Support thread thread for those feeling a bit overwhelmed by the plethora of threads atm

(136 Posts)
Kewcumber Thu 16-Jan-14 09:52:06

Thats it really - do you feel a bit under siege?! I do.

I feel cross that I seem to be constantly defending a system that I think is far from perfect but that on the whole those attacking have no idea of the ramifications of some of what they are suggesting.

I feel sad that once more adoptive parents seem to be considered the people who aren't quite behaving perfectly enough when the reality is that our children are where they are because their birth parents weren't quite perfect enough.

On one thread, it was suggested that if adoptive parents couldn't deal with sharing their child with birth parents that perhaps they weren;t up to the job and that if a child had been with adoptive parents for 10 years that maybe be child should still be returned to the birth parents if it were discovered there had been a mistake.

I cannot say again and again and again that I think even 1 mistake is a tragedy and that we must make every effort to avoid this. And yet every new starts again with the assumption that adoptive parents are "against" any birth parents. They seem to think that we have no empathy or understanding of the horror birth parents feel at having a child removed - like we're not really parents and we wouldn't feel the same horror at having our children removed. My blood runs cold at the thought of it.

I have also in the last year had a bit of a wake up call about how convincing people you know can be when they swear blind that they didn't do something, that their child has mental health problems and made up stories. When it was all proven to be true, I can;t tell you how much it shook me - even nice "normal" people do dreadful things to their children and it amazes me that social workers see this all the time and still manage (on the whole) to give parents a fair hearing.

I'd love to be able to have a sensible conversation about how many times parents fight and continue to fight for their children and the children are still subsequently adopted - I think that would help me quantify in my own mind how fair this figure of "thousands" thats been bandied around is, because I'm fed up of not being able to refute it for lack of evidence that that doesn;t seem to stop anyone else.

It's wearing and I'm getting sick of it and I've got work to do.

Here endeth the first rant.

Angelwings11 Mon 10-Feb-14 10:05:00

kewcumber I am throwing my hands up and saying 'hallelujah'.....

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Mon 10-Feb-14 09:31:42

Beautiful posts! As Italian greyhound said, I was taught so much on these threads. Thanks ladies thanks


Someone referred to your fathers being called 'that' way because those above mentioned names refer to people in the FA brigade, something also pushed down our throats by papers like the Daily Mail, and their main motto is "a BP is always better". Considering that my father was an abusive monster, my DH's mother even forgot she had children and abandoned them and my best friend's father was an abuser too, all BPs... Might I attempt to add my humble opinion.... usually children are better off with APs not BPs, because I still have to meet an adopted child who was abused and raped, whilst I met loads in my 40yrs of life who were 'trashed' by their own BPs.

I apologise ladies if this comment of mine was not as fluffy as required...
Peace and love smile

holycowwhatnow Sun 09-Feb-14 22:48:16

Sitting in the lotus position, eyes are closed and I'm chanting. Peace and love.

people who can't be fluffy can fuck right off think this might become my mantra grin

Kewcumber Sun 09-Feb-14 21:48:41

I do think its soooo important to learn from one another, don't you think Honey? smile

My learning is that sometimes people don't seem to grasp that calling people hateful, judgmental, cruel, bitter and jealous can indeed be offensive - just a tad though smile I have also learnt that apologies can offend too (who knew?)

Just to clarify (in the spirit of us all learning from each other) and with the greatest possible respect- people who are "considering" adoption are known in the trade as "people" (or "random people" sometimes) rather than adopters. And perhaps best not to say this too much you have taken on a challenging job to give a child a good life as it irks a little too. No job, no charity - just families muddling along like everyone else just a bit different.

And finally:

Yes this is the fluffy thread - people who can't be fluffy can fuck right off. We don't really do fluffy much, we are (as you have rightly pointed out) hard embittered old hags and we do tough love, muddling along, swearing where necessary and quite a bit of morgue humour. But not here. Here is fluffy.

There are many many other threads around where you can berate us for the error of our imperfect ways. But not this one.

Hope that helps X smile

Now shall we all join hands and sing Cumbaya or meditate together in peace and reconciliation?

holycowwhatnow Sun 09-Feb-14 21:08:53

And to add to Angelwings, if you want to apologise do it unreservedly. Don't continue to antagonise people who know a lot more than you do. I fail to understand why you felt the need to chime in on this thread. No comment has ever riled me the way yours has.

Angelwings11 Sun 09-Feb-14 20:48:11

Some other posts have been so eloquent. I am soooooo fed up of non adopters (family included) thinking they 'know' what it is like to parent our children. Like I have said previously, you need to 'walk a mile in our shoes' before passing comment and another saying comes to mind 'if you cannot say anything nice....say nothing at all'.

crazeekitty Sun 09-Feb-14 20:35:07

22honey... Our only way to have children is to adopt?

