Random vent about Things Other People Say

(205 Posts)
ColdfeetPinksocks Wed 21-Aug-13 15:04:02

I've already decided to try to not get cross when Other People say things like we're brave doing this or my children will be lucky to have us (really? lucky??) or mention their 'real mum' meaning someone other than me. I reckon that trying to edumucate most people on those things will just lead to me being snappish and that whilst they're ignorant of a lot of stuff about adoption they mean well.

But I am so, so, SO bored of hearing about how 'we won't know what's hit us'. Yes, believe it or not we did give it some thought. Quite a lot of thought actually. I'm aware that becoming a parent will alter my lifestyle. GAHHHH!!

(They don't say this to pg people do they? If they do, I'll eat my random venty hat.)

Feelslikea1sttimer Wed 21-Aug-13 15:09:11

We are having baby number 4 for our family.. Between me and my partner we have 15, 13, 7 and new one due in November and we always get 'you must be mad' 'you're gonna have your hands full' and yep the old faithful 'you won't know what's hit you' and like you... YES WE WILL!!! and actually we have put more thought into this baby than when I had my teenagers (when I was in my teens)

I am guessing you have put a whole lot more thought and preperation into adopting a child than the majority of people put into conceiving one... I would do your best to ignore them, (or tell them to p*$% off)

Good Luck

WeAreSeven Wed 21-Aug-13 15:21:51

Friends of ours who had spent years ttc dc2 without success. Eventually adopted a baby. They got
"Are you mad, dc1 is, what, 13? Why would you want that kind of a gap?"

"Oh, how sweet. I'd like to do that" only to have their faces glaze over when told of the gruelling checks, long waits, countries closing their doors to outside adopters, matches that don't happen....."

WeAreSeven Wed 21-Aug-13 15:22:51

Oh and Coldfeet, pregnant people get it too.
Have to admit, having ds1 was tiring but why do people want to spoil the excitement?

ColdfeetPinksocks Wed 21-Aug-13 15:26:02

If pg people get it, I'll stand down. It's never crossed my mind to say it to a pg couple. No more than I'd say 'I hear giving birth's a bit hard, are you sure you want to go through with it'.

<eats venty hat>

ColdfeetPinksocks Wed 21-Aug-13 15:27:17

(And I can't tell the current offender to PO. He's currently putting furniture together for me. smile)

Pootles2010 Wed 21-Aug-13 15:27:38

Gobsmacked that people say 'real' mum. Unbelievable. People are such dicks... ignore em.

If it makes you feel any better, they do say 'you won't know whats hit you' to pg people too. I think people just come out with inane crap because they've nothing better to say.

Phineyj Wed 21-Aug-13 15:30:20

We got comments like this. After 6 years of trying to have a family various ways, infertility treatment and applying for adoption unsuccessfully we HAD put a lot of thought into it!

It is annoying but my theory is that a lot of people are slightly embarrassed by anything serious and emotional so they fall back on these crass responses as they don't know what to say.

Devora Wed 21-Aug-13 23:07:28

I don't think you should stop venting just because people say doofish things to pg women too. Vent away!

Agree with * Phineyj* people don't always know what to say and say things to fill space! I am sure I do it.

My worst comment from friends, as someone who has abirth child and spent thousands and years trying to have a second (having always wanted three0 is people with three kids who moan about how hard life is with three kids!

Some people do often tend to make negative comments about stuff, like young kids, must be a lot of work, etc etc. Yes, they are but they are also wonderful!

Hold my hand up to that at one time I would have thought adoptive parents brave (am hoping to be one and still think we are brave but lots and lots of people are braver) and also would once have said that children who are adopted into good/nice/kind families were 'lucky', I would not use that phrasiology now because the likes of Kew/*Kristina*/*Devora*/and Lilka have educated me!

WeAreSeven Wed 21-Aug-13 23:33:41

Although I do have to say, that I think my friends' new dc is lucky. Feck it, I'd let them adopt me if they would! They are far better parents than I am.

ColdfeetPinksocks Thu 22-Aug-13 00:49:25

Woohoo! Permission to vent anyway! Thanks Devora!

I'm sure I've uttered countless meaningless platitudes at various people over the years too, but I think hope that I'm much less likely to do it following years of ttc. ('You just need to relax.' Uh-huh, right.)

And I don't think we're brave, or noble, or anything else others have said, I just think we're finally (fingers crossed!) maybe getting our family!

Of yes, had forgotten, people who think not trying to have a baby is the way to have one! Wonder why people bother with fertility treatment!

BettyBotter Thu 22-Aug-13 13:28:15

Disclaimer: Not an adopter but adoption in the close family...

Another great comment from nosey neighbour when told adoption was pending 'Are you sure?' <Oh no, we hadn't really thought about it at all hmm>

But, that 'oh you wont know what's going to hit you' classic is said All The bloody Time to pregnant people, believe me (usually by smug parents of multiples who take delight in passing on their experience as they know everything). It's generally followed up by dire warnings about never sleeping again and being told your life will never be the same again.

Hope your hat tastes nice wink

Solaia Sat 24-Aug-13 09:23:57

I try not to get wound up by what people say, they are generally just making ham-fisted attempts at platitudes in order to say something. I just think 'you dafty...'

My bug bear at the moment is 'you are far too young to be thinking about kids and all that stuff' when we have been TTC for two years and now referred to the fertility clinic.

Although 'real mother' is... Just... <shakes head> thanks

HystericalParoxysm Sat 24-Aug-13 09:34:41

I have a mixture of birth and adopted children and IME people say the same ol' guff whether you are adopting or pregnant! They just like to be smug bastards hmmgrin

bberry Sun 25-Aug-13 09:18:48

I have just joined and this is my first ever post, after 6 years ttc we are now about to adopt a little girl, she will be 18 months when she arrives, this post made me giggle..... people really are thoughtless idiots, even close friends and family that you think would know better...... you have all made me laugh out loud this morning...... :-) am researching car seats, cot beds, strollers this morning..... x

RandomMess Sun 25-Aug-13 09:21:57

TBH I think that whether people are adopting or pregnant, I just don't say it though!!!

What really gets my goat is people on here saying about neglected dc/those in care etc. "all they need is love" without understanding how permanently damaged many dc are sad

We were having dinner with some friends who have adopted 2 children and one person (who was a friend of a friend and I hadn't met before) asked if they hadn't thought of IVF so that the children belonged to them.

But then, when I was pregnant people seemed to think that it was ok to tell me stories about horrific births so I have come to the conclusion that some people are just stupid insensitive idiots.

perplexedpirate Sun 25-Aug-13 09:55:55

We are in the very early stages of thinking about adopting DC2 (no fertility issues, I just couldn't do pregnancy and birth again). I mentioned this to a few friends a couple of weeks ago and most were thrilled for us, but one (who had, in retrospect, sunk a whole bottle of wine in about an hour) starting going 'why? Why would you do that? Oh my god, why would you ever do that. I'd never do that...etc etc'. I'd already explained my reasons but she was almost offended that I was doing something she wouldn't.
People are weird. hmm

bootsycollins Sun 25-Aug-13 10:04:31

Some random woman was telling me that she's got 7 grandchildren, then without coming up for air went on to say 6 and ones adopted confused
I instantly wrote her off as a complete dick. Why would you say that?

Lilka Sun 25-Aug-13 12:51:44

I've had so many comments over the years. People seemed especially shocked I was adopting a 10 year old and an 8 year old. And even more shocked to hear that it was what I wanted and not because social services wouldn't let me have the cute baby they were sure I truly wanted deep down!

Everyone gives parenting advice about how to parent. Great but not great for my kids who need different parenting. The only kind of parenting advice I've wanted from colleagues etc is 'what pushchair (for DS!) do you recommend' (or bed, or brand of shoes) and 'can everyone tell me what time you set bedtime at for your 12 year old?' I don't want to know how you discipline and how you think I should discipline.

Or how I'm being mean by saying that my family will definitely not be going on holiday to Disneyland Paris now or in the foreseeable future. Yes really! The stupid thing was, I'd originally asked for help finding a nice UK place to go on holiday to! DD2 and DS together in Disneyland doesn't bear thinking about!!

I think I've mentioned it before, the worst question I've ever fielded was about my DD1. What did she do to get herself taken into care? angry ffs

MuseumOfHam Sun 25-Aug-13 13:02:37

Yeah, the only time other people get to me is when they're nosily fishing for DS's back story, e.g. putting on a professional sympathy face and going 'so, did he have a VERY traumatic time before he came to you?' Haven't had any bad ones for a while, or maybe you're just more sensitive to it all in the early days.

One I did get upset about in the early days was taking DS to the GP and her asking 'does his Mum know he's ill?'

