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When did LO feel like they were yours?

(33 Posts)
motherearth1990 Wed 29-Apr-15 13:52:07

8 weeks into placement and I've managed to shake off the initial horrible feeling that we were "stealing" our LO from foster family, to feeling like an unpaid babysitter and a fraud (when we take her out the feeling that everyone must know she's not really "ours" and we've stolen her!), to something else, not sure how to describe it really, but terrible guilt that I don't feel like her mummy yet.

My husband loved her from day 1, apparently I think too much!?

So I just wondered how long did it take for you to feel real "mummy" or "daddy" feelings, did it come gradually?

I'm scared it will never come and like I said the guilt and shame is enormous even though it's early days. I love my birth children immediately and honestly though it would be the same for this little person. She deserves so much love as do all children. Im trying to "fake it until I make it" as per the advice but it's very very hard. I'm scared this is as good as it gets..

Velvet1973 Wed 29-Apr-15 14:31:26

Im 4 months in with a now 10 month so it should be even easier with a baby right? I absolutely love him to the bones make no mistake but 50% of the time I still don't feel like his mum, I still feel the need to explain to a lot of people that we've adopted because of the "fraud" feeling. It just feels strange but it is definitely getting easier.

MyDogEatsBalloons Wed 29-Apr-15 14:49:31

Six months in now, and it's getting a lot more natural feeling (I think getting to know some other school mums has helped me see I'm not making a complete mess of it all). I couldn't honestly say she feels like mine just yet, but there's definitely more feeling there than there was. Eight weeks in really is early early days - I was a total mess internally at that stage!

I've also explained to everyone, as it feels to me like she's nothing like us. This weekend though, we've had one person say how much she looks like my husband, and another say he'd completely forgotten she was adopted - it honestly felt a little bit like I'd been holding my breath and could let it go a bit.

Kewcumber Wed 29-Apr-15 18:58:08

I'm scared this is as good as it gets..

I'll see if I can find some old threads of mine from 8+ years ago.

It gets better and better and better then it gets normal.

odyssey2001 Wed 29-Apr-15 19:03:33

Once it was legal, it felt more real. Also, a major illness and a hospital trip a few months in helped strengthen the bond. Not something you want to wish for but it does make a difference.

slkk Wed 29-Apr-15 19:24:23

Nothing like illness and having to fight to get your child's needs met to strengthen a bond. 10 months in and he feels like ours. smile

Buster510 Wed 29-Apr-15 20:10:24

At least 8-10 months in DS started to feel more "ours", & I was feeling less of a stranger/glorified baby sitter. The first 3 month were the hardest, I counted down the hours each day!
It will get better, take care of yourself & don't put too much pressure on it all happening now x

Liberated71 Wed 29-Apr-15 20:13:12

I'm 10 years in and still feel like an imposter at times. Who knows what normal is meant to feel like?
I do know that it took me a long time - possibly years- to trust my intuition and judgement. Adoption is a really hard thing to do but it's a wonderful thing too smile

Mama1980 Wed 29-Apr-15 20:22:57

With my eldest it was about 2 years before she felt like 'mine' I guess, she was in such a bad way we had so many therapist appointments and interventions. She would cling to me so hard, look for all the answers and all I could think was, oh shit I'm gonna screw this up. It was so full in it just felt like I was playing a part, I loved her but I was so scared.
With my youngest (placed with me literally at birth with bm consent) it was instant. I feared it wouldn't be the same I wouldn't feel that 'rush' of love I felt with my two birth children but for me I can honestly say it was. One look and that was it she was my baby.

Kewcumber Wed 29-Apr-15 22:45:00

This thread might help... vaguely on the same lines

motherearth1990 Thu 30-Apr-15 09:12:58

Thanks everyone, especially for the old thread Kewcumber, it sounds like me, everything I am feeling and gives me some hope that these feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and generally beating myself up won't last for ever!

I know I'm being too hard on myself but I don't know how to stop. I've spent the last year or so researching attachment issues, scaring myself silly about what the future might hold if we adopt and now that she's here, the pressure is enormous to get it right, especially these early days of funnelling. I'm over analysing everything (or am I?) and feeling so isolated, have completely lost my sense of who I am, I dont feel myself at all.

I was already a parent to a BC but this is so different, and yes I'm constantly thinking what have we done? And the realisation that there's no going back. Then more guilt for even contemplating that.

I'm probably not helping myself by reading The Primal Wound at nap times..

Kewcumber Thu 30-Apr-15 09:58:58

I never read the Primal Wound. Not ever!

The only way to deal with it in my (unprofessional) opinion is to live in the moment. Don't waste your time and emotional energy worrying about what might happen, or whether you should or shouldn't have done this because from my experience that isn't what will happen and this is where you are now. You just have to get on as best you can. And you do feel very silly a couple of years down the track thinking back to all those fears about how you will never feel overwhelming love for this strange child who has invaded. I used to reassure myself that even if I never loved DS that I would do my best to give him a good life. It sounds a bit silly and pious now but in a way i suppose it took the pressure off me feeling that I had to love him 100% early on. In fact it snick in without me noticing sometime at a guess between 3-9 months and it got better and better from there.

I have said that I wish I had known on day 1 that things would work out the way they have and I would have been able to appreciate DS in those early days much more.

But you're certainly not alone - these feelings you have are totally normal.

Kewcumber Thu 30-Apr-15 10:03:10

I knew we would be OK when I cried at his vaccinations!

crumpet Thu 30-Apr-15 10:03:35

Very different I know as I am talking about my birth children and have no experience of adoption, but in case another perspective helps, with my second child it did take me quite some time to feel that he was "mine", and to fall in love with him.

