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Adopted children thread

(40 Posts)
Kayano Mon 18-Jul-11 10:52:22

Is there already a thread for this? I'm adopted and consider my Mum and dad to be my mum and dad. I am so lucky to have been placed with them. I was blessed and love them very much.

I couldnt se a thread like this so thought I would start one. Any other adopted kids now on MN?
When did you find out you were adopted and did you ever meet your birth parents?

I have always known. My mum made me a special picture book about how they adopted me and wanted me very much which I think was a great idea. I have never looked for my birth family - although rumour has it I have a full bio sister who they decided to keep...

I think it would hurt my mums feelings and I couldn't so that to her. The only thing I do wish was that they had given me some damn medical history lol

Anyone else?

Kewcumber Mon 18-Jul-11 14:42:28

Hi Kayano (I'm an Adoptee not an adopter) there are many adoptee who use this board though as far as I can remember no particular thread for adopteees. Some have joined in teh Tearoom thread so by all means come and have a chat on there. Someone on that thread has just met her birth mother who you might find helpful to talk to.

GooseyLoosey Mon 18-Jul-11 14:45:47

dh is dopted and we too would like some medical history for the dcs' benefit. He has no desire whatsoever to meet his birth parents or know anything about them. He can never forgive them for abandoning him.

We have recently told the dcs as we wanted it to be a natural part of their lives and they took it really well. They were interested for a while and have now forgotten all about it - which was just what we wanted.

gillybean2 Fri 22-Jul-11 13:24:56

Hi there

I was adopted, but not in the usual circumstances
I have recently been contacted by my birth mother and am using an intemediatory to establish contact with her, but am floundering a bit with that. Being rejected once has been hard to deal with, the thought of opening myself up to possibly being rejected again is very hard to deal with.

I am scared as I am sometimes angry with her for abandoning me and leaving me to a very unhappy childhood with people who would not have been able to adopt me had it gone through an agency or proper channels.
But I also want to know more about her and the circumstances that lead to this decision and to try and locate my half brother. I also want for my ds to know more of his family and for me to come to terms with what happened and why.

My parents (adopted) are good people but they weren't great parents and didn't handle the situation well. I grew up feeling unwanted, unloved and it has caused me lots of emotional issues throughout my life. I always knew I was adopted but they never spoke about the details and I was never made to feel special or wanted. In fact I felt completely unwanted once my younger sisters (their biological children) came along after they'd given up hope of having their own bio dc. I felt superfluous to requirements then and an outsider within my own 'family'. I still feel that way.

I have been recommended the book 'the primal wound' but having read the reviews on it am a little scared of the contents although think it may well be what I need to help me move on. Has anyone read it? If so do you recommend it?
I know I need to address the issues within, but I am terrified of seeking councelling since the disasterous 'help' I receieved as a young teenager which left me unable to talk and confide in anyone again.

I have been advised to tell my adopted parents that I have heard from my birth mother, but I know they would be upset, particularly my mother. I son't think I could talk to them about it, but I can't keep it a secret from them if I tell my ds about it.
Have been putting off dealing with things for a while, I know I can't bury my head in the sands forever though!

Kayano Fri 12-Aug-11 21:48:32

Aw gilly.
If it were me I think I would tell my mum I had been contacted and be open and honest with her

My own mum would be hurt if I had contacted her but I don't think if she had contacted
Me... At least at my age now...

I would just say you are using it to establish facts or get some history etc?
I hope everything works out for you x

ChildofIsis Mon 15-Aug-11 16:48:13

I've read The Primal Wound, it absolutely revolutionised my outlook.

It was quite traumatic, opened lots of closed down emotions and memories.
It triggered my search for my bm, who I now have a great relationship with.

Gillybean your childhood sounds similar to mine.
In that my parents meant well but didn't cope as well as they might have done, with more support and information about the behaviours exhibited by some adoptees.

I think that you will have to tell your parents about your bm at some point, so the sooner you do the less recriminations there will be. (hopefully)

Good luck with it all.
Just take your time and be gentle on yourself about the decisions you make.

emilykettle Mon 15-Aug-11 21:42:01

Only a quick message to say hello smile

I'm an adoptee too and glad to see I'm not the only one who feels uncomfortable discussing it with parents! They had a lot of problems conceiving, and I don't want to trigger painful memories, etc.

I have my original birth certificate but am unsure about contacting. Am relatively young so I figure I have plenty of time to work it all out. Wouldn't mind getting medical history details - I've always thought there should be a service or method of doing this in the UK where you only got medical information.

gilly - good luck with moving on. I can't even imagine how painful that would be.

gillybean2 Fri 19-Aug-11 14:05:31

Hi all

Thanks for the messages directed to me. It's good to hear from people who are in the same boat, whether our experiences of adoption are similar or not.

