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Bit of a niche anyone else a biological child in a family of adopted children - and have you experienced the "Shiloh" effect?

(58 Posts)
GivePeasAChance Sat 23-Aug-08 21:15:10

Just wondered...........because when Angelina Jolie said about Shiloh that she felt that she needed less than the other children it really struck a cord with me. I am the Shiloh - always be OK, don't need what the others need, treated differently (not badly, just differently ) etc etc.

Anna8888 Sat 23-Aug-08 21:21:20

I don't have first hand experience, but I have a former colleague who was the "Shiloh" - the beautiful, talented, utterly delightful biological child with three ugly duckling adopted siblings who all had lots of issues.

She sailed through smile while fully recognising that she had received far less parental input than her adopted siblings.

Janni Sat 23-Aug-08 21:24:01

Interesting question. I'm sorry you feel that way, it must be hard for you to get your needs met when you don't feel you're supposed to have them!

I am the mum of two birth and one adopted child and I do feel less sure about ever assuming the adopted one is OK. I sometimes feel as if I have her birth and foster parents looking over my shoulder and that I have to 'get it right' ..

I am also FASCINATED by Angelina Jolie's family and have wondered how she gives each of them what they need, so I'll be watching with interest.

GivePeasAChance Sat 23-Aug-08 21:26:27

That's interesting that she also had less parental input too.

I suppose I seem like I 'sail' through - but just wish it wasn't an automatic assumption that I will with everything.

God I'm being a twat tonight - they haven't even been horrible, just hate the blatant differences in parenting.

Anna8888 Sat 23-Aug-08 21:28:06

I was rather stunned (as a bio child in a bog standard nuclear family) that she seemed to take it all so much in her stride.

But she was incredibly beautiful and talented. Maybe it was very easy for her to be magnanimous.

GivePeasAChance Sat 23-Aug-08 21:30:03

" it must be hard for you to get your needs met when you don't feel you're supposed to have them! "

Wow - that's it exactly Janni.

And also an really fascinating perspective that you feel under more pressure to get it right.

Thanks for the post.

Gingerbear Sat 23-Aug-08 21:37:19

My brother and I were adopted, my younger sister is biological (makes her sound like a washing powder!)
Were were all treated equally by mum and dad. I find it incredibly sad that this exists. And incredibly lucky that we had a wonderful mum and dad.

Janni Sat 23-Aug-08 21:38:28

You're welcome, GivePeas.

The funny thing is, that's how I felt as a child even though I'm not adopted, because in my family my father was the loud, needy one around whom everything revolved and I was the middle child, trying to be a diplomat and supporting my mother.

I would be worried about assuming that ANY child needs you less because they are your biological child. I was also a bit stunned at Angelina and Brad stating that Zahara would be expected to run their TB clinic when she grows up...I know with six kids it must be tempting to try to map out what they need/what they will do...but it's pretty risky!

How old are you now, Givepeas and do your parents know at all how you feel?

GivePeasAChance Sat 23-Aug-08 21:40:15

I generally am very magnanimous too - for some reason you just 'know' to be.

It's wierd !

I am very interested to see whether other bio children with adopted siblings have similar experiences.

puffling Sat 23-Aug-08 21:41:08

AJ can't know what Shiloh need yet. She may turn aboput to be very needy.

msdemeanor Sat 23-Aug-08 21:42:46

Oh Peas, that sounds very unfair and unreasonable.

MrsTittleMouse Sat 23-Aug-08 21:46:49

I was told by a Mum who had both that the bio tend to be "assumed to be OK" and the adopted "assumed not to be". I suppose that because she was aware of it, she was able to deal with it better. Incidentally, the reason she told me was that my parents had taken a friend under their wings a bit (she was an adult, but young enough to be their daughter) and I was feeling quite left out, even though I was going through a really rough patch at the time.
My parents have always done that kind of thing though, they fostered, they took in foreign students, it was just in their nature. And they've told me on more than one occasion that they trusted me that I would always be alright. I'm not sure whether that makes me feel or hmm.

GivePeasAChance Sat 23-Aug-08 21:48:05

33 - way too old to be pissed off.

And def. this happens without adoption in the family, I agree.

Parents wouldn't know how I feel. In fact I am not really sure how I feel. I suppose as you assess your own parenting you reflect on your own upbringing and see which bits you didn't like.

