sound especially adoption-centered. Viewing your parents as controlling is relatively common, especially where some of the great things you mentioned they were given can sometimes be perceived as coming with strings and expectations.

This stuck me more an issue of family relationships; mother & daughter, asserting independence, transferring intimacy to a spouse, possibly expectations on your SIL's part of a continued primary relationship in her daughter's life. Lots of parents & children have trouble navigating these evolving relationships. If your brother & SIL are what you feel they are, loving etc. - this will pass. Personally instead of going to an "adoption specialist" I'd be heading to a plain old family councilor & reviewing the relationship with my child, adopted or not. Start with what you can control - yourself. Your SIL's reaction to this can make or break a future relationship with her daughter. [plus there's always the possibility your SIL is controlling]. If adoption plays into it then that is probably a journey your niece will have to work through herself.

I agree with what a lot of NJ says.

It might also be worth looking at the "treating an adopted child same as a biological child" statement from a slight different angle.

By that I mean
a) If a biological child has issues, then one would look at all factors that might contribute to those issues.
b) If an adopted child has issues, then one would look at all factors that might contribute to those issues.

Thus one is treating them the same but acknowledging that each child might have a separate set of factors that might contribute to their issues. In fact, if one ignores adoption altogether in never considering it a factor ever, then one might be saying that one is treating the child differently. Of course, one doesn't want to go overboard and assume everything is adoption-related either.

In this case, as NJ says, adoption issues quite probably have nothing to do with this particular issue she is having. I do agree with her that one should just go to a plain old familly counsellor rather than an adoption specialist, although one does want one that won't automatically dismiss adoption issues IF they are brought up during the sessions - i.e. you want a happy medium.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:38 PM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,601,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gouligann View Post

My questions
1) if you are an adoptee, who was raised in a loving, supportive home, with two parents who love you to the moon and back, do you have any residual anger and deep resentment issues about being given up by your birth parents? Did you ever lash out at your parents because of this?

2)Do you feel you were abandoned? Do you think that now my niece is married, she feels she doesn't need her "adoptive parents"?

3) To adoptive parents: have you had the same thing happen with an adopted child of yours that is now adult and accusing you of all kinds of things out of the blue and do you think some of these problems stem from your child being adopted?

Needless to say, my brother and his wife are devastated and heartbroken. I keep feeling that our niece's main issue, is feeling angry about being "abandoned" and she's taking it out on her adoptive parents, (mainly her mother) but maybe I am wrong. Thoughts?
I am an adoptee so I will answer 1) and 2)

1) First of all, I've never felt ill-will towards either lots of parents. However, what feels I have towards each lot of parents are separate, i.e. my feelings about my (long dead) bmother have nothing to do with my feelings re my afamily and vice versa. I understand that they are two separate feelings and that I am allowed to feel what I like about them. I thank my APs for this in that they were always open, honest and factual in telling us our stories and I know that they don't consider any feelings re my bfamily to be a reflection on their parenting. I've never felt like I am "betraying" them by contact my bfamily and having a relationship with them.

So in short, no I haven't lashed out at my APs. However, if my situation were different, eg I had APs who made it clear to me that it would be a betrayal to me to have anything to do with bfamily, then I might be upset with my APs - a lot of that would also have to do with me feeling that I wasn't trusted, i.e. I would feel betrayed by my APs feelings of betrayal. Also, if they said things like "we are the ones who did this, this and that for you" and expected me to be more grateful for it than a non-adopted child, I might feel miffed.

2) No, I don't think I was abandoned. Again, a lot of that has to do with the way my aparents explained things and also to do with what information I know about my bmom and a certain understanding of how things were in the 60s/70s having lived through them myself. In some ways, there are similarities in background and also some aspects of mine and nmother's life journey that have helped me to understand her choice at the time (eg I'd just come back from a working holiday overseas which helped me to understand her choice - funnily enough, the fact that my hypothetical choice in 1984 would have been different than her choice in 1964 made me realise that I would have been lucky to have those hypothetical choices). I do have issues about the process which has helped me to determine what I think the ideal process should be but that is a separate issue.

However, I'm only one adoptee and each adoptee is different. I think it does help when relinquishment and adoption are "separated" when discussing one's child's story with them because sometimes one message could inadvertantly send an "opposite" message (eg saying "I went to the moon and back for you" might inadvertantly also send the unsaid message of "unlike your bparents") which might make a child feel sad and take out that sadness on the people in front of them, i.e. the APs. Sometimes that alternative message is NOT left unsaid, i.e. the parents state quite clearly to the adoptee that THEY made the effort, the bparents didn't, and that can cause resentment towards the APs for using such tactics to make sure the adoptee is loyal to them and only them. Btw these are just possible scenarios. Who knows what the situation is in your nieces case. As others have said, that is something they will have to sort out themselves.
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