I have this morning ordered the book after reading what ChildOfIsis said.

I have also drafted my letter to my BM, but she is away for now so my intermediatory has said to hold off sending it. Actually I wrote it 2 weeks ago and now I'm wondering if I should change it, take bits out etc etc. Think I will have to just write it up neatly, seal it in an envelope, and then post it when I'm given the go ahead. Otherwise I'll start tweaking it about and it will end up with one paragraph left! hehe

Still undecided on what, if anything, to say to my adoptive parents...

gillybean2 Mon 29-Aug-11 15:02:46

Have had further news from someone who says she is related to my half brother. I asked my intermediatory to respond to her but she hasn't answered either of his messages - including one asking her just to confirm she got the emails but isn't ready to respond just yet.

I'm finding it really hard. When I got her message it made me feel I was within reach of finally knowing my brother and what happened to him. But getting no further response is leaving me wondering why that would be and suspecting the worst - that he may not want to be in contact with me sad

Has anyone else had experience of a similar thing? Did the other person ever respond after their initial approach? Is it simply shock and the uncovering of probably unknown family history that maybe just needs more time to come to terms with?

Maryz Mon 29-Aug-11 15:12:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gillybean2 Mon 29-Aug-11 16:31:35

Hi Maryz

How old is your ds1?
I would say that the fact he can tell you how he feels is a positive sign. He trusts you enough to talk about how he feels.
Have you asked him what he would need to have you do to prove he is just as important to you as them?
It is a question he may not be able to answer of course and there may benothing you could do to ever proove it...
Does he know he is special to you and that you chose to have him and wanted him to be part of your family?
I may be projecting though as I always wanted my parents to tell me I was special to them and they had chosen me and wanted me.

So for me it would have been to know I was wanted, that I wasn't an inconvienience, or a skivy left to do all the chores while my sisters vanished off with no consequence. And that I was wanted regardless of them having their own dc. I always felt they took me on because they couldn't have their own dc. So when they did finally have bio dc I was surplus to requirements but they couldn't give me back so were stuck with me.

I couldn't ever vocalise to my parents how I felt unwanted or that they loved my sisters more. My youngest sister could do no wrong and was my mother's favourite - still is. My middle sister was a poorly child and my dad would sit up for hours with her at night. She was his favourite - still is.
The only attention I got was from my gran and I didn't see her very often.
A couple of years ago while visiting my parents my mother actually hugged my middle sister and said something to the affect of 'your my oldest and so special to me'. This was in full view of me. My sister squirmed and pointed out that I was the oldest to which mum responded 'oh you know what I mean'

I started to realise there were really few picture of me anywhere at about the age of 12 probably. This led me to actively avoid having my photo taken because they didn't actually want any of me clearly. My mother one time insisted she needed a photo of me and I scowled horribly to ensure it wasn't worth having. I was convinced she only wanted it because someone had commented there were no pictures of me...
To this day the only photo they have up of me is one in which my sister also appears. There are several of my sisters and their bio grandchildren though.
I even gave my mother a framed picture of ds so they'd have one. After 6 months she replaced the picture with one of my sisters wedding. They still have no picture of ds anywhere to be seen.
And so it goes on...

I remember a huge falling out within the family one time when my SIL (my father had dc from a previous marriage) commented that to an outsider it looked like I wasn't loved as much as the others but they could see from the inside I was. This got relayed back to my parents and my mother took huge offence, hence the huge falling out.

I simply wanted to shout at them, well if it looks that way to outsiders how do you think it looks and feels to me! I never did of course.

My mother once told me that she had always treated me the same as my sisters. I never told her that if she had had to make the effort to treat me the same then she wasn't actually treating me the same now was she...

