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adoption - my experience

12 replies

mtor · 18/03/2010 15:08

I wanted to write to encourage those who are in the adoption process or who are thinking of it. I was adopted and, for me, it is both a fact of my life that requires no analysis or angst and also something that I am happy about as it is part of who I am and what I am. My parents gave me everything that they had to give and I have a strong sense of where I come from, what I believe in, right, wrong, and most importantly how loved I was. I don't know why I was adopted or where I "came from" and that is ok. I think that if others do need to know that is also fine but I do wonder how much of that pressure to know is external as this is something that I am repeatedly asked about by others. I don't underestimate how difficult and complicated the process of adoption in the UK is now and the stresses that it causes. I just wanted to say that, in my experience, it is a very postive choice for all concerned and hang on to that as the process grinds you down.

OP posts:
shockers · 18/03/2010 15:14

Thank you...

FSB · 23/03/2010 22:03

thanks mtor, what a lovely post. and great to read something positive (there are a lot of scare stories on here!)

hifi · 24/03/2010 14:28

i hope my 2 have the same thoughts as you.

mtor · 24/03/2010 20:13

Hi hifi. Can't see why they wouldn't. Again all I have to go on is my own experience (and I was adopted very young) but I think that you should parent confidently and not let anyone (however well meaning) make you feel you have to over compensate. From my perspective, now that I have a biological child, I am very curious to know something about how love for an adopted child evolves. My mother is dead so I can't ask her. This may be too personal a question so feel free not to respond.

OP posts:
maryz · 24/03/2010 21:51

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Divawithattitude · 24/03/2010 22:12

I am also adopted and have a very positive view of every aspect of the process, I have also gone on to adopt and also to have a birth child and step children who came as part of the package when dh and I married, the love for my step children took longer to develop and was different, they were older had opinions bout me and their dad, had histories that Iwas not part of, the adopted child was tiny helpless and new - with no history at all, all his hsitory came from his time with us. An older adopted child also has that history which as the new parent you are not part of and I think that makes it just that bit harder to bond immediately

My parents (adoptive parents) could not have loved me more, they were so grateful to have had the chance to be parents and when to great pains to make sure that I knew just how'special ' I was as a child.

mtor · 25/03/2010 09:00

Dear maryz. Thanks for your post which confirms that everything that I had assumed was the case. Lovely.

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dolphin13 · 25/03/2010 10:16

mtor what a lovely post.
I have 2 birth children and have adopted my youngest.
We fostered her first. When you foster children (especially babies from birth) you have to kind of put an emotional barrier up to stop you loving them too much. When they leave to go to their new parents it is a wonderful thing to see a new family and the babies with their "forever family". It is also the hardest part of my job, to let go the child I had looked after from birth for usually around a year it is absolutely heartbreaking.
We decided to adopt dd when she was 10 months old. At that point I loved her but certainly not in the way I loved my birth children. I remember talking to my mum about how worried I was about not loving her enough.
However, as soon as we had decided she was going to be part of our family those barriers came down and we very quickly came to love her in exactly the same way as we love our bc.
She is 3 now and I couldn't imagine life without her. I hope she will be as happy with her life as you are.
And just a word to all those adoptors who may feel a little guilt about the poor old foster carer. We always go to visit our babies after about 6 weeks with their new family. In every case the babies have been completly bonded to new mum and don't even remember me at all which I think is brilliant. Knowing that is going to happen makes it so much easier for me to give them up.

caramelcream · 27/03/2010 00:24

I completely agree. I think that people who don't think one could love an adopted child as much as a biological child have just not adopted.
I think our society subtley (or sometimes not-so-subtley) conveys a message that a family made via adoption is second-best to a biological family. Before we adopted, I had some such notion floating around in my subconscious - I don't think I ever would have consciously acknowledged it, even - but after we adopted, I became aware of it and how absurd it was.

Kewcumber · 29/03/2010 13:38

mtor - from my perspective I imagine (no birht children) that conding with an adopted child is the same as bonding with a birth child without the benefit of the obsessive phase of hormonally induced bonding. So you have to be prepared for a spell (length varies by person) of faking the feelings whilst the deep bond developes.

Like Maryz I was aware very early on of the sense of responsibility I had for DS and that whatever happened, even if I never bonded with him, I needed to make his life better than it would have been otherwise.

Of course the "even if I never bonded" didn;t happen and I adore him every bit as much as anyone else loves their child. And I know this without a shadow of doubt because it just wouldn't be possible be love any living being more.

Its a very odd thought that I might have had a completely differnt child and might have loved them just as much but I deal with that by choosing to beleive that in fact I love DS so much because he is in fact a most marvellous child and that no same person could resist him

mtor · 29/03/2010 17:51

I'm loving this conversation. I have always been very open about the fact that I am adopted. Due to that (I think) people talk to me about their adoption experience (them, their auntie, their friends) and I have realised how common an experience it is. I also have friend who are considering adoption or are deep in the process and are worried sick about it. As FSB said, there are a lot of scare stories out there, and I just love hearing that my experience is normal as I have spent a lifetime listening to people express doubt about that. To make you all laugh, I have a biological child and was confused all the way through the pregnance and birth process as I had always planned to adopt and wasn't at all sure what I was supposed to be feeling. I think I might have done quite a bit of faking as well. Thanks all for your comments.

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LittlePushka · 29/03/2010 22:59

Mtor, i would second so much of these posts. Idid not fall instantaneously in love/immediately bond in hours with either of my two birth children - IMO just as when you meet someone new, you learn to love them because they are, after all, strangers.

However,..I would also say without reservation and with absolute certainty that I know I could love any child for whom I was responsible - I think that the mothering instinct is more responsive to vulnerability than to genetics (why do us girls always go aahhh, when we see puppies/kittens/lambs/baby chimps?)

A child is a child is a child -

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