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Tough questions...adoption


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So my little guy is now 5 years old and up until now has had no real understanding of the idea that we adopted him from Korea. We've always talked about it with him. He can even point out South Korea on a map and tell you that's where he is from. But he never really "got it".

 

Well now he goes to a school that has A LOT of Korean students and he is starting to ask questions. Like tonight at dinner he said "Mommy, Jae-sung is from Korea and he speaks Korean. I'm from Korea too. How come I don't speak Korean?"

 

So I had to try to explain that while they are both FROM Korea, Alex was being raised in the U.S. and therefore speaks English, etc., etc. Then he starts asking about Kyle (his older brother, not adopted)...does Kyle speak Korean? Is he from Korea? Why not? etc. etc.

 

But I know this is just the beginning. He is starting to put the pieces together, starting to comprehend the idea of adoption and I know the "tough" questions will follow soon. I can feel it.

 

and I am not ready

 

I feel like the way I answer these questions as they come up is so important and I don't want to screw this up. I don't want to say something that will mess up his head forever about this. I don't want him to end up like one of those kids in the "after-school-specials" who is all angry or depressed because he found out he is adopted and has these unresolved feelings about it and what-not. It's a lot of pressure

 

and I am not ready

 

I should be ready. I've had 5 years to get ready for this. But I'm not. :(

Edited by Heather in NC
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You are a Christian so I assume your son has some understanding of what adoption by God means. Draw him into a parallel to that. I know he's 5 and he won't get all of it. He may not have asked Jesus into his heart yet either, but I think taking him down that street may help with both his adoption by you and his adoption by his Heavenly Father.

 

Of course, understand that this advice is from someone who does not have adoption in her life personally.

 

:grouphug::grouphug: You will do fine!

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I am not adopted, don't have adopted kids, am not a mental health professional, never read an adoption book, etc. - so my advice may be junk... Feel free to disregard it. L)

 

I would just be simple and honest.

 

"Sweetie - Jae-sung speaks Korean because his parents [or grandparents or whatever] spoke Korean at home with him. Your dad and I don't know Korean, so we don't speak it at home. We're American and we don't know any other languages, so we only speak English. That's why you and Kyle speak English. If you'd like to learn Korean - which I think would be really great - you can learn it when you get older. "

 

I would answer each question as honestly and simply as possible. I think by answering the questions now he'll be more likely to come to you with more questions than go ask his friends. Remind him that he can always come to you - even with weird or scary questions. I wouldn't dramatize it, but don't ignore the fact that he's different from the rest of your family and it'll take him some time to understand that. Keep the lines open - talk about it - God will lead you to add more to your answers as needed. And always - PRAY! :)

 

One think I just thought of - and other more experiences moms can comment on this - is he asking because other kids are asking him and he needs answers both for himself or to answer the other kids or both? I can see a kid asking him on the playground why his mom is white, and at 5 thinking, "I have no idea. I never noticed that." and then being confused. With older, wiser kids it could give them something to find that's "different" and exploit it. It seems to me that talking more now will make him more comfortable in his own ability to explain himself and his family to his peers (in a matter of fact, not caught off guard, no room for teasing sort of way). Does that make sense? Again - I am no pro but it seems to me like honesty with love and hugs is the best way to go.

 

You have a beautiful family!! You're a great mom!! You're doing great!! :) GO mom!!!!

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We have also adopted from Korea. Our dc are now 9 and almost 8, and we've had a few conversations over the years. I, like you, have tried to 'always talk or be ready to talk about adoption' with them. I agree about speaking to your child about adoption from the biblical perspective that we are all adopted into God's family and now have rights as children of God to inherit eternal life. Do you have pictures from the day the judge officially legalized the adoption? You could show photos from that day and the official paperwork and say that it is a forever done deal. Practice talking about it when they are younger will help prepare you for the bigger talks later on.

 

I think it's really neat that he has friends in school that are Korean. It helps to forge that cultural identity and heritage.

 

I speak with my dc of things like.... God knew from before time that we would all be a family. He knew (and even kept my womb closed) so that their adoption would happen, because it's part of His perfect plan for us to all be together. And He wanted Jenny to have Luke for her big brother, and Luke to have Jenny for his sister. God has a special plan for your child's life and it includes being in your family with all the siblings that he has. We can always trust God that He knows what He is doing!

 

I know that with each age, we will be discussing adoption with our dc at a different level, but we can 'grow into' the role as we keep communication lines open and even bring it up ourselves every once in awhile, in a positive fashion. I know what you mean about it being hard, too, because there is a definite sense of loss that naturally goes with adoption. I think it's okay to cry with our kids, too, when they are grieving their loss. I am planning to point out 1 John 3:1 with my ds this week, to memorize.... "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are!"

 

I also read a ton of books on adoption, just because I like to!

 

Brenda

 

Brenda

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I have found with my girls who are adopted and different race from the rest of the family, that I just answer their questions as they come up. I have one daughter who asks a lot of questions and one who rarely asks anything about her adoption.

 

One thing I have done as they get older, is to tell them the story of how they came to our family. They know without a doubt that God meant for them to be ours. It is difficult and emotional sometimes when you know they are struggling with questions, but God will give you the right answers at the right time.

 

Your little one is lucky to have you as his mom.

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Heather, I am in the same boat as you are. DD is adopted, just turned 5 and has started asking *TONS* of questions. We've always discussed the fact that she is adopted, she can locate her birth country on a map, we've talked about the long plane ride home, etc. Like yourself, I thought I was prepared, but I'm not. I try to answer in what I deem age-appropriate language, but she keeps pushing for more. My next move is to place an order from Tapestry Books. I don't know if you've heard about them, but they have lots of wonderful books to help children understand adoption - particularly IA. You might want to check out their website...sorry I don't have a link right now.

 

Of all the advice from books, social workers, etc. that I received, the one thing that sticks out to me is a conversation with a friend of mine who was adopted. My friend's adoptive mom was completely insecure and always shut down when my friend tried to ask about the circumstances of her adoption. DF reaaaalllly resents her adoptive mom. My friend basically told me that you don't have to have all of the answers...just relay what information you do have and then be wiling to listen and empathize as dc sort through things. Sounds like you're already doing these things, so keep up the good work!

 

Hope this helps a little. Hugs!!!

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I don't want him to end up like one of those kids in the "after-school-specials" who is all angry or depressed because he found out he is adopted and has these unresolved feelings about it and what-not.

 

I think that is the key right there. Adopted children were adopted, not are adopted. It is something that happened in the past and it is not the totality of who they are. You said you've been talking about it since he was old enough to talk. Just keep giving the facts in a loving way like you have been. I guess I don't understand what's to "screw up"!

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Your adopted one doesn't have to be from a foreign company to ask questions. When my oldest was ten, he asked us if he lived with another family would he grow differently? What he wanted to know is whether he would still be taller than all his classmates if he lived with a (shorter) family.

