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How will it affect your birth child if you refer him as not your child?

I decided to create a different post from the one who asked us if we told people how many kids we had (including the ones we reliquished).

How do you think this would affect my son? Most of you know that my parents adopted my son, and I do get to see him at least once a month. My mom always stresses that my baby sister (who is 5) and my son (who is 2) are treated equally. My sister knows that he came from me, and sometimes refers me as his mom (I don't know if she fully understands it given she's only 5 years old).

What do I do? Most of the time I refer him as my nephew (for people who don't know), but it gets extremely complicated when I'm at home, because EVERYBODY knows. I want him to know that his parents are his parents, but what am I? Do I say, I'm his birth mom? One of his mom's? Then how would that affect my sister (whom I'm very close to). It's so hard.. because I want to say he's mine..

Answer Question

Asked by rainfalls at 3:38 PM on Sep. 23, 2009 in Adoption

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (20)
  • Cont... my sister is starting to have a hard time with how close my son and I are becoming.. I want to treat them equally.. but in no way I consider him as my brother, and I have discussed that with them. I just can't. It kind of emotionally irritates me.

    I want to do what's best for both of them, but quite frankly I'm getting burnt out with trying to please my parents and my baby sister... soon to add to the list will be my son. I really want to bond and connect with him, but we're always getting interrupted by my sister and my parents...

    Sorry subject kinded of changed, but do any of you get where I"m going with this?

    I'm just lost... and it makes me not want to go home. Having to say he's not mine breaks my heart, and when he gets to the age where he starts understanding.. how will this affect him? What can I do differently?

    Answer by rainfalls at 3:42 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • He's your son, your sister obviously does understand the fact that you are his mother and I wouldn't change that! I'd refer to him as my son always, he will be more confused when he get older if you all play games or try to hide the truth. At least your mom lets you see him, my husbands first son is being raised by his mother, he can't talk to him see him or anything b/c of her, and we can't afford to get him now, we have another daughter on the way. But don't give up on your son and I'd try everything I could to better myself and get him back so you can have a life together!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:53 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • You are correct that eventually your son will have an opinion and will be affected by how people (including you) refer to the relationship between you.

    I think it is complicated in family adoptions because it's not just as simple as accepting two forms of "mothers" but other roles get mixed up (i.e., the sibling relationship you all are expected to share when in fact you are not a sibling to your birth child).

    I also think that the children involved are better equipped to handle the complexities than we give them credit for. There is a lot of evidence that adoptees who believe the truth has been "hidden" or "twisted" or "withheld" are more likely to struggle than those who have been presented with the facts just as they are.

    I would vote that within your family you claim the relationship you have to your son - which is birth mom to child - and this way it is understandable over time to your sister why it different.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 4:03 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • ***I would vote that within your family you claim the relationship you have to your son - which is birth mom to child***

    I agree with Port but I can also empathize with why it is such a struggle for you and can sometimes leave you so frustrated. But I do think children can handle a lot more than we give them credit for, especially if it is a knowledge they grow up always knowing.

    My MIL, a bmom herself, did not agree with me in any way that I started from the very beginning letting my three younger children know about their older brother but one of the reasons why my husband and I made that decision was because of my husband's own personal experience when he first learned his aunt was really his sister.

    It was only a year before we lost our son to adoption and he remembers an up and down of emotions and confusion and, even as a teenager, not understanding why the secret was kept from him. As he has said, it's hard..

    Answer by bellacocco at 4:58 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • suddenly place somebody in your head in a completely different relationship than you always believe, to see her as his big sister and not his aunt.

    I know I"m doing very good relating what he went through but his feelings on not being told the truth from the start played a major role in our decision to be honest with our children from the very start.

    I don't think, at this point, those who do not know you well or are just passing through your life, need to know anything you aren't willing to tell them. But I do believe those who are close to you, those who will be there later in life when your son is older, should know.

    And some of the questions and uneducated assumptions can and do suck but, I promise you, the more you wave your way through that, the tougher your skin becomes till you reach a point where you just don't even give certain people the wasted energy of even responding to them.

    Just be honest . .

    Answer by bellacocco at 5:03 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • ...with yourself and with your son. In the end, that's what matters most.

    (Sorry for the 3 box answer. Long-winded today.)

    Answer by bellacocco at 5:04 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Oh Rain...
    Just reading your question is emotionally exhausting. I feel so bad for you. How does your Mom refer to you in front of your son and your sister? IMO, I think that honesty is best. Secrets will always hurt in the end. Is it your choice or your moms that he is your nephew?
    Children can handle so much more than we give them credit for. It's usually us adults that mess everything up...meaning myself, not you.
    I dreaded telling k&J about their sister for years...and all k asked was could she play with her. And J said ok..where does she live?
    I wish I could help you. I know you will figure this out. Love and Blessings.

    Answer by stillamom1213 at 6:28 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Can you deal with it by using humor? Maybe you could have a little "in joke" between you and call him your nephson. just a thought.

    Answer by onethentwins at 6:43 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • I'm in the same boat, but instead of my brother, my son is my "cousin" legally. I'm sorry, Rain. I truly know how bad it sucks.

    Answer by lillie023 at 7:04 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

  • Can't your mom be Grandmother- and still parent him?

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:06 PM on Sep. 23, 2009

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