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Any adopted adults around(13 Posts)
I adopted DD just over 2 years ago. She is utterly perfect and I love her more than I've ever loved another person, she has her issues associated with being adopted but I understand where they come from and love her all the more for overcoming so much in her short life. The issue is with me, I feel like a fraud, like I'm pretending to be her mum. And I am holding back because one day she will find her "real" family. She doesn't look a bit like me and I'm scared this will bother her when she gets older. I don't know what I'm trying to say but I want to feel like a mum rather than a foster carer. And to try and get into my head that even if I'm not perfect and don't paint with her, play with her all the time etc that she won't look back on her childhood and wish she had been chosen for a better family. Are there any adults out there who were adopted into their family and feel content, even if their family wasn't perfect on paper?? Sorry for the jumbled OP I can't talk about it in real life and am struggling a bit
I'm an adoptee; as are my children. I feel very strongly that your parents are the people who feed, clothe, comfort, support, nag, tell off, mollycoddle, infuriate you day to day.
Personally, I have never had any interest in finding my gene donors- they couldn't be bothered to parent me and I'm very grateful I ended up with my real parents. The few adopted people I know have quite similar views.
We are completely open about adoption with our kids. They have a life story book and we try to be non judgemental, but honest, about their birth parents. If they want to meet BPs when older, I will be as supportive as possible- curiosity is normal.
I believe a majority of adopted kids don't seek out BPs but it's (unsurprisingly) much more common if adopted later. I can't promise you that a stroppy, teenaged DD won't throw 'you aren't my real mum' at you. I can't promise that they won't want to meet BP's when an adult. I can promise that you are her real and only mum. I would point out that you are the one who tucks her in and comforts her. I very much doubt that meeting some stranger 20 years from now will make a big difference to your relationship.
Thank you so much for your perspective. I didn't know my dad growing up and never felt the need to seek him out, so not sure why I feel so inadequate when it's a similar situation! If DD wanted to meet birth family I would 100% be there with her, it's just this constant nagging feeling that I know and she knows and everyone else knows I'm the temporary replacement. And that she deserves better generally. There's so much pressure being "chosen" for a child out of all the parents they could have had
Could I ask if you were conscious of not looking like your parents? I try and point out similarities to her like we both have crazy hair but did you worry about things like that growing up?
"Could I ask if you were conscious of not looking like your parents?"
Not at all. I was adopted at birth, so it was just a minor fact about my background. I suspect it may have contributed to a little bit of insecurity, but having now adopted I could be overthinking it- I don't recall it coming up much at all.
I've been weighing these issues a lot more, having had my own kids. While I want to help them develop a good sense of their own identity, I'm conscious not to make it too big a deal for them either.
I am a different ethnicity, shape and size and pretty different in character too. Doesn't matter a fig and when I met my biological family it didn't change a thing though I have pick n mixed my way through them and have great relationships with the functional few. My parents are just my parents - ever read the what does a dinosaur do books? Makes me smile - physical differences are irrelevant to love
I've adopted but also have a birth dc. I did just gently want to ask if you think you could be suffering a little post adoption depression. The things you describe are exactly how i felt after the birth - and i ignored them for a long time because it wasn't that i thought i was a bad parent but that i obviously was as the baby made it clear and everyone around me parented so much better. It took me years to recover because i didn't ask for help or want to take drugs.
With adopted dc the moment i heard those little nasty voices i was straight down the dr and on prozac. Self doubts disappeared immediately.
It may not be what you need but i wouldn't see my worst enemy suffer like i did first time round so just wanted to flag it.
Maybe I am a bit depressed? I don't know, DD doesn't sleep well and I think tiredness makes everything seem worse but I don't think I am, I'm functioning normally in other areas (I think!). We go out and see people, I look forward to things it's just this constant niggling feeling in the background. You're right it does seem like a horrible little voice. Like on her birthday I was happy to see her enjoy her presents and cake and balloons but in the background I was feeling like a fraud as didn't give birth to her, and one day she isn't going to feel the same way, like I've got no right to celebrate this event, it's between her and BM. But I know that's ridiculous as I wasn't present at DH's birth either but gladly celebrate with him! But I think I do need to do something about it before she starts to pick up on how I'm feeling
I don't have any advice but I wanted to say I have a similar horrible little voice.
I love my dc more than life itself but I do feel like a fraud with them. I thought to start with the feeling would fade as I settled into things, but it hasn't.
Birthdays are the same for us - I think it's perhaps a reminder that we weren't there for their birth and what are birthdays if not a celebration of a birth?! I know when I was growing up my parents would say 'this time x years ago we were on our way to hospital...' etc. we obviously can't do that for our dc and it's sad.
I often wonder if all parents have these doubts but with adoption there are grounds to the doubts rather than just a feeling of unfounded inadequacy? We know someone else could just as easily be doing our job (and might do it better).
I don't think I'm depressed, I certainly find parenting a lot harder than I expected and I certainly shout more than I'd like, but I think that's probably all within normal levels.
Thank you so much for all the different viewpoints it's helping to get things into some perspective. Im thinking a bit clearer today and think the awful matching process has had an impact- the goalposts were moved several times and jumping through hoops to bring DD home, for a long long time I was terrified she would be moved if I was found lacking in some way. Maybe some of that fear is still there and counselling could help
I had three birth children and it was only when the youngest was about five that I felt like they were all mine I think we all feel like fraudsters at time you're possibly over thinking and as for looking for birth parents I have a birth father and a father my birth father I have a very odd conversion to but my father was there for my all my life and he is who i would turn to. I think all parents with birth children adoptive children foster children all have doubts we just have to do our best and you sound as though you are x
Jelly I'm 11 years into this and felt like a fake for years and years. Suddenly, one day, I just realised that I did feel like her proper, real mum.
The process and transition from being child free to completely responsible for a child is not an easy one and for many parents the change in both circumstances and responsibility is a massive adjustment. And as for the constant comparing ourselves to other parents, parents who seem to find parenting a breeze, it's hard to avoid that stuff but ultimately futile. People often only show and say what they're comfortable revealing, sometimes this is not what they actually feel.
Add to that the horrors of going through the assessment for adoption process, the scrutiny , the stress and loss of privacy and it's a bloody miracle that most of us adoptive parents aren't just sat in a corner whimpering.
Add to that the fact that many/most of us are parenting children with higher and more challenging needs. It's extremely tough and demanding and not for the faint hearted. I don't think your experience is that far off from a lot of adopters tbh. What you need is self-confidence and that only comes with experience and practice of parenting your LO. Before long, i assure you, you will be the expert on your LO and you will feel happier. It just takes time.
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