I don't talk to my middle sister at all and am on very strained relations with the youngest. The final straw came when my middle sister told me she didn't regard me as part of her family and that I was selfish to want my ds to be involved in his cousin's birthdays and to be upset that his invitation to the zoo to celebrate a birthday had been withdrawn on the grounds that they had decided to make it family only...
This was 4 months after I had collected her oldest and driven him an hour to ds's party and, as her middle (then youngest) wasn't old enough to go to the activity, I took him to the cinema with ds a couple of days before, doing the hour round trip and making sure he had exactly the same party bag so he didn't feel left out. Ds had been limited on numbers for his party due to the activity and wasn;t convinced his cousin should come (they have a love hate relationship). I told him in no uncertain terms that family comes first and that his cousins would be top of any party invite list. Needless to say we didn't bother going out of our way for them on his next birthday and instead went away for the weekend just us.

oh dear, I waffled on rather a lot there i fear. Sorry!

mrspants Mon 29-Aug-11 20:03:34

Hi gillybean, I am so sorry that you feel so sad. I really can't offer much more than sympathy. I am also adopted but have had a positive experience in that I feel very close to my mum. I have recently touched 40 and after years of saying I am not interested I suddenly have a really strong urge to look up my birth father. I have always known that I was adopted but the hardest thing was apparently my birth father really wanted me but she was practical and and said no way. (She was only 19) My adoptive dad died when I was 21 so it is just my mum around now and I could never hurt her by looking but I remain curious. I often think that we yearn for some missed opportunity but many people are with their natural parents and aren't necessarily happy.

Maryz Mon 29-Aug-11 21:24:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gillybean2 Tue 30-Aug-11 12:00:20

mrspants - have you thought about registering with NORCAP that you are interested in hearing from your father if he were also looking for you. It doesn't mean you have to have contact straight away even if he is, but it means that if he were also to register, or already be registered, he would know you wanted to hear from you too.

My norcap internediatory is helping me understand and come to terms with my feelings but also to realise my parents and birth mother probably also have fears and anxiety of their own.

It's also nice to be able to vocalise things that I may not want to tell my BM just yet and I'm sure she does the same. We are taking things quite slowely as that is what we both want. I am very wary though, and I am sure she is too.

With my brother I feel like he and I had no choice in our separation. Much like you and your dad I guess. So from that point of view I have never felt it bad or wrong to search for him in the same way as I felt when searching for my mother. I still haven't ever mentioned it to my parents though...

For me, I think part of the reason I have had to hide the fact I'm searching is because I feel my mother would think I was being disloyal to her and would take it quite badly. She told me once my birth mother never loved me the way they love me. I think that is quite a common feeling though, to be worried about how the adopted parents feel and not want to rock the boat for fear of upsetting them or making them feel second best.

That is why it was easier to be searching for my brother rather than my mother. I always knew that in finding him there was a strong chance it would lead to her. I never suspected it would be the other way round.
I was told she had gone abroad and I didn't know her new husband's surname, which made it really hard to look for her. I now know know that she didn't go abroad at all and she lives in the place she would write to my parents from when they first had me. So they had her address and details all along it seems.
This makes me feel even more that my parents didn't, and don't, want me to find her.

Maryz - You sound like you are coping really well with everything he is throwing at you. It must be really hard from you and your ds will come to realise that one day like I have.
I don't feel guilty for the way I behaved though. It was a normal reaction as I now understand. My parents just didn't know how to deal with it.

Even the child psychologist school suggested to them I was taken too (because they could see something was terribly wrong even when my parents could not) was clueless. My parents mentioned my adoption which led me to floods of tears in the first meeting. It wasn't mentioned again as my parents felt it was irrelevant. That was the first and only time they ever told me any reali info or details about it.

Of course I had had years of hiding my true feelings, pain and hurt by then so I wasn't about to give them any more ammo with which to wound me.
I had learnt by then that if I revealed any of my inner feelings or thoughts it would be thrown back at me and used to hurt me at some point later.

My mother yelled at me soon after that the psychologist was right and that I was just a selfish child who was only happy when they gave me things. Oh the irony when I would go out of my way to act pleased and happy with the things they gave me (which my sister had usually told them is what I wanted for birthday etc when in fact it was what she wanted). Things I would never have asked for and had to them share/give to my sisters to have.

Gosh I sound so bitter but really I'm not. I still hurt and I still can't talk to my parents and feel uncomfortable around them. But I have dealt with quite a lot of it now and the fact I can talk about it at all says a lot t o me on how far I've come. The biggest issue was that I never felt safe with them and couldn't talk to them ever. So Maryz just keep talking, and listening, to your ds1 and he will come to realise in time that you were there for him.

To this day my parents have no clue that I felt suicidal most of my childhood and that I cried myself to sleep every night. I was too scared to attempt suicide in case I failed though as my mother made it clear her opinion on people who tried these things for attention and "if they were serious they'd do it properly". I had no clue how to do it properly and couldn't bear to face her wrath if I failed...
Things only started to get better for me when I finally escaped from them and was able to finally start being my real self without fear of the consequences.