Maiyakat Sun 25-Aug-13 13:43:15

My favourite comment on telling colleagues after I'd been approved was 'Well you'd better not go and have a one night stand and get pregnant before now had you?' Erm..... hmm

ColdfeetPinksocks Sun 25-Aug-13 17:33:23

Museum, yes! Since we got linked I've had many people fishing for background. Best one (for this thread...) was, 'I know you can't tell me anything, but I hope they've not been abused or neglected...' and then a tailing off into silence, presumably so I could reassure the enquirer that the adoption is for fun or for my benefit. (Or more likely so that I could fill in the details and we could all talk about how horrible it is...)

Magslee Sun 25-Aug-13 19:56:08

I find it hard to choose between
a) the woman I didn't know who heard from someone else I was adopting and crossed the room to tell me about her friend who had adopted and it 'ruined her life', and
b) the senior manager at work who waved me off on adoption leave with the words 'they do tell you how many fail don't they? I hope you don't regret it'

But they really they don't matter because on the other side of the scale are
a) my friends and family who have been amazing all the way, and
b) the stranger angels posted on every London street corner and station steps who help me with my buggy, entertain DS when he's grumpy and just take time to be friendly and kind to a bouncy toddler and disorganised mum.

My policy for the offensive commenters is - first offence - ignore, second offence - sanctimonious lecture, third offence - anything goes

ColdfeetPinksocks Sun 25-Aug-13 20:06:34

Magslee, that's what I need -- a policy! And perhaps a scale or chart of stupidness/offensiveness -- one point for background fishing, 5 for 'you know how many fail'.... I could keep score.

LadyMacbethWasMisunderstood Sun 25-Aug-13 20:43:50

I do sympathise.

But as to the 'you won't know what had hit you' I think lots of parents get that whatever their circumstances. When I was pregnant with a much wanted DC3 at age 44 (after a gap of nearly 7 years and several miscarriages) almost everyone I encountered told me I was mad. Or assumed it was an accident. Most were dumbfounded to hear that we had actually given any sensible thought to the pregnancy at all.

But you are totally within your rights to be annoyed by this.

"You can adopt mine if you want" that one bugs me!!!
And our friend who thinks she's being helpful to tell us how you hear about adoptions failing, how we need to prepare ourselves for them finding their "real mum" at 16' how they will be "damaged" .....
I honestly think its a mixture between them not knowing what to say and it being a situation they know little about so they try and talk about things they do (or they're just muppets)

Oh and " I bet you'll get pregnant as soon as you adopt because you'll be relaxed, my friend/uncle/neighbour had that happen" that one gets RIGHT on my nerves.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 25-Aug-13 22:14:29

Hello OP.

If its any consolation I am an adopted person who was "lucky" to have my parents, because they were wonderful. Your dc will be lucky to have you, but I can understand why certain comments may offend you.
I think you just have to realise as you say that they mean well and they don't understand.
It used to really upset me when people asked me if I ever wanted to find my "real mum or dad", how offensive! You can't get more real as a parent than raising dc from a few months old. They did the whole lot as most other parents with adopted dc did and continue to do.
So I sympathise on the whole and agree that it is a waste of time letting it get to you as some things you know people will say, like its a script.
People asking questions about dcs past lives is not on, it was different in my childhood. There were thousands of adopted dc and everybody knew why.

QOD Sun 25-Aug-13 22:15:24

"Ah how lovely and I bet you have a baby of your own once you've relaxed"

And similar, dd is straight surrogate (my dh and my friends bio child)

She is my fucking own child thanks

Annunziata Sun 25-Aug-13 22:17:57

I hate the lowered voice waiting for scandal too.

But most of all I hate when you say you are adopting and people just go silent. I wish people would just say congratulations.

Oh yes. Pregnant people get it in spades. Thing is it's true in my case. No amount of thinking prepared me for the truth of parenthood!

Thatsnotmychicken Sun 25-Aug-13 22:25:35

My biggest gripe when we told people we were adopting was when they said 'I've got two children you can have!'
However, one year in I can safely say despite all our training and reading on adoptive parenting I have no idea what hit me!! I suspect nothing prepares you for parenting! smile

ColdfeetPinksocks Sun 25-Aug-13 23:00:03

Oh, I'm certain we have no idea what's coming. grin I just assumed that they were only telling me that cuz we're adopting -- have since eaten venty hat since I now know pg ladies get it too.

Practicing my 'did you mean to be so rude?'s instead. wink

mrsballack Mon 26-Aug-13 06:01:05

Gah, people!

The other day a work colleague told me didn't see why I'd need to take a year off for adoption leave as its not like ill have a newborn to look after.

Sadly for him he'd caught me on a bad day so I might have given him a gobfull

Biscuitsneeded Mon 02-Sep-13 15:31:42

I do understand what you're saying, but wonder why you object to people saying the adopted children will be lucky to have you? I'm sure that is meant as a compliment and as a vote of confidence in your future parenting. I appreciate that the children may not have been given a very 'lucky' start in life but I'm sure all that is meant is that their future wellbeing is in safe hands.

2old2beamum Mon 02-Sep-13 17:10:15

Biscuitsneeded I think you are wrong we are lucky to have them, they were unlucky to be born unwanted or neglected by birth parents. We are so lucky to have had our 8 adopted DC's

Biscuitsneeded Mon 02-Sep-13 21:09:32

Of course, that side of things goes without saying. But if you didn't love your kids and feel lucky to have them I suspect you wouldn't be posting in this forum! But can't the luck go both ways?

MrsBW Mon 02-Sep-13 21:44:35

Hi Biscuits - some adoptive parents object to it on behalf of their children.

Because it's a 'nice thing to say' on the surface, lots of people say it - some say it to the children.

Thus, the children are led to believe they should be 'grateful' - where in fact the very opposite is true. They've had the most awful start in life.

So yes, we realise it's a complimentary thing to say to the parents - but not necessarily to the children.

Hope that makes sense?

2old2beamum Mon 02-Sep-13 22:05:12

MrsBW you said it so much better than me (grammar)
Biscuits I can see your point but in our case it aint true smile

greenfolder Mon 02-Sep-13 23:17:12

The only acceptable thing to say to either a pregnant person or a person matched is "how wonderful, congratulations " this did not stop people when finding out I was expectin dc 3 after a 10 year gap saying the most ridiculous stuff, usually that I was mad and did I know there was a chance it was a girl? I was polite to start, then moved into feck off quite quickly.

flossymuldoon Tue 03-Sep-13 15:08:50

I am really surprised I haven't had some of the really common comments. I fully expected to but they didn't come.

I did get a couple from really naïve friends of friends though that I wasn't expecting. One said "so do you just go choose one from the orphanage". It took all my willpower to avoid howling with laughter that anyone would be naïve to think that.

The second one was "what? you're going to tell him he's adopted? Awwww, that's not very nice". I didn't even respond to that one as my jaw was on the floor.

The less funny one was when his behaviour was really bad in the first 6 months after a 3 week honeymoon period, no-one would listen and tried to tell me that "all kids do that". It made me think I was a really shit Mum and that it was just me that couldn't cope. If only I had spoken to the SW earlier, she would have told me that his behaviour was pretty extreme.

Kewcumber Tue 03-Sep-13 16:34:29

I would be thrilled if DS one day felt lucky to have me as his mum. I do massively object to strangers and friends alike telling DS he is lucky to have what every other child considers to be the norm.

He is 7 - he shouldn't feel grateful because I love him and make a halfway decent job of keeping him safe.

There are thousands of potential adoptive parents out there and in proportionate terms probably way more will be decent parents than the percentage of birth parents are. Any one of them could have adopted him and he would have had an equally lovely and safe life and possibly even more.

I am lucky it was me.

Kewcumber Tue 03-Sep-13 16:40:41

Out of interest - do birth parents think their children are lucky to have decent parents? Do you really think that?

You think your toddler/pre-schooler etc should tell strangers in a cafe that they are lucky because Mummy tells them bed-time stories and feeds them when they're hungry and kisses their grazes and doesn't hit them?

You chose to have children, you have a responsibility to make your best attempt at being good at it because it was driven by an entirely selfish need in you to have a family in which your child had no voice/choice.

No different to adoption really.

flossymuldoon Tue 03-Sep-13 16:46:14

I am definitely the lucky one. These days I am even grateful I couldn't conceive, because if I had I wouldn't have met my son.

He is most definitely not lucky. If he was he would have been born to a Mum that could have taken good care of him rather than being on his 3rd set of parents.

