Adoption Question

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Wonderful Family, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. A discussion on another thread brought a question that is always in my mind.

    Both of my boys are adopted. difficult child always wants to find out about his BM; we've told him further info will be available when he's of age (his BM will most likely not seek contact). Both adoptions were open - with letter/picture contact the first few years. Both boys have very nice adoption stories and were never in abusive environments. Just women who weren't ready to raise kids that made very intelligent and loving decisions.

    difficult child has always struggled terribly with being adopted; since he was small and found out, he's always worried why he wasn't kept. easy child asks questions; but is not nearly as concerned (each child is just like their BM from what we can tell in some ways!).

    My question: Why is it that they rarely care about the boyfriend? Just the mother? Or does this change as they get older?
  2. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    I don't know about boys as my adopted child is a girl. But she was NEVER concerned about her bio father, it was ALWAYS her bio mother. I really believe there is an innate need to connect with a bio mother, at least that has been my experience.
  3. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We were told it is because they don't even consider the birthfather in the equaltion. It is their birthmother who placed them for adoption, usually the birthfather is not in the picture. They don't stop to think about the procreation part of having a child, that there has to be a male and female. They only know that they didn't stay with their birthmothers, and therefore it is the adoptive mom who gets the brunt of their anger.

    Our difficult child thought I took her away from her birthmom and my husband had nothing to do with it. I truly think for a time she thought he was her birthfather, never giving a thought to the fact that there was a birthfather out there somewhere that also left her. She has never resented husband like she has me. She has never asked about her birthfather. She doesn't project her misplaced anger onto husband like she does on me.

    Just the other day I found some "postsecrets" that she had written and one of them read, "I am afraid I love my birthmother more than my parents."

  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi there -

    Welcome to the family. As an adoptee, I'm not sure if open is better or not. There really wasn't such a thing when I was born and my adoption is so sealed even if I did care to find out? Legally I could not. Mentally after years of therapy I'm okay with myself. I wasn't for a long time and had NO earthly idea why I continued to make poor decisions for myself over and over. As a child I acted out a bit, but never knew why. As I went through the layers of my life I realized it was because not foremost in my mind but in the deepest recesses of my sub-conscious - I felt like garbage. I felt thrown away, unwanted, unloved, ashamed, unneeded, unnecessary, unappreciated, un-alot of things.

    I also had attachment issues. MAJOR attachment issues. These don't go away without some sort of soul searching and therapy - belive me. I know a lot of adoptees that will tell you flat out they are fine, but really aren't. Unless you deal with your subconscious? It's twisted logic will always guide your life.

    You wanted to know why he never mentions connecting with Biodad? I think it depends on the child. It could be in his mind that he feels a connection between the last person in "that" family that he was with and tries to identify with her. If men gave birth I think it would be "got to find the birthfather." In my generation I belive a lot of it had to do with the fact that the man was the head of the household. Men were all-powerful and made most of the major decisions. This isn't to say that today men and women share this responsibility equally or that same gender couples happily adopt - but most of the picture books et al - portray a "family" as a Mom and a Dad. If the last person in your memory was your biomom - maybe you connect with her or maybe you feel that since a man was all powerful in decision and you were given away? He's a jerk for not working harder to provide for keeping you. Or maybe he had no idea you existed and would have loved you - but as an adoptee you feel somewhat powerless over your own life.

    I didn't have a choice in where I went. What I feel in my soul was that I should have stayed where I was. I dont' know who I look like, I have no idea if breast cancer runs in my family I mean there are a million things that I have questions about. Who's nose do I have - Do I look like my Dad or do I have my Moms talent for art? Maybe it was my Grandmas eyes, and my Grandpa was the artist - maybe he was Salvador Dali or maybe the Prince of Wales had an affair with a young woman on holiday in Europe and I'm a princess of sorts.

    When you KNOW your heritage and your background and you can look at pictures and talk to family - these things aren't even a thought - they're a given. When it's not a given? It can be mental-hell. It's worse when you go somewhere at a young age and someone says "Oh wow your Dad has black hair and gray eyes, and your Mom is red hair and blue eyes and you....dont' look anything like them." - belive me that one still hurts from then.

    I asked my Mom about "finding" my siblings or my "biomom" a long time ago. Her response was brilliant and loving. WE were walking in a mall and as I asked her she matter of factly pointed to the most beautiful woman in the mall. She was well dressed, lovely hair, beautiful skin - just a picture of life. My Mom said "What if...she were your Mother?" I actually got a smile and thought to myself ' well that would make sense to me - she's pretty." (at this age for me that's all it was, just wanting to know who I looked like so I could identify with myself) I said to her "Well she's very pretty." and My Mom said "She looks pretty doesn't she?" and left the conversation drop. A few hours later we were going into a Kmart and a very overweight woman, in frumpy clothes, greasy hair, no makeup, and just screaming for her children was walking into the store. My Mom said "Or....what if SHE were your Mom and those were your siblings?" Reality shook me to my knees - NO NO NO - I could NOT be from her. I was okay with the pretty person but not the frumpy, screaming, greasy, severely overweight woman....NO....not possible. And the look on my face gave my Mom what she needed to say to me to make searching for my biofamily over. She said "We don't get to pick who are parents are. But some of us lucky parents get to pick who are kids are."