There's a sweeping generalisation. I chose to adopt as my first choice. Hear that? First choice.

I can't be arsed to answer your comments about our opinions of birth parents.

CheeryGiraffe Sun 09-Feb-14 20:07:16

Forgot to add - 22honey you said - "I have to admit feeling rather angry at the way BM's are spoke about on here and on other forums on a regular basis" so your follow up comment of, "I am not referring to this one by the way" doesn't make any sense.

Which is it? Either adoptive parents on this forum are bitter, jealous, cruel and what ever other adjectives you used, or they're all on other forums?

CheeryGiraffe Sun 09-Feb-14 20:00:35

Since this is now the place to "just add my opinion", I'll join in....

I agree entirely with holycowwhatnow. I am very, very angry, and incredibly offended by what you have written, 22honey. You knew fine well that you were being offensive, otherwise why the "I hope I haven't offended anyone"? Sticking that on the end does not give you the right to spout your rude, judgemental and ill-informed nonsense at people.

Whilst I agree with others that your background and experience is sad, it does not give you the right or the knowledge to comment on and judge adoptive parents. Being adopted by your biological mother's partner, is nothing like adoption in the normal sense of the term. Nor does spending 3 weeks in foster care as a teenager, sad as it may be.

The reasons why people adopt are irrelevant - who are you to judge who should and shouldn't be allowed to adopt? All adopters have to go through a stringent and comprehensive assessment process, and there is almost no chance that by the end of that people have any illusions about what they are taking on.

As has been pointed out by other (far more knowledgeable and experienced than myself) people in response to your posts, adoptive parents have every right to talk about the birth parents of the children they have adopted. They do not know nothing about the birth parents circumstances which led to their children being removed. Just because they don't spout their personal information all over the internet doesn't mean they don't know. Adoptive parents deal with the consequences of decisions and actions of birth parents on a daily basis. They see the devastating effect on their children. They have every right to be angry, upset and generally pissed off. It doesn't mean they don't empathise with birth parents, but their priority is for their children - as it should be.

The very fact that there are birth parents on this forum is evidence of the fact that whilst there are a lot of emotions involved in adoption, ultimately we are all rooting for the children.

I have never seen an adoption forum where adoptive parents have been cruel, bitter or jealous. Perhaps you could point us all in the direction of these forums so we can see what these mythical adopters have been saying to give the rest of us a bad reputation?

I sincerely hope I haven't offended you.... [rolls eyes]

CloserThanYesterday Sun 09-Feb-14 19:43:17

22honey You seem to be subscribing to the hard done by image of birth parents currently being peddled by the daily mail etc ...

Your experiences sound awful, and I'm sorry for you, but you must realise that some situations will mean that adopters need an understanding place to discuss the awful things their children are dealing with. I've never seen any posts which sound bitter or jealous ... but even if they did, maybe they just needed a heat of the moment rant as we all do sometimes. Who are you to judge without knowing any background?

I am just starting the adoption process, and adopters on this forum are giving me an unbiased, supportive view of the adoption process and beyond. Thank you all!

holycowwhatnow Sun 09-Feb-14 19:18:10

And 22honey, for the record I'm offeneded by your post. And your 'apology' shows that you are really talking out of your arse.
I do still think from what I've read and seen that some adoptive parents are in denial about the reality of adopting, and that I have seen excessively bitter and jealous sounding posts on Adoption forums before (I am not referring to this one by the way, I havnt read much on this adoption forum for a while but I don't post on the other site) and also lots of posts I have found odd and disingenuous have been ones from people thinking of becoming adoptive parents usually because they can't have a bio child. There are lots of people that want a child no matter what and consider adoption whilst thinking and naively telling themselves it would be pretty much the same as having a bio child. And yes I do think anyone considering adoption should be open to the likelihood such a child will be damaged and have behaviour and attachment issues. If a potential adoptive parent cannot handle such a scenario I believe they shouldn't adopt. Even a baby has attachment to their mother. The breaking of this bond damages children and its something that pretty much every adoptive child is likely to have.

I'm one of those people who wanted a child 'no matter what' and I couldn't have (another) bio child. However, I have a wide circle of adoptive parent friends and while we all may have been naive at the start of the process, there's no one among us who think it's the same as having a bio child. Who are these 'lots of people' you refer to? Do you know any of them? Or are you just talking out of your arse??

