Birthparents issues with adopted kids

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My daughter expressed A LOT of anger toward her birthmother today. I was floored because I met her birthmother and I like her and have always spoke well of her. N. would like to meet her right away, although she professes to be mad at her. Ugh. I can't find her. It wouldn't really be so hard to go that extra mile and look her up, but I think that at age 12 it's NOT a good time. I'm thinking 18.
    And a part of me is sad that she wants to search. I'm afraid I'll lose my baby. I know that's dumb, but her birthmother doesn't live THAT far away, is younger than me, and is really a nice person. I'm afraid my kid will stop wanting to be MY kid. She calls her birthmother "my REAL REAL mom."
    I told her that she's too young for me to search with her, and she seemed upset, but didn't say anything. Thoughts?
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I told my difficult child that she wasn't legally allowed to search until she was 18 and then only with my permission,,which is true. In Ohio she has to be 21 to search on her own. I explained there was a good reason for that law and it was to protect young people until they were mature enough to handle the situation.

    I once said I believed most adopted children had adoption issues surrounding their birthmothers in particular and I still believe that. It may not surface until the child is an adult but more often is surfaces just about the time it has for your daughter. Often their acting out is a result of the anger they carry for their birthmother but it is directed toward the adoptive mom.

    My difficult child will be 18 in June and if she asks again I will help her reunite with her birthmother. I once had the same fears you did about her rejecting me/us, but she has rejected us her entire life so that is no longer a fear. I actually think it may help our relationship.

    But it is different for everyone. I do believe however, that 12 is way to young to be reunited. She will not know what to do with the emotions surrounding that event.

  3. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    Or difficult child is adopted too. One thing I did from a young age was to tell my difficult child that her birth mother was just that and *I* was her real mother. Never a negative word about her birth mother. It was probably about your daughters age, that mine also took great interest in her birth mother. I never did feel threatened by her curiosity, I don't know why really, except that I would have probably been curious myself if I had been adopted. I have read other adoptive parents feel they way you do. I agree that your daughter is too young to meet her birth mother. I would tell your daughter in a positive way that you will definitely and happily help her connect with her birth mother when she is 18 yrs.

    I bet your daughter is trying to process the info about her adoption and trying to figure out who she is and who she relates to. By acting angry towards her birth mother, she may be trying to protect your feelings without really knowing it.

    Don't worry............ she'll always be your daughter and you her real mother.

    I forgot to add.......... My difficult child has met her bio mother. They really don't get along because they are very much alike, both very demanding of attention. They do still talk though. Actually, I am happy for her. If it can give my difficult child any sense of peace, I am happy.
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    You are her real mother and that will never change. I agree with Nancy that meeting her birthmother at some point could help your relationship if it helps your daughter process that anger. I think waiting till she is 18 is reasonable. A boss I worked for had given a child up for adoption oh say 25 years ago. When the girl was about 14 she wrote to her and basically told her "thank you" for giving me to my family. It was a very neat situation. They later met and my friend went to both her hs and college graduation.

    My son has met his genetic "mom" and I would have to say it has been both good and not so good. Good in that he doesn't have to fantasize so much about her and not so good because he technically has three brothers and two grown step brothers and yet is basically an only. He think he would like to have been part of a larger family but his disposition does much better as an only lol. I mean if he thinks I give the cat more attention imagine if I had other kids :)

    You really are a great mom and your kids are so lucky to have you as their warrior/champion mom.


  5. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    One twin wants to meet his birth mom, the other says he never wants to see her (they are identicals!). The one who wants to meet her is unwilling to do the work involved. I found a website for him and printed out a form. He STILL has not filled it out. When they were around 15 y.o. they both talked about a search. I told them that when they turned 18 I would help if they wanted me to (very scary). They are now adults and have made no effort.

    easy child daughter 12 talks about a search for her Russian biomom. I told her she can wait 'til she is 18. I think this is a lot harder for girls to deal with because they are the ones who give new life.

    MWM, is this bringing up the abandonment and rejection you feel from the son who has turned away from your family? I am so sorry for your pain and fear.
  6. Ilovemyson

    Ilovemyson Guest

    Being the child of adoption, I can tell you from my experience that what your daughter is going through is "normal". I use that word loosely because that is all I have ever heard that it was "normal" to be angry or mad at her. Sometimes it will go away if the reason behind why she was given up for adoption is told to her, sometimes it will go into hibernation and other times it will just be there.

    That being said, I love both of my mom's(bio and adopted). It took time, it takes strength, it takes forgiveness and once in a blue moon it still bothers me, not so much angry but questions that have not been answered completely or two different versions.

