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29 and still suffering from adoption

(10 Posts)
Scotzgal88 Mon 20-Nov-17 12:38:15

Hi I’m 29 next month , I was adopted at a young age around 1 . It was a very emotional time (I’m told) for everyone involved . My birth mum was white and my birth Dad was Asian , they were both married to other people , had an affair , my birth Mum had me in secret from her family (my birth Mum was 40 not a young girl ) , birth Dad also kept the secret asked social workers if they could rent a flat and hire 24/7 nannies , social work refused , said full care or no care , they both wanted to keep their marriages so choose for adoption I’m guessing together or birth Mum on her own . Law in 1988 was different and stated my birth mum had to get her husbands signature for adoption (not my birth dad ) resulted in him finding out , judge changed his mind last minute to overrule the law but the Husband was already told by this point . I was in care then adopted by wonderful parents . However from a young age I have struggled with severe rejection issues ( I have been told I am a beautiful woman but I can’t keep a relationship because I’m so insecure they will leave for someone better etc ) depression and one point sucidial thoughts , I now have 3 children of my own separated from the kids Dad who has no involvement. Got a hell of a lot of bullying for being mixed race in Scotland back then things were not so multi cultural, also I was rapidly putting on weight as a child through comfort eating in secret ( I also learned later that my birth mum was obese ) and also bullied for being adopted . I have tried to make contact three times age 12, 17 and 21 . My birth mum has responded coldly to the letters saying now isn’t a good time because her husband has cancer and she will reply when things have settled well I’m 29 now and no reply lol , the one thing I had asked for is a photo of her and my birth dad at the time of having me so not even a recent one that I might recognise them , she didn’t send one , for some reason I was allowed to be adopted in the same city as my birth mum, so was maybe a 30 min drive when I was younger , now I live in my own house a 15 min drive away . Every day I get panicky if I have to go on a bus wondering am I sitting next to my birth mum etc ,I also feel I can’t date certain races because I have half siblings from both sides of the birth parents families . Sometimes I cry myself to sleep because I just want a picture or some kind of closure , I don’t know why I was allowed to live in the same city as my birth Mum, my heart just breaks knowing I could be passing her in street or talking to her without knowing . The one time I plucked up the courage to see the gp about depression they said their guidelines say to tell me to get in touch with an adoption charity . I feel very uneasy obviously I get through everyday for my kids but I’m so fed up of being this unhappy . Does anyone else think the local authority were wrong for placing me in the same location or am I looking for someone to “blame” ? Many thanks for reading that long text !

Rainatnight Mon 20-Nov-17 15:32:13


I'm so sorry you've had such a difficult time. You're struggling with lots of understandably complex feelings and it must be very difficult for you not to have had the reaction you hoped for from your birth mother.

As far as I know, children placed for adoption can be placed at all kinds of distances from their birth family. Some of us here have children whose birth families are fairly close by (same local authority), while others are at the other end of the country. I don't think there's a cut and dried right or wrong way to do it.

These days, with so many children being removed for adoption from families for safeguarding reasons, any risks posed by the birth family will be taken into account but this wasn't the case with your birth parents.

It sounds as though this wondering whether you might be near your birth mother, bumping into her etc, is a symptom of your wider difficulties with having been adopted and what unfolded after that.

Have you considered any counselling for this? The charity After Adoption offer counselling to adult adoptees.

I wish you all the best flowers

mamoosh Tue 21-Nov-17 14:51:29

What a difficult time you’ve had. I agree that some counselling from someone who understands adoption related issues would be helpful. If you are in London or Leeds you could also try for counselling.

Have you ever met up with any other adoptees? I don’t think your feelings are uncommon. It may help to know you are not alone.

Skatingmama Tue 21-Nov-17 20:50:16

Op I haven't got any answers - I just wanted to send you some flowers and a virtual hug in case that helps.
That all sounds so very hard.

Scotzgal88 Tue 21-Nov-17 21:09:38

Yes i May look into the adoption counselling , I had considered hiring a private investigator to find out if she is still alive or not and could perhaps put my mind to rest ... I just wish I had a photo or something , I feel like I have been left hanging , wish she would have just said no I don’t want to be in touch and no you can’t have a picture now get on with your life but I feel like I’m still waiting for something whether it is a years late letter or her passing on news . Thanks for all advice xx

fos6mo3 Wed 22-Nov-17 08:10:50

Hi whilst I was not adopted I did find my biological father when I was about 31. I too like you wanted to just see what he looked like, il be honest whilst It answered my question in regards to what he looked like it didn't solve my other issues.

I needed counselling for this which I had after and o can honestly say this changed my life I was a very insecure person with other issues and whilst this still is an issue at times when I'm totes down etc my life and my feeling anxiety etc has changed so much. Please try counselling ..

tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 18:59:44

Have you ever read Nancy Verrier's "The Primal Wound"?
I felt it very reassuring to know my reaction to my adoption was "typical" for want of a better word, after a lifetime of feeling different to other people, hearing about those who felt and reacted the same as me was a beautiful feeling.
I had no contact with my birth mother, and I too feared bumping into her, not knowing whether she lived near or far etc.