You may not have meant to be offensive, but offensive you have been in both your posts. You don't know what you're talking about and you're spouting off, preaching, your uninformed rubbish at people who do know extensively what's involved in adoption. Having been adopted by your stepdad is NOTHING like what our children go through.

I'm very cross.

22honey I am very sorry to hear of your horrible experiences in foster care.

I think this particular thread is meant to be a rather 'fluffy' one as lots of people felt rather battered by media attention on adoption and birth parents thanks to a couple of TV documentaries. I am not yet an adoptive parent but I felt quite 'hounded' just by reading the social media stuff after watching the programmes. I felt almost like I needed to 'defend' adoption after watching one and 'defend' adopters after watching the other.

I think adoptive parents, like a lot of parents, probably need a lot of different things from these forums: the chance to support each other and get support, the chance to ask questions and get advice, the chance to vent when life gets a bit much, etc etc.

One thing that Lilka, Kew, Devora and co have really taught me (sorry to name names, actually loads of people have taught me loads of stuff but these three have taught me specifically about this 'topic') is the importance of birth parents in children's lives.

Birth parents in relation to 'good' stuff (maybe like identity) and the 'bad' stuff (maybe like experiences) and the need to understand.

More than anything else the need to get inside the mind and life of the child and see things from their perspective! As a parent I do try and do that already but to be honest these women have shown me how important this really is especially for children who join a family by adoption.

Things like corresponding with the birth parents and meeting the birth parents etc, are things I would probably have never willing wanted to do! But reading posts here has made me see that these are things that will ultimately help the child we adopt. And the posts from birth parents on this site have also helped to make me more compassionate, and to see the 'needs' of birth families. These needs will never have more importance for me than the needs of the child (which must be paramount) but there are other people in what is sometimes called the adoption triangle - child and both (sets of) parents. (No offence to single birth parents or single adopter parents! just trying to cover all bases!). And everyone has importance in some way.

So in short there are a whole bunch of people who have taught me a whole bunch of things, and you 22honey are one of them because you have shared a bit of your story here. Thank you.

I personally was not offended by your post, but then I am not yet an adoptive parent! I knew as I read your post that others would be offended. This subject is one which is hugely personal. Hopefully as people explain why they were offended you will see that their replies in the light they are meant. I think learning from each other is very important.

I wish you all the very best if you do decide to adopt.

Angelwings11 Sun 09-Feb-14 18:14:50

22Honey I do sympathise with what you have experienced, but as I said previously I was offended by what you said. My DH and I certainly went into adoption with our eyes wide open. However, parenting a child that has suffered early life trauma can be difficult, as they have other emotionally needs to consider.

I am not sure what forums you have read but quite frankly what is the issue if AP have written anything negative? When 'we' are dealing with the aftermath of neglect, abuse etc inflicted on our children sometimes there is a need to vent with people who understand. Yes we can be angry but we are also empathic! I have seen forums where BP are writing negative things about SS, AP etc....I have never seen an AP post a comment that was in any way in the same tone as your first post.

holycowwhatnow Sun 09-Feb-14 17:06:02

Lilka, you are so eloquent and say things just as they should be said.

Lilka Sun 09-Feb-14 16:40:47

I'm sorry you went through those experiences in care

This particular thread was started as a fluffy support thread because we were being battered by a load of threads full of "nearly all children up for adoption are stolen by social services and adoptive parents should all give their children back" people.

There is also plenty of adopters on here especially that are very nice and forgiving about their child's birth family, and appear to award them the respect many of them deserve for providing them with their lovely children

Okay, I want to talk about this.

Firstly, do we have to forgive? Aren't there some things which can't be forgiven? There's a difference between feeling some level of empathy and compassion, and between being forgiving, at least in my mind (obviously people define forgiveness in different ways). I can't "forgive" my childrens birth parents for what they did - not least because it's not my place to do that, it's my children's.

Every situation is different, but there are situations where acting nicely would be someting only a very few would manage. When you read a forum post, the thing is you don't know what the true situation is. You might make a guess or assumptions, but the reality is people don't often post a huge amount of their childs background, for very obvious reasons. So that person you are judging as not very nice, might not be saying that their child was sexually abused by their birth parents, or any number of other things.

But it's the second part of the sentence that I find quite puzzling. If my children had been relinquished by their birth parents because their birth parents felt that they weren't able to parent and they wanted a different life for their chldren, then I am sure I would have a lot of respect for that decision and gratitude because their decision resulted in my having my children

But what you've posted, is not my reality and not a lot of families reality.