    I pray that you will have the strength to "handle" whatever is going to happen and if it does happen. Good, bad or ugly, know that you did the best job you could! It may take time, but she will come to realize that it was the best situation.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I will offer a little different perspective, but since I didn't follow through with it, I'm not sure how accurate it would be for your situation.

    As most know, I am a single parent, and was aware that I would be from the beginning of my pregnancy. I did consider having my son adopted because I thought maybe adoptive parents could give him a life that I would not be able to- basicly - two wonderful parents, 1.5 siblings, and the white picket fence. I did not pursue this because 1) I didn't think I would be able to stick to any agreement about me staying out of his life and 2) because I could not stand the thought of him going to bed a single night wondering if his bio-mom loved him and why she "gave him up" or why she wasn't in his life.

    I knew of course, that if someone else raised him, that person would be his "parent". That wasn't what bugged me. What bugged me was wondering how much damage could it possibly do for him to grow up thinking that I wasn't in his life because I didn't care, instead of understanding that I made the choice because I loved him so much.

    So, my opinion is that you find and talk to the bio-mom- alone- and determine if she can and would help your child understand that she is loved, you are the mom, but that she (the child) has NO reason to feel rejected or unwanted and that good hearts have plenty of room for all people who love, accept and truly want what is best for another.

    I might be the minority on this one, and it might be too idealsitic- as you know- I didn't pursue that option with my son.
  8. Woofens

    Woofens New Member

    MWM, I wanted to PM this to you but got a message that said you had disabled PM's.

    My mom left my bio-dad when I was 6 months old. He was a major difficult child. (my mom is too in her own way). I didn't have any contact with my bio-dad until I turned 18. As a kid about your daughters age, I wanted more than anything to get to know my bio-dad. My mothers 2nd husband adopted me when I was 3, and made a deal with bio-dad that he would not try to contact me until I was 18. For a LONG time I was so angry at my mother for keeping me away from him. Now, as an adult, in a very similar situation with easy child's S and T that my mom was in with me and my bio-dad, I can see that she did what was best for me, even though it took me years to realize it. I know that someday my girls are going to want to know their bio-dad. They will not until they are at least 18 if I have any say in it at all. I don't talk badly about bio-dad around them, but they do know that he left us without anything, and never looked back, that he threatened to kill me and hide them away. They know that he has 4 other children that he doesn't pay child support on either. The only reason they know what they do is because even though it has been almost 10 years, I still worry about him finding us. They have to know so that they are never tempted to go with someone that says he is their "real" dad.

    I say stick to your guns, make her wait until she is 18. 12 is such a hard age for girls anyway, I can't see it helping her any to know her bio-mom now. JMHO.

  9. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    We were always told that Rob legally had to wait until he was 18 to search for his biomom and I always hoped he would so I could meet her. He was so immature at 12 that even if he could have, I wouldn't have considered it.

  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We've always told the kids that when they turn 18 we will help them find their birth moms if they want.

    easy child has helped me write an update letter in the past as I have written her birthmom a few times (should do it more regularly but I'm not good about it). She had a friend earlier this year pushing her to try and meet her birthmom. She told husband but never told me. I'm guessing at some point she may want to meet her. I can't help but think this is scary and yet I will support her but not until 18.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, wow! Such wonderful feedback. Update: I have a very good friend who is adopted and searched and she is wonderful with kids (she's a school aide for behavior disordered kids and they love her.) I called her and she talked to N. privately about her anger, her feelings, how SHE had felt, why it's best to wait "until everyone is ready" and came up with stuff only an adopted person could think of. My daughter came out of there in tears, but not angry tears. She likes my friend. I think it helped her. She had great suggestions, such as journaling questions that she would like to ask B. (her birthmother) one day and putting down her feelings of anger or anything else.
    I know her birthparents and went through the pregnancy with birthmom. The idea was to have an open adoption, but both of her birthparents let her down so badly that I stopped it. Her birthmother had been engaged about a year after N. was born and she promised N. she could be the flower girl in the wedding. N. was very excited. She'd asked about it, but B. didn't call. Finally, I called her. There was music in the background and kids talking and another men (not her fiance) answered the phone. She got on and told me she'd broken up with her fiance. She hadn't told N. about it. I took that as a big red flag that she was not mature enough to have contact with N. N. was devestated that she hadn't told her. Her birthfather was also in contact with her, but he had substance abuse issues and had been in jail. His family, however, is neat. He promised to throw her a huge Chuck E. Cheese birthday party and she again got all excited, looking forward to it. It never happened and he got a DUI and ended up back in legal trouble. He wrote to her from jail and we kept the letters for later, but he also seemed like a poor candidate to enhance her childhood. And nobody else in his family returned our invitations to visit N.
    Years have gone by and I tried to contact B. just to give her an update, but I don't k now how to find her. My guess is she got married and I don't know her last name. I know where she lives (or lived) and shouldn't have any trouble finding her when N. turns 18. She is a good person with custody of N.'s half-brother, and I definitely want N. to know her brother. But I feel she is at too of an emotional age to start up again. What if the birthmother is still unreliable? I wouldn't mind writing to her to give her updates, but I don't think it's time for them to see one another again.
    As for me feeling threatened, that's just me being a N. and I have a very strong bond. We are very close. N. is going to want to meet B. again, and I'm going to have to be brave and cheerful about it and it's probably going to go much smoother for all of us than my vile imagination says.
    I don't think this has anything to do with the son who has disappeared on us. He came at age six and was never that bonded to us. I think it is worse for me in N's case because we are so close. I saw her birth and was the first to hold her and it's been uphill ever since. So I don't want to lose her to another mother! Yet none of us, even biol. parents, own our kids. I have one biol. son.
    I always refer to myself and her dad as dad and mom and her birthparents as birthmother and birthfather. That's why when she said REAL REAL mother it threw me a little, but she was upset and I knew what she meant--she meant mother who gave birth to me (birthmother).
    Keep it coming. I love your feedback. You are such wise parents and I learn so much from all of you. Bless you all.
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I've a weird experience to's kinda similar, without the adoption part. This is very personal and I will likely delete this in a day or so.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree, that waiting is the best bet. She is not mature enough now. Loth made some great points. I especially like this part:
    "I realized that hating her was using up way too much energy and I began to realize that I really just felt nothing for her and wasn't obligated to feel anything for her. I don't think kids at age 12 are capable of reasoning that out."
    This is true for many of us and our parents, not just adoptees.