 

We had a quick and interesting discussion of genetics. ;)

 

My guys are 24 and 19. The 24 year old one was one who asked questions as a four year old and 'got' it...and became pretty angry at his birth mom and us as a result. I don't think anything *I* said did that. I believe it was the 'soil' of his heart that helped that seed to grow. Now that he is grown, I see he is a glass half empty kind of guy...always remembering only the negatives. Sigh.

 

My other guy....Mr. Sunshine about almost everything including his adoption. He's the one who says I'm so lucky my first mom couldn't care for me, so she found me another mom. He sees the positives.

 

Love your son. DO NOT worry about the future. (Isn't there a Bible verse about that??? ;)) Answer questions honestly, gently, and keep on reminding him about God's plan (I wish I'd done that more.)

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Also remember that at five years old kids are asking the craziest, most "insensitive" questions (to us) that just seem natural to them. My just turned five year old asked me quite casually last week, "Mommy, when are you going to die?" I had to just smile and remind myself this was normal or I think I could have melted into tears thinking about dieing before she was even grown. :)

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Heather, I can understand your fear of 'screwing him up'. I think most moms fear that in one way or another.

 

I'm not adopted, and none of my kids are either. But, I was raised by my dad and stepmom, and my mother abandoned me.

 

My only advice would be to keep your responses in the 'positive'. For example, if your little guy ever asks something like 'why didn't my biological mom and dad want to keep me?', I'd be really careful in how you word that. I'd probably say something about how they knew they couldn't provide well for you, and they loved you so much that they wanted what was best for you. And that God knew just how much you and your family would love him, so He sent your son to you. Or something along those lines (I don't know what the situation really was, of course).

 

My stepmom always told me and my sisters how our biological mother was lazy, selfish, neglectful, and didn't love us, and that was why she didn't come see us. Talk about screwing a kid up.

 

You probably know all that already. In fact, I bet you're doing a great job. Just keep the communication open, and keep loving him. That's all you can really do, IMO. :001_smile:

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We have a trans-racially adopted daugher (8) and are in process of adopting again. We've been told the Sesame Street Book, "We are Different, We are the Same" is beneficial to younger kids. We also have a relationship with a woman who was adopted & had multi-racial adopted siblings. She has encouraged us to make certain our daughter can survive in 'their' cultural world, as she gets older. She mentioned cousins who were adopted from Korea & never experienced anything Korean, had difficulty as they got into the teen years. She said her parents exposed the kids to many cross-cultural activities.

It's our goal & not nearly as easy as some make it sound. The questions from our daughter seem to come in waves. Started much earlier for us 2-3, K was a big one, then this past summer again.

Good luck...it will pass, you will make it through!!

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The questions do come in waves. And they are difficult because some of them don't have any easy answers. Or age appropriate answers. For my son at age 5 sometimes the only answer was, "We prayed for a baby and your birthmother answered the prayer. God knew that she was going to have a baby that was needing a new home and He chose us. " We talk about how Moses was adopted by an Egyptian in a foreign culture and how God used that to His glory later. We talk about how Joseph was the adoptive father of Jesus on earth and how he is the one who taught Jesus to be a carpenter and how he is the one who accepted the responsibillity to feed and clothe Jesus when Mary would not have been able to do that alone in her culture. We are also very often will pray and specifically thank God for making us a family.

 

We share some details sometimes, small ones that are age appropriate. When I recognize that he is able to grasp all the details, I will share them all with him.

 

Your child is at the age when children in general start really noticing differences in themselves. If he is talking about language - you can point out that the Hispanics in your area may speak Spanish at home, and the Russian immigrant is speaking Russian on the phone with his family and so on. Just as he is American and speaking English at home. Show him other families of other ethnic backgrounds that also only speak English at home.

 

:grouphug:

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Your son is at a very literal age, so just keep telling him his story (the good parts for now) and showing him his referral pictures. Tell him how excited you were and how complicated life is at times, but isn't it great you're a family. I've continually been honest and excited when I tell the story, but we have also had to talk about the more difficult parts. (My child is much older).

 

When my child was around 5, after a long, wonderful b'day party, dc said to me 'Adoption is a happy thing, but it's also a sad thing too, isn't? it" I held the child in my arms and said that few truer words were ever spoken. Dc asked if I ever thought about her first mother and I said "Always, and I thank her each time, and I hope she is OK". Adoption is both happy and sad, so sometimes difficult questions come up. I had never said that to my child at that point, but my child had feelings and an understanding of the conundrum that is adoption.

 

But! I also have have a funny adoption -related story...When my bio (caucasian) youngest was 4 she came running into the kitchen and yelled "Sibling says she's adopted, she is not!" The sibling came running after, laughing " Of course I am! Look at me!" We all giggled and we talked about yes, there is more than one way to grow a family.

 

It's funny how children process information. We talk about adoption frequently, and she had seen the Plane Arrival video multiple times...I don't know what she thought that was!

Edited by LibraryLover
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Thank you so much for sharing your stories with me. And for pointing out all the adoption stories in the bible. I never thought of bringing those in. I know, deep down, I secretly hoped we would continue coasting along in semi-informed bliss. :tongue_smilie:

 

But it is a little difficult here when half of my students are asian and when they see Alex run up and hug me and call me mom there are some REALLY perplexed looks. So I now have LOTS of 5 year-olds saying "Is he really your son?" and looking just as confused as can be. ;)

 

Parenting is so darn hard sometimes on your emotions. OTOH I have Alex and his new-found interest in his adoption and OTOH I have Kyle who has suddeny stumbled into puberty and doesn't know what to do with himself and everything he is feeling. And we have this new home in a new country and, and, and....

 

I feel like this :001_huh: and this :willy_nilly: and this :eek: and this :crying: and this :banghead: and this :svengo: all at the same time. Maybe I'll just go to bed (even though I HATE that you all get to have these fun conversations while I am sleeping through it all! ).

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I feel like the way I answer these questions as they come up is so important and I don't want to screw this up. I don't want to say something that will mess up his head forever about this.

 

That won't happen. Talking about adoption is an ongoing thing, not a one-shot conversation. What you say to him when he is five, eight, 11, 15, etc., will be different based on his different level of understanding. You won't say anything that will screw him up, and if he has unresolved feelings about being adopted, that won't be your "fault." Some people who were adopted have unresolved feelings, and some don't. I'm sure there are cases of parents who handle things really wrong (i.e., "We adopted you because we couldn't have our own child, and we have always wished we could have had our own kid."), but you are not one of those people and you will handle your son's questions with wisdom and compassion.

 

When my kids ask questions, I just try to be straightforward while assuring them that they are loved both here and in the country of birth.

