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Being adopted is the same as being raised in a biological family?

31 Aug

I’m not a fan of numerical lists of sound bite messages about complicated subjects like adoption.  It doesn’t educate anyone, it just provides fodder for stereotypes and misunderstandings.  The article below has two sound bite messages about the adoptee experience, written by a non-adopted person.  Why down play that every adoptee has to process added challenges at one or many points in their life, simply, because they are adopted?  Why write something so simplistic and dismissive.  The writer is correct that every adoptee is unique, I’ll give her credit for that.  I still think she is also wrong, and potentially hurting adoptees growing up now, and in the future because some adoptive parents will listen to her instead of the experts.

8 Things You May Not Know About Adoption (read it first before reading my comments)

The first sound bite on adoptees is #5 on her list (accompanied by a paragraph).

5: Some adoptees say they “were” adopted and some say they “are” adopted.

 

Apparently, either we say we were adopted or are adopted, sorry, it’s not either/or, it’s both.  I was adopted and I am still adopted, just like I was married and I am still married.  Neither being adopted or being married was a once and done, never think about it again, never have to adjust, accept and overcome challenges that come with it.

And please, if we say are we are adopted, we have an ongoing identity as an adopted person?  Which is what?  Good?  Bad?  Because it has to be something, or it wouldn’t have been included.  Perhaps to put adoptees into one of two boxes, almost as if you are saying – if an adoptee says they “were” adopted – you can talk to them, if they “are” adopted, watch out?  Because that’s how it comes off to me when you specify your children “were” adopted.  I am going to assume that identifying as an adoptee means we don’t also identify with any other facet of who we are, what makes us, us.  If that assumption is correct, it is not only dismissive, it’s dehumanizing us as well.  Not the way to be an ally, instead it tells me that you don’t understand what triggers an adoptee to think deeper about their experience being adopted, or why they start speaking up.  I can tell you we all start speaking up for our own personal reasons, mine was the lack of family health history, others during reunion because it triggered feelings they never processed, others sparked by lack of right to their own documents, whatever the reason, every adoptee’s story and reason is unique.

The next sound bite…(accompanied by a paragraph)

6: Not all adoptees have problems related to adoption, but some do.

Apparently, there is a “possibility” that being adopted can cause problems, but only for some.  And hey, biological families have problems too, so not a big deal.  Of course, biological families have problems and while they may seem similar on the surface, there are different challenges, or facets if you will, that come with being adopted.

Being adopted is just not the same as being raised in your biological family so it’s comparing apples to oranges and sets you up to fail.

If you are adopted, it comes with added developmental challenges, added layers of coming to terms with, and accepting that life threw us a curve ball from left field, whether at birth or later.  There is loss in being adopted, but that’s not what point #6 is telling the public with that sound bite.  Point #6 completely missed that there are seven core issues that all adoptees face, and have to process through at different points in their lives, whether it’s easy or hard for that adoptee, it’s processed along with all the other developmental challenges at that stage.

Nor did point #6 speak of the multiple added layers and challenges of growing up in a transracial family, that is often white people raising Children of Color, which may also include lack of diversity, and/or racist family members and friends.  It also failed to mention any additional layers of loss and trauma that children adopted at an older age will undoubtedly have whether same race or transracial adoption.  It did note that some bigger challenges like RAD, SPD and others may be part of the adoptee experience, but again, it reminded the reader that they too aren’t unique to adoptees...(could it be because we too are humans?)

I just found it incredibly dismissive to the adoptee.  I wonder what box I’d be put into, I was and I am adopted, not one or the other.  I struggled as a child over feelings of being abandoned, rejected, that something was wrong with me that I wasn’t kept, rather, parental rights to me were given up.  Struggled because I had no genetic mirror.  Those struggles and feelings were tied directly to having been adopted out of my family.  I still struggle with those feelings at times, especially, the ones that bring out the feelings of abandonment, it’s not if someone will leave, it’s when, yet, mom and dad proved over decades they would only leave us when death took them, so I didn’t get those feelings from them. I have always had a strong relationship with my family and still have fifty some years later.  I also speak critically about how adoption is practiced, how people act, I don’t do it because I’m angry (although at times I am), I do it so that the adopted experience is better understood.

The adopted experience can’t be captured in overly simplistic sound bite messages that avoid the complexity, challenges, complicated feelings that can happen because you are adopted.

Further reading:

The Mental Health of US Adolescents Adopted in Infancy

Risk of Suicide Attempt in Adopted and Nonadopted Offspring

 

To those who read and comment regularly: The last month has been more emotionally challenging and exhausting than the months preceding have been in this saga of being part of a family and the inevitable journey we all have face at some point, so, my patience is even shorter than normal.  But this blog is also my refuge to get away from the hard parts of life, so  thank you to all who have continued to carry-on the conversation in the comments, I may not respond, but I read the comments and it helps me take my mind off other things. 

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28 Comments

Posted by on August 31, 2015 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

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28 responses to “Being adopted is the same as being raised in a biological family?

  1. JavaMonkey

    August 31, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Tao,

    I don’t think these “adoption is just the same as…” articles have anything to do with adopted people or our experiences. Rather, they are written to validate and equalize the experience of being an adoptive parent.

