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Could it be?

04 Jun

While doing those seemingly endless mundane chores around the house, I suddenly had this bizarre thought out of the blue – so here I am throwing it out for discussion.

Could the reason why people focus so much on the adoptive parents when reunion stories come up, an adoptee dares to speak out about feelings of loss, adoption practices, etc., boil down to the fact that in their hearts, they don’t really believe that adoption, and being adopted could be anyone’s norm.  So it’s always questionable whether an adopted child will love (or loves) their parents who parent them?  And, I’m talking about people both inside adoption and the general public.

Is it really that hard to believe that a child can love their parents who raise them?  Is that why everyone needs to hear about the adoptee’s relationship with their parents to determine the validity of what they are saying?  Does it boil down to the fact that they actually (despite claiming otherwise) see it as abnormal to have a parent child relationship without genetic ties?

(hopefully that makes sense and you get what I’m trying to say)

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30 Comments

Posted by on June 4, 2015 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

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30 responses to “Could it be?

  1. eagoodlife

    June 4, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    Only a very honest adopter answering from their heart of hearts could get round this one!

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  2. cb

    June 4, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    I’ve often wondered the same thing myself. I think that that is due to one of the major flaws post-war Western adoption in that it was believed that for a bond to develop between the child and parent, other bonds had to be severed – however, this showed a lack of trust in the adoptive bond because why would one need to obliterate former bonds unless one felt that one’s own bond with one’s child wouldn’t survive on its own merits? This is what I’ve said before about relationships being built on rock – by severing the bonds between the bparents and child because one doesn’t trust enough in one’s own bonds developing, one is building relationships in sand.

    Most of the traditional (eg Polynesian) and biblical “adoptions respected those former bonds and any loving relationship that did develop between the raising parents and the child was able to stand on its own two feet.

    I think also that there is no real understanding as to why some adoptees may walk away from their APs after reuniting. It is the fear of many prospective adoptive parents but they often don’t understand that this walking way often has nothing to do with abandoning their APs, it is often more because the adoptee feels so betrayed by their APs lack of trust in their bond that they may end up feeling that their parents love for them was conditional. This is why I tell APs that if they are supportive of their adoptee when it comes to searching, their relationship will often be stronger because the adoptee will feel secure that the existing bonds are able to withstand any new bonds. I know that my bond with my own amum is stronger because of her supportive behaviour.

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    • cb

      June 4, 2015 at 11:25 pm

      btw I meant to say “walking away” not walking way

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  3. Lisa

    June 4, 2015 at 11:48 pm

    Good question, TAO.
    And valuable response, CB. I think you’re right.

    TAO, I thought you meant to say “waltzing” 😉

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  4. L4R

    June 4, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    To go one step further, for those adoptive parents who may hold these beliefs, does that mean they love (or suspect they’d love) their adopted children less than biological ones?

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    • beth62

      June 5, 2015 at 12:32 am

      Maybe not less, but differently?

      Which could be spun as not the same, not normal, and cause a fear of less?

      Must not be thought of as so great of a thing since it’s rare you see anyone say more love! The assumption typically falls on less, not more.

      But can’t say I haven’t heard that I was more loved because I was chosen…

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  5. beth62

    June 5, 2015 at 12:11 am

    I think a lot of what we see and hear now comes from the push to make it normal and 🙂 real from the beginning. Just look at all the old books, the majority have plenty of info on how to help normalize it for people around you.

    It would help explain why so many of the adopted ones seem to feel more secure in the adopted relationship – it is our norm and we know it can be real…
    until we end up rethinking it all when another makes it feel like we must choose either/or to be normal or real.

    And then there is this:
    It is different.

    I think some take the normalization of it so far they will or cannot outwardly admit that it is different. And if they do it could mean it’s not real, or as real.

    And then there is this: If it’s your norm, how would you really know it is different… or rather how it is different.

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  6. beth62

    June 5, 2015 at 12:36 am

    I think it might be really smart for all involved in adoption to learn how to swim in and out of all the paradoxical rip tides!

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  7. cb

    June 5, 2015 at 1:37 am

    “I think it might be really smart for all involved in adoption to learn how to swim in and out of all the paradoxical rip tides!”