Kewcumber Tue 03-Sep-13 17:46:57

flossy - if I'm feeling militant when people don't take the "oh no I'm the lucky one" hint and continue harping on about it then I have been known to ask "would you consider your children to be lucky if you had develeoped a drinking problem and in your alcoholic haze allowed your boyfriedns to sexually abuse them for several years before they came to the attention of social services when they were removed to live with someone temporarily before a year later being moved again to a permanent home? What a peculiar notion of "luck"!"

But I have only actually said something similar once out loud (though often in my head) and they were particularly persistent and obnoxious.

Mostly I just smile and say "yes and aren't your children lucky too" or my favorite "yes he is lucky - I'm marvellous"

shockers Tue 03-Sep-13 17:59:27

'You're a saint'.

No I'm not, I'm a mum... just like you are.

Kewcumber Tue 03-Sep-13 18:18:46

Ha ha - you're nicer than me shockers...

'You're a saint'.

Yes I am - I'm a bloody marvel.

Buswanker Tue 03-Sep-13 18:22:45

People are incredibly rude to pregnant women too!, I have close to tears from some of the things people have said to me.
I have thought that adopted children are lucky, but so are the parents - meaning its lucky/nice they have each other. (I will never say this as I now know I have read this thread I know its rude)

shockers Tue 03-Sep-13 18:48:22

grin @Kew

I've just had a thought though... we are constantly reminding DS2 how lucky he is - in comparison to us when we were his age. Stuff along the lines of, 'I only ever went camping (me), to Butlins on church camp (DH)'... do you realise how lucky you are to have nice holidays like this/someone to take you to all your training/matches AND stand and support you... my mother let me cycle in the rain by myself/ nice clothes... my parents used to buy mine from jumble sales at school and everyone would know where they'd come from...' Monty Python, Four Yorkshiremen',type thing.

I hope he's never thought that we mean because he was placed with us... I often forget we adopted him, he's been here since the day he was born.

He usually laughs at our old fogeyness, so I'm guessing he doesn't think that, but I must be careful.

Biscuitsneeded Tue 03-Sep-13 18:56:21

Oh, I wouldn't dream of TELLING an adopted child they were lucky. I do see what you mean. Sorry for being crass - I didn't mean it the way it came out.

ColdfeetPinksocks Tue 03-Sep-13 19:26:59

flossy "what? you're going to tell him he's adopted? Awwww, that's not very nice"

Me (in my head): "No, we thought we'd save it for his 18th birthday party". Also, uhm, he remembers?

kew beautifully articulated. Thx.

Devora Tue 03-Sep-13 20:21:21

Hey, I'm going to trump the lot of you. I've been pregnant and I've adopted, but for sheer brass-necked shameless voyeuristic cheeky questions, you try being a pregnant lesbian. People want to know EVERYTHING.

ColdfeetPinksocks Tue 03-Sep-13 20:24:38

Oh. You totally win. grin

2old2beamum Tue 03-Sep-13 20:38:28

Devora you win but bloody good luck to you and yours,

Ha ha devora! When we were having fertility treatment we were asked all kind of questions by our friends. They had all kind of tips about sexual positions etc that they would always finish with "....that's what we did" I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!

Tinlegs Tue 03-Sep-13 21:06:29

I also think that some people just love being smug, whatever / however you have made your family. My personal favourite is when you mention your child is walking / potty trained / starting school / going to a university (insert milestone) and they say, "Oh, you think this stage is hard, just you wait until......(insert the age of their own child).

Mine are now teens. So much easier than babies but to hear people talk, you would think their life was over at practically every stage.

I think people just like sounding superior and experienced.

Devora Tue 03-Sep-13 21:53:43

Ha grin

Kewcumber Tue 03-Sep-13 22:48:30

Oh Devora... if only you were black too wink

Devora Tue 03-Sep-13 23:10:10

Other half is, though, so that must count for something. GLC grant's in the post [cultural reference lost on anyone under 40].

2old2beamum Wed 04-Sep-13 10:12:09

Devora you restore my faith in humanity grin

flippingebay Fri 06-Sep-13 12:55:14

It never ceases to amaze me how people think its an open opportunity to talk about your sex life...

I have a birth and adopted child and gave had all sorts if questions..,

'Ahhh can you not have kids'
'Have you tried IVF'

Not to mention the dumb ass questions and comments when I was expecting..

Why is it that childbirth or adoption brings out the best and worst in people..

One of the best (shock) comments I had when I told a friend I was adopting was 'are you going to get one that's house trained' shockshockshock

Lilka Fri 06-Sep-13 13:33:57

flipping WTAF shock

'Oh didn't you realise, I'm adopting a child not a dog'

Years ago, a playground mum who saw DD2 having a bad day asked me why I hadn't adopted a lovely little baby girl from China instead. But I expected nothing less from her, she was/is not a nice person full stop. I pity her children

Devora Fri 06-Sep-13 22:12:43

2old, you being sarcastic?!

SmileItsSunny Fri 06-Sep-13 22:20:14

Actually, while pg with 1st, that's pretty much all I heard - 'Life's about to change for you, you won't know what's hit you'.
I got so bloody fed up with hearing it!
There's no real comeback, either. 'Thanks, I know' doesn't really cut it.
Grr. It still winds me up 4 years later!

Good luck!

SmileItsSunny Fri 06-Sep-13 22:27:02

oops should have read the rest of the thread first, I see you ate your hat some time ago.

Andro Fri 06-Sep-13 22:45:42

I've heard the 'they're so lucky' and the comments about having a child of our own (that grates after a while) but the one that really infuriates me is 'you'll never love them as you would your own' ...that just about sends me nuclear.

RumblyTum Sat 07-Sep-13 01:09:56

@smile, ate my hat and changed my name. smile

@andro, really? They really say that? I'm going to have to practice contained nuclear apparently.

Tishtash2teeth Sat 07-Sep-13 09:52:12

When people first found out I was adopting I had several people ask "where is your little one from?". I would reply "erm, England". They wold then go on to ask "yes, but whereabouts in England". I really didn't (and still don't) understand why they wanted to know? A number of people were shocked I wasn't adopting an African or Chinese child.

Also had the "I admire you, I couldn't bring up someone else's children". grin!

Also had lots of "do you get to choose or do they just give you one". I often told them there was a lovely catalogue from which we could choose. "really?!" they would ask. "no, not really" I would reply!

Just before little one arrived I had people asking "when do you get him then". Very calmly I would tell them "we have been told it could be any time between 9-6' but they'll call us on the day and let us know if it will be morning or afternoon". Again this would be met with wide eyes and "really?"!

Tokoloshe Sun 08-Sep-13 07:49:58

Indeed - but don't you want to have your 'own' - errr, they are my own daughters... even more bizarre because my girls have become a huge part of my life before they came to live with me (for various reasons)...

DropYourSword Sun 08-Sep-13 08:01:11

I can understand why people who've adopted might get frustrated with daft questions, but at the same time there's a lot of people who haven't gone through the process and have absolutely no idea what it involves. I think it'd be much nicer to actually give helpful and reasonable responses to their (genuine) questions to help people understand a bit more.

Tokoloshe Sun 08-Sep-13 08:18:24

Genuine questions are fine, assumptions that my family is somehow second best aren't!

I am very happy to respond to genuine interest in my children, just like any other mum when someone shows interest in her children.

But interest in their specific adoption and the soap opera aspects of their previous family is very different from interest about adoption in general.

DropYourSword Sun 08-Sep-13 09:24:16

Absolutely yokoloshe . Do people really imply you're family is second best? That's really shocking to me!

Kewcumber Sun 08-Sep-13 13:43:38

I always give a helpful and reasonable response to reasonable questions (on any topic not just adoption)

People asking my 7 year old what he would say to his real parents if he met them haven't earned the right to a reasonable reply IMO. And even them we just try to smile and nod and leave which frankly is more than they deserve.

I have taught DS "people are often interested in adoption because its unusual to them, and that OK. Its OK to be curious about things you don't understand - but just because they are curious doesn;t mean you are obliged to share with them".

DS has two practiced responses:

"my mum says I don't have to talk about that if I don't want to" (kindly supplied by a parent on MN)
Or my own:
" that's private - if you want to tell me something private about you then we'll discuss something private about me"

Would any normal parent walk up to a 7/8 yr old they barely knew and say "Do you still wet the bed at night? Why do you do that - how unusual and fascinating. Tell me more about how that makes you feel."

Kewcumber Sun 08-Sep-13 13:49:41

I have only had "I couldn't feel the same way about a child I hadn't given birth to" on MN...

"how sad - but yes I can see that might be true in your case" or what I actually said
"your lack of imagination doesnt actually influence how I feel about my children thankfully"

In fact I don't get particularly stressed about what other people think about the possible bond between adoptive parent and child. What they think doesn;t change how I feel and you can never explain it to someone who doesn;t get it.

