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When do you tell?(44 Posts)
This is an offshoot of Italian's thread about adult adoptees. When do you tell people that your dc is adopted? Like other posters I feel I have told people who don't really need to know. Sometimes it's unavoidable, e.g. someone asks me where dd is and she is with her biological grandparents. I also feel weird when someone says something like "Your dd is so tall for her age, is her dad very tall"? DH happens to be very tall but it feels a bit dishonest to just say "Yes he is".
I'll be watching this thread with interest. I doubt any of DS's nursery class will be going on to his school - so, thinking about Lilka's and MaryZ's posts - I hope I can rectify the situation somewhat. But I also don't want it to be something that he is embarrassed about.
Thanks for starting this thread.
We live in quite a small area where a lot of people tend to know your families etc! So most people around me just knew, but only really close friends etc talk about it. Likewise with work they all knew too. But with regards to people we meet I don't tend to tell them. I always was more inclined to in the beginning but that was before we felt like a 'proper' family if you like - I almost felt like a fraud for a while. Especially when the mums talk about birthing stories I just go quiet! (happens a lot on the school yard).
However DS often talks about his FC in front of people we are quite open about it, he does with other children / his new friends too, so we just let him speak about it as he wants. Kids are very very excepting of it all!
I am not sure this helps at all but I just thought I'd share my experiences.
I have found this really difficult to judge. I only tell people who I know very well now. ds is only 3 at the moment and I don't know who he will want to tell or not. For example I have only told 1 of the mums at playschool I didn't tell her until I had known her a year. ds will be going to school with these children and it is up to him who he wants to tell. I just tend to be vauge and change the subject! !
With us having one DD at school and running the playground gauntlet daily it's going to be obvious that AC hasn't just been hidden in the house for a few years...however I won't be offering anything private other than confirming that yes, they are adopted (but please tell me - what do I say when we are still awaiting the Adoption Order?).
I haven't been able to avoid people knowing as my social group (with friends about the same age as DS) obviously knew and some of them went to same school as him so it was really openly known without me having to discuss.
I only makea point of telling:
medical staff (but only if relevant eg inherited disorders)
when I meet other adoptive parents - amazes me how you just seem to find out without making a point of discussing it.
But in the early days I told everyone and I wish I hadn't.
I also like kew told everyone at first! I have a birth daughter as well so all the parents of her friends knew but there is a big age gap so should be a different group of parents when ds starts school. As time goes on it gets a bit easier.
I also told everyone and regret it. I was really caught out by it and hindsight is a wonderful thing. I live in a village - I couldn't have got away with not telling anyone, and people like our neighbours, the lovely library ladies, the local church toddler group have been amazing in their support.
However, over time people forget. Heck, I even forget sometimes. If people ask where DD gets her curly hair from, who in the family has curly hair, I have no issue with telling strangers that my cousins have curly hair. Not a lie.
Who do I tell now? Nursery workers, medical professionals and school when we get to that point. There will be school friends that's attend nursery with her who's parents know, but I don't have too much of an issue with that as they are lovely people.
There is also the universal truth that (a bit like giving birth I suppose) that you are so pleased about this amazing child you have produced forth from
your loins a pile of paperwork that you want to share it with everyone.
As time goes on the adoption bit of your life finds its own level and it doesn;t seem such a big thing. Its not really the elephant in the room anymore that you feel compelled to mention.
Choccy, we are also awaiting the adoption order, but we just say 'adopted'-DH and I don't feel we need to split hairs, so to speak.
I told someone the other day because I thought they would know already and they did not. So now, unless I know someone knows, I will not say a word about it, none of their bloody business!
Who does he look like? My sisters oldest kid at that age! Is that true? Yes. So true my own mum was confused!
I love the quote someone said before.. how was the birth?.... didn't feel a thing!
My mum ha snot met him, she just saw a photo and asked if it was her other grandchild!
It's such a fine line between being open and telling everyone, and worrying whether they will think you are hiding it because you are ashamed of it.
I think, most of the time I get it right (dd said I could say that), but sometimes blurt it out at totally unsuitable times (like at the hairdresser once; I think I thought I was at the doctors).
