Question for adoptive parents

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Not a good evening in this part of the world, with tempers frayed and emotions at boiling point on both sides - I didn't behave very well in response to a virtuoso display of defiance from J and a veil should really be brought over the whole episode... As usual, I did discuss it with him afterwards (what did you feel like inside when you were upset? What did you feel inside when I was upset with you? What do you think Mummy felt like inside? etc) and maybe some good came out of it all. Damage limitations. But towards the end of the evening, obviously very tired, J began crying and saying he felt sad about Kenza and wanted to see her. Kenza is his birth mother and her name is about all we know about her. He cried for a long time, and seemed genuinely distressed. He hasn't done this before. I think it is healthy and good (if painful) for him to feel sad about her - he asked me why she could not stay with him or look after him and I said (there may well be a better answer) that I did not know why but that she was not able to and she wanted other people to look after him and love him. He said he wanted to see her and for me to telephone her... Again, I don't have any better ideas than the truth so told him this is not possible because we do not know where she is but that I hoped that one day he might see her.
    Just wondering if this has arisen with your adopted children and how you have handled it.
  2. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I had closed adoptions but when they asked about their birth parents I was truthful. easy child/difficult child was told that he was not allowed to contact them until he was 18 and if at that time he wanted to I would help him. By 18 he had changed his mind and was no longer interested in making contact. difficult child was told that his parents were limited in their abilities and could not raise him. When he was an adult and acting out i told him the entire truth about them because it was not a pretty picture and he needed to know. I told them with love and alot of compassion for both them and thier parents. I think when the situation is not a good one they should be told only what they can handle at any given time.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    As an adopted kid, I had lots of questions just like that. The answers I got were what they were told by the adoption agency.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I have been honest with Q at his level too. I think you are right it is healthy and normal. Heck as a birth child, I fantasized about having different parents too. Quin mostly wants to know about his birth dad. Truth is I found a picture of him in jail and he is probably getting out about now. I will not share that info. I have a letter for him from his mom from jail when he was first taken away. She clearly loved him dearly. Dad did too. The social workers confirmed this. But they were too addicted and sick to be able to care for him and he was the last amongh many. When he asks I tell him that they didn't know how to be a mom and dad and they tried but NONE of the kids could stay with them. They are all adopted. He still thinks I took him and if not for me then he would be with them. One thing the therapist had said to do (and it is in adoption books too) is to do a time line and show when things happened. In his case it was helpful because the judge said they can never be his parents again 7 months before his social worker even got my papers to adopt him. When he says things now I remind him that the judge decided it so there is nothing we could have done. I have told him that some day if it is safe, I would help him contact his bio brothers and sisters if we can find them. I think we could becasue the same social workers are there and know the families. I know that is true becasue I have to call every year.

    Have you read the primal wound??? Stories about adoption by the adoptees. talks about how even if the adoptive home is bonded, perfect, ideal, there is still basic wound that happens when you are separated from the birth parent(s). I think I read it 13 yrs ago or so....I may be characterizing it wrong.