In real life I have had (quite regularly) - "oh its so much easy adopting" - I don't bother arguing anymore - back to Smile and nod and sometimes "Yes it was a breeze". Passive aggressive generally works much better IME!

2old2beamum Mon 09-Sep-13 18:24:38

Devora no my remark was genuine I love your honesty and I don't do sarcasm I am crap at it!

TallulahBetty Mon 09-Sep-13 18:37:52

So (forgive ignorance) but what is the correct term instead of "real mum"?

I have a new friend who is adopted and would hate to put my foot in it.

Kewcumber Mon 09-Sep-13 18:41:32

the correct term is "mum"

TallulahBetty Mon 09-Sep-13 18:43:07

Yes her mum is who has brought her up. I mean her biological mum who gave birth to her, someone upthread said "real mum" isn't correct (which i understand why) but what is?

2old2beamum Mon 09-Sep-13 18:53:42

In this family we are mum and dad and they have birth mum and dad,
might not suit all families but all mine have SN and it suits them

mouseymummy Mon 09-Sep-13 18:59:48

This thread has been enlightening, I've never realised people can be so ignorant. Well, actually, I did, I just thought most had more tact... Obviously not!!

A friend of a friend is currently going through the adoption process (i think she's just been matched but its not certain yet) and I've asked her loads of questions as I never realised its so complex... Don't ask me how I thought the process worked, it just never occurred to me.

I'm very glad that she is the sort of person who would say if I asked something insensetive and I wouldn't dream of asking her 99% of what you have been asked previously!!

Can I ask something here though, I have heard that sometimes, as an adopter, you are 'allowed' to request to meet the birth mum (if that's the right terminology, if not, I apologise). Did anyone do that and find it helpful. The reason I ask is my friend is in two minds about it and is unsure if it will help the process or prolong it.

Kewcumber Mon 09-Sep-13 19:00:34

you need to ask her if she's a good enough friend and if she's not then I don't see there's any need to know what she calls her birth mother.

My DS calls his birth mother by her real name but will also call her birth mother with others but very, very rarely will he raise the subject. He would be very confused if anyone refered to her as any kind of "mum" because he doesn't remember her at all. Other children who were adopted older may well be comfortable with calling them mum/dad or some other name.

Birth mother/father is an acceptable term but I'd avoid talking about it unless its raised by her and then it'll be obvious what she calls them/her.

TallulahBetty Mon 09-Sep-13 19:08:21

Thanks, I think i have explained wrong. I am.not planning on prying into what she calls certain.people. I only wondered how to refer to her for example she mentions a sister that her "birth mum" has had since,.so it's not that she doesn't.want to mention that side of things.

TallulahBetty Mon 09-Sep-13 19:08:56

Sorry for random punctuation, typing on phone one handed confused

Kewcumber Mon 09-Sep-13 19:11:25

sorry I think I am confused - if your friend has raised the issue herself then use whatever term she's used.

TallulahBetty Mon 09-Sep-13 19:17:28

Haha she has but I haven't really taken much notice of the exact term she used. When I saw this thread I realised that certain terms are wrong so thought I'd.ask what is the accepted term, that's all.

TallulahBetty Mon 09-Sep-13 19:17:59

How many times can I say term.in one sentence?!

Kewcumber Mon 09-Sep-13 19:38:16

Three apparently grin

You probably won;t go far wrong with "birth mother" probably

Kewcumber Mon 09-Sep-13 19:38:31

how many times can I say probably hmm

TallulahBetty Mon 09-Sep-13 19:41:40

Thank you Kew smile

stephrick Mon 09-Sep-13 19:44:16

My kids say LOL alot. I've tried my JIC "just in case", can mumsnetters please start this in the vacob, I told them that this will catch on

Devora Mon 09-Sep-13 22:30:35

mouseymummy, I was offered the opportunity to meet my daughter's first mum and said yes. I knew it would be difficult but could see such huge benefits from doing so.

Sadly, she didn't turn up to two planned meetings, and as I was a long way from home I couldn't make another appointment. I fully understand why she may not have felt able to come, but I am still sad that she didn't.

mouseymummy Wed 11-Sep-13 13:40:39

Thank you for your reply devora, I shall pass that over when I see my friend next week.

I wonder if its quite common to have the birth mum/first mum not turn up. I can imagine how hard it must be on both sides.

Devora Wed 11-Sep-13 20:22:13

Yup, I would not be surprised if it happened a lot. It must be painful beyond imagining sad

KristinaM Wed 11-Sep-13 21:00:29

I would strongly recommend meeting the birth mother ( or other birth family member) if you have the opportunity. The " worse" your child's background is, the more important it is IMHO

I don't know anyone who has done this who has regretted it, although of course it is very hard .

As Devora says, many don't turn up, so you need to be prepared for this.

Wigeon Wed 11-Sep-13 21:29:24

A school gate acquaintance adopted a four year old girl about a year ago. When she mentioned it in conversation I said something which in retrospect was hugely inappropriate, basically asking about the little girl's background/ how she came to be adopted - just making casual conversation. I think I had a romantic notion that adopted children came from single teenage mothers who were basically good people but who decided to adopt. Or something. The acquaintance was clearly pretty shocked I asked and there was an awkward silence and she changed the subject without answering.

Having read more about adoption since, I am still deeply mortified that I even thought of asking. It was entirely due to the fact that I knew nothing about adoption really. I don't think many people do. That doesn't excuse the insensitive comments, but I think it might help explain some of them. And I am trying to be much more sensitive / thoughtful now.

Incidentally, her DD just started Reception and was Star of the Week in her first week for good behaviour and good colouring in! grin Her mum (who thank goodness still speaks to me) said that her DD had never been given a pencil / crayon before she came to live with her. How fantastic is her Star of the Week award? smile

Wigeon it's so good you learnt from your comment. I had years of infertility and got a lot of comments like 'relax' and it will happen naturally! Which made me feel very unrelaxed! I am sure I also have made very inappropraote comments and asked silly questions to people and said things which are not suitable in the face of all manner of situations. It is great you are friends with this lady still and that her child got such a good accolade having come from a more challenged begining.

I am preparing myself for all kinds of questions, I think forewarned is defintely forearmed.

Wigeon it's so good you learnt from your comment. I had years of infertility and got a lot of comments like 'relax' and it will happen naturally! Which made me feel very unrelaxed! I am sure I also have made very inappropraote comments and asked silly questions to people and said things which are not suitable in the face of all manner of situations. It is great you are friends with this lady still and that her child got such a good accolade having come from a more challenged begining.

I am preparing myself for all kinds of questions, I think forewarned is defintely forearmed.

Wigeon it's so good you learnt from your comment. I had years of infertility and got a lot of comments like 'relax' and it will happen naturally! Which made me feel very unrelaxed! I am sure I also have made very inappropraote comments and asked silly questions to people and said things which are not suitable in the face of all manner of situations. It is great you are friends with this lady still and that her child got such a good accolade having come from a more challenged begining.

I am preparing myself for all kinds of questions, I think forewarned is defintely forearmed.

Devora Wed 11-Sep-13 22:38:21

Wigeon, don't give yourself a hard time! I look back and cringe at dozens, nay hundreds, of insensitive things I have said before life experience taught me otherwise. (It is of course thousands but I'm not clever enough to have realised them all yet...)

I've also been guilty as a new adoptive parent of over-sharing with people who asked questions, and then realised later how I really should have kept it buttoned.

Learning curve for us all.

Kewcumber Thu 12-Sep-13 09:29:31

Oh god, the over sharing!!! I felt like I didn't have an off switch at times (some would say I still don't but believe me, I've improved!)

Don't worry too much about it Wigeon, we've all said things we regret in various areas - the fact that you are still friends means that its likely she either doesn't remember you asking or that she's forgiven you... and has probably heard it from many other people who didn't stick around to be friends so you've probably redeemed yourself smile

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 12-Sep-13 13:15:38

Glad it is not just me who over-shared! I still cringe and wasn't fully prepared for what people would think it okay to ask.

It was the one piece of advice I gave to a friend who adopted. People ask the most intrusive of questions. I've been asked was DD's mum a drug addict, an alcoholic, was she abused, where has she come from - all in front of her (she was 1).

Even when I've clearly avoided the question, they've pushed for more information.

Then I've had the lovely people like DD's new key worker, who said to me the other day, that she didn't like to ask anything as didn't want to offend. I told her I wouldn't answer anything I didn't want to, and all of her questions were fine smile

lemonruggles Thu 12-Sep-13 21:56:18

Gosh some of these examples are really thoughtless. I haven't adopted but had my second child via surrogacy after horrific complications post birth with my first child.
On letting my HV know about dc2 arrival she said "that's really great news as you are a fantastic mother so it wonderful that another child will get to experience that".
I know she was just being nice bit it was just a really weird comment I thought.

