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How do you help an adopted child get over the hurt?

My aunt was adopted by my grandmother as an infant. She is now grown and my grandmother said some horrible hateful things to her and told her she wished she had never adopted her and that she no longer believed in adoption because the child is ruined when you get it. I'm devestated and disgusted by this and am afraid my aunt thinks I feel this way of her too. What can I say and do to let her know that I am still her family and that I love her? I'm so mad at my grandmother! I just don't know what to do to make things better.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 10:48 PM on Jul. 22, 2009 in Adoption

Answers (12)
  • Let her know it's not her fault. You're there for her and you love her. Tell her how much it hurts you to know what she went through. That will be all you need. You share her pain, that is real love.
    LilWiyotMomma

    Answer by LilWiyotMomma at 10:50 PM on Jul. 22, 2009

  • I am shocked that anyone could say something so horrible to their child! Maybe she never accepted her as her "own". I agree with LilWiyotMomma. Your grandmother's feelings do not reflect the feelings of the rest of the family. She might have said the same hateful things to a bio child. That was very cruel.
    Iamgr8teful

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 11:26 PM on Jul. 22, 2009

  • You tell her EXACTLY what you wrote above. Word for word.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:35 PM on Jul. 22, 2009

  • Tell her that your grandmother is really mad at her own son/daughter, who put your aunt in the position to be adopted, due to their irresponsibility. She's taking out her frustration with them on her. This is a sad thing in relative placements, because then anytime the child does something that is "bad", they are told, "you are just like your mama/daddy", etc. Not in a good, loving way.

    I know that most relative adoptions, that the family is loving & kind towards the child, but I have seen this happen to someone I know.
    doodlebopfan

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 11:39 PM on Jul. 22, 2009

  • Tell her that your grandmother is really mad at her own son/daughter, who put your aunt in the position to be adopted, due to their irresponsibility. She's taking out her frustration with them on her. This is a sad thing in relative placements, because then anytime the child does something that is "bad", they are told, "you are just like your mama/daddy", etc. Not in a good, loving way.

    I know that most relative adoptions, that the family is loving & kind towards the child, but I have seen this happen to someone I know.

    hank you for your kind words but to clarify my grandmother is in no way related to the bio parents. They were neighbors and one day when my grandmother was 49 they literally dropped the baby off on her door and had papers in hand and said "adopt her. We can't take care of her." My grandmother did. They've always been so strong and loving idk what happened.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:46 PM on Jul. 22, 2009

  • Let your Aunt know that she is and always will be your Aunt and you love her for who she is. Something to consider is that as people get older that they start having troubles mentally which could easily be the case of your grandmother.
    baconbits

    Answer by baconbits at 4:25 PM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • "Thank you for your kind words but to clarify my grandmother is in no way related to the bio parents. They were neighbors and one day when my grandmother was 49 they literally dropped the baby off on her door and had papers in hand and said "adopt her. We can't take care of her." My grandmother did. They've always been so strong and loving idk what happened. - OP"

    OK, well I totally misread that one. Tell her that you cannot explain your grandmother's behavior, that you are sorry for all the mean things that she was told, but that you are glad that as least one good thing came out of the adoption, which was that you got your wonderful aunt. Otherwise, she wouldn't have been in your life. You won't be able to take the hurt away, but you can assure her that you love her unconditionally, maybe it will add some peace to her life.
    doodlebopfan

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 6:23 PM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • I think that what baconbits said makes a lot of sense. Is your grandmother on a lot of medication? One of the first things they told us when I began classes for the Nursing Program is that elderly people who have a personality change or a change in mental faculties may be having a side effect from medication. That can account for a lot of the bad moods, confusion, and frequent falls. If this kind of mean talk is totally out of character for her, then maybe medication or some health issue is part of the explanation (not that it takes away the hurt that her comment caused).
    Iamgr8teful

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 11:59 PM on Jul. 23, 2009

  • Wow. That is hard. Families are so complicated weather they are builty through adoption, second marriages, or biology. My own biological mother told me that ever since I was born I had given her trouble and made her feel like a hellish monster of a mother. Now as a parent myself, and a mother through adoption as well, I could NEVER imagine a time when I would turn to my child and be so hateful on purpose. But families do do that to each other. The thing I had to know, being on the receiving end, was that it had nothing to do with me. For many years my own mother has had problems with anxiety and depression and she has very poor coping skills. I'm just the one she always took it out on. The end result is I speak to my sister and other family but I do not have contact with her. Let your aunt know you love her and want her in your life. In the end your aunt has to decide what is healthy for her. That may mean
    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:56 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • she has to back away from ALL of her family right now to protect herself or that may mean that she needs you more right now. Ask her what is best for her and let her know that she is important to you. I understand you may be in the middle. My sister certainly was but I make it a point not to put her there by never talking about my parents with her or asking questions. Good luck and I hope time does heal things between your aunt and grandmother.
    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:58 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

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