Adoption = Yo’ Mama

For Blogging 101: New to me…Q&A. (This was an actual conversation.)

Q: I’m an adopted child, now adult, and have connected with my birth mom and several brothers. I wanted to be open with my mom (adoptive) and told her. She hasn’t said anything outright, but I don’t think she’s happy about it. Why can’t she be happy for me? She has nothing to be jealous about–she’s my mom.

A: As a young adoptive mom (we have an 8 & 10 yr old; they’ve been with us almost 4 years), I already grit my teeth at the thought of my kids going to find the people who hurt them in the first place. I do understand at some level the need to have connection and the loss they must feel, but still, I know it will be difficult.

You might want to try not mentioning it to your mom; you’re just trying to be honest, but she may feel that you’re throwing it in her face (this may be a completely subconscious feeling that she doesn’t even recognize), which intensifies the hurt. If she asks about them, you can just say, “Oh, we talk occasionally.” Otherwise, I wouldn’t bring it up.

I imagine myself being a selfless adoptive mother when the time comes, listening to all their experiences with the birth family, but I have a feeling (let’s be honest) I’ll be happiest if they say, “Wow, those people are awful. I’m so glad I was with you.”

If they really get along with them and want to spend time with them, I’ll probably feel jealous…”they treated you horribly and abandoned you. I spent every waking minute of my life after meeting you–and many of my dreaming moments–trying to make your life better. I spent half of those years sitting in offices, taking you to counseling and occupational therapy and speech therapy and neurology appointments, not to mention all the visits to the principal and working with the school, fighting to get you special help. And now you’d rather spend time with THEM instead of me?”

Again, I hope I’ll be able to be the bigger person and see it from their perspective–they’ll be discovering themselves, seeing their own gestures and features in other people, finding connections that only genetics can provide. But I have a feeling that if they really like “those people,” I won’t want to hear about it.

I could be totally off-mark, but I hope that helps you understand your mom a little…I bet she’s feeling something similar.

About Casey

Adoption = my life. I'll give it to you straight. Success, failure, truth.

Posted on February 18, 2015, in Adoption, advice and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I am adopted, and I have an adopted son who is disabled and hasn’t lived with us for a few years now. Difficult all around. I’m not inclined to share much online, but I sure appreciate those who do share their stories. Thanks to all of you! While sad, it is encouraging to know that I am not alone in the trials and heartbreak that go hand in hand with many adoptive situations.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Parental ties can become a tangled mess.
    My Dad only found out he was adopted when eh was 18. This was back in the mid 1960s. He’d been adopted by his own aunt and uncle because his natural mother had had an affair with another man and he was the outcome. Coming from a strict Roman Catholic background, his birth story was thought of as too shameful to be openly discussed, so he was never told who his real father was and this preyed on his mind until his death. I think it added to his emotional problems and his short temper.
    Sometimes only learning a half truth can be as corrosive as being told a lie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing your story! I agree–anything but the whole truth is never helpful. One of our family members was adopted from a sort of similar situation, and she just found her cousins via a DNA test on ancestry.com. Her father had already passed away. I’m sorry your dad had that experience.

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  3. As a Foster-to-Adopt parent, my child was old enough to remember the pain and loss to the point that mentioning his birth parent’s name brings zero desire to reconnect. I’ve always accepted that it is his right to contact the birth family at 18 and 21 and to prepare myself if that day happens. But if he really wanted contact, he could do it now through social media….Yikes! Things could change but I do not see him seeking contact. My fear is that his future bride or children will push for contact and information. It’s my job to support him in whatever *his* decision is and pray that everyone will allow it to remain his decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, ours last saw the birth parents at ages 5 and 7, so they have plenty of memories. Unfortunately, during the two years of supervised Saturday visits, the parents brought special food and toys each time, so they began to see them as the ones who “bring treats” rather than the neglecting horrors they actually were for the first years of their lives (removed from home at age 5 and almost 3). I’m also worried about the social media issue, but it took me a really long time to find them (and I’m a sourcer/recruiter by trade, so it’s my job to find people), so I’m hoping that by the time they have unsupervised computer time they’ll have disappeared even further. In second grade, our daughter came home and told us one of her friends had asked why she didn’t go looking for her “real parents,” so I have the same concern as yours–even if the kids don’t really want to look, their friends may “encourage” them to do so. If they want to do it, I will support them, but agree with you–want it to be their decision alone.

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  4. When I started having a relationship with my birthfamily, my bmum and I connected because we were so alike. My mum was hurt, and when I dug a bit deeper I found out that it was because I wasn’t sharing this new part of my life with her, I had clammed up and thought my parents would be upset if I talked to them about how great my birthfamily was. So just from my point of view, I don’t think it’s a good idea for an adoptee to keep quiet about finding/having a relationship with their bmum unless something really bad would come of telling their adoptive parents. Mum’s been one of my biggest supporters over the last three years with everything happening, I don’t know how I would’ve done it without her.

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  5. Wow, intense. I’m so sorry that must have been very hard. As far as my situation. I do not feel very close to my natural family at all. They are wonderful people and I know they would like me in their lives more but I don’t feel connected enough to them and my parents are much more important to me I am grateful that my natural family seems to understand and not try and take their place

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    • I like “natural” family–that’s a great way to put it. Sometimes we say bio family, but that just sounds so clinical; I don’t really like it. My daughter transfers a lot of her anger at her birth mom to our relationship, and I’m hoping we can move past that, soon. I had to give her a consequence for lying, and she drew a picture of me with her as a sheep (prey) and me as the cheetah (predator). She was showing it to our son when I walked in…I’m sure someday it will be funny, but right now she sees me as the enemy and although I understand it and try not to take it personally, it still saddens me. I really hope we can get to the place where you are.

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  6. I think it is wise advice you gave and I like the new format!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great format and will probably be a very helpful one. It can be a very hard thing for adoptive parents to deal with. Even for foster parents. When my foster son (who we had from birth and was special needs and medically fragile) passed away. His natural family had nothing to do with him since birth but because we were JUST the foster family the funeral was done by Children’s Aid but for the natural parents not us. I found that hard. But he was my son!

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  8. I connected with my natural mother. I made sure before meeting and communicating with my natural mother that my relationship with my parents (adoptive) was good. Even so it was hard on them to accept that I had found my natural mother. The fact is my natural mother can never replace my parents (adoptive) – you have a good point regarding not wanting your child to experience hurt or have issues regarding the perceived abandonment .. great post and I like the format

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for sharing your story! I’m still working through the list of all the blogs I want to read more, and yours is one. Do you share your adoption story in any of your posts? If so, (or even if not) please send me a link to your favorite post and I’ll start there.

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