Aly wants out!

Yesterday morning, Aly was ticked off at the world in general. She said she "woke up on the wrong side of the sheets"!

husband was home from work sick and was trying to help me keep the peace until the school bus came. Aly was yammering about wanting this that and the other thing. I finally snapped (bad mommy moment :blush:) I told her she had about 5 seconds to snap out of it or I would snap her out of it! :shocked: :shocked:

She screamed at husband and said "You are NOT my father, SHE is NOT my mother, I am not going to listen to you one more second, I want to go live with my bio family".

husband looked at me, panic in his eyes, I calmly asked Aly if she wanted help packing. :wildone: We had to wave off the bus and try to get her calmed down. After about half an hour, she was calm enough and asked to be taken to school.

On the ride there, she said she really is not sorry for saying that she wants to live with bio family. It is truly in her heart and knows she belongs there, not here. I told her that I was going to have to think about that one, as we ARE her FOREVER family and I wasn't sure what to say to her. She sees therapist tomorrow afternoon, I have a call in to her to forewarn her. I hope we can work through this!

Last night, while we were having our snuggle/reading time, she again said that she feels she belongs somewhere else. That she loves us and her adoptive sibs, but feels she should be living with her bio mom and bio sibs. I hugged her and told her that I was sure glad she WAS living with us, her FOREVER family and that we could talk with therapist about these strong feelings she was having.

Even her teacher wrote in her journal that Aly seemed preoccupied all day and asked to see Counselor. No idea what she told him, but I am sure I will be getting a phone call very soon from him.

I tried so hard to be matter of fact with her, telling her over and over how much we love her, how blessed we are that God felt we were the best family for her. But, she is just not letting this go this time. AND she is ONLY 9!!!!


It sounds like you handled this very well, especially since Aly has a counselor apart from the family to talk to.

I know that statements like that tug at your heartstrings - you feel for your child, but you also feel hurt yourself, but try to be adult about it!

Sending good wishes to you and your family.


(the future) MRS. GERE
It's enough to break a mom's heart to hear those words, that's for sure. sheesh.

Aly is sure engrossed in magical thinking right now but did I read at some point that she is going through early puberty, Vickie? I know this kind of thing is supposed to be very common when adopted kids go through puberty. It's the old *searching for identity* maelstrom. Hormones make pcs nuts and our difficult children really have a heck of a time. We were somewhat spared because Rob was late going into puberty but when he did you will recall that all heck broke loose :wildone:.

Hugs to you. I hope the therapist has an effective way to handle this. I will be interested to hear how it goes.



Well-Known Member

I have no idea if I could be completely off the mark or not but could this be because she is a different race? I dont know if you have ever said what race J is. Could someone someplace pointed out to Aly that she is different from her family? It has been completely obvious to this child that she has a bio family somewhere because of the racial differences. I would think the grass is greener syndrome is bound to take place sooner or later.

Obviously you cannot allow her to go to biomoms. I think if I were you I would be matter of fact and simply say no. This is no different in my book than no you cant ride your bike on the freeway, no you cant go live with Micheal Jackson, No we arent going to disney this weekend. Kids get ideas in their heads that they want to do and parents have to say no, not happening.
Janet, I think you hit it on the nail! J is Hispanic, Aly is African American, we are white. J is olive complexion with dark brown eyes and light brown hair. She looks ALOT like I did at her age.

Aly just had that stupid Family Tree project a few weeks back and I think this has been stewing for some time now. She has said random things in the past, but has let it go. This time she seems stuck.

For husband, this was the first time he was really involved in this sort of conversation, she usually saves this crappola for me! :frown:

And, yes, I think she is in the midst of starting puberty. Those "buds" are now requiring a bra. No period yet, but she is prepared for it, I think.

Anyways, thanks for the insight. Kinda hard to think when you are in the middle of it all. Great to have this place to come to to get some perspective.

Hugs and thanks,


New Member
That family tree project is probably at the center of this. My grandson had to do it and it was horrid for his father. It brought up all the old stuff when he couldn't tell him what color eyes his birth mother had and all that stuff. I told my daughter to just put down all the information from her husbands adoptive family and let it go at that. I think this project should be banned for that reason. it stirrs up too many emotions for some kids and parents.