I too went out of my way to be really awful at times. But I did it because I wanted a reaction from them; for them to hold me close and tell me they loved me no matter what. When I didn't get that I just pushed harder and harder and behaved worse and worse. I understand now I was testing them to see if I was safe and secure or whether they'd give me away too as I was obviously unlovable and worthless.

I don't think i'm looking to replace my mother with my birth mother. In some ways I am angry with her for giving me up. Abandoning me. Leaving me with people who weren't suitable and wouldn't have been given a child for adoption if she had gone through the usual channels. But I also know my life could have been much worse.
In others ways I guess I want to hear that she had no choice and regrets it and has always thought of me.

Whatever the reality I know it will be emotional but I don't see her as a quick fix or that I will be rushing into her arms.

I have some of the answers to my questions already, relaid through my intermediatory. But I am not convinced entirely by what i'm told. I know I have glossed over parts of my life that I don't want her to know about. I have been worried for a long time that she will be upset to hear that my childhood was not happy as it seems a lot of birth mothers get some solice from the fact their child had a happy childhood with their adoptive parents.
I guess it will take a long time before I could trust her. Or anybody for that matter...

Please don't feel sad for me about my sisters. The situation has actually been a big relief to me and I have felt happier than I have in years. For as long as I can remember I have felt an outsider and it has validated my feelings about that in a way.
It has also lifted this burden from me where I was going out of my way for my family (parents and sisters) because that is what you do, and yet getting little help or support in return. I have learnt that I shouldn't be a doormat to them any more and actually I do have worth as person and I can say no. I don't have to keep pleasing them, or put up with shitty behaviour from them, in the hope they will love me.

I also now realise my parents weren't great parents and that is not my fault either. And from advice on here I realise too that it is not my job to make my birth mother feel she did the right thing giving me up. That I can say that I was unhappy and that is not my fault and that she will need to deal with that fact and I shouldn't worry about that.

I know I too will make mistakes as a parent. But the most important thing to me is that my ds does and will always know that I love him, and love him unconditionally. That I will always be here for him and that he can talk to me about anything and everything. That he has a voice and can say whatever he is thinking or feeling and, even if I don't like what I hear, I will listen to him.

ChildofIsis Tue 30-Aug-11 23:00:58

Hi Gillybean, I couldn't read your last post without responding.
What a lot you've been through.

You're so right about it not being your fault.
Children react to situations, they haven't enough experience or self control to respond logically.
Unfortunately in the past too many parents of adoptees were told that the adoption should be forgotten about and that it had no bearing on the child's reactions/behavior.

I'm struggling a little with how much of my past to tell BM. I want her to get on well with Mum and don't want my retelling of the past to colour her view of the women my Mum is now.
However we've made a committment to be honest with each other and I need for her to understand the things in my past which have led me to where I am now.

I can hear the pain in her voice when we talk about the days surrounding my birth and our separation, I don't think she'd ever really allowed herself to feel any of the emotions that were present at the time. Her family forced her hand and told her to forget she'd ever been pregnant. As if that's possible!

I agree whole heartedly with your final paragraph.

lostinwales Tue 30-Aug-11 23:07:37

Hi eveyone, I was adopted at a very young age and would love to join in with the discussion but I will leave it until the morning now as it is too late to read everyone's posts and absorb the information. I look forward to joining in with you all though, it is a strange and emotive topic and one not many people can empathise with, nice to meet some others who are part of it though.

Kayano Thu 01-Sep-11 08:20:27

Hi lost in Wales , welcome!
I have yet to do anything productive or write my letter as morning sickness has belatedly caught up with me, am not thinking of waiting til after the baby is born to try make contact. I'm just so stressed and tired ATM it wouldn't be fair on anyone :S

gillybean2 Thu 01-Sep-11 09:56:40

Kayno - what letter are you writting? I see above you say you don't feel the need to contact your birth mother or sister. But from your latest post it seems like you are thinking about it...?

How long till the ababy is due? I had terrible morning sickness for all but 5 weeks in the middle with ds. I couldn't get out of bed without eating ginger bisuits first for about 4 months!
It's quite common for the birth of a child to bring about feelings of wanting to know and to start looking then if your haven't before.

lostinwales Thu 01-Sep-11 11:11:43

Having a small conundrum here, I am very open on MN about who I 'am', open profile happy to way where I live etc. I'm not happy to post openly about adoption though as I would hate to upset my family by saying anything out of turn (and they are understandably very sensitive about the subject). I will PM you Kayno when I have had a read. Sorry for the grim morning sickness, I had it with all three of mine, it can be hard to see how you can get through the day at times eh?

hester Thu 01-Sep-11 13:45:11

Could you use an alternative user name for adoption threads, lostinwales?

gillybean2 Thu 01-Sep-11 17:19:50

I name change occassionally for some postings. It is difficult though as it is a pita when you then have to go back and change it to answer or repost on a thread. It's easy to get accussed of posting and running.

