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Introducing Young Birth Children

For those first/natural/birth mommies here who are in open adoption... how do you introduce your child who was adopted to someone you know?

Maybe this isn't something that many people face... I just am curious.

For adoptees, what would make you most comfortable?

Our 24 yr old daughter is our son's first mom. Last night, our 14 yr old dd, 9 yr old dd, our son (he's 5), and our 23 m dd - all spent the night with DD and her husband and our 1 yr old grandson. DD wanted to take the kids with her to church this am and we were ok with that.

BUT at church, she introduces DS to many people with this story, "This is "A"... he's my son but my parents adopted him and they raise him. He also calls me Mya."

She was homeless and having many issues in her life, living with her other mom when she called us to raise him. That part is a long story but we didn't take him from her - and we all tried to work with her for over a year for her to be able to parent. She opted to relinquish independently.

I am so thankful he gets to be such an active part of her life - but she making these speeches today (she only does stuff like this when we're not present) - made him uncomfortable. They also made our 9 yr old uncomfortable, who is also adopted. He came home and without my even knowing all this told me he doesn't want to go back again.

I don't want our son to not want to be around her, etc. and maybe he's most comfortable being around her at home.

BUT, does anyone have any suggestions on things I can do to help her not draw unneeded attention to him, etc?

I've talked to her before about the fact that just everyone you meet doesn't need your whole history. It's not hidden - we're not ashamed - but you don't have to advertise everything all the time, either.

Sometimes being mom to both presents very unique challenges. And with her being an older child adoption - she wasn't legally adopted by us *we don't need a piece of paper to know she's ours - that paper is pointless sometimes* - we raised her as a tween and teen and she came back to us by her request after our son was already in foster care in another state.

Maybe I'm just tired and it won't matter tomorrow.... LOL

Answer Question
 
AAAMama

Asked by AAAMama at 7:21 PM on Jan. 9, 2011 in Adoption

Level 18 (6,173 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • I would just tell her that you all need to sit down and talk about what the right time for this story to be told is. Tell her that you don't want to hide it but how she is going about it is making thing uncomfortable for others. That this is not everyones business and not to say it anymore. An most important not to do it when the kids are around. Does she feel bad or something. IDK why she would just tell people that. Hope I could help.
    LADYA1983

    Answer by LADYA1983 at 7:40 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • We adopted 2 of our grand kids.....but their parents have always been a part of their lives. The kids call us mom n dad, or gramma and papa, ....LOL. Their mom spends as much time as she can with them too. So when she introduces them to others, she refers to them as her daughter and son....which they are. We also introduce them as our daughter and son....which they are legally. Of course, every once in awhile, one or both of them will refer to us as gramma and papa to someone they have previously mentioned us as mom n dad too...at which time, we simply tell the rather confused person listening that we adopted them when they were little and they are biologically our g.kids and leave it at that.
    meriana

    Answer by meriana at 8:30 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • DS didn't come into our lives as a grandchild. He only lived with DD for the first few months of his life when she was living with her other mom - so he doesn't know her as a Mommy - he knows she gave birth to him, etc. He knows that she's his Mya. He tells me sometimes that he grew in her tummy.

    After she determined she wanted us to raise him, she came back into our lives. Our situation is not even close to normal - lol - but he would never dream to call me grandma - and I'm glad. LOL

    I think my biggest issue with it is that he came home and said he didn't want to go back - and she makes people uncomfortable because she pushes it. I try to encourage her to just let it ride. She stresses all the time about what he or our grandson will ask and what we will tell them. I have told her countless times I feel that if we raise healthy children, and answer what they ask as they need to know - things will be fine.
    AAAMama

    Comment by AAAMama (original poster) at 9:01 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • Only if your children are uncomfortable would I talk to her. She clearly wantspeople to know her relationshipto her child and is looking for acceptance and support. You often expect your fellow church members to offer outreach, suport, and kindness. Church is also a place to show off your family you are proud of. So I would use caution and try to not hurt her when approaching how the young ones felt. This isn't a rejection of her, only the way she explained her relationships. Perhaps teling her that "our" chid is shy and private about who he tells. While very proud of his famiy, he prefers to remain private and share with the people he is closer to. He would like tobe introduced as............and if you need to - can you tell important people to you before they wet him so he is more comfortable. You can put it on the age of the child (and kids often do at this age want privacy with famiy information). Also say you
    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:52 AM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • Noticed that your other kids think along the same lines. You can prface it with you have read that adoptees prefer to share on their own terms and not ours as adults. You can also start by sharing a blunder you made as an adoptive parent. We all share too much at some point or have some regrets we would change. Ask her for advice on how to handle the privacy issues that this child wants to see her ideas. She may ramble with friends because she is not sure either.
    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:56 AM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • My son is 22 so the situation is different. I always introduce him as my son, because I would never deny that he is or want him to feel like he's my dirty little secret. He also introduces himself "Hi, I'm Danny Denise's son." if he's meeting someone who knows me, and If I'm meeting someone he knows he says "This is my birth mom Denise.".
    If your son is uncomfortable ask him what would be acceptable.
    onethentwins

    Answer by onethentwins at 1:30 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • i agree wit first reply
    san78

    Answer by san78 at 3:08 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • I thought about this all last night and felt your dilemma. What if she just said that he was X's older brother? Does he think of that child that she's raising as a brother? or cousin? Of course the older brother comment might lead into, "Oh, you have 2 children...." so that might be a mess. Otherwise, she's left with "this is my little brother, (not!), or this is my mom's son (from a previous marriage?)

    I kind of agree that you need to talk to your son about it, and see what he thinks is appropriate. Of course, that's a lot to put on a 5 y/o, but you could just ask what he WISHED that she would say. What makes HIM FEEL the most comfortable and then ask her to respect his wishes. He's liable to change his mind 1000 times as he understands more of his adoption. Tell her to be patient and let it be about him while he's still figuring this out. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out. Unique situation. :)
    doodlebopfan

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 8:43 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • I dont have an answer but had to comment that inter-family adoption is often even more complicated if that is possible.

    I think that Adoptive parents learn after a couple years that not everyone needs to hear every detail of your child's story, it is his/her story to share or not to share. It sounds like your daughter is still struggling with this.
    2ndtimewish

    Answer by 2ndtimewish at 10:23 AM on Jan. 11, 2011

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