    I have read some articles where adoptive parents express feeling minimized by other parents. One woman recounted the way that her female co-workers squealed with joy and hugged when another co-worker announced her pregnancy – and the muted reaction they had when she (the author) announced that she was starting the adoption process. Others recount disapproving reactions from family and friends. So, right from the beginning, these particular folks felt pressure to defend their decision to adopt and defend their status as “THE parents”.

    I guess I’m rambling a bit (big surprise) but my point is that I understand where these articles come from, even as I disagree with the authors’ decisions to focus on the experience of adoptees (something they know nothing about) rather than their own internal experiences as adoptive parents.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      August 31, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      I’m sure you are right JavaMonkey…it just really bothered me that people could believe it and how hard it would be for an adopted child if people truly thought that way…

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    • beth62

      September 1, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      I agree that she could have written about her experience from her point of view.
      It comes off controlling and prophetic otherwise.

      I have noticed and seen that difference in excitement when a new child in the family is announced.
      I also see the difference in a new life being created, and a new child being brought into a family.
      I see how insisting and expecting it to be exactly the same can really set some people up for tremendous heartache.
      Wish I knew how to fix that for everyone 😦
      I surely would, and I still try to with all I can think of that might help ease that heartache and bring peace in any way.

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  2. cb

    August 31, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    With #5: Some adoptees say they “were” adopted and some say they “are” adopted.”

    She links to an adoptee who makes that statement but who then makes it clear than she WAS adopted.

    I don’t know how others feel but since being in reunion with extended family, I do feel that I AM adopted. I’m having to form relationships with people I’ve only known for the last 5 years. And yes, that does have with biological relatoinships as well, eg my brother-in-laws estranged brother has finally reconnected and his children are getting to know their cousins but there is still a big difference – they were always part of the family. We adoptees were severed from our families of origin and are now trying to navigate these new relatoinships through that lens. Even though my reunion is only with extended family, in some ways it is easier and some ways harder – eg with my bmother having died so long ago and with my not knowing how she would have felt about my contacting the family, I do still sometimes feel like I’m intruding even though the family has been welcoming.

    Anyway, the point of the above is that those extra things do bring home that one IS adopted. I also think that if one is an AP in an open adoption then one’s children is also going to experience complicated relationships and integrate their “two” identities growing up, (and I do think that is a good thing) thus this is one particular situation where perhaps the linked adoptee’s experience might not be overly relevant.

    #6 As you point out, she misses the point that there are issues that many very normal adoptees may have. In fact, it is probably because adoptees ARE normal human beings that adoptees are a risk of having those core issues. I’m not saying that every adoptee does and I’m not saying one is not human if they don’t have those issues but just pointing out more that we are not automatons but that we are humans and thus have responses to situations.

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    • beth62

      September 1, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      I think it is easy to always say Was adopted when you are a little kid, and a parent, especially when encouraged to do so.
      It gets a bit more difficult to stick with WAS when you grow up and talk about adoption and Being Adopted.
      Or when you examine it enough to realize that you Are, and it is not the same in many ways that you were taught that it was the same.

      I’m exhausted just thinking about it, again.

      To ignore it, refuse it as current reality, only mention it in past tense, is a bit telling and I’ve seen it cause insecurity about adoption, and adopted families, for many.

      It can easily teach that it is bad to Be Adopted. Wrong to be, right to have been, you were adopted long ago, you are as-if, or just the same as biological family now.
      But, you know, it’s up to the individual to choose……

      It’s the opposite of proud to be adopted.
      Translation = Proud of my family, proud of my adopted family and defensively secure in that. (LOL)

      Proud to have been adopted.
      It’s conflicting and all mixed up as the same.

      The only way to avoid the conflict is to insist that you Are not adopted, but were adopted, the same as being a biological child of the family now. Or better yet, erase it, never mention it, whip out your handy dandy amended proof of birth and show everyone what is real, might even be better if you never knew. (not)

      Here we go again down the twisted same-as-path, the path that can lead to all sorts of issues, to suicide, the break up of families, self medication and escape, hurt feelings and hard times.

      It can also make our parents look bad, we are told it will hurt their feelings, if identified by their children as adopted parents, current adopted parents with a child who IS adopted. An adopted family.
      (usually said for clarification in discussions with others outside the fam).

      It happens, it’s common speak, pretty hard to avoid, very difficult to word an answer to the question: Oh you Were adopted?? Are you still adopted or did something happen? with out saying” Uhhhh, yes I am still adopted, they are still my adopted parents.
      “My Mom and Dad are my adopted parents – I am their adopted daughter. We are family.”

      If you find something wrong with the above and want to stick with were/was, it sounds more like this:
      “My mom and dad were my adopted parents, I was their adopted daughter, we were family.”

      It’s usually said when it’s mentioned that child and parent do not look the same.
      Or when the adopted one is talking about all of their real parents, siblings and relatives, which happens, especially in open arrangements, and reunion.
      A legit and perfectly reasonable and common getting to know you question.

      And yes, I will always ask if a person is still adopted when they say they were adopted. I feel it is my duty as a caring fellow adoptee to help them untwist themselves. I have seen that kind of thinking go all wrong for too many.

