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How do your children feel?

(6 Posts)
Beebopdooowopdo Sun 30-Sep-18 07:42:41

Dd adopted at 9m. Now over 3. For the last year I have been gently showing her birth family photos and her as a newborn. I put all photos (I have about 4 of her with her birth parents on the day she was born) in an album in time order and at the end it leads up to dh and I with her. So a photo life story book if you like.

She used to love just seeing photos of her as a baby. The most I say about birth parents is, “This is xxxxx and xxxxx and together they made you. Xxxxx had you in her tummy. They loved you so much but they were not able to look after you safely.....” etc. We haven’t looked at it for a while but yesterday we did and she remembered their names. Totally shocked me that she is actually taking it in!

It got me wondering, how do your children feel about being adopted? My daughter tends to understand more than she lets on in life. She is quite difficult to read (and verbally delayed) so it’s hard to figure out what she understands.

How old is your child and what do they feel?
Adoptees, do you remember how your feelings changed from childhood into teenage years?
Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
Ted27 Sun 30-Sep-18 13:48:01

My son was placed in care at 4 and came to me at 8, he last saw birth mum when he was 4, and dad when he was 10 (they are supposed to have direct contact) . He is now 14, so much further along in his story.

Over the last 6 years I have seen every emotion there is, grief, loss, sadness, confusion, disappointment, rejection, anger, you name it we have been there.
We had extensive theraputic life story work starting when he was a very angry, sad, confused and aggressive, bordering on violent little boy of 11. In those early sessions he would literally lie on the floor under the table screaming.
Over two years he matured as we went through not only his life story, but what we knew of mum and dads, some of which was quite horrific and much worse than anything he had been through. By the end we were having very grown up conversations about drugs, alcohol and mental ill health.
Now, he feels sad about dad, that they no longer have contact. Mum is different, he has much less of a memory of her. I think he is mostly curious, he has asked to meet her, he wants her to see how well he is doing. I don't think his interest goes much further than that.
Sometimes he says to me he wishes his life could start again so he didn't have to be adopted, sometimes that comes from a place of wanting an intact and happy birth family, other times its because he wishes he was born to me.
I think on the whole he has made peace with it all. I've no doubt that when he does see them he will have a lot of questions for them. There is always a little undercurrent if sadness with him. But right now he is happy with life, he is a glass half full person, he lives in the moment and lives life to the full. He does what most 14 year olds do, he has friends, gets a lot of opportunities to do exciting things through scouts, he has just got his first job as a paper boy. He is doing ok and I'm very proud of him.

Andro Sun 30-Sep-18 13:57:30

We adopted our 2 after their parents were killed (car crash), we are family but the situation still has its challenges. Overall, they are glad we can keep their birth parents alive for them (they were wonderful people and dearly loved). DS has memories of his bio parents, he thinks he's lucky to have had "two awesome sets of parents when some children don't manage 1 awesome set". DD has no memories of her bio parents and goes through periods of being very angry that they were stolen from her - more of an issue as she hit the tween years - I think she sometimes experiences emotional conflict because she loves us but thinks it's a betrayal of her bio parents.

They've both had to work through complex emotions as they've grown up (One mid-teens one preteen), but I think it's been a little easier in some ways because they know that their parents are dead - there is a finality to the reason they were adopted and a clear narrative. I'm sure they'll have more feelings to work through as they continue to grow up.

They have a huge amount of animosity towards the driver who killed their parents!

Beebopdooowopdo Sun 30-Sep-18 14:24:57

Thank you both for sharing. I spend much of my time wondering what the tween and teen years hold for us. I teach teenagers so I dread it more in some ways!

OP’s posts: |
Yellowflowersgreengrass Sat 13-Oct-18 07:55:44

Such a shame this thread has hardly any responses, I would be interested to know too.

chocolatebrioche Tue 16-Oct-18 12:14:02

Our six year old has been with us for 6 months. Right now, he's really angry with his birth parents. He's making sense of what's happened, and the challenge for us is finding some positive things to say about them, whilst staying honest about his past.
He's a bright and switched-on little boy, and his challenging behaviour is really tough to deal with, but he is settling well and I feel like he will work through the anger with time.
It's great that he talks about it - we are surprised at how often he does talk about his BP. On a positive note, he says he feels good to be living with us, and he thinks his social worker found him the right forever family. He's also once said that he wishes he'd come from my tummy, not BM, which was pretty heart-breaking to hear.

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