    I remember when Q first started talking more about his bio family.... the psychologist said that his issues (wondering, longing, etc) were developmentally appropriate for the stages adoptive kids go through. Trouble was he didn't have the age appropriate language or cognitive skills to deal with/process it. We did our best to help him with that. Still do have to discuss it every few months. He also pulled the, she is not my real mom thing this summer. He said at the hospital, in admissions, no she is not my real mom...the got big eyed and looked at me like I had no right to sign him in, I said nope, he is all mine, and I was so proud---not (at that moment anyway). He gets confused on terms and calls me his step mom sometimes. LOL
  5. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Thanks I am going to find it... I think even though my son can't communicate it all, he feels it all.
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, I've read "The Primal Wound". It was recommended to me by an (American, as it goes) friend whom I knew in Marrakesh at the time I was adopting J. She was adopted and very affected by it, partly (largely?) because her adoptive mother actually did not really want her and was cold and unloving towards her. She had also uncovered her birth mother and discovered that she had been the product of rape.
    It occurs to me that most adoptive stories are full of sorrow and shame. This of course makes them very difficult to share with children. I cannot tell J that his mother abandoned him at the hospital because having a child outside of marriage in Moroccan society is deeply shameful, usually involving permanent rejection by the mother's family. And, of course, the woman herself has usually been abandoned by the man whose child she is carrying. Or she may have been a prostitute, in which case she will likely have drunk or taken drugs during the pregnancy. I cannot tell him any of this, though perhaps one day I might. I am glad that J cried for his birth mother tonight. That he was sad and that I could tell him I understood his sadness and that it is fine for him to be sad about it. He also asked about his "first daddy", the first time he has done that.
    Funnily enough, my ex-husband himself had a child like this that he came to know about (before we married). He felt a lot of sorrow and guilt about this unknown child and having J in his life was/is like a chance to redeem himself, in some sense.
  8. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    my step son came to us like an adoption. his birth mother gave up him and 3 siblings when he was a baby so she could continue being a drug addict/prostitute. he went to foster care where the foster parents told him they were his real parents, and then when he was two she finally decided to let the social workers know who the kids fathers were. that is when he came to us after a long screening process. when he is most unstable he will get mad at me for not being his birth mother. he will demand that Marion come get him NOW!! and insist he is off to go live with her. he also insists that we stole him from his foster 'real' family and thinks the foster dad will come back some day to get him. it's sad. i just tell him the truth for the most part, that his real mother couldn't look after him and that she knows where he is and that he is safe and that i have no way of contacting her(that is not entirely true, i do get in contact with her every once in a while to see how she is doing and sometimes send pics via the net) i have also told him that his 'papa' was wrong to tell him that he was the real father because he isn't and that he (harsh but true) only had him at their home because it was their job to look after him until they found him a new home. he still doesn't beleive me but there is not much else i can do. i am actually open to bm being a limited part of his life but she has so far opted out so that is up to her. for now i will keep letting him know that she can't take care of herself most of the time and it wouldn't be safe for him to be with her.
  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Very sad story, ready2run. As you say, the best way of dealing with it is probably just telling the truth, adapted to the child's age. Or to be ready to answer questions, I guess, whenever they arise. I do fear for my son a little in this regard because I think not to know who one really is or where one came from is or can be very haunting. Perhaps one day we will find his birth mother - it's not impossible if he really wants to try. We have the area of Marrakesh where she came from. I myself used to wonder about her a lot when I first adopted him, who she was and what her story was. Much less so now. I guess we are building new stories.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    do you have mother's day in France? (or UK?) I always think of Q's bio parents on mother's/father's days
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Malika, the tweedles came to me with memories of birth mom. AND they created fantastic stories as to the whys & wherefores of birth mom.

    Saying the above, we were very truthful about bio mom. They were up for adoption not because of a loving adoption plan. The tweedles survived more than any child(ren) should have to survive. They were used in various demeaning & disgusting ways. For kt & wm to grow beyond their early childhood they needed to hear the harsh realities.

    Needless to say, kt & wm have been angry & sad the birth mom didn't care enough about them to keep them safe. To love & nurture them.

    I cannot think of one adopted child who doesn't feel sad or question why their bio mom didn't keep them. I also feel that at some point you must be honest as to why a birth mom couldn't parent her child. It was important for kt & wm or the fantasy the created would have disrupted any & all chances for their ability to function.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    All of my adopted kids tell me, now that they are older, than being adopted affected them a lot. I understand it because it I was adopted it would drive me crazy not knowing who I looked like or all the whys. I tried to share what was age appropriate at the time, but always told the truth. The older kids know everything I have and, if necessary, I tried to find out more, including trying to find the birthmother (they seemed a lot more interested in her than birthfather). I did find one birthmother.

    I adopted two kids from cultures that do not approve of out-of-wedlock children (especilaly girls) and told both of those kids very early on that their birthmother didn't really have a choice, considering the way things were in their country on birth. I explained it was not like it is here and their birthmothers really had no choice or else it would have been very difficult, if not impossible, for both of them. My son, who was adopted at six, never really stopped looking for his birthfamily and he found them (this was after I had found his birthmother when he was young). So he had an address. I don't know if he ever saw them or not because he no longer communicates with us, but I have seen his birthmother and half-sibs on his Facebook Friends list. My Korean daughter is very accepting and knows that if she wishes to search for her birthmother she has my blessing and I will help any way I can. She has not done it yet, but, like almost all adopted kids, she wonders about it.

    Jumper is the child closest to me and we have had long talks. She believes the being adopted is a 'special need" because you are different and always have questions. She was very lucky that she was able to communicte, if briefly, with both of her birthparents and that she knows for a fact that they cared about her. Of all my kids, my biological child included, she is my best adjusted.

    Sometimes, when they are very young, all we can do is hold them. I would also promise to do everything in my power to help find the birthmother when my child turned eighteen. It is heartbreaking when they get so upset over the adoption and I imagine they feel terribly abandoned.