I did have overwhelming feelings of wanting and needing to nurture and protect him, but it was not the immediate love that I had experienced with my first.

Desmoulinsonatable Thu 30-Apr-15 11:42:50

Oh Kew - so good to hear someone who also doesn't recommend The Primal Wound. I read it and had to sit under the table for a while. confused

Kewcumber Thu 30-Apr-15 11:59:32

It's a very personal thing. Some people who were adopted identify with it very strongly and some say they don't recognise it at all.

I just decided that until DS was old enough to work out for himself how he feels there was no need to depress myself with it! And I'm not at all in denial about the void which adoption can create in a childs psyche.

motherearth1990 Thu 30-Apr-15 14:41:07

I think they should rename it to "Rub salt in the wound..." With a streamline of "just when you didn't think you could feel any more inadequate as an adoptive parent" or something catchy like that!

Kewcumber Thu 30-Apr-15 15:17:04

If it makes you feel better the reviews are not unanimously positive... not by a long way

" It seemed like an amateur attempt at a thesis paper wherein the author chose a hypothesis and then proceeded to pull supporting "evidence" out of thin air (i.e. her personal experience, biased observation, selected anecdotes). Her conclusions were unsupported yet absolute. By the end, I was reading passages aloud to my husband (an adoptee) and we laughed at the absurdity of it. What is not funny, however, is the influence this piece of garbage will have on less critical readers who will accept the author's conclusions as legitimate in some way."

To fair many people find it helpful. If you don't I'd move along swiftly as it doesn't have any more science/research behind it than other books which you might find more constructive.

I'm not sure if Kate Cairns has written any books but she is a wonderful speaker - very laid back, accepting of the issues that come with traumatised children and very positive about the ability of the human brain to adopt with the right stimulus.

Google Kate cairns and emotion coaching

Desmoulinsonatable Thu 30-Apr-15 15:28:30

Oh I'm really glad I read it and I will give it to theoretical DCs when appropriate and suitable but it made me feel like I'd failed before we started.

WereJamming Thu 30-Apr-15 15:44:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

motherearth1990 Thu 30-Apr-15 17:16:09

Werejamming yes, you're right, he's been back at work for a month and swans in at bedtime to a fragrant smelling baby. What's not to love? She couldn't be more gorgeous.

Also he didn't do any research, hasn't read books and is blatantly optimistic about attachment issues - I think that's why I've taken on all the responsibility of that side of things due to his head in sand attitude - in his words he's a simple bloke and I think too much... Not sure how we got through the approval process when I put it like that?!

Also I do wonder if us having a BC already makes it easier for him, having felt quite detached from the process as a father at the time and me carrying and giving birth to our BD, he knows how to bond with a new little person who he hasn't carried, given birth to.

I used to say that the one thing I wasn't worried about was whether or not Id love an adopted child and that I'd love them just as much as BC. I was 100% sure of that.

HammerToFall Thu 30-Apr-15 17:33:37

I would agree about a year in. Once they have experienced every important event in the year with you then nothing is a first if you know what I mean. I'm 8 and 6 years in and watching them at this minute nearly kill each other and they are definitely mine grin

meplusone Thu 30-Apr-15 18:55:10

we are 10 weeks in , i cant contemplate doing vacinations so daddy will be holding her on his knee sad i get up in the night when she cries and she has totally taken over our life with pretending to feed dolly , reading spot books and going to mother and toddler groups. every day is the same .

i never read the primal wound , i know about attactment issues but you know , she is ours and i believe we are a better chance than she had with her birth parents or in foster care. We also have a birth child and i believe that all children need to have parents who want them to achieve their best , will put themselves second to their children while they are young and then encourage them to become confident and brave as they grow. I dont aim to be perfect but i do believe i am good enough , sometimes i may make mistakes and reflect on what i could have / should have done but hey ! thats what a parent does . And try not to worry about what you should be feeling , just go with it and one day bam ! thats when you know that nothing would make you give "your" baby up whether it takes 2 or 22 years.
to quote Bil Keane " yesterday was history , tomorrow a mystery , thats why today is a gift called the present"

MooseyMouse Thu 30-Apr-15 23:11:44

I have birth children and an adopted son and I felt bloody awful at first. I regretted it so much.

Now I love him and it's still growing. Try not to compare or set yourself deadlines. It's taken me two years.

PM me if you need to talk.

gabsdot45 Fri 01-May-15 12:18:37

When we adopted our son I had an experience on the second visit when I 'Attached to him' I bonded and at that moment I loved him with a mothers love.
On the day we picked him up to bring him home we had a 4 hour drive and we stopped half way for a break. I had to change his nappy and he cried and cried. I had another 'moment'. I felt empowered and knew that I was his mother, there was no one else to give him to and it was up to me to calm him and look after him and so I did.
He was 8 months old and very tiny.

Our daughter was a totally different story. She was 2.5 when we adopted her and although I liked her and thought she was a lovely child and I knew I was her mother the love didn't come for a long time and it was a gradual thing. She had been with us for 5 years now and the love is still growing.

Even now loving my son comes easier to me. I like him enormously as a person and I enjoy spending time with him. I have to make more effort to enjoy being with my daughter, we clash even though she's only 7.

BTW I don't think adoptive parents are the only ones who sometimes struggle to feel like parents. My sister didn't 'love' one of her children for weeks after he was born.
It's something not many people with admit though

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