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Adult Adoptees: How can I help my adopted children?

I have adopted adorable twin boys, who are now 6, and I have had them since birth. I can't help but notice that there seems to be quite a few negative feelings about their adoption experiences. I just want to know what it is about the adoption that has you so down? What can I do for my children so that they grow up feeling that, in their situation, adoption really was the best thing that could have happened? (Their bdad is mentally ill, bmom VERY unstable and was abusive to previous children.) How do I help them avoid such feelings of negativity when they grow up? How can I help them when they want to meet bparents so they get what their looking for without being taken advantage of by the bparents?

Answer Question

Asked by romeece at 10:57 PM on Jul. 20, 2008 in Adoption

Level 4 (46 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • keep in mind your children are only 6, and are only starting to understand what it is to be adopted. myself, being adopted at birth and am now 25, have not pursued my bparents, and dont know what i would be looking for if decided to meet them. there is too much unknown about the other side of it that u just have to do the best you can do in loving them and caring 4 them that when they are adults, they will feel the same way u do. my adoptive parents were the best they could be with me, and i know nothing about my bparents, but i know that i ended up in the right place. keep doing what you are doing and things should work themselves out.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:12 AM on Jul. 21, 2008

  • Hi. Have you read any books (or blogs) from adoptees? I'd be glad to give you links to several. I think its wonderful that you love your boys enough to consider the unique issues adoptees face. from another adoptee, Thank you!


    Answer by adopteeme at 4:46 AM on Jul. 21, 2008

  • Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew : Sherry Eldridge

    The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child : Nancy Verrier

    and anthing by Betty Jean Lifton - Twice Born: Memoirs of an Adopted Daughter, Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience and Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness

    Answer by adopteeme at 4:59 AM on Jul. 21, 2008

  • Romeece, I wish that I had the magic words for you. I would give them to every adoptive parent if I did.

    Children feel responsible for all sorts of things that they shouldn't. "If I hadn't burned my toast, daddy wouldn't have had a car accident," or "If I hadn't gotten a D on my spelling test, Mommmy and Daddy wouldn't be getting a divorce." There is NO LOGIC to a lot of our feelings.

    In my head, I know that my birthmother wanted to keep me, but her parents said know. Still, as a 41 year old successful professional woman, there is that little child inside me that cries out "why?" Why did she keep my sister? Why ?

    "The Primal Wound" is the book on adoption that I was able to most identify with. Please read it. It does a far better job of explaining than I ever could.

    Answer by lawmom623 at 9:51 AM on Jul. 21, 2008

  • One other thing. I was frequently told that I was "special" because I was chosen. somehow, this backfired with me, and it made me somehow feel that I had to be twice as good, or they would send me back. It was never stated by my adoptive parents, but I felt it nonetheless. I don't know what you can do to avoid this, but it's something that I expereienced.

    Have you considered seeking out a counselor/psychologist who is an adult adoptee? Such a person might have special insight into how you can help your children to escape the hell that many adult adoptees go through.


    Answer by lawmom623 at 9:55 AM on Jul. 21, 2008

  • Talk openly regarding the adoption, don't be secretive. Emphasize how much you wanted children and what a wonderful gift they were to you. Don't make it sound like charity! When they ask questions, explain that they are ill and unable to take care of them. If it's true, say that, since their mom wasn't able to care for them, she did the best she could by giving them to loving parents who could provide and care for them. I grew up thinking that I was special because I was adopted! I read something once, that made sense to me: "As soon as you tell an adopted child that they were chosen, there's a nagging feeling that they were also rejected." Make them feel loved and secure in their home. Make sure YOU are considered the parents, NOT the birthparents.

    As far as finding the bparents, I'd be careful. I've read internet horror stories of people who have found their bfam. You should check into those, and possibly get a counselor or social worker involved.

    Answer by addzoomom at 1:15 PM on Jul. 22, 2008

  • I was adopted at 16mo My Bdad was HIGHLY abusive and my BMOM didnt' stop any of it. I was taken away at 3mo because i was in nonstop emergency rooms. I didnt know these details tell I was old enough to understand. 6 is very young to be telling them about how 'fucked' up there parents were. What you need to say is...Your loved and when your older is when you will know more. I want you to understand FULLY what and why. At 6yrs is when they just need to know your mom and thats it. at 16 is when i found out how 'unwanted' i was but i got down for 15mins THATS IT. I was mature enough to understand that I am loved now and growing up that is all that matters. Goodluck and be WISE!

    Answer by OrcaQueen at 1:37 AM on Jul. 24, 2008

  • I was adopted when I was 5 years old.From 2yrs-5yrs myself and my 4 sibs were put in foster home after foster home, all abusive. Obviously there was never a question for me about being adopted. I did have questions about why i wasn't good enough, what I did, etc. My parents always told us we didnt do a thing.So, my advice to you is this: tell your twins that they did nothing wrong, that adults have to make hard decisions sometimes, that sometimes adults can't handle raising children, so they give the children to people that can. On top of that make sure that they have fond memories as well as a no nonsense upbringing. Trust me, with 7 kids any one of us could have played the " I act out because I was adopted, im so unloved" card, but not one of us dared because we knew that wasn't true, not from what our parents said, but from what they did

    Answer by Mers1803 at 2:45 AM on Aug. 1, 2008

  • The best thing to do is be honest. Don't lie to your kids about why they were put up for adoption or lie about their birth parents. They will eventually find out.

    I was adopted when I was 5 years old and my brother was 1 yr old. I was lied to constantly about who my birth parents were and why I was taken from them and all that. When I was pregnant with my first son, I finally found my birth mother. We have the best relationship ever. I only wish that I could have met my birth father, but he died in 1998. Nothing that I was told about my birth parents was true. I have other reasons too as to why I hate the people that adopted me. I have no communication with them and my birth mother is in the process of adopting me back. I would have been better off with her and my father.

    So, in my opinion, adoption is NOT always the best option.


    Answer by boizmom at 9:11 PM on Aug. 4, 2008

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