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Fitting in with the other Mums(18 Posts)
new here and a new mum to a 1year old placed four months ago😁
Am loving becoming a Mum and attachment is going really well.
We are now venturing out to groups and baby sessions which is great, however, I am feeling that I have just appeared on the circuit and have to button my lip when it comes to the fact that LO is adopted. Sometimes I think it's just easier to say and it almost comes out.
I want to start as I mean to go on as LO grows in that only those who need to know know and she can tell people when she is ready.
I am an honest person so struggle with little white lies and can't quite get my head round creating some stories to trot out when asked the usual birth/breastfeeding/sleeping through questions. Just don't feel I have anything in common with 'mums'.
LO enjoying these groups so want to continue (and gets us out the house!)
Wonder if anyone has felt like this or have any tips or experiences to share?
Hello and congratulations!
I adopted my DS when he was 10 months and had the same issue of just suddenly appearing on the local baby and toddler scene.
I really wasn't prepared for all of the questions mums ask each other. And people don't give up if they aren't satisfied with your answer.
One of my problems was that my DS is and has always been big for his age so I would be asked how much he weighed at birth.I wouldn't be able to answer as I hadn't thought I would need to memorise his birth weight. I then had to explain the whole adoption thing just to not look weird!
I'm also quite an open and honest person so when asked if DS gets his height from his Dad I'd explain about adoption rather than lie!
But then once you mention adoption you get a billion extra questions and often some quite inappropriate comments.
I'm 10 years in now and I've really only recently learned to give vague answers.
A recent example was my DD talking to me about her birth sister in front of another mum at school. The other mum then commented on how she thought I only had two children. I just told her DD was referring to her half sister who doesn't live with us so she then assumed it was a divorce/second marriage situation. I didn't bother correcting her but the old me would have done.
I think with hindsight I should have been more guarded as my DS is now at the age where he would quite like to forget that he's adopted for a while but he can't because everyone in his social group knows all about it.
So I think the best thing is to be prepared for how nosy people can be and have a cover story so that you don't appear rude and standoffish but give as little away as possible!
I posted on another current thread how I answer honestly but without mentioning adoption. E.g. twice in the last two weeks people have asked 'is his dad tall?' and I have answered honestly that yes he is - despite this having fuck all to do with ds genetically
Generally you can work your way out of any conversational black holes which occur. You just need a bit of practise and honestly no-one is really totally focused on conversation at a playgroup - they are watching with half an eye to see if little Jessica needs a wee/is hitting someone over the head with a train and wondering whether one more hob nob is pushing it.
Even when you're standing at the school gates with a 5yo people still randomly ask birth questions... I've managed to fudge the date of our house move so people think we moved to this area a lot later than we did - we only really met the neighbours after the DC were home. I never told them that, just was vague and they have no recall of us not having kids.
People mostly want to talk about themselves though so you can turn it back on them quite quickly: physical characteristics 'yeah, I don't know where she gets that from. Goodness, your Harry is big though!' Breast feeding, 'yeah, wasn't for us. How are you getting on with it?'
I still feel like a fraud a lot of the time and I feel like I'm being dishonest too, especially when I've become friendly with people, but I do think it's worth it. (I've still panicked and blurted it out more than once though. When I do that I follow up with a 'I don't tell that to many people though' and hope that's enough for them to keep it to themselves.)
I posted the thread conserve is talking about (calling ourselves mum and dad) .
I totally get where you are coming from and I am struggling to just say I am mum and keep giving people too much info
I also dont want to lie to people but dont want to tell them all our business because as others have said it just opens the door to a million questions and it is exhausting explaining all the time .
I am taking the advice given to be vague and change the subject so I will be practising my responses and growing a thicker skin.
I have been surprised at how hard I have found it to do that so far. Hopefully we will get better in time kylie!!
Congratulations on your lo x
I avoided them altogether kylie, and I think I would have done so with a birth child.
However the first part my DC attended a birthday party after starting school I found myself in the corner of the room with 2 other mum's who quite quickly got around to the subject of their labour and birth with their DCs. It was so unexpected that I just blurted out that my Dc was adopted.