Inthechelseahotel Thu 12-Sep-13 23:17:14

Thought was a nice comment lemon smile

After visiting my dad with ds aged 4 dad said "my goodness he has landed on his feet, that one!" How come he didn't say that when older ds was born!

Kewcumber Fri 13-Sep-13 11:30:31

I wrote a blog whilst going through the adoption of DS and an MN and RL friend of mine made a comment that I'll never forget I thought it was so nice:

"Y'know we've been saying on Mumsnet how lucky Daniel is to have you adopting him, but now that I've met him, I think you may be the lucky one after all".


aboyandagirl Fri 13-Sep-13 14:20:39

My best moment was out for my birthday dinner and my best friend - I'll say it again - my best friend said 'I don't think a child could ever love anyone as much as they love their birth mother'.... Then a bit later her OH said ' I say this with love H, but will your children be mentally handicapped' I wish I had walked out of the restaurant but I was too polite. 4 years and 2 adopted kids later, I tend to brook no such shit.

aboy that's horrific! Is she still your friend? My grandma keeps going on about when we adopt a child it'll be "damaged" I'm going to have to talk to her!

MoJangled Sat 14-Sep-13 22:42:21

MIL, on hearing we were having fertility problems and doing IVF: 'who's fault is it?'

We haven't told her we're embarking on adoption yet; I'm going to play Crap Comment Bingo with my favourites from this thread and treat myself to a pedi when she's got them all grin

namechangesforthehardstuff Sat 14-Sep-13 23:33:52

Oh Mojangled that's brilliant. I have a similar MIL and am half dreading telling her about this and half looking forward to seeing how she manages to make the worst most crass comment ever.

Can I PLEASE use your idea? <looks at feet with anticipation>

MoJangled Sun 15-Sep-13 18:27:43

Namechanges I'll race ya. First one to get 'they'll be damaged' 'I know someone who adopted and the child burned down the house' ( or similar ) and 'real mum' wins a bottle of wine in a bubble bath with a box of chocolates.

My MIL - who is actually heart of gold - specialises in the stage whisper (as in, to me while overweight soon to be BIL was on the other side of room, 'He's promised to lose weight before the wedding'. So I'm standing by for 'she must get that from her real mum' in piercing hiss at any demo of poor behaviour. I think I should get a bonus cream tea for that one. What bonus do you claim?

lemon that was a really lovely comment from your health visitor.

namechangesforthehardstuff Sun 15-Sep-13 19:32:16

I want a slice of nutella and banana layer cake from our local bakery for 'Are you infertile?' and a half day at a spa for 'Is her real mum a druggie?'

I used to work with vulnerable teens and she always refered to them as 'the little shits' so I should imagine she'll be rolling out the same brand of high quality empathy and support. Although given the way DH feels we might not let her know till after placement anyway grin

Good to know I'm not alone smile

KristinaM Mon 16-Sep-13 22:31:07

Ha ! I have already been asked " was her real mum a prostitute?" . Not by MIL, but by a HCP

MILs best was " of course you don't know what it is to love a child until you've given birth to one " . While I was sitting bleeding aftre a miscarriage, with adopted toddler beside me .

I claim the slice of cake AND a back massage

Vijac Mon 16-Sep-13 22:59:35

I don't see the problem with some of the comments, especially the lucky one. They are just trying to compliment you. I am adopted and consider myself lucky to have such a great family. Why is it offensive? Would you rather people just said nothing or 'right, well enjoy' or what?

Kewcumber Mon 16-Sep-13 23:12:37

Because birth children are rarely expected to feel lucky by random strangers.

If ds choses to feel lucky to have me as his parent one day then I'll be thrilled but I won't put up with someone questioning his adoption and telling him to feel lucky that I took him on (is the usual phrase).

I imagine it's particularly insensitive when the child in question can remember just how terribly unlucky they have been so far!

It's a matter of expectations foisted upon a child - "you're lucky she took you" is not an appropriate thing to say to a 7 year old child. Can't people really think of something more appropriate to say - in fact why would you feel the need to discuss their adoption with a child anywayconfused

WeAreSeven Mon 16-Sep-13 23:22:32

I tell the ds's how lucky they are that I gave birth to them all the time. They just look at me like this hmm

Lilka Mon 16-Sep-13 23:37:04

I agree with Kew 100%

I feel lucky to have all my kids. My DD1 has expressed on several occasions that she feels lucky that I'm her mum and not someone else. You can imagine how wonderful that felt!

BUT I won't put up with anyone telling my children or even implying to them that they are lucky I adopted them. The expectation on them to be grateful for something they have no control over, but ESPECIALLY the implication that they are unwanted rubbish and they can't expect anyone to want them as a child, is very upsetting to me. "You're lucky she took you in", I mean the only message I can sense in that, and the only message most kids will get from that is "Kids like you are not entitled to a home and love, so you should be thanking her on bended knee for doing you such a big favour that you don't deserve"

FWIW, my adult DD1 can't stand being told she is lucky that I adopted her, even though she actually does feels lucky that I was chosen as her mother. She senses the same judgement towards her that I do.

I'm not talking saying "you're lucky your mum lets you do xyz", or even "I think you're lucky to have a mum who is so xyz because my mum isn't" but "you're lucky she took you in"

Lets add to that "you're lucky to be adopted"

No. Just no. Needing to be adopted is not my definition of lucky. (My adult adoptee daughter feels the same way again). That statement completely disregards everything she went through that necessitated adoption in the first place. It also disregards all the losses that adoption has brought into her life, including but not limited to being legally completely seperated from her siblings whom she loves with all her heart and lived with for years. It's one of the most ill thought out statements possible

If you have to say anything to my kids, say "I think your mum is really lucky to have you as her child" That's a positive, self affirming message. It's also far more truthful. Funny how NO ONE who says "you're lucky she took you in" would ever think to say what i just suggested. It's very telling, actually

Vijac Mon 16-Sep-13 23:49:36

Interesting, yes 'you're lucky she took you in' (unsaid, you little shit), is horrible. I didn't even think of that tbh, I just thought of - op 'I am adopting a little girl', op's friend 'she will be very lucky to have such lovely parents'. I think that is fine, and indeed nice and I assumed that is what the original poster meant.

WeAreSeven Mon 16-Sep-13 23:56:33

I suppose it would be worse if someone said "God, they're so unlucky to have landed you as parents" I think ds1's teachers thought that about me

Devora Tue 17-Sep-13 00:19:22

Sheesh, Kristina, that is truly awful sad

namechangesforthehardstuff Tue 17-Sep-13 16:37:12

cake and [back massage] for Kristina smile

Devora Sat 21-Sep-13 23:23:49

Can I make a late return for another vent? Just today, old friend - good heart, but no empathy whatsoever - came to see us, and within 3 minutes said jokingly to my dd2 (just turned 4): "Haven't you got a mean mummy? Shall we take you away from her and find you another one?"


This is the friend who said to me, when I had a bad 20 week scan with dd1 and was told I was at high risk of serious genetic abnormalities: "Oh well, at your age there was always going to be something, wasn't there?"

As I said, no empathy What So Ever.

Lilka Sun 22-Sep-13 00:32:11

shock angry

that's awful

if she'd said that to my son at that age, he'd have had a complete meltdown

is your dd okay?

Devora Oh no angry how stupid!

Devora Sun 22-Sep-13 00:56:37

dd's been a bit overwrought all week - birthday and started school, plus new CM, so too much going on all at once. So a bit hard to separate out from that. Tonight she is having a terrible time - I've been up and down stairs every 40 minutes since 7pm - but I think she's sickening for something.

At the time I just said something like, Nonsense, I'm dd's mum for ever and ever. After, I tried to explain to friend. She just didn't get it. I said, look, that thing you threatened has ALREADY HAPPENED TO HER. She knows it as a reality. The last thing she needs is to hear grown-ups saying that it could happen again. Friend then said snappily, "Well, I'm not an expert on adoption, am I?"

No indeed.

I am wondering what I can tell friends before an arrival of a new one to avoid this type of thing happening! I am already mentally preparing a word or two to tell to my church so that people will not be too interested in new little one when I show up with them and we have not even been matched!!!!!!!

IAmColdFeet Sun 22-Sep-13 02:07:29

Devora, that's dreadful. Sorry. Did she eventually get it?

We should keep this thread alive forever to moan about Other People on.

