Adoption Survivor

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To Adoptees: Any Advice for an Amom?

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Question:  To Adoptees: Any Advise for an AMom?

We adopted our daughter as an infant. She is 2-1/2 years now. I have heard so many times about how Adoptees aren’t happy that they were adopted and it worries me how my daughter will feel as she grows older. I would love to know what I can do as an AParent to either help her not feel this way or help her through feeling this way (does that make sense?). I want nothing more than her to grow up to be a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adult…but yet I’ve heard so many people say that’s next to impossible for an adoptee and, as a mom, that scares the crap out of me.Not sure if this is needed for a good answer or not, but our adoption is semi-open with no visits with the BMom; however, if/when our daughter shows interest in getting to know her BMom, we will then do everything we can to make sure she gets that contact.

Best Answer – Chosen by Asker

My greatest advice for any Amom is to be totally honest with your child, and to be totally forthright about all you do, both attractive and unattractive. To me, a mom is “real” or “not real” based upon that criteria, which has nothing to do with biology and everything to do with how much respect I can have for a person, and especially, how much I can TRUST what they say to me. Trust, as you know, is a big issue for people who have been given away.As an adoptive child, I would have loved to have just heard the truth from my parents: I wanted you out of selfishness or lonliness or (you get the picture) and you brought this or that to my life, but now I realize this or that and I appreciate you as not as a thing to fulfill my life, but I now appreciate you as a person for x real reasons. But it has to be real. Because we know b.s. when we hear it.

We want real relationships with real people who we can really count on who love us for who we are. Is that too much to ask for? It seems like it’s pretty rare…

Part of the problem with my own Amother and, unfortunately, too many of the Aparents whom I encounter on-line, is a stubborn unwillingness to admit fallibility. A refusal to paint themselves in anything but a soft warm light. Now, I realize no humans are perfect. But when Adoptive parents set themselves up as such, the adopted child is forced to develop a bullshit meter. And I have no idea WHY it seems like so many adoptive parents seem to over-compensate, but it doesn’t make them easy to be around – as acquaintances and even worse to live with as their kids. All this could be avoided, and a wonderful relationship established, if Adoptive parents were more real with their children and left their rose colored glasses at the adoption agency…

Yeah, we want chill parents – not hyper vigilant super parents…

Visits with the BMom need to be a regular event – how regular is whatever the Bmom and you feel comfortable with, but it needs to be something everyone can count on. It needs to be as constant as long days in the summer and dying eggs at Easter, and pumpkins in the fall. Irregularity will cause total chaos! To have anything less will put too much pressure on your child to be the deciding factor of who, what, when, how much everyone’s lives get disrupted and feelings get hurt. That’s too much of a burden for a child of any age, much less those who can’t express their feelings yet.

It would be also a great mistake to treat your adopted child as if they were your natural child, because that has an element of denial to it, and kids pick up on that. They know they’re different. Don’t ever underestimate your child’s innate intelligence! Again, treating adoption with anything less than the reality it is will only make the contrast seem more stark than it already is, and make them trust your judgment less.

On the other hand, to over-emphasize their adoption interferes with having a normal life. What we adopted kids want is a recognition of their own challenges, but with a steady reassurance they can count on someone. They don’t necessarily want or deserve to be reminded constantly about how “special” (abnormal) their situation is.

As a parent of two awesome, well-adjusted, critically thinking citizens of the planet, I feel that elevating adoption above regular natural births is a little disturbing as well. I’ve read some of those children’s books, and while they are ego-stroking, I don’t necessarily feel they have a handle on reality, and I feel too many of them brush some of the concerns little children have right under the rug. A little kool-aid can really disrupt your children’s own critical thinking process, confuse them, and cause them to make bad choices for themselves as they grow. They NEED to be exposed to reality. But they also need guidance so they know reality is something they can live with successfully.

You and any other adoptive parent have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to worry about if you take the time to dispense with whatever stupid parent roles you read about in books and spend the time actually getting to know your kids and having a real relationship with them. They will have to one day deal with all the question surrounding their non ideal beginnings, and it may or may not bring up a lot of pain for them. But if you’ve been real with them, then that will give them added strength to get through it.

Relax. Be honest. Be empathetic. Be a friend.
Stop being an Aparent!

Then, you’ve got no worries.

Asker’s Rating:
5 out of 5
I was so impressed with your answer…thank you for taking the time to type it all out. I think I’ll print it for future reference. The second to the last sentence really got to me…Stop being an AParent! Before I knew it, I was crying because you are so right…my daughter deserves a PARENT! Wow!
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Written by girl4708

September 21, 2008 at 8:02 am

Posted in Q&A

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