It all came to a head, unfortunately, when she got a job at my university in my building when I was in first year. She was aware I was there, but still made no attempt to contact me (she just told her mother, who relayed it to my adoptive mother. I had no idea there was any communication with my birth family at all).
It all became too much in the end and I left. Lost a good few stone because I was scared to go to the shops to get food in case she was there, it was an awful and harrowing experience to go through whilst leaving home for the first time. Having had some very turbulent teenage years, it was close to a miracle I got into a good uni in the first place, and I am still devastated that I had to give up my place there for the sake of my sanity.

I know this isn't entirely relevant to your post - however, nobody understood the depth of my pain to have her working there, not the university, nor my parents, nor my friends. I guess what I'm trying to say is that being adopted is one of the most isolating and traumatic events that can be experienced by anybody. I truly mean that.
I've lived through some pretty harrowing things, but none has affected me as much as the initial trauma of being abandoned as a child.

If you ever want to talk, PM me anytime.
Reach out to people who are capable of understanding your pain - whoever that may be - and who won't say the wrong thing through ignorance.

flowers & cake & an unmumsnetty hug

tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 19:06:40

You have every right to be angry at the local authority, btw.
Adoption is traumatic enough without every single possible accommodation being put in place to make things easier on the child. You are worth so much more than the way you have been treated.

thomassmuggit Thu 07-Dec-17 20:33:33

Oh, Tendergreenbean! I am so sorry you missed out on your education, and you felt so unsupported.

I honestly hope that my LO doesn't ever feel that alone, and while I won't understand many of the issues of being adopted, I do appreciate the innate trauma adoption causes.

flowers for you both.

tendergreenbean Fri 08-Dec-17 11:00:45

@scottzgal88 I sat in bed last night anxious that I'd hijacked your thread by sharing my own tales of woe!
So sorry, I think I just got carried away with finding someone else with similar problems and ran away with it a bit.

@thomassmuggit there's some brilliant books out there, but also, sadly, lots of conflicting opinion as to what is best so it can be a real anguish trying to decide what to do!
Recognising the huge innate trauma is the most important thing to do and you've already done that.
Be prepared for your LO to be angry with you at times, devastating as it may be, I found with my adoptive mother I was protecting the anger towards my birth mother a lot of the time.
As a baby/small child, the lack of mirroring is the biggest subconscious issue, I think. Babies search for recognition in expression and facial features, trying to match their own features to a parent is their way of understanding the world and finding it hard when they don't quite fit. Maybe try subtly (or jovially!) mirroring the faces your little one pulls back at them. A tiny thing, maybe, but with potential for huge comfort.

The sadness, loneliness and loss does (in every adopted person I've ever known anyway) always seem to come to a head at some point, unfortunately. Sometimes not until adulthood. Having my own child and realising her loss of genetic relatives on my side was very hard - it suddenly felt like such a deeper wound that hurt those beyond myself.
But if you're open about her birth parents and who they are, and speak of them kindly as they are a huge part of who your LO is, as well as showering her with love and understanding at every turn, then the sadness can morph into something tender and bittersweet, rather than being a devastating loneliness.
It's not that simple, of course, and the road ahead will be full of bumps and crossroads and dead ends. It may be a short stroll, or a hard slog with a heavy load. But keep on walking together, share the load, sometimes carry your little darling, and you will reach your destination; and be able to reflect together on the journey, and laugh (and cry) at the hiccups along the way. Once there is some form of closure for your LO, whenever and whatever that may be, all the perils you've faced together will seem so much smaller than they did at the time, when they can feel so all consuming.

@scottzgal88 (again!) your journey seems to have led through somewhere you don't want to be. Don't let this be your destination, keep walking to where you want to go. I've not quite reached where I want to be either, but I feel like I can see a village with a nice old pub on the horizon (I hope I don't rush towards it too fast and fall over!). If you ever want to walk together, if only for a little while, you really can message me any time.
I know this (incredibly extended) metaphor sounds like the sort of hippy-dippy-bullshit I've always hated. I just feel more hopeful when I can replace horrible situations with less horrible metaphors, they feel more manageable somehow. I really hope you find some closure. I know if you're not a Christian, the fact I prayed for you last night will bring you no comfort - but know that someone is thinking of you and willing you all the strength and joy in the world.

I'm only in my 20's, but so much more information is out there than there ever was when I was a child. For @thomassmuggit and your child, this is a blessing.
For you, @scottzgirl88 this is unfair. The local authority may well have acted differently with this knowledge in hand. Allow your anger at this unfairness to flow freely. It is better to be angry than sad.
A favourite quote of mine, from Toni Morrison's ^The Bluest Eye^: "Anger is better. There is a sense of being in anger. A reality and presence. An awareness of worth. It is a lovely surging."

If you ever want to PM me, both of you, feel free.
So much love to you both, sorry for the incredibly long post, I feel like I've set a record for waffling!

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