    After that? Never really cared to look for anyone - I had found the Mom I was supposed to have - she was right there with me. I have thought over the years about how I would be if I were approached by someone or FOUND by someone. Personally I wouldn't be very happy. I have MY family and I got my brain smoothed out and I'm okay with me. I would tell my birthmom a big thank you - because while I have never given up a child I've lost one and I can't imagine how much you'd have to love someone to let them go.

    There are friends that I have that are hellbent on finding their bioparents. Two that I know of are now absolutely miserable because it wasn't the fairy tale princess life they found. Her words - "I went looking for a castle with a king and queen and got a smokey camper with 10 dogs pooping on the floor and beer bottles for yard decorations. She's in therapy now because she was adopted AND because she can't get over that HER genes came from what she found. I do have one friend that did find his bio mom and sisters.....and it's strained most times but he only looked after his Mom was dead and his adopted father remarried. He's really no happier than he was before he went looking.

    I'm sure there are people that are happy when they connect and I'm glad for them, but without a doubt in my life - my loyalties are with the people that raised me - My Mom and Dad.

    Hope this helps you with your son.

    There's also the consideration
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Once again you give me insight into my child.

  6. Thank you to everyone for your responses. I was essentially raised/adopted by my stepfather; and completely understand wanting to know where I came from and what people were like. But everything else helps give me some insight into the push/pull relationship I have with difficult child. Some days I feel like a yo-yo and this puts things into better perspective.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think you need to turn these hard questions over to professionals in the field. Lay people all have opinions, but they DON'T know how to handle it, and all kids need a different type of handling anyways. Kids with a driving need to know their roots (heck, I would have been one of those kids--I have unrelenting curiousity) in my opinion do need special help and understanding to become whole and productive people. Here is what's going on with me and my precious youngest (she is my favorite child, although you are not supposed to have a favorite. We are mother/child, best friends, soulmates and have absolute trust in one another. And she is curious about where she came from.

    I've been in contact with adoption therapists constantly these past few months. Many adopted kids DO care about the birthfathers AFTER they find out "why" from the birthmothers. Our stories aren't good enough; they want to hear from the horse's mouth why they were given up. Were they defective?Were they bad? WHY? And only the birthmother can tell them, if she is willing. I have four adopted kids my girls were the ones who were the most interested. The birthmother carried them for nine months and she is #1 on their list. After that, the birthfather becomes a curiousity to many kids.
    I strongly recommend adoption counseling for the kids before any contact is made and if your boy is upset by his adoption (this is common and has NOTHING to do with his attachment or love for you) I'd take him to a counselor who specializes in adoption issues. He can work through his fantasies or feelings of abandonment or not being "good enough" that we, as their adoptive mothers, can't change. I also highly recommend the book called "The 20 Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Parents Knew" by Sherri Eldridge. I have a great relationship with my youngest and we can talk about anything. When I asked her stuff from the book, she shocked me by agreeing wtih all of it. Of course, all kids are different, but I think it's a very informative read.
    I also think adoption counseling by somebody who really understands adopted kids, and their special issues, is great. It has made us a closer adoptive family, more ready to man the ship with our daughter's adoption questions. It also gave me an outlet to cry and express my own silly insecurities and then lift my chin and boldly face my daughter like a mom in control (yay, right!). Your son will probably feel a lot better with somebody to talk to who actually understands what adopted kids (some, at least) deal with. It is NOT the same as being born into a birthfamily because there are so many abandonment and identity issues. If the child is of another race like ours, that is another issue. In general, I have a grounded, well adjusted twelve year old girl, but she has questions about her past and love for her birthmother and she needs to be able to talk to somebody who can validate her feelings and help all of us as we try to reconnect with the birth relatives of hers who are willing to see her--but my daughter AND these birth relatives also need to respect reasonable boundaries. Anyway, you just struck a note with me since I'm going through this now with my precious child. I hope I helped and didn't just ramble Adopted kids get such a bad rap on televison, in the media, etc. They are seen as living in a "second best" situation...often they do need counseling to grow strong and proud, and they need to learn how to answer other's obnoxious questions such as other kids asking, "Where are your REAL parents?" "WHy did they give you up?" "Oh, it's so sad that you are adopted." My daughter hears this. My sons who are adopted heard this and got the message loud and clear. My oldest daughter heard this and still does, but she's sassy and has good comebacks, but it took her years (and drugs) to find hserlf. She is considering searching for her Korean birthmother. I gave her all the phone numbers and info she needs. It's just a matter of time and she has our blessing to search. She will always be connected to us, but our adopted kids have other families too--the ones who gave them their hair and musical talent and genes. It is natural to want to see somebody who looks like us.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2009
  8. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    MWM, the question was why adopted children rarely care about the boyfriend. Of course when they are older and after they had researched the bm, the question of their boyfriend is raised. But it is true that most adopted children give little thought to their boyfriend's.

    Adoption experts are not even sure about these answers.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yah, I know. I got a bit sidetracked ;)
    But they do often care about boyfriend's AFTER birthmom. I think it's because they carried them.
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree they adopted children definitely seem more interested in bio-moms than dads. It has always made me wonder why. As others I think it must have to do with the birthmom being the one who gave birth to them.

    Star-thank you so much for sharing. I do worry that I can never get easy child to talk about adoption. I think some of her problems probably come from this but can't get her to open up, even to a therapist.