    Ah, the paradoxes. I think the most exhausting part of the last 5 years has been trying to make sense of the paradoxes. Sometimes I feel like Alice in Wonderland lol:

    http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/alice-in-wonderland

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    • beth62

      June 5, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      I remember years ago in a forum when we realized we were dealing with paradoxes. My memory sucks but I do remember shadow being there too, what a happy relief that was to find the paradoxes!

      Now when I see them I can’t help but get giddy. They tickle my soul and ask me to get up and happy dance my way around Wonderland visiting them all 🙂
      And I most often do.

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      • cb

        June 10, 2015 at 12:31 am

        LOL Beth, trying to conjure up the image you describe has me in hysterics 🙂

        Seriously though, adoptees do get sent mixed messages all the time and we are expected to believe things that contradict each other.

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  8. cb

    June 5, 2015 at 2:00 am

    I’ve often felt that when the “General Public” attack adoptees in the comments of adoption articles, they are doing so in a misguided attempt to protect the feelings of adoptive parents, especially those suffering from IF, not realising that they might not want “protection”. The comments addressed to adoptees can often come across “Sssh, we don’t your parents or other APs to hear, their fragile pysches might not be able to take what you have to say – this is how you should be feeling” – if I were a secure AP, I think I would actually feel a bit insulted by some of the comments addressed to adoptees because I would think that the commenter is underestimating my ability to cope.

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  9. Elizabeth

    June 5, 2015 at 2:12 am

    I don’t know if everyone feels that way, but I see your point. Thirteen years ago, my heart decided to go crazy. My blood pressure was so high that the doctor told me I should have been dead. The blood vessels in both eyes had burst, I was almost totally blind. And there were the usual round of questions. With the family history one, I said I was adopted, as one must, and there were murmurs. Apparently since I was only 21, there must be some genetic defect that I should know about to cause such a massive heart trauma. My adoptive grandmother knew my biological mother. Helped her through nursing school or some such… at least that’s the story I was told, so I decided I needed to find this woman to get family history. My grandmother refused to give me the info until my adoptive mother explained why I wanted it. Grandma gave the info to my mother while I was in the hospital, and when she gave me my birth mother’s name, she was crying and told me that now I could go like I’d always wanted to… I have no idea where that thought even came from. My mother and I’ve had our fights, but that’s just what mothers and daughters do. As it stands, I still haven’t gone to find her because I think it will tear my real family apart if I go looking for my bio family.

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    • TAO

      June 5, 2015 at 3:17 am

      Elizabeth – wow – I’d suggest you not wait, keep it separate if you must, or explain that you want to around for a long time and you aren’t going anywhere.

      Knowing your family health history is priceless, especially if there is something your doctors need to know….

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  10. TAO

    June 5, 2015 at 3:21 am

    L4R, Beth, CB – enjoying your conversation…

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    • beth62

      June 5, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Me too, you must know by now how much some of us love swimming in this stuff, as rough as it can be sometimes.

      I think sometimes it’s like fighting seasickness. Trying to control the motion in you’re head. If you do it enough you can realize that the only way to keep from puking is to give in and enjoy, and with each wave say: weeeeeeeeeeeeee this is so fun! Woohoo what a ride! Yippee, where’s the next one!

      I’ve found the ride to be more exhilarating if I am not afraid of the next wave, but instead, hoping for a good one to ride all the way to shore.

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  11. Snarkurchin

    June 5, 2015 at 9:04 am

    I do think there’s still some unconscious stigma attached to us. We came from “the kind of people who’d give a child away,” after all.

    I suspect it might also be because a lot more people can relate to being a worried parent than to being a searching adoptee.

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    • beth62

      June 5, 2015 at 1:13 pm

      Both the parent and child are given a job. More people have knowledge of the parent job description I think you are right about that.. They see the worried parent in this situation… check, yep, doing their job, worrying.

      Then they look at the adoptee and check to see if they are doing their job. LOL and many aren’t so sure.
      I guess we, the adopted, could write a better job description for others to see that many of us deserve a promotion and a raise for doing such a good job raising and taking care of our parents and their insecurities. I guess I even went a step further, and when it was time I pushed them out of the nest and tried to teach them how to fly. Mine would rather stay below and peck on the ground LOL They can fly a little, but they really suck at it. I’ve given up the flying lessons, they seem fine where they are plus it makes it easy for me to know where they are and find them. Kinda glad they don’t fly so well at times, I know they’d just be flying around all the time disturbing other people’s nests!