Please don't get me wrong - they are fantastic parents, just treat me differently to sibs, probably not even consciously !

It was just what Angelina verbalised, and to quote, she said:

" I think I feel so much more for Madd and Zee because they're survivors, they came through so much. In some way they're strangers because they had this life before me.

"Shiloh seemed so privileged form the moment she was born, I have less inclination to feel for her. I have the do the opposite from what I expected!"

And I understand where she is coming from - my sibs had some sort of stigma,and both don't know their bio background even now. I don't have that.

It's just sometimes............!

Janni Sat 23-Aug-08 21:53:57

Shiloh's is a strange kind of privilege, though. I would not like to grow up with the eyes of the world on me and my family.

Janni Sat 23-Aug-08 21:56:22

Ooh I think you can still feel disappointed in your parents at 33! I'm 43 and recently admitted to my mum that I'd had therapy to deal with my rather weird childhood because I got fed up with her breathing a sigh of relief that I and my brothers seemed to have turned out OK.

Now I feel really mean for telling her sad

GivePeasAChance Sat 23-Aug-08 21:59:42

God I feel better blurting all that out. I have never spoken about these feelings before. And I really didn't expect to have any replies at all to this thread !!

Thanks all. I think I am being slightly unreasonable. They are not horrible parents. They are nice. They also always had children in the house - Barnados children every holiday etc - and what a great thing to do !

I probably should just "get over it" and I think I will !

msdemeanor Sat 23-Aug-08 22:02:54

You are entitled to your feelings Peas. It was unfair to assume you were fine. I think it's great to accept it, but you are not a bad person to have criticisms of your parents.

beanieb Sat 23-Aug-08 22:03:24

How is your realtionship with your siblings, is it effecting that?

GivePeasAChance Sat 23-Aug-08 22:03:58

Don't feel too mean because she obviously already knew that it was a difficult childhood, and probably she will be happy the therapy helped. (maybe eventually happy !)

GivePeasAChance Sat 23-Aug-08 22:06:24

Sibling relationships are fine - we are quite different but absolutely no quarrels or fallouts (yet!)

AnnVan Sun 24-Aug-08 05:50:47

I have no experience of adoption but I was shocked at Angelina's comments. No child is priviledged if it doesn't have the unconditional love of its parent, and I felt so sad for that little girl. HEr mother loves her less because she 'seemed so privileged' what will she feel when she's older and sees that quote. THe parents should care for all the children equally. Just because she wasn't born into poverty doesn't mean she doesn't deserve her mother's love.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sun 24-Aug-08 09:12:24

This is why I can't bear AJ and her 'rainbow family'. I don't think she has any idea what her children need and will end up with a brood of damaged children.
I mean, having IVF to ensure a multiple birth. Please.

Anna8888 Sun 24-Aug-08 10:49:32

GivePeasAChance - actually, as you reveal more of your parents' behaviour, I am beginning to think that you are not being at all unreasonable.

While it may a noble/laudable thing to adopt children and to open one's home to Barnardo's children for holidays etc, it is, IMO, very important indeed to remember one's biological family and that one's biological children must not be unduly displaced by the other children towards whom one wishes to extend a caring hand.

My mother, who worked in psychiatric rehabilitation, used to want to bring home "waifs & strays" for weekends and holidays. One year she wanted to include one in our Christmas lunch. We (me, my father and sister) kicked up a huge fuss - we didn't want a (rather odd) stranger at our Christmas celebrations as it would have destroyed the occasion for us. Fortunately my mother was outnumbered on that occasion.

AnnVan Sun 24-Aug-08 14:47:32

Kat - I agree with you. My problem is also that I get a bit suspicious of celebs' motives or doing this. It's almost as if 'third world orphan' is the latest fashion accessory. They seem to go SHOPPING for them. Do kind of think that they would do more good funding orphanages or things like that. I think there's a certain degree of narcissism behind it, as well as self gratification. Poor 'pick 'n mix children'

KristinaM Sun 24-Aug-08 16:05:59

peas - i felt like that because i was the NT kids with the SN sibling. I was always left to fend for myself as my sister was so needy . Not because of her disability ( which was very minor) but because of my parenst and her personalities. they are the kind of people who want to be seen as charitable and she is a very needy dependent person. they are well matched shock

i was always told i shoudl be grateful for my good health and that i must succeed to make it up to them and pay them back shock

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