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Dealing with longing(12 Posts)
Whilst coming at this as a birth parent, I wanted to post it here as I imagine the adoptive mums here have a wealth of experience of this and I wondered if I could borrow some. I'm not sure where else on MN it would fit but open to suggestions.
It's been almost 2 years since I agreed with Social Services that I could not get well enough to parent my DD, and that they then got the Adoption Order. It's a month off two years since my last drink, and the way my life has been rebuilt since then has been amazing. I believe in God, and that in his mercy I recovered from where I was. I have recovered physically really well from my injuries with another 3 major surgeries over the last 9 months. I got married 6 months ago, and am really happy in my marriage. I've had almost a year of hard but healing counselling. I go back to work in a few weeks to the same professional job I held before my alcoholism really took hold 3 years ago.
And... I never expected to be this well and this able to live my own life again.
But I still long. I long for DD ... daily. I can live with the awful unbearable pain that it all causes, because of the counselling. I am involved with my friends children, sometimes look after them by myself (which boosts my self-esteem immeasurably).
I long for my daughter, but I know that can't be, for years, if ever.
And I long for a child. Not to replace her - she is utterly irreplaceable.
I'm early/mid thirties and so I've got the best part of a decade to deal with this. The longing for a child, for a family. The impact of subsequent birth children that remain with the birth parent on the adopted child is mentioned briefly, and negatively, in 'Primal Wound', and I would put DD's needs before my own, however painful - I managed to do it before, sick and lost and scared, so I can do it now, in this better, balanced place. I don't know if I could handle battling Social Services anyway - it's no surprise I got sober as soon as they were no longer part of my life (Placement Order and my last drink are 9 days apart).
My DH has 3 adult children - he's 50 - and he's done his raising children years.
There are many good reasons that I can't have any more children. The only reason I don't have, to my knowledge, is infertility. So the longing will go on, it will come in seasons I'm sure, I have to make myself remember when I have lie ins and nights out and coughs and colds that all these things are harder if not impossible with a child.
So, living with the longing.
How do you do it - if you are able to share any experiences I'd be really grateful. I assume I just get on with my life - but talk about it. At least, that's what I'm doing so far.
I can't bear your pain - or Miracle's or other birth mum's that have posted here but I am so thankful that you do and that you contribute to the board.
I am going to PM you.
LittleMiss I can hardly comprehend what you're going through. Congratulations on having the strength to get this far. You sound like you have so much to contribute to life. I can't help with any specifics about coping with the longing for children, it breaks your heart and makes you crazy, but you can, eventually, find space for other good things alongside it and it sounds like you are doing so. I can tell you what, in my experience, not to do and that is to allow bitterness to overwhelm you. You sound like you won't do that.
LittleMissDisorganized I'm so sorry for everything you've gone through. I do wonder about the effect it would have on your dd if she found out you had more children... there were very good reasons why you had to give her up, your life has changed and you are now in a place where you could care for a child. Is that correct? An adult dd would hopefully understand that. How would your dh feel about having another child?
The only other suggestion I have is that you offer to volunteer at a children's home or shelter. I've done that and it really enriched my life.
Thank you all so much for the thoughtful replies.
MoJangled find space for other good things and not allow the bitterness to overwhelm you - yes, these things definitely are so true. I think I am managing to find that space, but I guess it's an ongoing shifting, priority examining, process to do so.
LastingLight DH would be reluctant, on grounds of age really and on having done all that. I do wonder if I got involved with someone older than me subconsciously to lock down the possibilities of ever having another child. Anyway, consciously, when we got together I was determined not, he checked that out with me, and it's only really since we've been married that I've been able to voice these deeper feelings. And he's not angry, against, or bringing up the past, just not very keen and probably the voice of reason!
I was reading a book called Birthmothers - it's about (American) women who relinquished babies at birth, so a bit different, but it advises "getting yourself a good dose of real children" so as to stop your own, lost, child from being idealized in your mind. I've got into some church-based children's work, and lots of time with my friends' children. These are normal, snotty, sometimes rebellious or even naughty, but wonderful children. I wonder if Social Services would let me anywhere near a childrens' home?? They do quite like the black and white painting of parents - I wonder if I can be seen in shades of grey...?
I am working on what my 'answer' might be for me to send to you but it is such a huge thing I just wanted to ask how things were going.
