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Couple of questions for adoptees

12 Feb

Adoptee’s do you think your parents skewed their parenting in ways suggested in the quote below. If yes, in what way?

“Adoptive parents frequently have their own trauma, grief/loss, and expectations/fantasies they bring into the experience of adoption, and it is very important to process these so that they don’t negatively skew the caregivers’ perception or parenting of the adopted child.”

The above quote can be found on this thread on FB Adoptive Families page. While you’re there, I read the original post as a child’s feelings about adoption, but not sure some of the comments heard what I heard. And if I’m right, how can adoptive parents learn that it’s completely normal for an adopted child to have big feelings about adoption and being adopted. That to me, adoption feelings has nothing to do with attachment, it has to do with being adopted and all the why’s and feels coming from that. So, what do you say, am I confused or getting close?

 

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 12, 2020 in Adoption

 

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5 responses to “Couple of questions for adoptees

  1. Julie McGue

    February 12, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Adoptive parents do have their own traumas. Many have experienced infertility issues and this can make them fierce about their control over an adoptive child. Counseling for all touched by adoption is essential, especially before the teen years. I think if my mother had received therapy with my sister and I should would have been easier to deal with as I chased down the secrets of my closed adoption due to personal health issues. Her negative stance on including my birth mother in my life is selfish and damaged our relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  2. legitimatebastard

    February 12, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    So many traumas … it took me decades to unravel my adoptive parents’ individual personal traumas going back deep into their childhoods, which, yes, did indeed impact how they parented me.

    As most of you know, I am a half orphan. My mother died when I was an infant, which led to my surrender and adoption. I keep saying that for the benefit of new readers. Now this has something to say about how my adoptive parents viewed their own lives.

    My adoptive father’s father died when my adoptive father was a boy of eleven years old. He was the eldest of eight children. This was in 1925. He quit school, scavenged city streets, picking up trash other people threw out. He repaired tables and chairs, radios, bicycles, etc, anything, and resold the items. This is how he saved money to support his mother and seven siblings and himself. His two older half brothers were already out of the house and in the military. The idea was to keep all of his siblings together so that no one would be lost to the poor house or to orphanages or to adoption.

    My adoptive mother’s mother died of the flu in 1918 when my adoptive mother was age two. Her father put her and her older brothers and one younger brother into an orphanage so he could go to work. He paid for their room and board and told the nuns that none of his children would be given up for adoption.

    My adoptive parents were married in 1938. They were childless for 18 years.

    My adoptive father’s two older half brothers were distant cousins to my natural mother. When my natural mother died in 1956, her large extended family attended her funeral. This included my adoptive father’s full blood sister who was the same age as my natural mother and went to school with her. She knew that her older brother and his wife were childless and desperate for a baby. So she saw an opportunity and took it. She went up to my father and said, “I know someone who will take your baby.” That was moments after the parish priest told my father, “The baby needs two parents.”

    I was three months old at the time. My siblings were 3, 6, 8, and 9 years old. Our father kept them, but surrendered me to adoption to my natural mother’s distant cousin.

    I have no other explanation here but to conclude that the drive to parent a baby when this married couple could not make a baby of their own was so strong that it overrode the strong drive in their childhoods to keep their sibling groups together after the death of one parent.

    Seems rather selfish, don’t you think? To inflict upon me the very destiny that each one of my adoptive parents’ avoided in their childhoods.

    They were allowed to grow up with their siblings and their living parent, with full knowledge of their deceased parent and relatives from that family. But for me, I was removed from my siblings, removed from my father, removed from my extended family, too be raised as an only child, cocooned in a bubble. All the while, my adoptive father’s extended family included my natural mother’s family and they swirled around me with gossip, digging for information, swapping photos of me, strangers approaching me at odd times during my childhood making comments on how fine I look, making me feel awkward and afraid. Same age adoptive cousins were freely cousins with my same age age first cousins by blood, but I was not allowed to know my own cousins. They withheld it all from me. Taunted me, in fact. My siblings were also left out of the connections. Most of all, my natural father was left out because he was not of their blood.

    All of this was going on while I grew up, without my knowledge. My adoptive parents did not include themselves in this chatter. My adoptive mother, however, did exchange a few photos of me and accepted a few photos of my natural parents and my siblings. But they did not share those with me. Ii saw them when I went through boxes of photos but did not know I was looking at my own siblings and parents until after I was found in 1974 by my siblings. When I met my father he showed me the same photos. I was crushed. My adoptive parents knew all along and deliberately lied to me.