      To me what Was-Adopted means, or is intended to mean by many, is the same-as-biological-now, legally and in every other way.
      “Was Adopted” twists and omits a very necessary piece of it just like “same as” does.

      But hey, what do I know about any of it 🙂

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      • cb

        September 1, 2015 at 9:23 pm

        It seems to me that it is those adoptees who are in closed adoptions who want nothing to do with their bparents who are the ones most likely to say they were adopted. It seems to be also that perhaps some of these same adoptees wish that they had been born to their adoptive parents and that adoption hadn’t really ever been part of their life. Thus, when one thinks about it, perhaps these very same adoptees don’t like adoption at all. Yes, they love their adoptive families, they may even love that adoption has brought them to their particular family but they may well wish that adoption didn’t have to actually exist in their life at all.

        Now once one takes the steps to reunite with bfamily, then one has to acknowledge that adoption does exist in ones life. It is a bit hard to say that adoption is a one off act and that one WAS adopted when one is contact with bfamily – the very act of being in contact with them is the act of a person who is adopted.

        Well that’s my take on it lol.

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  3. eagoodlife

    September 1, 2015 at 12:39 am

    And then there’s the whole BF issue. I’ve never met an adult adoptee who wasn’t repulsed by the idea of BF in adoption and what about the chemicals and lack of adequate nutrition and no it doesn’t promise bonding. Many adoptee reject it as babies and I’ve seen adopters recommend persisting for up to a year!!! Abusive.

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  4. eagoodlife

    September 1, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    An adoptee responds to a simplistic and inaccurate article.

    Like

     
  5. beth62

    September 1, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    “Being adopted is the same as being raised in a biological family?”

    Close, but no cigar, left out a word 🙂

    Being adopted is the same as being raised in a different biological family.

    Good luck with omitting and/or twisting things in the name of control, expectations and personal wants and wishes, to prove a point or a theory, adopted or not.
    If that’s what a person has to do to be able to raise a child in another family, as family, well, it should be pretty obvious that is going on don’t you think? It is to me, I see it plain as day.

    I understand the defensiveness all too well, I was raised to protect the adoptive family.
    I have heard what people say, from every direction. The comparisons, how it is different, how it is the same and often they are right and often they are wrong..

    I will always support the fact that non-bio related people can be family, real family.
    My mom is my mom and my dad is my dad. I have another mom and dad as well.
    That’s real family. I will fight to my death to say that can be fact for many families.

    Saying things in that it’s-the-same-twisted-way does not protect the adopted family.
    It does not help family stand strong, it weakens it.

    It does nothing but create shaky ground for all, especially in the long run.
    Insisting that it is the same helps to create the it’s not the same or not real comments from outsiders.

    All these twisted sayings simply say to me that many people involved with adoption truly do not believe that it is possible to bring a child into your family, love and care for them, do right by them, without needing to see them (and have others see them) as a biological child in a biological family to make it true and real.
    To be able to do it, to be able to make it real, does it have to be so twisted?
    It does not.
    Plus twisted, or forced, does not = real.

    I have the experience and benefit of knowing that.
    So I can understand how someone who hasn’t btdt, might not have that level of trust and confidence in their family.

    The same-as-biological-brainwashing has gotta go. Too much to put on a kid, or a parent, a family.

    Adopted and/or non-bio related families can stand strong on their own.
    There is no need to compare, absolutely no need to insist it is the same or as-if.
    It’s not, and the sooner a person can get past that, the stronger they and their family will be.
    If you are an adoptive family – stand strong in that.
    There is no need to diminish bio families to make adoptive families stronger, or insist it is the same as bio only families, it’s not.
    The majority of it can be the same, the love, the hopes, the connection, the relationships, etc.. Some of it is not the same.
    Isn’t that enough to believe it, to stand strong with it?
    I’m guessing for many, obviously, it’s not.

    I can assure you that children want to be loved and cared for, for who and what they are, not who you wish them to be. People usually don’t like to be changed in that way, a thing that can’t be changed in reality, but really only in the brain.

    It’s not an easy job to try to be biologically related, or the same as, to some one you are not.
    I’ve seen it mess so many people up.
    I’ve seen many try and fail, and too many try, fail and give up forever.
    Please don’t put that on another human, even if it’s with good intentions.
    It can lead to a great big mess for someone, if not all involved, if anyone believes it is not enough, or they are not enough as they stand to make their family real too. Or real enough for others.

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    • beth62

      September 1, 2015 at 6:23 pm

      replying to my reply :-/

      “Being adopted is the same as being raised in a different biological family.”

      That is not the same either.
      But similar, and far more similar than the other statement!

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    • cb

      September 1, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      “All these twisted sayings simply say to me that many people involved with adoption truly do not believe that it is possible to bring a child into your family, love and care for them, do right by them, without needing to see them (and have others see them) as a biological child in a biological family to make it true and real.”

      That is the thing. One thing I have felt is that the social workers, psychologists and others who were involved in creating the laws around the post-war Western form of adoption didn’t seem to trust in the natural bond that does form between a child and the person who raises them. In fact, they seemed to mistrust that bond so much, they made sure that the situation was created that the child would bond by default – i.e. obliterate everyone else and the child will have to bond. Yet in simple “adoption” practices around the world, eg like in Polynesian adoptions, the child bonded very well to their new parents without changing their original identity.. In NZ, they have done studies on Maori chiidren who were adopted in the 60s via stranger adoption and those who were brought up in the whangai system and they found that the whangai adoptees felt much more secure in themselves.