Pretty much all adopted kids fantisize over they bio-families. I think you did good by not showing your hurt. It would give her too much power over you.
I never let on how having those words shouted at me hurt my heart to my boys. I did speak about it to their theripists though. I actually had two therapist ask me why this would hurt me since it was completely normal. Well that is easy for them to say. It is hurtful to have put so much love and effort into a kid only to have them say they wished they were with the neglectful and abusive bio-parents they were rescued from. .


Well-Known Member
I think it's normal, especially before they meet their bio. families. I remember my best friend who was adopted and she said the same thing. She met her bio. family at age 37 and has never been sorry, but she doesn't feel a real part of them eithr. I have to notate that her adoptive family wasn't great--her mom is an alcoholic and she had a lot of foster kids in and out, which she didn't like. She thought "I'm just like the rest, I just lasted longer." That made me think hard because, at the time, we were doing foster care. My Korean daughter has said, "Nobody wanted me. waaaaaaaaahhhhhhh." and "I want to go find my REAL mom" I just blow it off. We're really close and recently, she has told me how lucky she feels because there are so many messed up families. We never made a big deal out of it when the kids expressed a desire to know their bio. relatives. I think it's natural. As my friend says to me, "At least, when I look in the mirror, now I know who I look like." She is well over being enamored with her bio. relatives and sees the cracks in their lives. I'd let her talk about it with therapist, but I really don't believe in freaking out about it, nor do I feel it is in any way a statement of how much we love our kids or how well we parent them. in my opinion it's just a natural curiousity, and more and more adoptees really do meet their bio. relatives these days, with mixed results. My friend is the same race as her biol. relatives. She is even the same nationality (Irish). She was still obsessed with "I don't belong" when I first met her, and it didn't end until she did meet them. I think it's a universal adoptive thing. From my experience, girls seem more upset over it than boys, but could be that they just hide it better.


Well-Known Member
Pam, I want to speak out about this too. I HATE THE FAMILY TREE PROJECT!!!!! I feel edgy just thinking about it. I mean, what is the point?????? All my kids have been faced with this, and, with all the adopting, absent fathers that kids have never seen, stepfamilies, etc. they have now, it's hard for many kids. But it's the hardest on adoptive kids and I do think it kicks up issues that we can't resolve for them while they're so young unless we knew the birthfamily. Grrrrrrrrrrrr!
We're an adoptive family also and the last year and a half my daughter has really been grappling with the ethnic issue (she is Hispanic, I am non-Hispanic white). She constantly describes herself as "not white", has sought out mostly Hispanic friends, and speaks with a pseudo-Hispanic accent (she is an English-speaker only. I tried to teach her Spanish in her younger years, but she wasn't able to learn much due to learning disabilities). I have always been very positive about her South American heritage, but the sad thing is that in her mind she equates Hispanic culture with tough gang-banger behavior and provocative clothing. I try to talk to her about positive Hispanic role models, but she is not interested. I'm trying to be understanding of the underlying issues causing this, but it's really wearing to deal with all the time. I should be trying to think of creative ways to address this, but we have so many other extreme behavioral issues that I've been concentrating on them, also to no avail. Guess I should step back and take a look at the overall picture. Sigh.


Active Member
Vickie, speaking only from my own experience as a child from a broken, very off the wall family, I can only say that the problems for me started when I was 9 also. I lived with my aunt who was not even my bio aunt. I wanted to live with dad. Went to live with dad and was back with aunt 6 months later and then back with my dad about 6 months after that. Bio mom wasn't even an option because she was just a mess. Biomom's family is a mess. I was very confused and hated the world. So, what I'm saying is this is probably typical behavior superimposed on her BiPolar (BP), which I'm sure is not a good combo. Eventually, with maturity, I learned to handle it, although not always with grace and finesse. I feel for you. I feel for her. I don't have any answers. It's going to be a rough few years ahead. You are handling it well and getting her the right help. That's the best you can do.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

I've heard this from the tweedles more times than I can count.