 

Tara

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Your son is at a very literal age, so just keep telling him his story (the good parts for now) and showing him his referral pictures. Tell him how excited you were and how complicated life is at times, but isn't it great you're a family. I've continually been honest and excited when I tell the story, but we have also had to talk about the more difficult parts. (My child is much older).

 

When my child was around 5, after a long, wonderful b'day party, ds said to me 'Adoption is a happy thing, but it's also a sad thing too, isn't? it" I held the child in my arms and said that few truer words were ever spoken. Dc asked if I ever thought about her first mother and I said "Always, and I thank her each time, and I hope she is OK". Adoption is both happy and sad, so sometimes difficult questions come up. I had never said that to my child at that point, but my child had feelings and an understanding of the conundrum that is adoption.

 

But! I also have have a funny adoption -related story...When my bio (caucasian) youngest was 4 she came running into the kitchen and yelled "Sibling says she's adopted, she is not!" The sibling came running after, laughing " Of course I am! Look at me!" We all giggled and we talked about yes, there is more than one way to grow a family.

 

It's funny how children process information. We talk about adoption frequently, and she had seen the Plane Arrival video multiple times...I don't know what she thought that was!

 

Excellent post!

 

I have told my girls that their feelings of happy, sad, confused, etc. etc. are all valid and they can talk with me about it whenever they want--even if it's the middle of the night!

 

And I can't wait until they use the word "conundrum"!

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If you're in a perfect place to have him take Korean Lessons, I think that'd be great! I always thought that if I adopted, I'd try to have my child speak their "native" language. Think about how much easier, should they want to minister of travel to Korea...

Here's another thing, it's another "tie-in" to their birth culture:-) And, of course, it's easier to get the accent while younger. If God has placed you in a spot that has enough Koreans in it to do this... perhaps it's possible. My dad, totally caucasian, when young learned Korean... or some other asian language...just by playing with the next door neighbors... Probably just enough to be on a little kid level... but of course... he was maybe 4 or 5.... WHen you get older... you're much more likely to feel nervous about trying out a new language...

Just a thought:-)

Carrie:-)

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My kids (all adopted) are a bit older so we have crossed some of those roads before. My only advice is to answer as honestly as you can and love them. (I know that sounds overly simplified but I tell me kids every day that I love them and am blessed to have them.) My children do not have international backgrounds although one has a different cultural background from the rest and one has a family history of mental illness and they all have backgrounds of addiction. So we've answered tough questions. We are always honest and then as Christians we point them back to God. Our favourite verse is Ephesians 1:4 that talks about God choosing us before the foundation of the earth. I use this verse to tell my kids they are no accident or after thought.

 

Oh and btw, I so understand your comment about not wanting them to be like those after school specials with the sad and depressed kids . . . trust in the Lord. As a Christian that's the bottom line.

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we speak very openly about my daughter's adoption. She's been asking questions and verbally fantasizing about her b-mom since she could talk. She knows that I accept EVERYTHING that she feels and that she can freely tell me anything. And I understand each and everything she says and absolutely never get upset. She's sad that she's the only Chinese person in our family. Of course I understand that. I just didn't realize how big of an issue it would be, and then I think it's stupid I never realized that. She's sad I'm not Chinese and sometimes that embarrasses her. And then there are the days like last week when she climbs into my lap for a snuggle and affirmation during her orchestra class.

 

She asks questions about her mother, none of which I can answer, she will say things like, "I wonder what my birth mother is wearing today." She asks questions about orphanages and usually when she speaks of orphanages she cries. That's very hard on her and I know she had a very traumatic experience.

 

Some days I cry through our conversations. I hate seeing her little heart torn in so many directions. Sometimes she cries so hard she can't talk Sometimes we laugh. We LOVE to listen to OUR SONG, Toby Mac's I Was Made To Love You. But I never really worry about saying the wrong thing because all I share is honest.

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I have a 5 year old son from China and he asks questions too. I just answer as the questions come up but assure him that WE are so lucky to have him in our family and we are positive that God made him just for us.

 

I too am adopted so it may be a little easier for me to relate, but the point is the same......

 

Dawn

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I don't have time to carefully read all the responses, but I'll throw in my usual comments re: adoption.

 

I'm an adoptee, and all my life I have had it shoved down my throat how "blessed" I am to be adopted into a loving family that loved God, I wasn't aborted, God had perfect plans for me, etc.

 

And all of that is fine and dandy BUT . . .

 

it doesn't change the fact that in order for that to happen, someone gave me away. It *is* a big part of who I am. It is not easy growing up and never having any sort of genetic connection to anyone around you. I can only imagine that must be more challenging for children adopted into a different race family. The fear of rejection is foundational to my personality and experience. It influences every single relationship I have -- past, present, and future. I personally disagree strongly with the statement that "Adopted children were adopted, not are adopted. It is something that happened in the past and it is not the totality of who they are." It may not be the totality of who I am, but it is huge, it is foundational, it is ever-present and it is *not* in the past. I wasn't just adopted, I *am* adopted.

 

I am a big fan of adoption; my birth mother did not want the responsibility of a baby at fifteen. I totally understand that. She had supportive parents who helped her make a difficult choice. It was the best choice for her at that time in her life, and it made my adoptive parents dream of a baby a reality -- the only chance they had at children was through adoption.

 

Adoption is a great thing. And as with many great things, it comes with a lot of baggage. If there is one, just one thing I could impress on you, it would be to please not deny your son the full gamut of emotion that comes with being adopted. Please, don't only tell him how blessed he is. Be prepared to deal with whatever emotion he experiences. And for the love of God and all that is holy and right on this earth, please don't make *his* adoption all about *you*. Recognize the fact that there is a big piece of this adoption that he will carry all on his own, and it's his to carry, his to experience in whatever way seems right to him.

 

I was adopted into a nigh-perfect situation: my parents could not have been more lovely or done anything more perfectly. And yet I was severely depressed and even suicidal as a teenager, largely due to not being allowed to process or express or feel any emotion other than praising God for His perfect will for my life.

 

Yes, I do believe that God had a purpose and plan for my adoption, and I think a big part of His purpose and plan is that I am here to tell you that just because you (and I mean a general "you", not just a specific "you") are a Christian that does not somehow make adoption this rosy glowy happily ever after automatically. And I know everyone is sincere and well-meaning and theologically sound, but the whole "God adopts us" thing wears just a little thin after a while. It starts with the fact that, um, parents aren't God . . . and kind of goes downhill from there. It's lovely to have that as *part* of your conversation and your philosophy on adoption, just be aware it is so much more complicated than that.

 

My mom, who I love dearly, made an off-hand comment to someone at church the other day (they were speaking about someone's cute tote bag that had been a "hand me down" from a sister). She said, "I gladly accept rejects". Now, she has NO idea what she said, or how profoundly that struck me, but I instantly related that to being adopted, and the fact that she had, in fact, gladly accepted a reject. And that is what I have carried with me all my life -- not *just* that my parents were overjoyed to have me (I never doubted that) but that on some level (and yes, I understand all the reasons) I was rejected, unwanted, and unwelcome.