      It seems to me that today’s best type of open adoptive families, the families trust in that natural bond that forms between and child and the person who raises them and as you said, develops that a strong relationship between parents and child that is built on rock, that is able to stand on its own two feet and not feel threatened by other relationships. Having the bfamily in the child’s life can make the child feel MORE secure because the child can see that their relationships are secure and won’t be threatened by other bonds. I do think that in some ways these adoptive parents have to overcome the constructs of western adoption. I think one reason open adoption is hard in our western form of adoption is because the concepts are competing against other – openness with bfamily in a system that was designed to oblterate their existence is something that many people may well struggle with.

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      • cb

        September 1, 2015 at 10:39 pm

        “n fact, they seemed to mistrust that bond so much, they made sure that the situation was created that the child would bond by default – i.e. obliterate everyone else and the child will have to bond. ”

        And further to what I’ve said here.

        One problem I think is that many of those studying adoption have only looked out the superficial outcome – Child happy in new family – tick, child bonding with new family – tick. etc. Very few seem to look at how the child got to the point. For example, is the bond a secure bond or a default bond?

        One thing I’ve been thinking about is the comparison thing and how prevalent it is in adoption (after all, many domestic infant adoptions happen because of comparisons).

        I came across this statement in an article a while ago: In my experience,
        “One friend I’ve talked to in the past (who declined to be interviewed for this article) told me he had no desire to ever find his biological parents, because they had forfeited their right to be his parents when they gave him up. No matter what conflicts he had with his adoptive parents, no matter how he disappointed them or they him, they were the people who’d stuck out their necks to raise him, who’d made mistakes, who’d been there when he needed them.”

        Now many people may read that and think “isn’t that wonderful how much he loves his adoptive parents”. His views would in fact be considered by many to be the ideal outcome. In fact, I would venture to say that his exact views would in fact be what the original architects of the post war form of adoption were hoping for, i.e. the adoptee emotionally disconnects their bparents and emotionally connects to their new parents and in fact may feel even more sense of loyalty to their new parents for “stepping up to the plate”

        Thus it strikes me that perhaps the feeling of abandonment that many adoptees feel isn’t just an unintended side of effect of closed adoption, that in fact, it was deliberate, i.e. we were expected to feel so abandoned by our bparents that the love and loyalty to our aparents would be greater. Note that I am talking about the original concept behind closed confidental adoption and not saying that every adoptee felt this way. Also, we can be thankful that for many of us our own adoptive parents didn’t try to engender a comparative loyalty in us and I think that has helped many of us as adults. Still, comparative loyalty is still common in adoption – how often do we read statements like “I love my adoptive parents because they were there for me when my bparents werent”. Now to be fair, for some people who say “when my bparents weren’t”, they mean “when my bparents couldn’t be” but for others, there is definitely the sense of “my bparents weren’t there for me when it counted”.

        Now many people will say “today’s adoptions are so different”. However, what I do see a lot of lately is APs and BPS saying “they just didn’t want to parent/I just didn’t want to parent”. For many APs that is the ideal because it takes away any feeling of guilt. However, I do still wonder if someof today’s adoptee will still also feel that “comparative loyalty” and think. “My APs were there when my bmother didn’t want to be”. That may not actually be the true reality of the situation but it may be what the adoptee feels. I think a bmom would have to be very present in her child’s life to make sure that the child doesn’t feel that way.

        Anyway, the above are just random thoughts about the actual concepts behind our western form of adoption. It is not a simple form of adoption and I do get irritated when people try to act as if all forms of adoption are the same (which is why I dislike a lot of those “adoptee” lists where most of the “adoptees” were either not even adopted or where adopted via a simpler form of adoption). I dislike comparisons to biblical adoptions because to me a lot of the concepts in the post war form of western adoption do not have their origins in the bible – in fact, the concepts were based on psychological and social welfare concepts of the time. One also has to study the history of women in general after the war – NOT just unmarried mothers but also the history behind the 50s ideal of marriage/children (part of it being that women needed to be got back out of the workforce so that men returning from war could have their jobs back) which meant that married childless women were shunned as well. I remember meeting a very lovely woman on a train once who had been a nurse in Melbourne during the 60s and who dealt a lot with adoptions. I had been on the way to visit relatives and was telling her about what I was doing. Now she did have sympathy for unmarried mothers but she then said something which showed where her real sympathy lay “Those poor women really needed to be mothers”. Now she wasn’t being cruel, she was just one married women with children who sympathised with her fellow married women – she knew that childless married women were often judged and shunned by their peers. Thus the “kill two birds with one stone” was seen as the ideal situation “person with problem 1 gives their child to person with problem 2, both problems disappear”. Of course, humans aren’t that simple and it didn’t work that easily in reality.

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        • cb

          September 1, 2015 at 10:51 pm

          “Now she wasn’t being cruel” – I meant to say “unsympathetic towards unmarried mothers”

          And I will say two things very quickly:
          1) They are so many mixed messages in adoption and especially today with all these pithy adoption sayings that sometimes contradictory messages are sent to the adoptee.