My children's birth parents did not provide me with them. They had no say in the matter at all. Saying that they provided me with children would, to me, be implying that their birth mothers are reproductive vessels whose job it is to provide me with children. Which...just no. They aren't,

I respect people's actions and choices. Like a choice to relinquish a child, I can respect that

But - my childrens birth mothers became pregnant, had children, and then had them taken away by social services and the courts, who placed them for adoption without consent.

So - are you asking me to respect their ability to have children? Like - "wow, your ovaries and womb are really healthy and work perfectly, but mine aren't, mine are old and menopausal. Respect" (note - I didn't come to adoption through infertility, adoption was the obvious choice for me as a single lesbian at that time. But still, my ovaries are now old and menopausal)

Respect the abuse and neglect that lead to the children being removed?

It doesn't make sense.

I CAN feel enormous sadness for the birth mum's situation and find a lot of empathy and compassion (depending on the situation obviously!), and if the birth mother has made decisions that were brave or good for the children, I can respect those. But I can't respect the ability to have children because it's not a decision. I certainly can't respect neglectful or abusive actions, even when I can understand some of the reasons why it happened in the first place.

Hope that makes sense

22honey Sun 09-Feb-14 15:42:44

and no none of my fathers are called such a thing, what a weird question!

22honey Sun 09-Feb-14 15:34:21

I am very sorry if I offended anyone, that really wasnt what I was trying to do! I also wasnt referring to any particular poster on this thread, and yes I also agree its one of the most balanced forums when it comes to adoption. There is another site I have read where pretty much all AP on there slate the BF, even without much reason. My thoughts for the post were coming a lot from what I'd read on there. The comments I wrote were merely an observation of all talk from AP I have read on forums.

There is also plenty of adopters on here especially that are very nice and forgiving about their child's birth family, and appear to award them the respect many of them deserve for providing them with their lovely children.

I understand completely why an AP with a child damaged due to parent abuse would feel angry and need to vent. I read these forums because I've always thought of adopting myself eventually, know some people who have had their children taken from them and also because I was adopted (although in a different way and only by a father not a mother and yes I know its not the same) myself. And I love my adopted dad exactly the same if not more than my bio dad. He brought me up from a child and I will always have that soft spot for him and childhood memories I will never have with my bio dad. I know the love for an adopted child isn't any different and I would never refer to adoption as 'stealing' children as some people do!

I went into care for 3 months as a teenager as I was a nightmare (long story but it taught me I wanted to be good for my mother!) and in one home the FF took me to the pub, told me all about how he cheated on FM regularly (these people had some young girls tiny baby that was due to be adopted!) and offered to have sex with me. He also touched me up and tried to get me into his bedroom. I never told SS as they wouldn't have believed me (so I thought), I was a wayward teen and he was a respectable foster father with a nice house, wife and his own 2 children. I ran away from the home soon after and moved to a new one before going being moved home. I often see posts on adoption forums recommending SS intervention and FC at all costs if theres a problem at the bio home (yes, this situation is different the foster care was voluntary) and no one mentions the rate of sexual abuse is higher for children in FC.

I guess some of it might be down to knowing a girl who had 3 children in a short space of time, the father was a drug dealer who had been involved in the sexual exploitation of teenage girls (she didnt live with him, she split with him when it was found out what he was doing and didnt let him have access but still lost all 3 of her babies eventually being allowed to parent just one of them) and she had an alcoholic mother and lost her children even though she much loved and wanted them and did everything she could to make a good home for them, which is why she was allowed to keep her oldest baby. But she still lost 2 of her babies and has gone through a lot of pain because of this. I would hate to see her two boys AP slating her for any problems because she is and was a competent mother SS just thought 3 was too many for her and never gave her a chance to parent her two youngest children. She wasnt abusive and put her children first.

I wasnt aware you had to be fluffy and supportive in order to post on the thread, sorry. I am genuinely sorry for upsetting anyone and most posters on here are very level headed and considerate when it comes to the BP. I know that you obviously want what is best for your child and that you have taken on a challenging job to give a child a good life.

I do still think from what I've read and seen that some adoptive parents are in denial about the reality of adopting, and that I have seen excessively bitter and jealous sounding posts on Adoption forums before (I am not referring to this one by the way, I havnt read much on this adoption forum for a while but I don't post on the other site) and also lots of posts I have found odd and disingenuous have been ones from people thinking of becoming adoptive parents usually because they can't have a bio child. There are lots of people that want a child no matter what and consider adoption whilst thinking and naively telling themselves it would be pretty much the same as having a bio child. And yes I do think anyone considering adoption should be open to the likelihood such a child will be damaged and have behaviour and attachment issues. If a potential adoptive parent cannot handle such a scenario I believe they shouldn't adopt. Even a baby has attachment to their mother. The breaking of this bond damages children and its something that pretty much every adoptive child is likely to have.