 

The tricky thing about adoption -- the conundrum, as someone so aptly stated -- is that you can't have one without the other. If you don't want to screw your kid up, just don't forget that.

 

My favorite resource for issues regarding adoption: http://www.nancyverrier.com/index.php

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I can't read all the replies right now, but wanted to add my view as an adoptee.

 

I barely remember the adoption conversations I had with my mom when I was your son's age. Apparently I asked questions similar to your son's, but I don't remember it. My parents told me age-appropriate information.

 

There was nothing traumatic there for me.

 

Growing up, I thought about it very little.

 

My husband was adopted out of foster care at six months. He had a similar experience. (Except, my family is all 'white' and his is multi-racial.)

 

Nothing traumatic. We love our families. And that's it.

 

I don't mean to suggest that it's always no big deal. I know that's not true.

But, sometimes it's no big deal. I wanted to toss that into the pot -- maybe it can be an encouragement to you. :grouphug:

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I'm an adoptee, and all my life I have had it shoved down my throat how "blessed" I am to be adopted into a loving family that loved God, I wasn't aborted, God had perfect plans for me, etc.

 

 

 

It's interesting that you mentioned this because when we were going through the adoption process we had LOTS of people telling us what a "great thing" we were doing...like it was a charitable act. :confused: We were a little confused because we were not adopting a baby out of charity...we really wanted a baby! And yes, I know that my son's life is technically "better" in a lot of ways because we adopted him (his birth mother lived in abject poverty, unwed teenage moms in Korea don't have a lot of options) but truthfully, we've always felt like WE are the ones who were "blessed".

 

I can't imagine telling my son how "lucky" he is that we adopted him! That is the opposite of what happened. We are "lucky" that God let us have him!

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WOW, Christie B. thanks SO much for sharing that!

 

I have done a lot of reading by older adoptees and learned how they felt growing up. That's why I understand so much better when my daughter tells me how she's feeling. I've known of kids who won't say anything to their parents because they don't want to hurt their feelings, or they don't want to cause any upset, or they didn't feel comfortable. Am I HAPPY when my daughter tells me what she does. I never take it personally. I completely understand WHY she feels as she does. I only wish there was something I can do to relieve her pain, and there isn't. No matter what I say or do, she always feels like the rejected/abandoned child. And it breaks my heart.

:grouphug:

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DD2 is adopted and I have spent a lot time researching attachment and the issues around 'being adopted' . I personally was not adopted, but always felt disconnected from my family so while I started the research to help her growing up, a lot of it really struck a cord with me too. I have asked a lot of questions of various close friends who were adopted, and people have been very forthcoming with details. My FIL, 2 of my best-friends, and ds's best-friend were all adopted with differing emotional results. I also had friends as I was growing up who were secretly adopted, and the child wasn't told until they figured it out as a 10yo. I have another friend who was adopted by her grandparents and raised to believe that her bio-father was her brother. She didn't know until she was an adult and when her mom died her dad finally told her (the secret was the mom's idea). My bff as a teen was adopted at 5/6yo after being orphaned on the streets in Korea. The adoptive-parents didn't know about her nightmares and horrific memories of living on the streets of Korea at 4-5yo. They never realized how much it affected her as a teen...she was very aware but didn't know how to deal with it so it manifested in bad ways. So, while I was not adopted, I have gone though a lot with various friends/family members.

 

 

I think there are a few important things that I have walked away from it all with.

 

The child is adopted and nothing will ever change that. Each person is unique in how they perceive this. I have heard people equate it to being picked out like a cat at the animal shelter. I have heard people say...."No, big deal, it is all I know". I don't think this perception is as much the result of the adoptive parents parenting skills, but more of the child's personality. The most important thing I have heard adoptive people say about this, is to not try to convince them that their feelings are wrong. They feel what they feel. Don't try to always make them feel better by trying to fix what you perceive as a wrong version of the story. Help them find some positive aspects to how they perceive their story. Share your version, but don't expect them to remember it the same. Adoption is full of wonder and excitement for the parent. The child is getting taken out the world they know, away from the people who had been caring for them, and thrust into a world full of changes....this is scary for the child. The parent's version and the child's version of events are going to be very, very different.

 

As the kids grow up, spend more time listening and less time talking. If they want to know about their past, don't change the details to make it seem more palatable. Give honest, age appropriate answers. It is their past and they deserve to know it. They were there...they often remember bits and pieces and as they grow up, they may remember more. Talk about these memories when they want to.

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Our three children are all adopted, not internationally, but they are racially different than we are. I, too, have those fears of saying the wrong things and my kids ending up like an "afterschool special", too. Heehee! I'm just going to try to approach it like I do "the facts of life" questions. I'll answer as simply and honestly as possible. I hate it when people act like we're doing such a great thing adopting these "poor children out of a horrible environment". We're not great people. We were just infertile and wanted a family. Our children have done more for us than we could ever have done for them. My kids are 6,5 & 3 and have asked no questions at all about their pasts. I wonder if it's because we have a lot of friends with adopted kids, their own cousins are adopted, so being adopted isn't strange to them. They're used to kids looking nothing like their parents. My older boys were adopted through foster care and I have quite a bit more info on their birth mom and their situation. My daughter was a safe surrender baby and I've spent countless hours in prayer for her as she will probably face a lot more feelings of rejection because of the circumstances of her adoption.

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Heather,

 

Both of our dc were born in Korea, too, and I can't recommend the W.I.S.E Up! Powerbook enough! It gives scenarios that you can role play with ds on how to respond to intrusive questions. The W.I.S.E. stands for responses he can give. I can't remember them all right now, but I remember "I" was ignore, "E" was educate, one of them stands for making a joke, etc. Basically, you're empowering your son to only answer the questions about HIS story that he's comfortable with. As long as you're honest with your son and validate his feelings, you can't get this wrong :grouphug:.

 

 

 

I'm an adoptee, and all my life I have had it shoved down my throat how "blessed" I am to be adopted into a loving family that loved God, I wasn't aborted, God had perfect plans for me, etc.

 

 

Wow. I'm really sorry you've had to deal with that your whole life. Do you think this is based on extreme religious beliefs? I'm also an adoptee and I've *never* had anyone say these things to me. My family is christian, but my adoption, nor my children's adoptions were ever brought up in a context of abortion or God's plans. That's a trip.

 

The child is adopted and nothing will ever change that. Each person is unique in how they perceive this. I have heard people equate it to being picked out like a cat at the animal shelter. I have heard people say...."No, big deal, it is all I know". I don't think this perception is as much the result of the adoptive parents parenting skills, but more of the child's personality.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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Now I get why you have so many Asians in your school classes.... because you are in Malaysia?!!!! Wow, that 'Heather in NC' in Malaysia can get a bit confusing! :lol: I am sure that that puts a whole new perspective on those adoption questions!