    It doesn’t matter that they may have been afraid to tell me. What matters is the damage they all caused to me. The heartbreak, the betrayal, the broken trust, and hundreds of people from both my adoptive father’s family and my natural mother’s family controlling my life, sneaking around me, and then treating me like shit after I was found by my siblings because ADOPTEES ARE NEVER SUPPOSED TO KNOW THE TRUTH.

    My natural father abided by the law. He was told by the judge in the courtroom to stay away from me and my adoptive parents. He did. He did not know that his deceased wife’s family would take revenge upon him by not including him in on updates on me that they had about me.

    If the judge had known that this was a distant relative adoption, he may not have approved of my adoption at all. My adoption was a closed and secret adoption, on paper, and for me, but not for my adoptive parents and my adoptive father’s extended family. To be clear, not all of his family participated in this game. They were the ones who advised my adoptive parents to tell me the truth.

    To which my adoptive mother replied in 1957, “Oh no! She’s MINE!”

    Does that sound familiar in the words and actions of some of today’s adoptive parents who claim someone else’s child as their own?

    Liked by 1 person

     
  3. legitimatebastard

    February 12, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    To expand upon the story I told above….

    My adoptive father became a hoarder. I didn’t know what that was until many years after my childhood. At least he kept his “collections” neatly in the basement, attic, and garage, and not in our home space.

    My adoptive mother was raised by nuns. She was mentally stuck at age 13. It took me many years of therapy to figure out that she had opositional-defiant behavior. She’d battle for no reason at all, just so that she could win every argument she started. This, of course, caused me to doubt reality while I was growing up and into adulthood.

    This lasted her entire life. However, when mom became very ill toward the end of her life, she softened. She asked questions about my adoption and about my activism. When she realized that I did love her, and that my activism centered around adoption as a legal and social structure, she began to understand why I spoke out. She finally admitted that she did not give birth to me. Mom finally admitted that her name does not belong on my birth certificate and that she had already been declared my legal mother on the adoption decree. Mom then supported me in changing adoption laws in favor of adoptees’ civil rights.

    My adoptive father died in 1982. We were only beginning to heal the pain of adoption. He died when my reunion with my natural family was 8 years in. He never held it against me for accepting my reunion. He was remorseful for lying to me, and, he treated my natural father with respect.

    My adoptive mother was angry in the beginning of my reunion and scolded at my natural father. But over the years she became cordial, even concerned for his health as they aged.

    All 4 of my parents are dead now.

    It is my hope that readers will take lessons from this mess.

    Adoptive parents – do not lie to your adopted children. Heal your own wounds before you adopt. Don’t expect that someone else’s baby will cure your infertility. Sure, a baby will fulfill your joys in the moment, but will mask underlying issues that will fester and burn if you don’t address them properly through therapy.

    If you don’t enter parenting someone else’s child by adoption with a clear mind and confident spirit, you could cause your adoptee a lifetime of problems on top of the problems inherent in adoption.

    Another piece of advice: do not rename your adoptee. Do not insist that your names replace the names of the natural parents on a false birth certificate. This is very damaging to the self worth of the adopted person.

    That is at the heart of adoption: identity theft. Do not do this. Respect the child in your care as the person she or he was born as and raise that child with the name given at birth. If not named at birth, then it’s ok to name the child, but keep the names of the natural parents on the birth certificate. You do not have to get a new birth certificate when you adopt.

    This is how we make change. People must change and then we can change the laws.

    Liked by 2 people

     
  4. Lara/Trace

    February 12, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    (I’m not on Facebook but was until a few years ago.)
    The problem with adoption in general is propaganda, bad history and there are camps. The two most common camps are “be grateful” and “the activist.”
    Not everyone wants to hear adoptees in any camp. I simply cannot believe this adoption debate has gone on as long as it has.
    If adoption hurts anyone, then it should be abolished. Period.
    My adoptive parents were miserable people, very sick. I cannot begin to calculate the source of their behaviors but their infertility and religion resulted in two babies being adopted and abused by both of them. If there had been awareness by social workers prior to these two closed adoptions, then maybe it would not have happened. And the social workers never returned to check on us. Who would create a system for children that would not check on them?
    Child trafficking via adoption is profitable. That seems to be why it won’t go away.
    I’m not bitter because that was the system and how it was created. But when you see the harm, and trauma and lifelong issues for the child, how does adoption exist in any form?

    Liked by 1 person

     
  5. Lara/Trace

    February 12, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    I had to thank you making me think about this: I wrote a longer post here: https://blog.americanindianadoptees.com/2020/02/what-does-history-tell-us-about-adoption.html

    Like

     

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