I am struggling with this also. Luckily I have attended a parent group for adoptive families today and it was so much more comfortable. People ask adoption questions and it is so much easier to be yourself. Look for one in your area.
The other mum questions I have glazed over but sometimes have to just tell people. For example a neighbour at the baby group said she hadn't realised I had had a second child until recently and was very confused (lives 4 doors down). Lo is one so I am not surprised she was confused!
I am relieved to here that others also struggle with this lucky because it wasnt really something I had thought much about before the adoption order was granted and it has rather taken me by suprise!
And for birth stories you can do something like - 'Ha! Well there's no such thing as a great birthday story is there? I know this one woman who was on labour for four months and in the end they had to take her head off to get the baby out! What about you?'
Thank you for all your responses. Really helps!
I didn't anticipate how this bit would be (although so happy to finally be here after so long) so really great to hear others experiences.
Can be fun though when people you've not seen for a while say "I didn't know you had a baby" and then as you vaguely chat away they are clearly trying to work it out...
"I found LO's pregnancy very easy, it was later on I found hard! Haha! How did you find it?"
Basically, people want to talk about themselves.
I've had "Oh, does he take after his Dad? He doesn't take after you, does he?" either gets a "Yes, he looks like his (birth) dad." or a "funny how genetics go, eh?!"
I struggled too, got tangled up when explaining why we had just appeared with things like 'oh we just moved into the area' so then they say where were you before? Etc. So then I ended up saying 'I mean he just moved into the area' and getting strange looks.
I think the thing to remember at baby groups is that everyone is knackered and mostly they're picking a safe subject to talk about.
So i wouldn't worry about a lie/fudge in your response. Forget the details - just respond to someone trying to chat iyswim. As pp above says - turn it back to them.
It is strange at first tho but 8 months in and it doesn't bother me now.
I have four adopted boys, all teenagers now. Always remember once you have told someone that you adopted, they will always, always know.
General people who are not really going to stay in your lives long term do not need to know. Be vague. People always prefer talking about themselves, so ask them a question to deflect.
Gosh, are the other mums still talking about birth stories etc, even though their babies are one? Seriously, I'd be tempted to yawn, loudly and publicly! My (adopted) daughter was/is a Christmas baby, whenever anyone at playgroups asked me how I found her labour, I told them it was fine as I was at the pub quaffing prosecco at the time and didn't even notice (true, as she wasn't even born as I was going through the approval process)...
Mine were 8 and 2.5 when we adopted 10 years ago.
At school for DD1 I needed to say adopted as otherwise I couldn't explain knowing nothing about the school system. Being new to the school couldn't explain everything I didn't know.
At toddler group, people were still talking about birth weights (which I didn't know at that time), when they walked etc. So also easier just to say adopted. That way again I could ask all the questions I wanted without having to fudge things.
I didn't say why adopted except in general terms, but I found it so much easier being open when needed.
Throughout primary, I tended to assume all parents in DDs classes (and various others) knew they were adopted. But it is possible the ones I didn't mix with didn't know / remember. We never had any trouble at primary due to it being known they were adopted.
Kylie we have a birth dd who is 6 years older than our adopted son, who came aged 3. So lots of people knew me and dd before ds came.
We decided not to tell people who don't know. But also not to lie so we would never get caught out in trying to lie about ds's adoption.
I agree with conserveisposhforjam
So if people say he looks like me, or dh, or his sister, or whatever, I just smile and nod, people have said he looks like both me and dh, which is clearly accidental!
I must admit no one has asked me which hospital he was at, or how much he weighed. I think I would be vague... birth weight, if I didn't know for sure I would just decide a number and say it randomly when asked, 8 pounds, you could be thinking how much was in your purse at the time! Hospital, the local one. It was local to where he lived. And if they started talking about it a lot I'd just change the topic. I might add 'I don't like talking about hospitals!" maybe you do and maybe you don't but you certainly don't like talking about the hospital your child was born at.
As your child gets older this will be a less interesting topic of conversation for all! Honestly.
When people are about any characteristics , you can just say something about another relative .
"Isn't it odd that he has red hair and neither of you do ? "
" Both his grandmothers had red hair " or
" there a lot of Irish blood in his dads family "
It's a way of using "claiming " language without saying anything untrue , for your child's sake.
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