 

I still remember the time I first brought my 3 1/2 year old son to a Korean Church Preschool. All the little Korean children would rush to the couch and peer out the window as my Korean-born son got in the car with his red-headed mom! My son thought he had hit the big-time with all his new friends! :D You are right... they would really stare at us, trying to figure out how he could possibly have a mom like me! At the same time, my son really struggled for the first couple of months in this new bilingual school. I perservered, and I believe it ended up really helping him with his identity as a Korean-American. The school director wisely told me that attending this preschool (with all Korean teachers that showed him love and care) would help him to not 'feel abandoned' by Korea as he grew up. One school project they did was to draw a self-portrait (staring at his image in a 3-way mirror) in October and then again in May. Well, in October he told me he didn't like his eyes (he was having an identity crisis at age 3 1/2!!!). But at the end of the year, when he re-did his portrait, he told his Korean teacher that he 'liked every part of his face'!! In this way, I truly believe that this was the year that he 'became comfortable with what it means to 'be Korean' in his heritage.

 

We have also had him attend Korean Language School on Saturdays for about 3 years. And we have had him attend Vacation Bible School at the local Korean Church (where he attended preschool) every year (along with his Korean-born sister). Unfortunately, he never made any significant friendships with other Korean children (except for other Korean children in adoptive families... go figure!). So we decided to stop Korean Language School for this year (we also had financial and schedule conflicts... and, it turns out, our son has been quite sick this fall with some bad vomiting virus).

 

It's so complicated, isn't it.... this whole adoption thing. Our son is also a 'glass half-empty', deeply thoughtful child, so I think we may have a rougher time in the teen years with him than with his sister (who is fun-loving, passionate, and doesn't like to stay moody for long). Interestingly, our son has a photo of his birth mom and has received a box of gifts from her when he was a year old. I think this is a tremendous gift to him, ultimately from God, as his love language is definitely gifts. I believe that God knows how much each of us can handle in life (with his strength and help, too, of course!), and I think He knew that Luke needed to know about his birthmom caring about him enough to send him something.

 

When I start to get emotional about how I'm going to raise our two precious dc, I go back to remembering that God is the one who saw fit to put us all together as a family, and He will see us through (not just us as adoptive parents, but our dc, too... for He wants to have a personal relationship WITH them, too, individually). I can't have the relationship with God FOR my son... he has to have his own relationship with God. That's what we're trying to cultivate in him now (of course he is 9 and not 5), but that is the long-range goal!

 

Faithful is He who calls us, and He will do it (that is, preserve our whole spirit and soul and body blameless until the coming of our Lord Jesus) I Thess. 5:23,24.

 

Brenda

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DD2 is adopted and I have spent a lot time researching attachment and the issues around 'being adopted' . I personally was not adopted, but always felt disconnected from my family so while I started the research to help her growing up, a lot of it really struck a cord with me too. I have asked a lot of questions of various close friends who were adopted, and people have been very forthcoming with details. My FIL, 2 of my best-friends, and ds's best-friend were all adopted with differing emotional results. I also had friends as I was growing up who were secretly adopted, and the child wasn't told until they figured it out as a 10yo. I have another friend who was adopted by her grandparents and raised to believe that her bio-father was her brother. She didn't know until she was an adult and when her mom died her dad finally told her (the secret was the mom's idea). My bff as a teen was adopted at 5/6yo after being orphaned on the streets in Korea. The adoptive-parents didn't know about her nightmares and horrific memories of living on the streets of Korea at 4-5yo. They never realized how much it affected her as a teen...she was very aware but didn't know how to deal with it so it manifested in bad ways. So, while I was not adopted, I have gone though a lot with various friends/family members.

 

 

I think there are a few important things that I have walked away from it all with.

 

The child is adopted and nothing will ever change that. Each person is unique in how they perceive this. I have heard people equate it to being picked out like a cat at the animal shelter. I have heard people say...."No, big deal, it is all I know". I don't think this perception is as much the result of the adoptive parents parenting skills, but more of the child's personality. The most important thing I have heard adoptive people say about this, is to not try to convince them that their feelings are wrong. They feel what they feel. Don't try to always make them feel better by trying to fix what you perceive as a wrong version of the story. Help them find some positive aspects to how they perceive their story. Share your version, but don't expect them to remember it the same. Adoption is full of wonder and excitement for the parent. The child is getting taken out the world they know, away from the people who had been caring for them, and thrust into a world full of changes....this is scary for the child. The parent's version and the child's version of events are going to be very, very different.

 

As the kids grow up, spend more time listening and less time talking. If they want to know about their past, don't change the details to make it seem more palatable. Give honest, age appropriate answers. It is their past and they deserve to know it. They were there...they often remember bits and pieces and as they grow up, they may remember more. Talk about these memories when they want to.

 

those are very, very wise words. I agree 100%

 

I used to feel like there was something about me or our family that made my daughter unable to be happy in an American family, but since I've read so much from adult adoptees, I truly understand that we have nothing to do with it. We have given her every chance, and have tried everything. I know she knows we love her, and I think she loves us. But I also believe she'll never TRULY accept us as her family because we're not Chinese, and she'll never be as happy with us because of it. Being Chinese is the most important thing to her. I'm so thankful for her honesty, and I'm so thankful she trusts me to know her innermost fdeelings. Still, it's so sad to see how much she struggles because we chose to adopt outside our race.

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My mom, who I love dearly, made an off-hand comment to someone at church the other day (they were speaking about someone's cute tote bag that had been a "hand me down" from a sister). She said, "I gladly accept rejects". Now, she has NO idea what she said, or how profoundly that struck me, but I instantly related that to being adopted, and the fact that she had, in fact, gladly accepted a reject. And that is what I have carried with me all my life -- not *just* that my parents were overjoyed to have me (I never doubted that) but that on some level (and yes, I understand all the reasons) I was rejected, unwanted, and unwelcome.

 

 

 

This makes me incredibly weary. No matter how good or loving or 'perfect' a mom I am...I fear this is how my oldest son sees us and his life. We have tried ALL of his life to help him see that he was wanted, prayed for, and rejoiced over. Yet, for years all he has chosen to see was that one person 'rejected' him. (By the way, we never told him he was blessed but have always said how God healed our broken hearts with his birth. We were the blessed ones.)

 

These days he is having to face the fact that he wasn't so much 'rejected' as 'given'. You see, he married a young woman this summer who had to make that painful decision a few years ago. From her, we all get to see that it was not a quick or flippant choice. It was PAINFUL and sacrificial. It was not rejection or unwantedness, it was the best thing for her and the little boy baby. Best things are sometimes the hardest things to do.