Again sorry if I offended, it wasnt meant and I will not post on this thread again if its merely for support and being fluffy. X

Angelwings11 Sun 09-Feb-14 08:50:52

kewcumber brilliant!

Choccyjules Sun 09-Feb-14 08:19:54

Wow. I have never seen any APs on here being nasty about BPs. This is the most balanced and caring Adoption Forum I've yet found.

Lilka Sun 09-Feb-14 01:35:07

Well, Kew, you said what I thinking! But I went for the gentler comment, without saying that I found that post offensive. But I did.

I am genuinely curious as to which threads on here are being referred to. I just cannot think of any hateful or bitter threads on here. So 22honey could you give me a concrete example of a thread which has upset you? Because I'd rather not be confused and go judge for myself.

it's going to be one of mine now isn't it?

Kewcumber Sun 09-Feb-14 01:00:40

Hope I haven't offended anyone here

Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaa!

I've been in a right crap mood all day and poor old DS has borne the brunt of it but that has cheered me right up. I think that has to be quite the most insane comment I've seen on the adoption board (oh and haven't we all seen quite a few!) after the rescue dogs comment, that we are "bitter and hateful" as well as "extremely judgemental and often cruel", did you mention jealous too? Ooh yes I see you did. Why on earth would anyone take offence that that? It would be soooo unreasonable.

But I would be quite interested in the answer to three questions:

a) exactly what threads are you talking about where we all displayed these characteristics? Really I'd like to know where these bitter judgmental and frankly rather nasty threads are, because out of the hundreds and hundreds of threads there are on adoption on MN I see the occasional one venting about damage to our children which if you read them are just angry railings against the injustices our children can suffer from, because we don't like to see our children suffer - really much like birth parents vent from time to time.

b) one of your fathers isn't called Ian Joseph is he? Or Melvin or John. Just wondering.

c) Have you read my second post after starting the thread? Just to save you the bother of scrolling up 'cos I am really vair naice when I am not being a judgmental, bitter, cruel and hateful adopter and if you're not going to be fluffy and supportive then bugger off this isn;t the thread for you.

Oh and just so's you know for future reference it's generally good form to start a post "with the greatest possible respect" when you are about to put the boot in so people know what mud they're about to wade into.

HTH smile

Just thought I'd add my opinion too. xxx

Devora Sun 09-Feb-14 00:08:12

22honey, I have to say I found your post grossly unfair and somewhat offensive. Inevitably you get a range of views expressed here, including a range of attitudes to birth parents according to people's different situations. If I had to generalise, I'd say that most adopters express ambivalence, a blend of feeling connected forever to these people who most of us have never met, a searching for understanding, often sympathy, and a sense of loyalty almost, a need to find something positive for our child to connect to. And then, some anger yes, because we love our children and it is impossible - surely? - to not feel anger with people who hurt our children. If we DIDN'T feel that anger, if our attitude was, "Well, I knew there would be some damage but hey, I signed up for this" then THAT would be akin to buying a dog from a rescue centre.

I think that also, on the whole, we have careful and respectful communication on this board between adoptive parents and birth parents. I know I am not alone in valuing this and wanting to preserve it.

And actually, I agree that being legally adopted by your social father is not actually comparable to the situation of our children, who have suffered early trauma and loss of their birth families.

AnywhereOverTheRainbow Sat 08-Feb-14 22:45:32

"I sometimes think this attributes to the AP's insecurities about the fact they arn't the bio parent. Especially when adoption has been the only choice the person has to have kids."

Not sure what you meant by this. Personally, I've thought many times to adopt instead of conceiving a baby, this due to my father, who was a certified monster and to be honest I don't want to transfer my DNA and genes to my babies.
Nothing to do with infertility or other choices I might have.

Sorry but I think your post was very unfair towards the APs, because from what I coud read in this thread, they all seem sensible people and not "trying to get rescue dogs".

Moomoomie Sat 08-Feb-14 19:46:43

22honey. If you read the title of this thread you will see it says "support" that is what we do on this section of MN, we support each other, either adoptive parents or birth parents.
We have some amazing birth parents on here who have opened their hearts at the loss of their children, hopefully we in a very small way have offered them some comfort, and they have allowed us, as, adoptive parents see how life is for them.
If you want to make presumptions, read the long list of threads on here, then come back and tell us we are all jealous and bitter.
I love my three girls unconditionally, they will always be my daughters. Do I wish they didn't have to go through the loss they have been through? Of course I do. But I was not the reason they were adopted.

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