The family tree project can sure be a trigger. This is also the age where Aly is beginning to be aware of a sense of self. A sense of family. A certain sense of independence. She is aware there are differences; she is also aware of the love you & husband have provided for her.

It's all just a muddle for her right now. :smile: I'd keep an eye on things if this continues to escalate or she becomes fixated on it. She can always write a letter to bio mom - whether it's mailed or not.


Going Green
We had a similar conversation with difficult child about a year ago or so. I'm not really sure where it came from but (at least in our case) like most of difficult child's obsessions, it came and went. He did, though, have some sort of a plan thought up as far as where he would live even though it was a little vague. What caught my eye in your post though, was the term "I don't belong". difficult child said pretty much the same thing. In his case, he remembers his bio mom and we still have some (sporadic on their end) contact with some of his bio family. I'm not sure if it was a wave of nostalgia for him, some of his famous avoidance, something actually honest out of him or a combination. When it came up "seriously" it was brought up in counseling which did give us the advantage of discussing it calmly. He wanted to move period and we said no but gave a few reasons that wasn't just us saying no. (probation issues, docs, etc) We discussed a POSSIBLE compromise but put such conditions on it that we (husband, myself and counselor) knew it wouldn't happen. In the end I think it was a combination of the conditions not being met, response from the bio family and the idea fizzling for difficult child that it went away.

Also, in our case difficult child was 9 when he came to live with us. I love him but we've never developed a strong close bond like we might have had he been very young when we got him. Because of that, while I was hurt by him saying he didn't feel a part of our family, I wasn't entirely suprised. When we got him he was half grown and we were the third family that were supposed to adopt him, not to mention all of the foster homes he had been in. I won't be surprised either if he tries to go back to bio family after he's 18 although I'm not sure how he'll get there. (they live about 2 hours away). He doesn't have a permit yet, much less his license, no money for a bus ticket or gas for someone to take him and I'm not sure that the "good" members of his family would do it without getting our permission 18 or not. Plus I won't allow bio mom to come to our house even though she has never met us and I'm not even sure she knows much if anything about us.

Now that I've rambled on, I'm not quite sure what my point is. :blush: The whole idea of "going back", so to speak, is not a new one. For whatever reasons, and in various circumstances, I think it comes up often with those of our kids who were adopted. Whether it's a serious wish or not, I don't know. I think you handled it in the best way you could in your case. I don't really know what else to say except hang in there. Sending lots of hugs.


in my humble opinion get advice from therapist on how to handle this because it really depends on where it's coming from in her mind.

Statistically, according to the adoption studies, girls do have more of a yearning to search for bios than boys do. And it typically starts at adolescence. So in my humble opinion, since she is maturing early, this is quite normal.

As to the race issue, again I have boys, but it has not been a problem for me as much as it has for you. BUT, it has been the subject of discussion with my kids many, many times over the years. I took a specific approach on this which seems to have worked for us. Same with all of my other adoptive single parent friends/ families. I honestly can't think of one kid in all those who has problems with race. As for wanting to search I only know of one. His mother took him when he was about 17 to his country of origin for a visit. He chose to spend the following Summer there on some kind of exchange or mission program and came home satisfied that he understood a lot more now and had no recurring need to go back. Honestly, race is not nearly as much an issue as new adoptive parents dread. There's plenty of studies and literature on this now and it's just not an issue for the kids (assuming they've grown up in an enlightened environment which certainly Aly has). Having said all that, statistics mean nothing for one child. Aly is a very sensitive child with a lot of reasons to be sensitive (Special Education class, behind in academics, behavior that probably makes her unpopular amongst classmates, etc). Race is just one more issue.

One of the big reasons that I have not had a problem with race is that from the time mine were babies (oldest was about 10 mo the first time), we have been active in a group of families of white Moms of different race kids. Many of my now best friends came out of this group so mine have seen kids grow up for 16 yrs now who are in the same family racial situation that they are. I do suggest Vicky that you get in contact with those folks I recommended to you to see about a multi-racial adoptive family support group near you. I believe that it will really help Aly to feel that she does fit in racially and otherwise in some setting.