I will PM you.
Littlemiss as a fellow birth mum I feel your longing and pain. There is nothing you want more than your child back to hold. I would do anything for just one more day but I know that will never be and even if it was it would only leave me longing for another day. I miss my son every single day.
I long to have another but not now. Maybe in a few more years (im 25 nearly 26) I want to be in a long term relationship.
I think you'd struggle to find childrens homes in this country in the traditional sense of the word.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
I really cannot for one minute tell you what to do, * LittleMissDisorganized* or even what I would do in your shoes! I might be 'running off to have a baby' and the fact you are not doing that for dd’s sake is amazingly self sacrificing and courageous. I wonder if your dd would feel so terrible if you had another child?
I think if I were in your shoes, I might do three things.
I would write down my story, like a novel of my life and my connection to my daughter and all my feelings about it. Not sure whether I would ever try to have it published anonymously, if I could or not! I would just write it first and maybe illustrate it with pictures of flowers and birds or photos and have it ready. So whenever your dd makes contact there is a beautifully decorated book about the terribly hard time you had and about the decisions you made and about how you felt about her and how you feel now. I am sorry if that sounds just too sentimental to some!
If the very worst came to it and you never got to see your dd in your lifetime (I feel certain that would never happen but in case something happened to me) I would want a record there for her to have, to know my love. I really would be cautious if you feel 'tempted' to have it published!
Secondly, I think I might use all my skill and knowledge and all I had learned in this terrible time to help teenage girls who have drink problems. Maybe the poor girls caught up with unsuitable guys who are being lured into a life of addiction and abuse etc. I would see if I could volunteer to help or mentor vunerable girls and share my experience of how I beat my own foes to achieve what I did and what the cost had been along the way. I would be very careful what I shared about my real life and would not jeopardise my daughter's identically by telling too many people too much. I really would be selective about the bits that were not about me.
This way of serving others would also serve me! It would have a twofold purpose, it would give back to society something good that may turn around the lives of vinerable young girls.
And it would make sure I knew what the word on the street was for young women and girls. The looks, the clothes, the music. I would make sure that when dd comes back I am very au fait with her world so that those barriers are fewer between us.
Finally, I would make sure that whatever is holding me back now would be gone by the time I saw her again. I would not want that time marked by not being to fit into the best dress or not being able to afford the nice restaurant to go out to. I KNOW these things would not be a barrier for her but for me I would want to look and feel my best and be in the best place I could be before we met again.
I agree volunteering is a great idea which is why I would try mentoring as a way of volunteering.
For more info on mentoring you could take a look at.....
This article.... "The idea of mentoring holds great appeal - it conjures up a positive way of bridging boundaries between generations and harks back to notions of large extended families and friendly neighbourhoods within which young people and elders could establish common ground."
Depending where you live there may well be a mentoring scheme you can join.
I found several for London but they are really specific for specific groups of people.
This page offers a very good explanation of what a mentor is...
Depending where you are in the country you may well find a scheme that is of use.
I posted this info to someone else so just in case anyone thinks I have a real agenda to push - I do not. I just think mentoring can be very helpful for people who need a mentor and people who need help and also for people who have nearby too.
Loads of places run them...
"Working alongside partnership agencies such as Bolton Council’s Children’s Services, the mentoring service works with young people aged 8-21 years old, offering them support and guidance from a one-to-one mentor who helps them overcome issues they may be experiencing or a goal they would like to achieve, based on an individual action plan."
"At ReachOut we aim to develop character and improve competence in our mentees to give them the skills they need for the future. "
The Early Intervention Service provides support for vulnerable children, young people and their families. We are currently recruiting volunteers to act as mentors to disaffected young people in Oxfordshire.
It really depends where you are in the country but this may be a way of getting practical support and one-to-one time with someone who is themselves supported and trained.
I hope this has not been in any way offensive to anyone, that was not my intention.
Thanks so much for reading.
Sorry - ...and also for people who have nearby too. should read ...and also for people who want to help and be a good neighbour too.
People of almost all ages could be mentored. i would want to focus on the younger women and would do voluntary work that was well organised and professional, I don't mean going off and just befriending people by myself. I think that sort of involvement could be dangerous and disorganised! I know you are LittleMissDisorganized but for this I would try organised and structured voluntary work, and or mentoring.
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