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    • beth62

      June 5, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Yes, no telling what you might get…
      Plenty to worry about if you like/want/choose to worry.
      Especially if you choose to attempt control of it. Good luck with that!

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  12. yan

    June 5, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    I think the equation of “different=lesser” is stronger than most people care to admit. Maybe if we admitted upfront that adoption will ALWAYS be different than biological family creation, the “lesser” part would have less sway to cause such fear.

    I stepped away from my Amom a bit after reunion, because she wouldn’t acknowledge that she had feelings about my reunion and was taking them out on me passive-aggressively. We’ve worked our way back to a stable ground, but it took a lot of effort on my part (because on her side, nothing was wrong). I think that the “as if born to” mythology is as unfair to adoptive parents as it is to adoptees in that it leaves them unhealed and with this unacknowledged cavern of fear that they are not enough.

    And if I’m real, they are not “enough.” They can be excellent parents, good family, loving, kind, amazing, and supportive and some adoptees will STILL want to know their biological/first/natural families. That my adoptive family wasn’t “enough” for me is still a source of shame for me sometimes, even though I am intellectually capable of seeing that the two things aren’t connected. The myths of how to do adoption “right,” are pretty deeply ingrained.

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    • eve

      June 8, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      I’m AMom and non-native in English so sorry for any mistakes. The question is really interesting and I was thinking about it for a while to be sure that I’m being honest with myself and others. I have no idea whether love is the same or different in bio vs non-bio child-parent relationship as I have no comparison and this may often be the case for “the infertiles”. I asked my friend who has both bio and ado kids and she says she loves each of them (regardless of the begining) in a DIFFERENT way anyway. I also dont think that genetic ties guarantees love as there are plenty of cases where kids walk away on the parents for all sorts of reasons.I don’t really love my father (even though we clearly share the DNA, this genetic mirroring was a permanent source of despair for me).I don’t also “claim” my a-son as my own only – and if it was up to me, I’d be more than happy to have an open relationship with his b-mom.My only fear connected with a possible reunion is that she will disappoint him in some way and this will surely affect him big time..But as there is still some time, there is hope she will get more emotionally stable and mature (which I wish her with all my heart as I really like her a lot).

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      • TAO

        June 8, 2015 at 1:31 pm

        That fear is for your son’s well-being – not for you, and I think your fear is pretty natural. I’d guess you will teach your child that everyone matures at different rates, their circumstances, and about making poor choices that can hurt another person, but it doesn’t mean they are bad…just the choices they made.

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        • eve

          June 8, 2015 at 4:17 pm

          Oh, absolutely! And despite the a-parents bad press 😉 many of us do a really great job to come up with all the psychologically sophisticated explanations for behaviours that sometimes are simply inexplicable, not in child-friendly terms at least.

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      • yan

        June 9, 2015 at 12:41 pm

        It’s not really about the love being different — it’s about your family being different. If you can openly acknowledge that your son has another mother, you’re acknowledging the difference in your family, which is a much healthier starting place for both you and him.

        Genes never guarantee love. Neither does desire for a child. But when you can use love to do the hard things to help your child, rather than as a screen (insisting that love should be enough to fix all things), you’re doing it right. When you can trust your love for your child enough to support his love and interest in his first family? You’re doing the hard things, out of love, and your son will know that.

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        • eve

          June 9, 2015 at 3:08 pm

          Yes, I’m all in the open regarding the fact that he has another mum and I don’t even feel any need to claim any “entitled” position to this title – I just love him as a different person inasmuch as I love him as my kid (if that makes any sense..) and will try to support him no matter what.Even if he walks away on us I’ll still claim it was worth it to have him in our life/to be part of his life – whatever.BTW- I have read the blog with great interest, it’s a lot of food for thought for me.I’ve been also thinking a lot about the ‘a-parents/entitled adopters’ concept as such and – I must say- I struggle with that as none of the aparents I know are like that.But this may well be because in the country where I come from a) adoption involves no money (zero), as it is state-regulated b) the training you get in preparation puts so much focus on the kid and the importance of bio links, genetics, searching, reunion, etc that you basically come out brainwashed (positively) that it’s no longer about you and your infertility (or other) issues..But nevertheless – good to be alert to things that may blurr my vision in the process.I am so grateful for adult adoptees who share their experience and wisdom!