          2) Beth I just wanted to say that I think you are awesome – I always love it when I see “Beth62” at the top of a post because I know I will be in for a fun and insightful read 🙂

          Like

           
      • beth62

        September 2, 2015 at 4:13 pm

        “One thing I have felt is that the social workers, psychologists and others who were involved in creating the laws around the post-war Western form of adoption didn’t seem to trust in the natural bond that does form between a child and the person who raises them. In fact, they seemed to mistrust that bond so much, they made sure that the situation was created that the child would bond by default – i.e. obliterate everyone else and the child will have to bond.”

        I feel like it is a luxury or something for me to know this for some reason?
        Maybe it’s just hard learned relief and the peace of understanding that I feel knowing it now.

        I can sometimes give the ancients 🙂 a pass on it, because they didn’t really know, there wasn’t much proof, it was new and they wanted it to work well for all.
        The adoption books for parents from the 50’s and 60’s are full of it, it’s been interesting (and a little disturbing!) reading to me.
        I give no passes for not knowing that today. Plenty of proof and literature out there about it now, and it is very easy to obtain, and free.
        I will only give a pass if you don’t happen to know it, but are willing to hear it now.

        “I think one reason open adoption is hard in our western form of adoption is because the concepts are competing against other – openness with bfamily in a system that was designed to obliterate their existence is something that many people may well struggle with.”

        No doubt. I saw many of the competing concepts in the article in this blog post. I do see the struggle. And the future struggle to come in my crystal ball 🙂
        Dealing with that struggle, on my end, with hindsight, seems to have been a big part of my life.
        Would love to have that time back! And many of the decisions and choices I made for myself due to that struggle too. I’m more than willing and would love to conquer that monster for others.

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  6. Tiffany

    September 1, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Hmmm… interesting. I agree with what you said, TAO. I say my daughter “is adopted.” I don’t view it as the legal action the way the author of the article described it. It’s also not the single defining characteristic of my relationship with my daughter the way I feel some adoptive parents try to get defensive about- they don’t like it because they see it as a separation or a negative difference. I see it as simply factual. My daughter *is* adopted. I’m her mom, and I love her with my whole entire being. Those two statements are completely separate and one has really nothing to do with the other- they don’t diminish or change each other by both being true. My daughter can say it however she feels it- there is no wrong or right, and it’s possible to switch around or feel multiple ways, and all of that should be supported.

    So, I really don’t like adoptive parents (unless they are adopted themselves) talking about what it’s like to be adopted, especially when they are parents of little kids. I mean, really, you know what about it? I always feel that way. I don’t mind adoptive parents sharing about being adoptive parents (in general), but don’t speak for your kid. That actually goes for all parents- I hate when parents speak for their children’s feelings or perspective like they know. It’s patronizing. Everything this author said is 100% her view on being adopted, and since she’s not, it really is a moot point and a stupid article. Did her little kids tell her how they feel on these topics? If so (and I doubt they did), their opinions might change as they get older. Viewpoints are rarely static things.

    A note on breastfeeding. I breastfed my daughter who is adopted, but I didn’t take drugs or do anything special. I had been breastfeeding my daughter who is biological, so I just transitioned over. I did ask her parents about it and how they felt about me nursing her, and I wouldn’t have if they had expressed discomfort with the idea. It only lasted six months, as opposed to the almost three years with my older daughter, probably as a result of the lack of hormones from giving birth and such. I felt a lot of guilt over it not working out because I believe that breastfeeding is best, and I was sad for my daughter that she was experiencing another loss related to adoption. I’m not sure really why it is so gross to people to think of that except that I know there is a lot of issues around people’s perception of breastfeeding in general. I do understand the hesitancy and concern around the drugs (although I know many natural moms who took/take them to nurse children born to them) as well as the extreme measures I have read about. Like I said, I didn’t do anything out of the norm. But I had the support of several adoptee mom friends in nursing my daughter, and they were incredibly positive about it and not remotely disgusted by the idea.

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    • TAO

      September 1, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Tiffany, I breast fed my son, never gave any thoughts to doing otherwise and they didn’t offer any alternative in the hospital, if I hadn’t produced milk I would have switched to formula without hesitation except that we were pretty stretched budget wise.

      I don’t like the concept of breast-feeding an adopted baby, and I will try to explain why. Wet nurses were used to ensure infants survived before formula, babies in nicu also are given properly screened pasteurized breast milk because they are so very fragile. Neither of those make me squirmy. Even your breast-feeding seems natural because it was a continuation.

      I think though, that trying to artificially lactate using drugs (specifically not FDA approved drugs for lactation) which are ordered on-line (really and you trust they aren’t knock offs?), herbs that haven’t been studied for impact in milk for baby that I can find, that are products that aren’t regulated or screened for what’s in them so how do you know it even contains what it says it does, what else does it contain, do any of the drugs transfer to the baby via the milk? But who cares about that is the attitude out there. Next up is the supplemental feeders and unregulated, untested, non-pasteurized bodily fluid from *someone*…and that’s all great, but would they allow an unregulated, untested blood transfusion to their baby? I’d say no. What’s the difference?