Last week I was at the specialist with ds1 who is 20, and you could have cut the silence with a knife when he said "is there any family history of ...?" I realised I was waiting for ds to explain, he obviously expected me to, and it was a very awkward silence before I stuttered "well, we don't actually know".
Mary simple way to tell if you are at the doctors... they are doing medical stuff... at the hairdressers, more hair-related! Don't worry I washed an apple other day and dried it with kitchen roll, then stuck the apple in the bin, luckily stopped short of eating the kitchen roll!
Just saying we all get confused!
I think I am now getting that slightly angry vibe that no3one has a 'rught to know! That is helping me.
Yes, ha ha, i can't claim it, I heard it on here.
I'd like to know who my son looks like.It would make it easier to say truthfully we think he looks like mum or he looks like dad! IF asked!
Basically, everyone looks a lot like each other IMHO! Most folks have got two eyes in roughly the same spot, a nose, that is either big, small or medium, a mouth, ears etc. Of all those features you are bound to get something similar. I think everyone in my family, both immediate and extended seems to have the same colour eyes, except me! So it is true to say no one has my eyes and by contrast it would be easy to say my kids have their dad's (DH's) eyes or my nephew's have my sisters eyes etc.
I am wondering when someone will say something. At the moment all anyone says is that he is very cute!
When I'm with women who knows our story and they start talking about births I sometimes comment that I got my daughter in a courtroom and while it was emotionally and financially painful, physically it was ok!
I have been asked how tall DS's father was...
cue slightly shocked silence...
"It was dark..."
V good Kew!
I have no problem with misleading slightly - eg when people comment how tall DD is, I say that DH is very tall as are lots of other family members. Not exactly a lie, just not quite what the questioner meant!
I am better now than initially too - though again it's hard to be completely discreet when turning up to the school gate with DS...and a brand new toddler
This thread, and Lilka 's comments on the other thread, have really made me stop and think. I was at a party with my DS yesterday (one of my friends' son's) and bumped into a girl I went to Uni with...She was chatting and asking how many children I had etc and I didn't tell her that DS was adopted. Not sure if I would have before this thread - but I was adamant I was not going to tell her after this thread!
<sticks tongue out at Italian>
To be fair, the hairdresser was saying "her hair is very like yours" and it just blurted out ... as it does [sigh]
I used to feel dishonest when people mistook my step children for my own and always corrected them if they commented on a likeness etc. Interestingly the children have never done this. Now I just smile and agree with them - it's like a secret joke between us, and I only tell people who need to know. I guess I'll do the same with my ac.
Totally understandable Mary those modern hairdressers do look very imposing!
I tell no one, as this is in accordance with my children's wishes. It's on a need to know only basis.
So far that's been medical reasons only. I don't tell school as they don't need to know -there are issues but they don't need to know they are adoption related.
There is always someone in the family who is eg has green eyes, is , sporty, has red hair etc. if not, I would just say
" you know, it's a mystery to us as none of us are musical. She gets her good looks from me of course "
If a child was with with bio grandparents, I woudl just say " she's visiting relatives " . No one actually wants to ask and hear the explanation that it's your second cousins twice removed or someone who is not actually a relative but used to live next door to your mother.
I think you are taking these questions too seriously and believing that they need an " honest " answer. Most people are just making polite conversation.
" Did you breast feed her ? " doesn't need a explanation of the biology and politics of adoption lactation. It needs "no she was bottle fed " .
Even if they persists and ask "Why? " you just say " medical reasons " or " for a lot of reasons " .
The questioner doesn't actually want to know about your BF experience. They want to talk about THEIRS.
Ditto birth stories . You can just say " oh, it's a long and complicated story, I'm sure you don't want to hear it /I never talk about it /it's a long time ago " < roll eyes >
If you keep smiling and keep saying the same thing over and over again in slightly different way,most people will not persist, I promise you.if they do,they are just being rude and you are perfectly entitled to be more direct with them
" mum, I know that you want me to tell you about Dds birth family , but I've already explained to you that's her information and we are not allowed to discuss it with you .i find it very upsetting that you keep asking me about it and I'd like you to stop . We are not going to change our minds about this "
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