 

I'm sorry to the depths of my being that you feel like your mom had to make do with a reject. As an adoptive mom, I mirror the pain you write about too...only my pain is that my child can never fully be healed of the hurt in his heart. We as moms cannot censor our words enough to keep our kids from being hurt by an off hand remark. You simply cannot know how hard that is to live with. Even if you never say anything to her, she probably realizes how angry you are at being adopted.

 

Thank you for letting me express these thoughts here. There are only one or two people I trust enough to share this heartbreak with. You guys are a pretty safe place to open up. I hope so anyway.

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I didn't want to read and not post. I do not have any adopted children BUT I myself am adopted. Being adopted is something I struggled with greatly growing up but I also had other issues that I had to tackle as well which just compounded everything. I do not ever remember being told I was adopted I just remember knowing I was. This is because my parents were told by therapists to make it known young and to help me learn what it meant so i could deal with it and such :-/ Now I know many other adopted people that are totally well adjusted people that never had any outward issues being adopted but unfortunately I am not one of them. I always felt different because I was told from a way too early age that I was "different" even if it was a good kinda different to a child different is different KWIM. Now do not take this as a you never should have told your LO lecture because it is NOT that. However IMHO and experience do not make a deal of it. By that I mean whenever you see someone that is adopted do not point it out to you kid "hey she is adopted just like you" It's like rubbing salt in the wound of confusion. What an adopted kid hears there is "Hey look your different in case you forgot already" :P If they come to you and ask then explain it in the best and most blunt way you can using things like you may have not come from my tummy but you came from my heart. That was always comforting to hear. The best advice though is to follow what you feel is right for your child not what any therapists or other people will tell you because well every kid is different and will react in different ways. If you notice that your child is asking questions in a way that leads you to believe that they are having issues or are upset about it then treat it as any other thing that your child would become upset about. Don't toss tons of unwanted info in the forms of happy books and trips to the shrink in their faces but rather give lots of hugs and remember to reinforce that you are their mom and this IS their family. Giving birth does not make you a parent love does! There are plenty of women out there that have given birth that by no means should ever be considered a parent to any child. Just as there are plenty women out there who have never given birth that are amongst the very best of parents. Actually if one really wants to get down to it you may not have gestated your child physically but you did wait patiently to find out he/she was coming just like any mother and you did feel all the rush of emotions when you knew they were on their way. I am willing to bet that the first moment you set your eyes upon your child they were filled with tears of joy and a flood of happiness and love so why not call it birthing from the heart? It is just as much work if not more and just as emotionally draining as physically giving birth IMO. Wow that was a tangent LOL sorry. But my point is instead of pointing out how a child is "special" point out how ordinary they are to be a part of a loving family. Because often to a child "special" means different and to a young confused child that cannot fully grasp what it means to be adopted different can often times mean bad. HTH!

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I don't have time to carefully read all the responses, but I'll throw in my usual comments re: adoption.

 

I'm an adoptee, and all my life I have had it shoved down my throat how "blessed" I am to be adopted into a loving family that loved God, I wasn't aborted, God had perfect plans for me, etc.

 

And all of that is fine and dandy BUT . . .

 

it doesn't change the fact that in order for that to happen, someone gave me away. It *is* a big part of who I am....

 

:iagree: I, too, am adopted and every single thing you just said is what I would have typed out myself had you not already said it.

 

I am adopted. I wish that I could say that simply I was adopted, but it is (a large part o) who I am. I had a great life growing up with wonderful parents, but I can never get it out of my head that I was signed over to Social Services. I am no "After-School Special" but adoption has played a part in my life that I often wish would just go away.

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...I always felt different because I was told from a way too early age that I was "different" even if it was a good kinda different to a child different is different KWIM...However IMHO and experience do not make a deal of it. By that I mean whenever you see someone that is adopted do not point it out to you kid "hey she is adopted just like you" It's like rubbing salt in the wound of confusion. What an adopted kid hears there is "Hey look your different in case you forgot already" :P

... my point is instead of pointing out how a child is "special" point out how ordinary they are to be a part of a loving family. Because often to a child "special" means different and to a young confused child that cannot fully grasp what it means to be adopted different can often times mean bad. HTH!

 

:iagree: Wonderful post. I am so weary of being reminded - in whatever way - that I am Laurie (the Adopted One). Can't I just - for once in my life - be Laurie. Period. I would love to be ordinary ;)

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.... Being adopted is something I struggled with greatly growing up but I also had other issues that I had to tackle as well which just compounded everything. I do not ever remember being told I was adopted I just remember knowing I was. This is because my parents were told by therapists to make it known young and to help me learn what it meant so i could deal with it and such :-/ .... However IMHO and experience do not make a deal of it. ......

 

:iagree: Wonderful post. I am so weary of being reminded - in whatever way - that I am Laurie (the Adopted One). Can't I just - for once in my life - be Laurie. Period. I would love to be ordinary ;)

 

Thanks for these reminders. :) We often get asked what country dd2 is from, because it is obvious that she is of very different genetic makeup than dh and I. Dh and I have light skin, eyes, and hair as do our bio-kids. I am Norwegian, dh is German and dd2 ...is Native American with huge dark almond shaped eyes and long dark hair and dark skin. Our older kids are 15and 11 so her age makes it a little more obvious too.

 

I don't point out that she is adopted (I especially try to avoid it in front of her), but I get asked a lot. I don't mind talking about it personally, because we adopted from the foster system (dd2 is my great-niece who was lost to the state at birth) and I like to encourage people to consider it as an option.

 

If you are willing to share more: How do you wish your parents would have handled the questions, comments or dialogues that discussed your adoption? Was there something that you wish they would have said instead of you being adopted or do you wish they would have just skipped it all together?

 

I like to get ideas on ways to protect her feelings, and the feelings of those around me who are also adopted. As with most things in life, the people who hurt us the most are often our family, and they are usually totally unaware of it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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If you are willing to share more: How do you wish your parents would have handled the questions, comments or dialogues that discussed your adoption? Was there something that you wish they would have said instead of you being adopted or do you wish they would have just skipped it all together?

 

Personally I would rather have never been told. Yeah I know one day it will come out but that one day is most likely when a child is older and more equipped to deal with and understand such a complex thing as adoption.

 

When I said I had no adopted kids it was not entirely true as my DS1 is mine from a previous marriage but the only dad he has ever known is DH who has been in our lives since DS was 6 months old. After DH and I married DH officially adopted DS. We plan on not telling him unless we have to because really it will not make a lick of difference IMO and will save him all of the heartache of being "the different one" and yes if it ever comes out one day we will address in in the way we feel is best for our son.