Well-Known Member
I don't know your real name, so I hope you don't mind if I call you Ms. Tang (grin). You are so right about the age of adoption. My one son who never seemed to feel as if he fit in is now almost thirty. He came from an orphanage in Hong Kong and is now married to a Chinese woman and has totally become immersed in being Chinese and in a very strict form of Christianity, one that is far more intense than any type we've ever heard of. I think all of this is identity crisis stuff, but he has sort of shunned us. It hurts, but because he was adopted later in life, we aren't shocked either. He was always a great, well-behaved kid, and he is brilliant. His honeymoon was in China and I know they also went to Hong Kong. Whether or not he found his biological mother, I don't know. He has her address--I found it for him when he was very young and afraid she'd died in a car accident (never figured out where that came from). My other adopted kids came at young ages, and I have not had this feeling of detachment from those children, even when my Korean daughter went through her drug days. We still were always close. I think the age of the adopted child can have a big impact on how connected they feel to the family. Than, again, some adopted kids just feel like they have to know who they look like and why they're, say, good at art. But the child we adopted at six is the one who is desperately trying to connect with his roots. Since he's so bright he'll say outright that "who I am was formed before I came here." He's right. He feels as if we loved him (he doesn't doubt that), but not that we shaped him in any way. Frankly, this particular child, now adult, was mismatched in our family. We are down-to-earth and borderline blue color, loud, and have a lot of fun. He is extremely intellectual (at a very high level), quiet, materialistic (you should see his house and cars) and would have done better as the son of a college professor or computer techie. Sometimes I wonder if he has Aspergers, but he is too good at "playing" the people game. I'm sure this added to his feeling that he didn't belong (if he felt that way--he never voiced those thoughts). Many, many times I sadly thought that he'd be better off in a more intellectual family and I felt for him.


New Member
<font color="purple">vicki, no one has to have pointed out to aly that she looks different from her adoptive family. all she has to do is look in the mirror. this is not an issue in just biracial families. many adoptees look different from their adoptive families....they know it & they often become preoccupied by it.

i know you've done all the books, explanations & those things. i have another thought tho. have you involved other african americans in her a more than superficial basis....or as therapeutic support. IOW, does she attend a church that is predominently AA? is there any AA family you would feel comfortable reaching out to for support....people that would be able to help aly get in touch with-her AA self?? people who would be strong AA role models for her? is there any biracial adoption community in your area you could reach out to?

kris </font>


New Member

I have 8 kids, 4 are AA, My difficult child is 8, BiPolar (BP) and AA and I agree with the post that it is alot to deal with. It makes sense that as sensitive as Ally is her feelings would be more intense. I have read a few books on transracial adoption and a real simple breakdown of stages they said the kids go through are blissful unawareness, wanting to be the adoptive parents race, wanting to be with/live with their birth race and acceptance.
I think Ally is dealing with the very visual race issues as well as the "family tree" thing,ugh and who knows what else. Hang in there, I can understand how much the words hurt especially when you have been though so much and fought so hard for her and you know how strong your love is. In the long run so does Ally.
Thank you to everyone who responded!

Kris, we live in a VERY predominately white community, but as the years go by, more and more "other than white" families are moving here. Aly has just started basketball again and there is a biracial girl on her team. They seem like a wonderful family with 6 kids. I plan on trying to encourage a friendship between the girls.

In a town about 30 miles from us, there are many more AA families and churches. I have started asking my friends who have adopted outside their race if they are interested in a good, old fashioned "play group".

Hoping these steps will help Aly connect with others "like her". It's really weird tho because there are several AA families with kids in Aly's school now and she always tends to befriend the blondest/whitest kiddos around! :crazy:

Anyways, this is still continuing to be an issue for our Miss Aly. She had some "conflicts" with some school pals yesterday at lunch and called me crying, begging for me to come get her cause she was really mad/hurt/sad... I spoke with her teacher and they were taking Aly to the on campus counselor to get her calmed down. I guess she was trying to help some other kids resolve THEIR conflicts and she ended up right in the middle of it all. Principal got involved and Aly yelled at him. She was going to be losing her recesses today, but I discussed my issues with this sort of punishment for Aly, it just doesn't have an impact and makes her spin out worse. We came up with an acceptable consequence instead. She is to write (with help) an apology note to principal and she is going to help the other kiddos that were involved to pick up the lunch area after lunch today.