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          • TAO

            June 9, 2015 at 8:44 pm

            Eve – not all adoptive parents have the entitlement aspect – the ones having conversations (not throwing scathing responses) with adoptees like on this blog (you for example) – don’t have that sense of entitlement – they just enjoy talking about adoption. There is a difference when you take a look at adoption in the US that costs from the low end 10K – 60K to adopt a newborn – it isn’t finding a home for a child who needs one as the first priority – it’s finding a baby for a home that wants one. Disclaimer – there are made nuances, differences, levels as everyone is unique – but that is a more predominant mindset over here.

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            • eve

              June 10, 2015 at 7:46 am

              Definitely, money makes a lot of difference (ignoring the ethical aspect, I don’t think many people in Poland could afford that anyway 😉 I dont know much about US system but the psychological and psychiatric screening is very brutal for adopting here – you get disqualified for anything, not to mention the sense of entitlement..But you’re right – the perspective is different, adoption is seen as the last resort for a child, not a way of building family (though obviously, candidates may start with this view).One issue I see in the system here is the agenda of catholic adoption centres (we didnt use them but friends did), which indeed spread the myth of God’s “answering” the infertiles’ prayers with adoption and then using the child as a testimony..

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              • TAO

                June 10, 2015 at 2:23 pm

                Really enjoying talking to you Eve, and learning about the cultural and attitude differences. From what you’ve said, the last resort for the child cultural attitude is very often missing here, and probably what I struggle with the most. Adoption should never be the first resort, it makes the child into a product to acquire, instead of just a tiny human being. I’m not saying adoption isn’t needed, it is needed for many different reasons. Adoption can work, it can work very well and creates a family.

                It’s the attitude of adoption that isn’t a last resort that I fight against because I truly believe that it sends the wrong message that families are interchangeable and disposable without fighting to keep family together first. Family to me is the building blocks of being firmly grounded, and supported, through the good times and especially the bad times in life, who you turn too. At least, that’s the type of family I grew up in and through thick or thin, bad decisions or actions, everyone is still family, and we should be, if that is what being a family is all about. That attitude seems to be missing today, despite claims otherwise, I see far too many disown family members at the drop of a hat. How is that good for society, what is it teaching the next generation? Family is disposable, you can swap people in and out, and that to me is sad. That is what I see with the attitudes by some in adoption, no concern on the long-term effect of removing family members from the tree, yet there is always a cost, whether it is the current generation, or future generations.

                Mom and I were talking about family and parenting, and how she learned how to parent by how her mom and dad parented her. I think of all the dysfunctional families today, and how the lack of stability in the family is caused by the lack of functional parenting (not perfect parenting) not being passed down one generation after the other, and that seems to be the basis for all the broken families and the lack of concern on keeping families stable, together, and whole. Hopefully that made sense, before the era so many of us adoptees were born into that are talking today (1947-1973) – we would have been kept in the family, raised by the grandparents as a late child, or by a close relative but the family would have remained together. Then the shift came and it seems like everything changed and since then it has devolved to the society we have today, a very broken society.

                By the way, I envy your ability to know more than one language, and at the level of being able to have a conversation in it. If you hadn’t said anything, no one here would know.

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                • eve

                  June 10, 2015 at 6:01 pm

                  Thanks TAO – I’m enjoying it a lot, too, and I totally get what you’re saying.I wasn’t a “wanted” child, and though my mom wasn’t able to parent me (or had other priorities at the time), I was still “kept” and brought up by my grandparents.Obviously, it has impacted the family relationships a lot, but still the idea of giving me away wasn’t even debated (or at least that’s what they all claim 😉 and as much as I love my kid, it does hurt me a lot that nobody in his birth family seemed to have fought for him hard enough.Or might be -they didnt even know he existed (by his bmom’s choice).The whole adoption is a bitter-sweet experience and – as someone wrote above – full of paradoxes all the time (and growing) but I’m really happy I can have at least some insight into what adoptees think (thanks to you and others).All the best to you!

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                  • TAO

                    June 10, 2015 at 7:15 pm

                    You are always welcome here Eve and feel free to always ask questions and provide commentary – even if you think we won’t like it. I hope you keep talking.

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