      I think that while most value the concept of breast milk – the baby doesn’t get the most precious, the colostrum, that only happens at the start and can’t be replicated artificially. I also think that the breast milk also changes over time to adjust to the needs of the stage the infant is at – why it is recommended to use milk that fits the infants age (hopefully that makes sense). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3586783/

      Personally, I think many try it to feed whatever they feel is missing in the adoptive experience, assuming it will help with the bonding, and I think that may be problematic rather than just snuggling and cuddling your baby. Adopting is different, accept it or not.

      I’m glad there wasn’t any of that added pressure when I was adopted. Mom is always going to be mom but she also didn’t gestate me and naturally produce milk for me, my other mother did and didn’t get to give it to me. I just see it as it is what it is – accept it…

      Does that make it any clearer than mud?

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      • Tiffany

        September 1, 2015 at 7:27 pm

        “Does that make it any clearer than mud?” Haha! Maybe… I get what you are saying, but I still don’t agree with the “revolting” and “disgusting” comments. Disagreement, ok. Concern about motivations, ok. I have had mama friends nurse their friend’s babies or provide milk when their friend couldn’t… I wouldn’t classify that as revolting or disgusting. Would it be my choice? Probably not… I didn’t make that choice when I couldn’t nurse my youngest daughter. But I don’t judge my friends for that choice.

        Like I said, I completely understand the hesitancy and concern around drug use, and especially around the extreme methods I have read about to induce lactation. I had quite a bit of trouble pumping for my older daughter and she was supplemented with formula. From the tap, so to speak, we had no issues at all, but I am a bad pumper, and it appears to be a family issue as my sister is the exact same way. So my older daughter also had formula, and I accepted it for what it was- the very best I could do for her. I never took any drugs with her, and I wouldn’t have with my younger daughter, either. I understand the concern around those choices because I have the same concerns. Just a point, though, that there are many things that haven’t been “screened” for use with lactating moms, adoption completely aside. Drugs are one thing, but I drank Mother’s Milk Tea with both of my girls, and I don’t think that it was any more dangerous than the chamomile tea I also drank. Both are herbal.

        My daughter who is adopted both nursed and had formula all along, and I worked closely with several lactation consultants to be sure I was making healthy choices for her (and one was one of the adoptee friends I mentioned). “Personally, I think many try it to feed whatever they feel is missing in the adoptive experience, assuming it will help with the bonding, and I think that may be problematic rather than just snuggling and cuddling your baby. Adopting is different, accept it or not.” Yes. I didn’t do it to try to bond. I felt my daughter had already lost so much, and since I already was producing milk, I wanted to provide that for her.

        Adopting is absolutely different. I noticed it even in little things, like it took me a few weeks to develop that second sense awareness of my daughter sleeping next to me that I had immediately with my first daughter- I didn’t have the hormones from giving birth. It made it different, and I had to adjust appropriately and not pretend like it was the same. As I tell moms who don’t nurse because they don’t want to or can’t, it is absolutely not the only way to bond with your baby.

        I hope my daughter will also see it as it was what it was. I was already producing, I didn’t go to extreme measures, and I certainly never forced things to happen. When it came to an end early on, I accepted it and we moved on.

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        • TAO

          September 1, 2015 at 7:49 pm

          To the screening – I meant from milk banks available to the public (unlike those the nicu uses). This is from Canada but it was the first one I clicked on – the lack of screening scares me…to me the risk would not be worth it over giving formula.
          http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/infant-nourisson/human-milk-don-lait-maternel-eng.php

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        • beth62

          September 1, 2015 at 8:17 pm

          Everything in adoption revolts and freaks me out if I recognize that the motive behind it is the – I insist on making it the same sickness. I insist on having the experience for myself.
          An often overrated and romanticized experience IMO.

          I guess it makes me feel more sad for everyone than anything else, at first.
          I’m glad my Mom didn’t go there, for her sake and mine.
          And of course I do worry about the drugs and the mindset, regardless if adoption is involved or not.

          I, and three 5 year olds did recently witness a mother fill a red solo cup with fresh from the tap breast milk and give it to her almost 5 year old, and insist he finish it before he could go play with the other big boys. Who were sitting at the same table being told to finish their same lunch (minus the breast milk) before they could go play too.
          Yeah, what kind of sickness is that?

          How many people as adults love hearing about being breastfed themselves?
          My grandfather was nursed by his aunt after his mother died when he was an infant. His big sister enjoyed mentioning that whenever possible. He hated it, was embarrassed and begged her to stop teasing him about it until the day he died. I went to her 103 birthday party last week, and don’t you know as soon as I mentioned my grandfather she had to giggle and tell me about their aunt nursing him 100 years ago. I couldn’t help but giggle with her.

          My daughter was bottle fed and my son was breastfed. She teases him, oh, it’s big fun.
          He is completely repulsed and disgusted by the thought of it as a young adult.
          I think that is pretty typical.
          So he tells her she wasn’t loved as much as him, and it must be why she is so funny lookin’.
          I confess, I giggle then too.
          And I wonder why my bottle fed one and I are far more bonded and attached than my breast fed one and I…
          That is not what you hear from the professionals.
          I know why tho, she fit on my hip, and he fit on his dad’s hip.
          It just was, glad I didn’t insist he fit on mine, cause he just didn’t, not like his sister did anyway.
          He wouldn’t be the perfect man he is today if I had insisted. I had to let it go, I let it go for him.