Perhaps the solution is to have a second account for this other part of you if you don't feel you can post as your usual self.

For my part I have a couple of times posted under a changed name on the adoption threads (and others). But I decided that actually it is part of who I am, and I have kept things in and hidden away so as not to upset other people for a long time now. So if they find stuff I've posted on here then I'm not too worried any more.

gillybean2 Thu 01-Sep-11 17:33:17

So I wrote out my letter to my BM in neat this afternoon. The only 'proper' writitng paper I could find is years old and girly pink. But oh well!

It's come out at 7 pages, but it's not A4 size so I think that's ok. I was advised to keep it to about 3 pages for the first letter... oops smile
In my defence I did cut out swathes from my original attempt so it's a good 5 pages shorter than it could of been!

The icky pink envelopes that match the icky paper won't take 7 pages of folded writting paper. So I'm wondering whether to get a card to send it in, or just make do with a business style, but bigger envelope. Or just start again with better paper.

Am I overthinking this and does it actually matter?
Maybe it does matter that it's on horrid pink paper as she may end up keeping this letter for a long time and reading and re-reading it... I know I would/will with the first letter I get from her.
Do I want her first real news of me to be on baby pink paper hmm
Or should I simply stick it in an envelope and just send it!

westcoastclassic Fri 02-Sep-11 23:18:52

Hi, just a quick post, i am adopted and am constantly trying to segregate my life as "me" and my life as an adoptee. I hate the idea that i am making excuses for all my many mistakes based on the fact that i am adopted, and yet, there has always been this massive insecurity in my personality that has led to so many fuck ups in my actions , this ridiculous need for every one i meet to like me , that i can't help thinking there is some link.

My most fervent hope for my children is that they feel they have a right to their opinion and their thoughts, and the confidence to express anger, fear , joy and happiness. I always feel that somehow none of this has ever come naturally to me.

lostinwales Fri 02-Sep-11 23:27:33

Beautifully put westcoast smile

Keylime Sat 03-Sep-11 10:03:22

Aw Gilly you have got a lot on. I am adopted and had parents whom I didn't want to upset by searching for birth parents, I also wasn't terribly interested in finding them. As I got older the desire I had to have medical info extended to wanting to see the genetics of my birth family in action. I think as you look at your children lots of people find it increasingly compelling to make some birth family contact. I wasn't very driven though and thought I would address it in time. I did become aware that it felt a bit unfinished and unresolved and I wanted to have some resolution but I still didn't get round to doing anything but was then contacted out of the blue one weekend.

The most immediately tricky part was telling my parents and they initially struggled, my dad cried which has no precedent and my mum was very unsettled. What I realised was that their response was stronger than mine because they had more to resolve than I did and ultimately they gained a great peace from it all. They met some of the family and are in contact with my bio half sister and had some real heart to hearts with bio gran. It was very cathartic for both of them and now part of me feels that even had it gone less well it needed to be done for everyone. My birth mother was already dead and in a way this maybe made it easier for some of the other family members on both sides. Now I see my 'sister' and her family but the gran has died although we saw her up to then and some of the wider family were too needy and unrealistic about what they wanted from our relationship. It now feels entirely normal, there is no fuss, emotional highs or lows but it is super intense and consuming initially. My family has expanded and that is a great result, I think even if it hadn't the experience would have been important and affirming.

I know someone who found the primal wound transformational, she has been really changed by it and has met her birth parents and been very explicit about how abandoned and angry she is and has been. I didn't find much in it I could relate to though some certainly. She was a bit older than me when placed which for her, she thinks made a difference. I do have other motivation not to relate to it too strongly though as I also had a birth child I placed for adoption and whilst I think I am ready, if contacted, to accept that issues of anger, abandonment and loss may have been central to his/her life who knows...

Oddly the area I work in is pretty niche, yet at a meeting with about 8 or 9 of us three turned out to be adopted, what are the odds? Although we all have very different perspectives I suspect we all share something that saw us make the relatively unusual choices that brought us to that meeting. Or maybe we are the only three countrywide which would make the stats look less dramatic but that would be such a coincidence.

Anyway good luck to those of you thinking or navigating the contact stuff. Gilly I hope it helps with your healing, I am not sorry for you-you sound inspirational actually- but I am sorry you went through all those experiences.

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