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.