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          • Jess

            September 1, 2015 at 8:29 pm

            Hilarious! You made my afternoon.

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          • Tiffany

            September 1, 2015 at 8:32 pm

            Beth, I think there’s a lot in what you said that isn’t really related so much to adoption as it is breastfeeding in itself, and that’s just a whole other topic.

            To me, it’s something completely normal, and I don’t understand why an adult would be embarrassed that as a baby, their mom fed them. Of course I get why a teen might be squirmy- they are squirmy about so many things!! Oh, teens! But it’s not a repulsive act in the least.

            I do get what you are saying about trying to have the experience. That can happen in adoption, and it bothers me as well. It is a different experience, and it cannot be made to be the same, and it shouldn’t be, either. I recognized very clearly the differences, and for me, one of the biggest was the sorrow and loss my daughter experienced being taken from her mother. If anything, all I wanted was to keep her from losing more since I hadn’t been able to keep her from losing her family.

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            • beth62

              September 2, 2015 at 1:19 pm

              Yes you are right, not all related to adoption, just people in general.
              Cept that I am an adoptee so everything I say and do is related to adoption 🙂 kidding!!

              Does it help that my gfather was adopted by his step-mother, and two of the 5 year olds were adopted, and very disturbed and embarrassed by what they witnessed, adopted or not LOL like any other 5 yr old – were very happy she wasn’t their mom LOL and for more reasons than her actions that day! It was not easy for me to explain things, they felt embarrassed for their friend… and so did I! So I probably didn’t do as well as I could have talking about it with them… arrrggg I didn’t talk much, I could not bring myself to say it was natural ya’ll are wrong to be embarrassed. Any other time that’s what I would say, I could not say it this time, I tried, but nope couldn’t do it, I was tripping all over my words.
              So I didn’t make them finish their carrots at the table and sent them outside with bag of carrots to play real fast! Wasn’t anything natural about it IMO. I think you might have had to have been there 🙂 It freaked me the f out, and I am pretty tough about this stuff.

              I am trying to get up the nerve to talk to this mother today, some say I have to, she will be around for a couple more weeks. (it’s family reunion camping weeks here, ugh) I really have no idea what to say, but too many are saying I have to talk to her. And to each chicken I’ve said: Crap! Why me!!
              But then I wonder if I am wrong, but it doesn’t feel so wrong to say something, because other people don’t want their kids to see it. I don’t either, something just not so right about it and it wasn’t the breast milk part as much as the way it was done.
              And some of them asked us not to clean the fish in front of the precious innocent children either…. so I don’t know. Thinking I will invite and traumatize everyone later while preparing dinner (cleaning the great big fish with lots of blood and guts), with every nursing mother I can find standing beside me. Put the mud and the goo of life right up in their face, and if they don’t like it they are more than free to go LOL Too many people here this year anyway. I can always live and let live and go hide 🙂

              I don’t know what this is called, or if it has a fancy term or not, but I think it should and I wish I knew what it could be! It’s very important.
              There are many things on the planet that can lead a person to be disconnected, or to want to be disconnected from…. not sure what word to use…. nature, genetics, biology, humans…. respect of life…baby makin’ and all that goes with it?
              There are some times when that is, I dunno, set aside as not important, not needed, not wanted. It’s in that response of ewww icky like we see often with breast feeding, and even cleaning fish. It’s called food, nourishment. survival, life. I think sometimes the importance of your own birth or nature, or anyone else’s is set aside somehow, maybe put in the background, to survive. Sometimes I think it’s like it can’t be trusted. Sometimes it’s seen in our trusting love and care for helpless animals, but not so much for untrustworthy helpless humans.

              I know it can be very confusing and hard to come back to nature, or whatever, if you have found yourself distance from it somehow. I think it’s a lack of regard for human life in general sometimes. Being there allows you to hurt or ignore other people, not care so much, call people egg and sperm donors etc., take their last meal kick them and leave them behind in the ditch and keep moving. Survival of the fittest thinking fits in there somewhere too, along with Eugenics, support of Depopulation, War, all kinds of yuck can be found in “it”.

              I see it in young people sometimes, teens and young adults. I think it’s a little natural, especially in this day and time when most people are not connected to the earth except for what they read and see on TV or at the park, to not understand it so well or put much importance on it. It’s something that has to grow I think. If you are taught that it is not so important or even needed, that it is icky and undesirable, it doesn’t seem to grow very well, if at all.

              I’ve seen so many that were displaced from family, for whatever reason, with this disconnect. Especially the guys. Have experienced so many…. mother haters, anything mother/baby was avoided and disrespected, thought of as worthless, not wanted, not needed, gross, don’t make me see it or think about it, yuck, go away.
              I get it. I had to work at it not to be one of them, I didn’t have the level of hate like some I’ve met, but I could have found it easily. I was very disconnected, I was defiant in being connected. I was more connected to the dust and mud of life, than the blood and goo of life. If that makes any sense. Some I know don’t have much of a connection to either.

              Maybe someone else could talk about this better! Help!