 

I wish so deeply that my mother had not listened to the therapists because I think the worst part and the hardest part to let go of even now even knowing what I know is that the one person who was supposed to love me the most I was not good enough for. I know realistically this is untrue and I know that had she have not done what she did I would most likely have lived a miserable life. (I was taken by CPS) But the fact remains that in our society motherhood is painted in this perfect way to be mom has baby and falls in love and leave it to beaver family commences and that is what children see and that is what we are led to believe and when you find out that your "mother" and I use this term loosely did not want you or did not care enough to clean up her life for you then it strikes you in a very deep and painful way. All the childhood whys arise and you find yourself questioning why you were not good enough or what way you could have been better so she would have loved you more. The more it is brought up the more painful it becomes the more it eats at you and the more you question.

 

I also feel badly for all the adoptive parents out there that do tell their children (I do also get it that in some situations it has to be done or will be obvious) because they have to deal with the hardship and anguish too. To those adoptive parents this IS their baby. They dried their tears, rocked them to sleep when their tummies hurt, cleaned all the boo boos and something as simple as different genes changes nothing to them. However these parents have to watch their baby struggle with what it means to be different and the feelings that come with feeling like they don't belong. They have to deal with being closed out and the have to deal with the anger and frustration because they said the wrong thing even if they were told and believed it to be the "right" course of action.

 

Adoption is such a slippery subject. There is no right answers and there is no 100% correct handbook to tell anyone how to handle it with their child in a way that will work for every child. I mean you could be blessed with a kid who it will not bother but you could also be blessed with a child who thinks too much and questions everything and will not fully understand the true meaning of what it means to be adopted.

 

 

Sorry for the book here all :op this topic is just a important one to me that hits a personal place and makes me want to spill out things that I never get many chances to express. Thanks for letting me express it and for listening and hope that it helps you all!

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My friend basically told me that you don't have to have all of the answers...just relay what information you do have and then be wiling to listen and empathize as dc sort through things. Sounds like you're already doing these things, so keep up the good work!

 

Hope this helps a little. Hugs!!!

 

I was adopted by my step-father when I was very young. I remember my mom talking about it freely. I remember going to the court house, standing before the judge. I remember that was the first time my mom told someone I was "shy" and I used that excuse for many years to not have to make eye contact or talk to people who scared me... I remembered all the details. But I didn't understand until I was about 6 and told someone that I looked just like my Daddy, that my mom had to explain again that I couldn't possibly. My mom pulled out pictures of my bio-father and every ounce of information she could muster up. She had tried for years to prepare me, but it all seemed to unfold so slowly over my lifetime. Once my half-brother was born when I was 7, it opened up more questions (would he be loved more by his bio-father than I had been over the years?).

 

I think the above quote says it all. Be open and answer what you can (honestly). When I was old enough to understand that Joseph had accepted Jesus as his own son, despite the fact that Mary had conceived out of wedlock, I was overwhelmed with how much my dad would have loved me to marry a woman with a little girl who needed him to be her daddy. It was such a huge picture to me at that time of how God wants us all to be HIS. (I was an adult when I finally comprehended this, and yet it was there in the scriptures in front of me all those years!)

 

Then when I had children of my own, I came across a children's story book called "Choco" and I cried when I got to the end. Now I think it is a must read for young adoptive children -- and maybe some older ones too ;)

 

Anyway, all this to say this... I absolutely agree that open communication is the best. I have so much love for my adoptive dad and thank my mom for enduring all the years of questioning. Even after I had kids, I wanted to know more about my bio-father, so I could answer their questions... and she was always patient to give an answer if possible, and to let me know when she didn't have answers.

 

Big Hugs,

Beckey in AZ

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Thanks for these reminders. :) We often get asked what country dd2 is from, because it is obvious that she is of very different genetic makeup than dh and I. Dh and I have light skin, eyes, and hair as do our bio-kids. I am Norwegian, dh is German and dd2 ...is Native American with huge dark almond shaped eyes and long dark hair and dark skin. Our older kids are 15and 11 so her age makes it a little more obvious too.

 

I don't point out that she is adopted (I especially try to avoid it in front of her), but I get asked a lot. I don't mind talking about it personally, because we adopted from the foster system (dd2 is my great-niece who was lost to the state at birth) and I like to encourage people to consider it as an option.

 

If you are willing to share more: How do you wish your parents would have handled the questions, comments or dialogues that discussed your adoption? Was there something that you wish they would have said instead of you being adopted or do you wish they would have just skipped it all together?

 

I like to get ideas on ways to protect her feelings, and the feelings of those around me who are also adopted. As with most things in life, the people who hurt us the most are often our family, and they are usually totally unaware of it. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

As an adoptive parent I have asked those same questions over and over to everyone I know. And for every person there is a different answer. My BIL was adopted as an infant and to him it is a nonissue. He really doesn't think about it. Parents are parents in his opinion. He considers it so little that he was adopted that at his last physical he gave his adoptive parents medical background without thinking that their medical history is not passed on to him.

 

OTOH, my best friend is married to a man that was adopted at birth as well. When their first child was born, he literally cried for days because for the very first time in his life he met a blood relative that would look like him.

 

Another family member was adopted by extended family as a baby but everyone in the small community knew it. Many referred to him as X's son even though x was not raising him. When his biological father died last year, he expressed frustration that the community expected to have emotion and great insight to a man that he barely knew and really didn't care for. He said what he hated most about being adopted was living in that community where he was never allowed to be Mel and Jo's son (his adoptive parents) without constantly being reminded that someone else gave him birth.

 

I guess there will not ever be any easy answers.

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Here's something that happened to us today.

 

We were looking for Halloween decorations at i Party, and near us was a woman was trying to convince her white daughter (who wanted to be a sexy pirate) that she could go as an Asian Princess, and was holding a Kimono 'costume' in her hand. "I could make your eyes all slanty with eyebrow pencil!"

 

My dd looked at me and rolled her eyes. As we were walking to our car I said to the air, "Um, you can't be an 'Asian' princess because you are not Asian". My Asian dc said "That mother was so ignorant. That kind of racism really bothers me".

 

This is something white people never have to think about.

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:iagree: Wonderful post. I am so weary of being reminded - in whatever way - that I am Laurie (the Adopted One). Can't I just - for once in my life - be Laurie. Period. I would love to be ordinary ;)

 

They call you "The Adopted One?" Have you asked them not to? That would bother me in the worst way! (I was adopted -- so was my husband and so were all of our siblings but one.)

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I have something to add that may not be popular. It certainly doesn't gel with the current popular approach to parenting an adopted child.

 

I didn't ever feel adopted at ALL until, very recently, my mother began talking about it. I've known about it my whole life and it had been a non-issue.

 

Then, my sister (who is my adoptive mom's only bio-child) had twins. Lo and behold -- they look just like all my relatives. (Naturally, I look nothing like any of my relatives.) This seems to have ignited something in my mom, who has recently made various comments about my not actually being related to them.

 

This has made me feel weird about being adopted for the first time in my life.