My current bugbear is after having carefully explained to people why/how adopted kids may not be quite like other kids, people then saying 'but yours will be alright, though, won't they?'

Well, no. Probably not. That's why I'm taking the time and trouble to try and explain this to you. Even if there is nothing else unusual at all about them, they've still already lost 2 sets of parents/carers/homes and are being packed off to live with near strangers!

And then explaining why I'm taking a year off work and not putting DCs straight into nursery. ('My kids were in nursery at that age'. 'Yes, your kids knew who you were by that age.')

OTOH, whilst I was doing the shopping today I threw a couple of toys in the trolley. And then had a lovely conversation with the lady at the checkout who asked about my children. Didn't mention adoption or matching or the fact that I've not bloody met them yet (or that the whole of the rest of my trolley was wine and two steaks smile), but just told her how many and how old! Felt like a mum. gringringringringrin

IAmColdFeet you ARE a mum! How fab!! Hooray. Please do tell us more when you can, when they come. I need all the advice I can get! smile grin smile

Maryz Sun 22-Sep-13 15:20:03

I'm a bit late to the thread, but I'm going to claim Kristina's cake (for the kids) by quoting my beloved sil hmm

On announcing I was pregnant with ds2, she said "isn't it a pity you didn't know you could get pregnant, you needed have bothered adopting ds1 and dd".

In their hearing shock.

They were also referred to as "not (her dad's) real grandchildren" - again in their hearing.

And the amazing thing is, she doesn't realise that she said anything wrong.

Devora Sun 22-Sep-13 21:00:21

Cake to Maryz, well deserved.

IAmColdFeet Sun 22-Sep-13 23:41:08

Yes. Cake for Maryz. Huge cake (because she deserves it and says she's going to share...)

Lilka Tue 24-Sep-13 19:25:04

Definitely cake for Maryz

Flicking back through some past posts of mine, and remembered this lovely gem -

I was talking to a parent on the playground years ago (picking up DD2), mentionned I had an adult DD1...

"Oh really, I didn't know that? What's her name?"
"<her name>"
"<her name>??!! Oh...um...that's very unusual , how did you come up with that?....all my children have proper names, you know hmm

delightful woman....

Choccyjules Tue 24-Sep-13 19:45:52

Was it Katie Hopkin's Aunty?!

Lilka Wed 25-Sep-13 09:49:01

grin Quite possibly!

Maiyakat Wed 25-Sep-13 20:06:37

On the theme of Devora's comment, I had an adoption SW at an event for adopted children say (more than once) that she was going to take DD home with her... hmm Thankfully DD was too little to be bothered by this, but if she was older... If the adoption professionals can't get it right, what hope is there?!

Maiyakat wow, appaling!

drspouse Sat 12-Oct-13 09:22:20

Can I add a couple of new ones?

Oh, you're adopting from X country? Surely children from there don't need adopting (yes, they do, for exactly the same reasons that children from the UK need adopting - I will actually tell friends who are professionals in the field that little boy would have been adopted had he lived in the UK, but I'm not telling you, nosy person!)

Oh, do you have to meet his birth family? (Well, we could have said we'd see them in the future, but go back on our word, but actually, we want to see them, because we want him to know people he's biologically related to)

Oh, why does he need extra X check/treatment from he HV? What's he getting? (Wife of no 1 asked that! I pretended I hadn't heard but it was related to risk factors I'm not telling her about!)

Oh he'll be fine, he was placed at birth, nothing bad has happened to him! (Erm... Yeah. Fortunately his key worker does not say this when I refer to his bad start in life. And a few people I think suspect stuff but are kind enough to assume I'm referring to his slight prematurity)

Oh but surely the birth father must have given his medical information? Don't they HAVE to give that? (From a HCP. I ask you! For a start, does she have no imagination?)

Oh, how could she give him away? (I'm sure she didn't want to, but she actually made a pretty brave decision, given the circumstances and that she knew she couldn't raise him, which she knew would be best for him)

Lilka Sat 12-Oct-13 19:02:18

Of course, add away

People are unbelievably nosy

Did you also get the old "but there are loads of children here in the UK, why aren't you adopting them??" chestnut?

drspouse Sat 12-Oct-13 19:06:21


And we might actually adopt again from the UK, so people don't understand why we didn't in the first place.

Lilka Sat 12-Oct-13 19:22:16

When I was going through the adoption process the first time, 1995/1996, 'The Dying Rooms' was shown on TV, and several people immediately told me I had to see it and then asked me why I wasn't adopting one of those poor little baby Chinese girls. I tried to explain that no, I wasn't interested in international adoption, and also - I was already approved for a UK adoption. I was approved for a 3-12 year old, not a baby! I didn't want to adopt a baby. But it fell on deaf ears, they just couldn't understand why I wasn't going to China to scoop up one of those babies.

Guess how many off the people who said "why aren't you adopting one of those poor little darling babies from China", themselves adopted from China? Yes, that's right!

drspouse Sat 12-Oct-13 19:28:01

Oh yes everyone assumed we were adopting from China when we first said we were adopting internationally. This was at a point when the wait was about 5 years!

drspouse Sat 12-Oct-13 19:31:56

(I've just looked at the Rumor Queen website and people whose dossiers were referred in 2006 are still getting placements. 7 years ago!)

Lilka Sat 12-Oct-13 20:50:46

I'll add some MN ones - I've seen several adoption threads (on AIBU/chat etc) where crazy statements get written and then accepted by everyone reading

This one I've seen quite a few times - "It's so difficult to adopt in the UK, people have to go abroad because they are too old/single/middle class/ gay to adopt in the UK".

Gay. Right, let me get this straight, so couples who live in a country with equal rights for gay people, including full equal adoption rights, have to go abroad to adopt, when most 'sending' countries class being gay as a mental health problem, and don't permit any of their own gay citizens any equal rights whatsoever? You really think such countries will permit foreign gay couples to adopt their children? Engage brain for two seconds please. If you are gay, your options are the UK, the US, or no adoption after all. Not hop on a plane to China, helped by the friendly, rainbow flag waving Chinese adoption officials.

Oh and ye olde (I'm making this one up, but you get versions of this a lot) "my cousins neighbours best friend's parents wanted to adopt a child aged 4-5, but they got turned down because they already have two children aged 1 and 3, and the adopted child would need to share a bedroom with both those children because they don't have a spare bedroom, and they only wanted a child with no special needs or additional issues whatsoever, no worrying background factors, no history of abuse or neglect and zero contact with the evil birthparents. And the evil local authority turned them down. How unfair is that?! The poor child they won't be able to adopt is now stuck in care forever"

No point even trying to educate

Devora Sat 12-Oct-13 21:41:48

Yes, Lilka! Things that DIDN'T get in the way of me adopting my baby girl were:

- being gay
- being old (45 when she was born)
- being middle class
- having a history of depression and eating disorders

But most galling of all is your last example, the complete failure of thoughtfulness about what a child might need, as opposed to the sense that nice people have some kind of right to adopt.

Lilka Sat 12-Oct-13 22:54:40

Yes, exactly, no one is entitled to adopt, you have to be offering something a waiting child might need.

I did see (for real) on MN, a woman post on a thread, who was disappointed and I guess not a little upset/angry because she and her husband had been turned down to adopt. They wanted an older school age child, and they were turned down because their birth child was 3 I think. People were outraged on her behalf. No one seemed to have any understanding of why the adoption agencies would not do an adoption out of birth order. People were just furious that a nice couple were turned down and this imaginary child in care would miss out on a family.

I couldn't help thinking what an absolute disaster it would have been if I had had a small birth child and then adopted DD1 or DD2!!

Lilka Sat 12-Oct-13 23:27:56

Things that didn't (majorly) get in the way of me adopting

- Being single
- Being gay (this was actually a slight issue and one which caused serious concern to at least one of the panel members, but you have to consider this was 1995, so I was probably extremely lucky that most people did think I would be a good parent. Also I guess my being single was a factor)
- Not being wealthy

KristinaM Sun 13-Oct-13 08:32:40

I hear you guys about the " being gay or single isn't a barrier " thing.

But, with respect, neither of you were not looking for a white newborn baby with guaranteed no issues . You wanted " hard to place children " eg older children, those with SN, mixed heritage, sibling groups

I'm it sure how many gay /lesbian couples or single people have been able to adopt a white healthy newborn , they mostly end up going to the white straight married couples I think

drspouse Sun 13-Oct-13 13:21:18

Kristina I am aware of quite a few single foster carers who've adopted a newborn (I've not asked what colour they were) who was initially placed with them for foster care. I'm not aware of ANY healthy, no risk factors newborns placed with AMY families just for adoption - married or otherwise.
Although this has changed, another couple who were approved for adoption from the country we adopted from ended up adopting a relinquished child from the UK (an unusual ethnicity). Relinquishment at 6 weeks, placement at 9 months. That's quicker now, but it's not newborn.

