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My husband and I adopted my grandson when he was 2yrs old. Through the years we have that he has ADHD, and falls within the Autism circle. We have dealt with so many issues that telling him that he is adopt became afterthought. He is 15 now we have to tell him because of family issues. How do we approach it.

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Vegas1995

Asked by Vegas1995 at 11:38 PM on Jan. 10, 2013 in Teens (13-17)

Level 2 (5 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I would start off with telling him how much you love him. Then maybe continue by telling him there is something that you know you should have told him a long time ago, but the timing just never seemed right and then time just kept passing and before you knew it, he is this wonderful young man. Then just spill the beans...

    Good luck.
    AllAboutKeeley

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 11:42 PM on Jan. 10, 2013

  • I agree with AllAboutKeeley, especially with starting out reassuring your grandson that you love him and always will. Then just be honest and let him have his feelings without trying to talk him out of them.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 11:53 PM on Jan. 10, 2013

  • If you are working with a psychologist or therapist I would consider talking to them about the best way to approach the subject. I think the best place to start would be to talk about different ways families are created. ( single parents, International and domestic adoption, family adoptions, grandparents raising the kids ect...)Get him comfortable with the idea that families are all different but it is the love that makes them a family. In fact by doing this it may bring on natural question on the subject including 'am I adopted' In which case you could then move into that by telling him that , that is how you decided to build your family and talk to him about his own adoption story.
    But_Mommie

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:16 AM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • Well, i am not sure of how your story began, as to why you adopted him however I was adopted as an older child and my adoptive parents always told us that one day our biological parents made some bad choices and that everyone makes bad choices sometimes but that they could not stop making the bad ones so a judge said that we needed to live somewhere else. That they loved us very much but just could not be responsible parents so we got a new forever home with responsible and loving parents.

    It worked for us, and I hink if you are 100% honest but assure him that it was not his doing that caused the change in parents and that you loved him so much you wanted to help him work through other things before you told him. Now that he is a young man and you feel he can understand that you wanted to let him know and that you will always answer his questions honestly
    luvmygrandbaby

    Answer by luvmygrandbaby at 12:32 AM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • Why did you let him believe you were his mom in the first place? I know you adopted him. But he is your gradson.
    I think you should never have let him believe you were mom and dad in the first place. You should have always been grandma and grandpa.

    Best thing to do is start with the story of his adoption.
    louise2

    Answer by louise2 at 6:25 AM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • The only reason I suggested getting him comfortable with the idea of adoption was that she said he was under an Autism diagnosis. IME dropping any kind of unexpected news causes a good bit of anxiety and lashing out. Especially if he doesn't know much about adoption as a whole. I think it would be a good idea for him to already have a lot of the normal questions that kids have after finding out they are adopted already touched on in a general manner. This may help ease the anxiety.
    But_Mommie

    Answer by But_Mommie at 7:30 AM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • louise2 - When you adopt you become mom & dad regardless of the blood factor. We are currently raising 3 grandkids and they know who their parents are but they are the ones who started calling us mom & dad. They want to be like the other kids who live with mommy & daddy. We realize that as they get older they may decide to call us grandma & grandpa & we're good with that but it is THEIR choice. A mom & dad are the ones who raise a child.
    baconbits

    Answer by baconbits at 9:22 AM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • Tell him.
    Give thought & care to the process & be sensitive to him, but don't think of it as a matter of finding the "perfect" way that will prevent any issues, problems, pain, or anger. Don't focus on finding a way that will let you escape fallout. Think of it as addressing an issue that needs addressing, that life/circumstances have made unavoidable now. And realize that responding to "fallout" with acceptance & personal strength is how you move forward & forge your ongoing relationship--it's not about "preserving" something.
    Keep in mind that accepting & validating his feelings IS a way of responding optimally to him & giving him the support he needs.
    Acknowledge that you felt fearful, or didn't know what to say/how to tell him, or you were afraid that it would hurt him/be upsetting (or whatever the truth is, for your situation) and that you realize it was a mistake.
    Make sure your needs aren't urgent; see him as the focus.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:32 AM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • Louise, all families do things different. My granddaughter knows we are grandma and grandpa but calls my husband daddy often. We do not correct her because she is right he is the father figure in her life and she "wants" a dad like her friends.
    luvmygrandbaby

    Answer by luvmygrandbaby at 12:39 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

  • Well , baconbits, and luvmygrandbaby. She never said the child knows she and her DH are the grandparents. The kid is 15. Should have been told this a LONG time ago..
    louise2

    Answer by louise2 at 1:08 PM on Jan. 11, 2013

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