    MWM, you offered yet another perfect example of why waiting is important. If the bparents are going to flake out, it will only hurt the child. We've had minor issues, and they still hurt. difficult child's bmom missed 2 or 3 of his birthday parties because she was "sick." difficult child finally figured out that she wasn't sick at all. I suggested that he call her and personally ask her to come to the party. It worked. She heard his voice on the ans machine and was totally guilted into not only calling back, but showing up. On time. (She and the grandmother are notoriously late for everything. One yr, the ice cream cake melted while we were waiting and difficult child was in tears.)

    Your adolescent will have a hard time now, but I think it would be much harder to throw her into an unpredictable fray and have to clean up the mess.

    Best of luck. :)
  14. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Thanks Terry. It was a very liberating feeling when I had that lightbulb moment. I had to figure it out on my own. No one could have explained or helped me through that.
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, this scenario is much different than what I visualized when I first read this thread. So, instead of me relating to it like I could be the bio-mom who had her child adopted but really wanted to always be a small part of his life, know he's taken care of, and let him know that I still love him, now I'm looking at it more like this would be like difficult child wanting to search for his father and contact him now. From that standpoint, since I KNOW difficult child would end up hurt, disappointed, and left even more confused and angry and negative....then, NO WAY. I have already told difficult child that when he is an adult, I will give him the info I have so if he wanted to look for his father, he would be able to, but I also have started to prepare him a little (without saying anything real bad about his father) that he end up very hurt.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks again all. I tapped into a good resource today--a counselor who does post-adoption and this is a common issue for her. We talked for over an hour and both agreed that twelve is too young.
    Then N. came home today all happy and in a good mood, like last night had never I let it go for now. I have learned that this is a normal part of development for a 12 year old adopted kid and that their brains are not sufficiently developed to deal with the details involved in meeting their birthfamilies. I will start to get in touch with them and write back and forth (or talk) when she is about sixteen to get ALL of us prepared. I will probably set up the first meeting with her therapist so all of us can meet together with one neutral person there. I think doing it slowly and with a lot of talking going on, on both sides, about what is best for N. is the way to go. Her birthmother is a very nice person and we got along really well. I think she'll be more than happy to work with me before the meeting, and, while we talk, I can fill her in on how N. is doing and send her pictures so that she doesn't feel the void in her own life. And maybe we can get the birth brother also involved. My Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son remembers him. They used to play together.
    I have "20 Things Adopted Kids Want You to Know" reserved at the library for me when it comes back in. When I get on a topic, I go all out and tend to learn everything about One thing I have read is that your child will actually be closer and more bonded to you if you go through the searching process with her and support her and embrace her birthparents. I CAN DO THAT!!!! I WILL DO THAT!!!! And most of the time, unless the child was adopted much older and knew the birth family before OR you had a hideous relationship with your child, you don't get dumped :) I feel much better now and ready to take on this topic full speed ahead. Thank you all ;) I hope sometimes I can help you all as much as you help me.