KristinaM Sun 13-Oct-13 15:39:54

Thats very interesting dr spouse. I'm glad to hear that some of these prejudices are finally breaking down.

MoJangled Sun 13-Oct-13 21:00:54

And I'm off. Yesterday at a family dinner, we decided to break the news.

DH: while we're all together, we wanted to tell you that we've decided to explore adoption. It's very early days and we don't know if we'll be approved or matched with a child who needs a home, but we wanted to let you know what we're thinking about, and that we haven't given up hope of having a sibling one day for DS.
MIL, without skipping a beat: aren't you too old?

grin claiming a large glass of wine

To be fair, she did go on to say nice things about any adopted child being exactly the same as DS in the family but it was the start I was expecting!

Not as awful as several comments above by a long way cake

Namechangesforthehardstuff Sun 13-Oct-13 21:50:13

Here it is - wine

Your MIL sounds like mine but without the bit where she recovers and says the right thing. smile

DH and I am very old Mojangled and they have approved us, so I am sure you will be fine!

Devora Sun 13-Oct-13 22:35:26

Tru dat, Kristina - I tend to forget that my dd might not be considered by everybody else the absolutely first choice child in all the world smile

Seriously, though, I think things are changing, though it's patchy. It certainly used to be the case that lesbian and gay adopters could only adopt older, disabled children - 'second class children for second class parents' sad angry. I have now come across a number of gay adopters with very young children. My own experience was that my agency couldn't have been more encouraging, but we were definitely passed over for a number of children because of our sexuality.

MoJangled - I am as old as Gandhi (or at least as old as Italian) so you're in good company.

KristinaM Mon 14-Oct-13 00:03:01

Well that could only be because they have not met her and discovered how wonderful, clever And funny she is smile

MoJangled Mon 14-Oct-13 13:44:29

Slugged back in one. Just warming the corkscrew ready for your MIL's efforts Namechanges

Am finding the idea of anyone perceiving a child who has had a rough start in life as a second class child immeasurably sad... Although I know that does happen...

Namechangesforthehardstuff Mon 14-Oct-13 18:29:50

Both very sad really - second class child and second class parents sad.

Let's not prejudge MIL; although this is the woman who bought us some talcum powder when I was in a maternity ward after an EMCS and presented it to me with the receipt

BurlyShassey Mon 14-Oct-13 20:03:21

I cant stand Angelina and Brad but the one thing i DO admire about them is that they say they love ALL their children the same.

makes no bloody diff where they were grown, they are loved, they are people, and deserve good loving parents as every other child.

ive just started a thread on this site for my friend, shes an adopter, and shes just as real a mum as I am with my child, ffs.

drivingmisslazy Tue 15-Oct-13 19:48:58

Had a gynae appointment and was asked how many children, I replied 2 children 1 adopted. (as records needed to state how many pg)

During the procedure the nurse asked me how old they were, after I told her their ages, she asked "and which one is yours", I said "erm BOTH of them" she looked a bit puzzled before asking " oh I mean which one did you adopt", I said the 7 year old. "Wow you were brave adopting a 7 year old" I said not really as she has been with us since she was a baby. Her stupidity took the attention away from the discomfort I was in.

RationalThought Tue 15-Oct-13 21:54:49

We've been really lucky so far. A week to go to panel and still nobody has said anything negative to either of us. Nobody has said anything about how ancient we are (though it sounds like we're in good company here), or the fact that we already have too many birth children (we do, but they're all grown up). Maybe they're just not brave stupid anough to say it to our faces wink

holycowwhatnow Wed 16-Oct-13 09:18:36

The children that I teach (8 and 9 year olds) recently 'discovered' that my dd was adopted from Russia - I thought everyone in the school knew but apparently not. Anyway one of my children, the brightest in the class, asked me 'Was she very expensive?' I was gobsmacked and very cross with her. I just answered 'Children can't be bought so take that back to whoever filled your head with that horrible thought' but it shook me to hear that. Other children said 'I didn't know she was from Russia cos she sounds irish' which made me chuckle.

76Chalky Wed 16-Oct-13 12:30:11

Well, this might have started out as a rant, but it's been incredibly useful to me! I'm just gobsmacked at some of the things people have said to you and your kids!

Just as a bit of background, my brother and sil have recently been approved to adopt siblings and are at the matching stage. She and I are very close, having supported each other through years of fertility issues - in her case PCOS and infertility, in mine recurrent miscarriages. Suddenly we find ourselves on the cusp of a very exciting new period in our lives - I have finally got a healthy pregnancy and am due to have my first next March and we're really hoping that they will be matched soon and we'll be able to get used to being new mums together. Being forewarned of the sort of thing they may well get from friends, strangers and even family can only help us support them and the kids when they arrive.

Kewcumber Wed 16-Oct-13 17:10:28

Other children said 'I didn't know she was from Russia cos she sounds irish' which made me chuckle.

I can beat that - my mums friends who is most definitely an adult said to my mum when DS was about 5 or 6 "Can he understand English?"! confused

She knew full well he had been adopted aged 1 and had met him when we first got back. I can only think she has some very peculiar ideas of how speech develops!

holycowwhatnow Fri 18-Oct-13 14:27:18

Kew, we've had several people say stupid things about her language, people are so incredibly thick.

oldnewmummy Sat 19-Oct-13 03:20:34

Yeah, I've had that: "doesn't he speak good English." "Yeah, well he's lived with us since he was 1 day old"

Lilka Sun 10-Nov-13 22:12:25

I'm going to resurrect this

Questionnable forum etiquette, but ...grrrrr...

One of my pet hates of comments!!!

Devora Sun 10-Nov-13 23:47:06

Ah yes, that one's always lovely for our kids to overhear.

Children at my dd's school have started asking if she's an orphan ...

drspouse Mon 11-Nov-13 11:19:45

It looks like that comment was deleted, now I want to know what it said!

Lilka Mon 11-Nov-13 11:53:36

Not sure if I'm allowed to say what it said...so I PM'ed you just in case drspouse!

namechangesforthehardstuff Mon 11-Nov-13 21:55:00

I don't know that that's resurrecting this thread. I have high hopes for this thread as I go through the process. I think we should always have a 'Random venting what other people say' thread grin

Lilka Mon 11-Nov-13 22:07:28

Well, there's always be a need for this thread, that's for sure!!! grin

Could you imagine a world where no one ever made strange/rude/questionnable/ignorant/naive/plain silly comments??

<basks in this imaginary world>

Kewcumber Tue 12-Nov-13 20:52:57

Now I want to know too Lilka... life intervened and I couldn;t check it out before it was deleted.

Kewcumber Tue 12-Nov-13 20:58:52

I think you can post a comment you have overheard somewhere anonymous... maybe a supermarket or in the school playground.. not necessarily read on a internet forum, no siree...

Moomoomie Tue 12-Nov-13 21:06:33

Yes. I "overheard" a daft woman say she would give her child up for adoption if they acted like a spoilt brat. Very insensitive.

Lilka Tue 12-Nov-13 22:33:26

I did too Moomoomie

my ears are very good at picking up sound, of course they have to be with children in the house but nevertheless my ears are particularly finely tuned

I definitely overheard a woman saying that if her 'kids ended up like that, they'd be put up for adoption'

Moomoomie Wed 13-Nov-13 10:12:44

Lilka... Amazing we live so far away from each other, yet we heard the same conversation. We both must have super sensitive hearing. smile

Kewcumber Wed 13-Nov-13 12:13:56

Its part of the adoptive parent toolkit isn't it - hyper-sensitive hearing? It came with mine.

Devora Wed 13-Nov-13 13:07:00

Sounds spot-on to me. Would do our kids a world of good to understand that adoption is what happens when children aren't good enough for their parents.

Kewcumber Wed 13-Nov-13 13:11:51

Quite right Devora - must start using that as a parenting tool. One to add to my arsenal.

In fact I had a (quite bonkers) adopter acquaintance who said to me one day when I looked shock when she told DS that I would give him away if he didn't behave (he didn't actually hear her and I think she was joking) - I guess its not really appropriate is it - perhaps I should stop saying it to DD (who was at the time 5 and adopted at 3)

KristinaM Wed 13-Nov-13 14:37:38

You have a DD kew? How did I miss this? I've only been away for a few weeks ?

Devora Wed 13-Nov-13 17:45:30

While we're on the subject of inappropriate, whatever happened to our old mucker JH? Do you think he got bored? Has he got a new crusade?