I don't feel like her kid. Yuck. And apparently she doesn't feel like my mom. :001_huh:

 

I worry that my friends with adopted kids (please don't flame me -- I'm just being honest) are setting their kids up to feel this way by talking about it so much. I think if my parents had talked about my "other parents" so frequently, I would have felt like a foreigner in the family.

 

I said this (gently) to a dear friend who talks with her kids about adoption "issues" very often. She was completely enraged. Believe me, I was gentle about it, and as an adopted person and such a close friend, I don't think I was out of line in saying what I said.

 

I'm not suggesting a lifetime of secrecy, but some middle road. Frequent discussion of my adopted-ness has made me feel crummy.

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Wow, this is really a complicated issue. It seems that for every adoption situation there is a different range of feelings. My dh is adopted, has always known and has never even "blinked" about it. Seriously, he has no issues whatsoever about being adopted, no desire to locate his bio mom, actually forgets most of the time that he is adopted. But it is a little easier becuase there isn't the race issue.

 

There is no way to NOT tell my ds he is adopted...he is Asian and we are not. What's funny is I have had people ACTUALLY ask me if we are going to tell him he is adopted. I was like, "Ummm....what?"

 

I waffle between not wanting to turn it into a big issue if it isn't one but not minimizing it either. I don't know if that makes sense but...well...I don't want to talk all the time about him being adopted but I don't want to avoid the topic either. I don't want it to completely define who he is but I want to respect that it IS part of who he is. AHHHHH!!!!!! This is so HARD.

Edited by Heather in NC
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I have something to add that may not be popular. It certainly doesn't gel with the current popular approach to parenting an adopted child.

 

I didn't ever feel adopted at ALL until, very recently, my mother began talking about it. I've known about it my whole life and it had been a non-issue.

 

Then, my sister (who is my adoptive mom's only bio-child) had twins. Lo and behold -- they look just like all my relatives. (Naturally, I look nothing like any of my relatives.) This seems to have ignited something in my mom, who has recently made various comments about my not actually being related to them.

 

This has made me feel weird about being adopted for the first time in my life.

I don't feel like her kid. Yuck. And apparently she doesn't feel like my mom. :001_huh:

 

I worry that my friends with adopted kids (please don't flame me -- I'm just being honest) are setting their kids up to feel this way by talking about it so much. I think if my parents had talked about my "other parents" so frequently, I would have felt like a foreigner in the family.

 

I said this (gently) to a dear friend who talks with her kids about adoption "issues" very often. She was completely enraged. Believe me, I was gentle about it, and as an adopted person and such a close friend, I don't think I was out of line in saying what I said.

 

I'm not suggesting a lifetime of secrecy, but some middle road. Frequent discussion of my adopted-ness has made me feel crummy.

:grouphug::grouphug:

I'm so sorry you're experiencing this right now. That must really be painful.

 

I hear what you're saying about talking about it all the time. I can honestly say that I let my daughter steer that boat. I don't bring it up, she does. And sadly, she brings it up ALL THE TIME. It's such an individual thing.

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This makes me incredibly weary. No matter how good or loving or 'perfect' a mom I am...I fear this is how my oldest son sees us and his life. We have tried ALL of his life to help him see that he was wanted, prayed for, and rejoiced over. Yet, for years all he has chosen to see was that one person 'rejected' him. (By the way, we never told him he was blessed but have always said how God healed our broken hearts with his birth. We were the blessed ones.)

 

These days he is having to face the fact that he wasn't so much 'rejected' as 'given'. You see, he married a young woman this summer who had to make that painful decision a few years ago. From her, we all get to see that it was not a quick or flippant choice. It was PAINFUL and sacrificial. It was not rejection or unwantedness, it was the best thing for her and the little boy baby. Best things are sometimes the hardest things to do.

 

I'm sorry to the depths of my being that you feel like your mom had to make do with a reject. As an adoptive mom, I mirror the pain you write about too...only my pain is that my child can never fully be healed of the hurt in his heart. We as moms cannot censor our words enough to keep our kids from being hurt by an off hand remark. You simply cannot know how hard that is to live with. Even if you never say anything to her, she probably realizes how angry you are at being adopted.

 

Thank you for letting me express these thoughts here. There are only one or two people I trust enough to share this heartbreak with. You guys are a pretty safe place to open up. I hope so anyway.

 

how beautifully written, and these are my exact feelings. My heart breaks for my daughter.

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Hi,

 

I only read the first and last posts, so I might repeat what another has already said. :)

 

I was adopted from Korea as an infant. The race issue is HUGE for the transcultural adoptee, for this reason: the adoptee, esp. if adopted as a young child, fits into no culture, really.

 

As a teacher at an International Christian School in Korea, I found out alot about myself, about the Korean culture and all that jazz.

 

First, there are Amerasians, who are children with one American parent and one Asian parent.

 

Korean Americans are folk with a unique blending of the Korean and the American cultures. They may be Amerasians or full-blood Koreans with exposure on some level to the American culture.

 

Then, there are the Korean adoptees, who while (typically) full-blooded Korean, are 100% American in culture. (I understand that Koreans are adopted into many nations; I met a little Korean adoptee in France. But for the sake of discussion, I'll only talk about Americans.)

 

I consider myself an American who was born in a foreign country.

 

Which box do I check on forms? If it's a medical-type form, I'll check Asian, since that's where my blood's from. If it's a social/psychological-type form, I'll check Caucasian, because my thinking, my culture, is American :)

 

It took me a long time to come to these conclusions, and while I'm more of a black-n-white person (this gray kills me), I'm growing more content with the mystery.

 

Ultimately, too, my comfort comes from the knowledge of love that comes from my Heavenly Father, who orchestrated it all, and from my adoptive parents, my real parents. They exposed me to Korean culture through culture days for adoptees and books, but I was never interested. The dialogue you have with your son will be priceless to him (something my parents didn't know how to give, but I'm okay with that.)! Sometimes I think the best reason God made me Asian, but grew me up in the West is so that my kids would stick out as THE CUTEST LIL THANGS that you ever did see!!! (I married a Korean American, whose parents are both Korean.)

 

I have many stories to share, if you're interested. Feel free to PM me :)

 

Oh, and last thing: Get Sook Wilkinson's books, After the Morning Calm: Reflections of Korean Adoptees and Birth Comes More Than Once. Wilkinson offers excellent insight into what it's like to be a Korean adoptee. FYI, she's not an adoptee herself, but a Korean American psychologist who studies the transcultural adoption phenomenon.

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"My friend basically told me that you don't have to have all of the answers...just relay what information you do have and then be wiling to listen and empathize as dc sort through things. Sounds like you're already doing these things, so keep up the good work!"

 

I'm reading the posts now that I've posted and I totally agree with this!

 

Sorry, I'm horrible at figuring out how to quote stuff.:tongue_smilie:

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