And, through all this, she came home yesterday, saying yet again that she wants to get on a plane and live with bio mom. :tongue: Oy vey!!!

This too shall pass, or not!


And the saga continues!!

I have a call in to psychiatrist because: Last evening, while at a celebratory BBQ for easy child 2's girlfriend, we had an incident! I can't go into great detail because some of the kids involved are foster children of girlfriend's mom and so there is some confidentiality issues here. Aly was not the main person involved, but was in the room and did not find an adult to help her with the situation. It could have been handled in a very matter of fact/strict way, but girlfriend's 3 yo son was involved and she freaked out. Now I am just waiting for CPS to show up at my door! I am so freaking scared right now. We already have that huge "red check" by our names, this just might topple the whole thing. Be reassured, Aly was NOT the perpetrator, but was a bystander. We had a long, calm talk with her and I THINK she understood why not coming to get an adult was as bad as being involved in the first place. Please, please, please, keep us in your good thoughts and prayers. I really don't think I can handle CPS in our lives again.

The other thing is, Aly's at school therapist just called. Said Aly is obsessing on bio family again. She drew a picture of a heart, with a line down the middle, with the right side full of little stick people with curly hair and the left side with only lines in it. Next to the people side she wrote "birth family" next to the left she left blank. She told therapist that is how she feels "empty and hollow and not where she belongs". therapist feels we need a family session and I totally agree. She also told him that she gets weekly visits with bio mom "now that she is out of jail". Bio mom wasn't in jail, is not in this state and has NOT been visiting with Aly.

I am afraid she is losing touch with reality again. She was doing sooooooo well, I am so sad and scared for her.

In home counseling will be this afternoon, we are jumping on this right away.

I am just not is a good space right now. Please help!!



I don't mean to be devil's advocate, but I'm going to toss in another viewpoint.

I have a relative who was adopted out shortly after birth. His birth family kept track of him thru the years. His adoptive family loved him immensely and were well-to-do; his birth family loved him, but didn't have the means to support his medical conditions. He was raised in the well-to-do suburbs, just as the families 3 previous children had been.

As this young man grew, he loved his adoptive family, but he felt an amazing sense of longing to be elsewhere that he didn't understand. It wasn't until he was in his late teens and made a friend who wasn't so well-to-do and a suburbanite that things started coming together. In his case, it would seem he was somewhat genetically wired to live a different type of existence.

His adoptive siblings drove nice cars when they turned 16. They wore the best clothes and went to the best schools. They are happy and productive people with families of their own. And this young man finally talked his adoptive family into letting him trial a stay with his not-so-well-to-do friend. He gave up the luxary of not having to have a job; instead of a nice car, he got a 20 year old clunker that he had to fix all the time; he bought clothes at Goodwill and did his own laundry; he paid his own way thru college. He's a young man now with a young family. He has met his birth family, and moved closer to them. He continues to choose the harder of the two lifestyles - the one that also resembles his birth family's lifestyle. He maintains close contact with his adoptive family, talks to them frequently on the phone, and visits several times a year, but he swears what was missing was the rough edges that his world would have had if he'd stayed with his birth family.

He harbors no anger towards anyone, but I think his story is interesting and possibly enlightening, at times. He also eats things his birth family eats (long before he knew them), and his adoptive family didn't.

I don't know Duckie's bio history, but perhaps there's something you could include that might be her "bio culture" that might appease her curiosity?

I wish we knew the extent these things were wired into their minds.

On that note, easy child 2 is 9 (tho immature for her age), and she knows her entire family, and she still gets hung up on drawings of her family, mom's house, dad's house, etc. Part of it is probably age-related identity search, tossed in with an added obstacle of a big question mark as to part of where she came from.

FWIW, I think you're doing a great job! Some day she may well thank you for loving her.