Devora Wed 13-Nov-13 17:46:00

Note I am not using full names to avoid setting off klaxons in the batcave.

Lilka Wed 13-Nov-13 18:18:33

Batcave grin I genuinely don't think JH was Mr @ "I'm spouting random bollocks' guy. @ guy sometimes posts on The Guardian comments, same old drivel. Avoid, avoid, avoid. To be fair, the combination of good mods and short shrift from us means most of our trolls go away very quickly and don't come back

I was reading back posts on another forum, and a certain topic reminded me of something I've been told on a couple of occasions....isn't inapropriate but it was mildly amusing...

A neighbour who met with me and DD1, spent about half an hour with us, during which time DD1 was friendly, sweet and well behaved. As she was leaving, this neighbour says to me how she would love to adopt a girl like DD1

Then, some time after, an acquaintance who met us, and spent a while talking to friendly, sweet and polite DD1 goes to me "I've always wanted a daughter, and I'd just love to adopt an older girl just like your DD1, and given them a home and love with us, with a nice house, and private school, and little brothers!" (she and her husband had two toddler sons)

Oh dear lord <shakes head> <howls with laughter>

And then a couple of times my girls have told someone that they are adopted, the person goes 'how amazing, I'd love to adopt'

Um..yeah right. You have no intention whatsoever of adopting, you just think it sounds nice

Lilka Wed 13-Nov-13 18:27:32

Ooh I have another vent

This does count as a 'vent about something other people said' but not something anyone has said to me

I have a facebook account which is a fake name, no pictures, nothing on it really, but I use it to monitor things. One thing I monitor, is a couple of the 'forced adoption brigade' lot, sometimes they plan stupid things and also they run at least one website where they post pictures of adopted children with their dates of birth, full birth names etc and plead with the public to find them, and I'd want to warn someone if their adopted child appeared on there.

So I am reading and a couple of people are planning to print leaflets about "forced adoption" (i hate that phrase so much), then go along to a public adoption information evening, and then hand out the flyers/stick them under people's windscreen wipers, and then disrupt the information evening by shouting out the 'truth' (as they see it...we could also call it 'not-the-truth')

Oooh, I had steam coming out of my ears when I read that, steam I tell you. Grrrrrrr

I might possibly know the email address of one of the SW's at my LA who does a lot of the info evenings, and then prep course stuff, and I might possibly have given her a heads up just in case, because whilst most of the 'FAB' are all talk and no action, some of them really would do it, and I feel like social services should be a step ahead of them. The SW was mildly horrified and annoyed, but at least she won't be blindsided if it ever does happen

Maryz Wed 13-Nov-13 18:41:12

I saw JH today.

Someone mentioned him on a thread, and within half an hour, there he was spouting shite grin

Lilka Wed 13-Nov-13 18:47:01

<goes off to check JH posts today>

Oh my God - of all the threads to start on, he chose that thread. How helpful to the poor OP. Agh angry

Kewcumber Wed 13-Nov-13 19:55:44

James Lemming really does have a klaxon in the batcave shock

I agree Maryz very inappropriate thread to bang his drum on.

The problem is there is a lot that could be improved and I do agree with some of what he says - I just can't separate it from some of the drivel.

Lilka Mon 18-Nov-13 19:14:39

Okay, so I'm helping a prospective mum who wants to adopt an older child/ren "read between the lines" of childrens profiles - she's in the US and looking at public photolistings, very like "Be My Parent"

One of the profiles is of two sisters - now, social worker language is sometimes vague and annoying, but sometimes it's downright inexplicably stupid. I have NEVER seen anyone use this before. It describes the girls being taken into care with the words, "They were detained in 2011 because of physical abuse by their birth mother and lack of supervision"

Detained?! Really?! Detained is what happens when you get arrested. It makes foster care and adoption sound like a punishment. We detained them for getting abused?

I might be being oversensitive but I don't think so. It reminds me of that idiot I talked about who asked me what DD1 did to get herself taken into care

Devora Mon 18-Nov-13 19:28:52

Yep, I would definitely read that as them being picked up off the streets by police because they were running wild.


I know I'm whining about this one as it's so petty BUT: my boss told me yesterday she's pregnant. Got shown the scan, told the story of how she did the pregnancy test etc etc. ....and then was saying how she didn't believe the one so "for future reference inthe buy a multi pack of pregnancy tests" for when I do what exactly? stir my tea with them? ?????

KristinaM Tue 17-Dec-13 18:41:38

Maybe she remembers that you have kids but has forgotten how they arrived? Which is a good thing IMHO

I have no children, I was working with her during my fertility treatment. we go to adoption panel in January.

KristinaM Tue 17-Dec-13 23:14:23

Well that's just weird innit hmm

5HundredUsernamesLater Wed 18-Dec-13 00:03:53

I've been reading this thread and panicking. Someone I know has just adopted and I've been wracking my brains and going over past conversations wondering if I've ever said anything to her that would have upset her. I hope not but thank you all, this thread has really made me think.

Moomoomie Wed 18-Dec-13 08:24:35

Inthebeginning..... Some people get so caught up in the excitement of pregnancy, they forget what's is happening around them. I had it happen to me all the time. I used to work with many woman with the majority being of child bearing age!
Smile and say congratulations through gritted teeth.

namechangesforthehardstuff Wed 18-Dec-13 23:00:20

Buy some inthebeginning. Buy loads. And then insert them one by one...

OOOOOOh I hate hate hate the smugly pregnant. Hate 'em grin

Kewcumber Thu 19-Dec-13 11:14:00

They ones who are so blind to other people when pregnant are generally the ones who look at you blankly and don't say anything when you finally tell everyone that you're matched. One "friend" dropped me completely when I told her in a Christmas card that I was adopting - she told another friend it was because she didn;t know what to say?! confused Erm... Congratulations?

Sadly being pregnant or a parent doesn't mysteriously make you empathetic!

Kewcumber Thu 19-Dec-13 11:15:50

And i know we've done "adopt a snow leopard" to death over the years but have just seen a thread on it again and am sitting on my hands not to post "oh have you read all about attachment issues and foetal alcohol syndrome" because that would just be childish and unnecessary...

Moomoomie Thu 19-Dec-13 12:09:50

Know what you mean Kew.... I got caught up in a thread about photos of the nativity.... When will I learn?

Buster51 Thu 19-Dec-13 13:38:25

Some of the biggest bug bears I've faced since adopting DS (age 4) is people not really taking it as serious as a "birth child". Has anyone else found this?! For example my workforce fully support woman who leave to give birth, tons of gifts well wishes & the like, baby showers you name it. For me adopting a child I felt I only really got asked questions from people wanting to fish for information! "So he's your partners nephew? What is wrong with his mum" etc etc.

As well as the "surely you won't need all that time off work after all he will be in school"! Prior to his placement with us I actually started thinking that way myself! But my god I have needed the time off! It is equally as life changing as giving birth surely!

But I have to say my entire family were 100% supportive & love him to bits, he is very much a grandchild & 7th great grandchild :-)

Where I live in quite a small village I do struggle knowing how much/how little information I should tell them! When they say things like where has he been hiding for 4 years (I front of him!)

Lilka Thu 19-Dec-13 13:56:28

I avoid school play photo threads like the plague now. I saw the one you were on though moomoomie the utter cheek of that person who said you were 'exaggerating' shock

I saw a profile of a dog up for 'adoption' a year or so ago (no, we're not getting a dog!) and the rescue/rehoming centre said this dog needed experienced owners because she had attachment issues and behavioural problems. I had to read the words 'attachment issues' a few times before my mind stopped boggling

If we've got the stage where rescue centres can identify dogs and cats with attachment issues, but some professionals and many people still think human children don't get attachment issues or can just 'get over it'....do we have a problem?

Kewcumber Thu 19-Dec-13 17:06:30

Hmmm I wonder when I'm having issues with DS's anxiety again I should in fact be contacting Battersea Dogs home rather than our social worker. AS they are such experts n'all

KristinaM Fri 20-Dec-13 08:53:30
holycowwhatnow Tue 24-Dec-13 21:06:52

Had a visitor yesterday evening at dd's bedtime so she was tired, cranky and destructive. I was trying to catch her to put her into her PJs and she wasn't cooperating. My visitor said 'Let your Mammy put your PJs on or she'll be getting another little girl from Russia.' I know this woman well and was not shocked that she would say something stupid like this. She's the foster mother of the child (now adult) that we provided respite foster care to for 10 years. Said child (now adult) has attachment disorder and her FM has said horrendous things to her over the years.

DD didn't seem to hear her, or didn't act as though she had but I just said 'DD is our girl forever, we don't want any other girl' because it was the first thing I could think of.

Stupid woman.

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