              Tiffany, I think you and I have a benefit of understanding, I’d even call it wisdom, that many just do not have, and probably certainly by no fault of their own, or ours. We’ve both given birth to children. We both did or are raising children that did not come from our bodies. My Mom also, she was able to have two sons after they adopted me. It gives us a different insight I believe. I know it does – if we don’t ignore it. I’ve changed my mom, she wouldn’t talk about this stuff so much, for my sake mostly, thinking it would hurt me, be uncomfortable. And it was uncomfortable for both of us. I made her talk about it, I talked about it, especially when my brothers started having children. I was the one who pointed out sameness between parent and child when I saw it. My family avoided it, but not anymore. I think I had to give them the freedom to talk about it, and I have, it wasn’t easy and I wish it was always like it is now. We would not have struggled with it as much as we both did.

              I know saying some of this can hurt some people’s feelings, and I am very sorry for that, that is not my intention of saying it. If I, all of us, don’t talk about the hard things, we won’t get to far at all in addressing things that need attention in our lives.

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              • Tiffany

                September 2, 2015 at 5:16 pm

                Beth, you are both hilarious and insightful!

                I didn’t really mention the situation you described because I didn’t understand exactly, but I can see how that could be really awkward and isn’t a comfortable situation. I also get what you are saying about being disconnected from nature. Thanks for taking the time to explain it all to me!

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                • beth62

                  September 2, 2015 at 7:20 pm

                  Whew, so glad some of ya’ll are laughing! 🙂 and not yelling at me.
                  I never know if I am making any sense at all, or if I am just bugging and annoying everyone.
                  I’ve begun to accept that I have had a strange life full of unbelievable experiences, that’s just how it is. I’d often like to tell more, but no one would probably believe me and I couldn’t blame ya. I know that not everyone understands me sometimes because of it. At least that’s what people that know and love me tell me. I am trying to believe it.

                  I know I am in the hyper zone, overly hyper today, bouncing off the walls like I am 7 and on my way to Disney world, and probably will be until our reunion event is over. Sorry for all the typing, so hyper if I said all I wanted to say and explain I could run out of space. Thinking there must be a space limit on these replys maybe, if so, I haven’t hit it yet, and believe it or not – trying not to!
                  I refuse to take drugs for it, btdt, nothing bad about being hyper other than the non-hyper people that can’t handle it LOL they can have the drugs if they like drugs so much!
                  I like hyper, not a problem for me, plus I get sooooo much done, especially when the other hyper ones come join me.

                  Hiding again now and hoping I make it thru our event this year, and praying hard that no one tries to go home and leave their kid here with us! I haven’t smelled one yet, I was hiding from one last year, Mom snuck up on me and I cut her off and ran to save the about to burn biscuits and did not return. She caught my husband tho, and he caved. He knows if he says yes this year to take in anything that eats and breathes he will have the house all to himself to do whatever he wishes. And I will be elsewhere living alone in peace, enjoying my freedom and imaginary “retirement” 🙂 Everyone has been warned, so maybe we are safe this year.

                  It’s time for me to go wander around and listen to all the old grown ups arguments, I mean discussions, before I get to go sling slimy fish guts at our visiting little city mice 🙂
                  Ahhh the joys of life are grand.

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                  • Tiffany

                    September 2, 2015 at 8:32 pm

                    I hope you have a great time on your trip! We are big Disney fans, and usually make it out to DW every other year as my in-laws winter in Cape Canaveral. We celebrated my younger daughter’s first and third birthdays there. Living in CA, we get to Disneyland much more frequently, and we were just there a couple weeks ago celebrating my older daughter’s sixth birthday. My younger daughter is now asking every day when it’s her birthday (not for months) since we will be celebrating hers at DL this next time. She keeps saying, “It’s my birthday this Saturday?” 🙂 Such a fun place, so I hope you don’t experience too much drama and can enjoy yourself!

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  7. Jess

    September 1, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    This was just a hot mess. That’s about all I can say.
    Oh, and that I agree with Von. BF in adoption is stupid and revolting.
    If you’re going to be an AP, embrace it for what it is, not for what it never can be.

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  8. cb

    September 1, 2015 at 10:45 pm

    Looking at some of the other points as well:
    #3 Semi-open adoption is the norm, rather than open adoption. And it helps if the adoption professionals and APs truly believe in it (which to be fair to the blogger, I do think she does). Unfortunately, it seems that many adoption professionals and APs see open adoption more as something that is necessary for an adoption to happen.
    #7 Yes there are over 100,000 children waiting for a home but they are already born older children. There aren’t 100,000 unborn children itching to get out of their “hosts” womb into the arms of loving strangers like adoptive agencies will have you believe (many agency web pages do sound as if they are channelling the unborn child and that they are just doing what the child wants)

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  9. beth62

    September 2, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    “(which to be fair to the blogger, I do think she does).”

    I think she does too, she just seems a little stuck in that confusing struggle.
    I think it would be very difficult or nearly impossible not to get stuck in that damn ditch, at least for a moment.

    Would somebody please go get the tractor or a tow truck and help this nice lady out of the ditch!!!

    funny, not the first, or even the second time I have said, errr yelled that today 🙂 ugh

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