AdoptResources's Blog

blogging about adoption, attachment, parenting & family life

Adoption is…

with 10 comments

I was checking out some of the AdoptResources webpages before launch of the website and one of the boys asked what I was doing… I told him the site was going to have bits of information for other Mums and Dads who have adopted and said that another thing that I’d like to do is put some stuff together for boys and girls who have been adopted. He thought that I knew all there was to know about adoption (!) and I said that I didn’t because I don’t know what it’s like to be adopted and asked if he could help out with that… “Well,” he replied, “it’s a bit like being homesick… ” I don’t know what I was expecting but I didn’t predict that. He went on to say not homesick all of the time but some of the time… Son number 2 was listening in and chipped in… “well, I think it’s like being kidnapped…” . That response was a bit more predictable as it fits with his current view of what’s happened to him and allows me to be the evil, wicked stepmother/childcatcher/kidnapper character in the dramatisation of his adoption.

I love that the boys can talk about how they feel and I genuinely don’t feel upset by revelations that, at times, I am second best. One thing that I’ve grown to know is that there is a huge loyalty to the birth family running through the core of our boys even though they know on some level that their birth family didn’t quite do what families should do. Holding onto that connection is like a survival instinct – to lose connection with who you are, where you’re from might mean that you’re forgotten about, even threaten your existence.

So I’m not going to engage in a competition for the title of real parent – I know how real I am and also know the parts I can’t fulfil (again not chip on the shoulder stuff but honest open realisation of the fact that my relationship with my sons did not begin from their beginning). It makes me no less of a Mum, just a Mum with a difference… and one of my jobs is to help my boys make sense of being homesick or of being kidnapped…

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Written by adoptresources

February 8, 2010 at 10:56 pm

10 Responses

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  1. Hi Fiona,

    Interesting. My daughter listened to a phone call I was having this summer with a prospective adoptive parent. She stayed until after I hung up, quite pleased that I was extending myself to mentor a parent who was seriosuly considering adoption. She was very approving, I feel because the phone call reinforced what we have “lived”–adoption is definitley a normal part of our everyday lives, how we came together.

    My kids vary in how they deal with ties to their pasts. One grieves over it, one could care less at this point, and the other checks in occasionally, I believe to make sure that the subject is alwasy open for discussion. I’m expect this to change as they grow and life changes for each.

    Judy

    theinternationalmom

    February 9, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    • Hi Judy – thanks for your comments. I’m with you – keep the conversation open and let them feel what they need to feel.
      Fi

      adoptresources

      February 10, 2010 at 11:47 pm

  2. Interesting. Makes me wonder whether my parents continued to ‘compete’ in some way with the mother they ‘kidnapped’ me from.

    dadwhowrites

    February 14, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    • Hi & thanks for your comments.

      Bit of a minefield! Adoption advice has changed so much from a more secretive, cut off all ties from the past view to current encouragement of connection with who you are & where you are from. I prefer living alongside the knowledge that there is another family somewhere else rather than trying to pretend it’s all different and blank it out.

      Hearing views from people who have been adopted helps me when I try to think about it from our children’s perspective…

      Keep in touch.

      Fi

      adoptresources

      February 14, 2010 at 11:41 pm

  3. This is a lovely post Fiona and beautifully written – thanks for sharing your thoughts and reflections. They put me ‘in touch’ with why I was in social work for so long.Keep them coming!
    Susan

    Susan

    February 20, 2010 at 6:29 pm

  4. Beautifully written post – how proud you must be of both the boys x

    Liz (LivingwithKids)

    February 24, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    • Thanks Liz – yes they’re fab – never a dull moment!! Not quite as much feedback from their little sister but she’s learning from the masters!

      adoptresources

      February 24, 2010 at 11:05 pm

  5. Wow. This really resonates with me.

    My daughters (adopted from China) were in the same foster home in their birth country. My first was adopted at age 2 1/2 after initial loss of her first family and many placements after. When she was with her final foster home in China she truly believed that they were forever- only to lose again.

    We returned to China and adopted her older (almost 8) foster sister. My youngest walked through ever single step of the adoption process. She returned to China with us and met her foster family once again. She saw everything that we did to adopt her through the adoption of her sister.

    About a year after we returned she said to me…completely out of the blue…

    Mommy, did you kidnap me from China?

    Even though she walked through the process of adopting her sister she still held those feelings inside of her body.

    Kuddos to you for not worrying over the ‘real’ parent’ thing. They are real. You are real. There is no competition.

    Diane

    March 17, 2010 at 4:12 am

    • Thanks Diane – just been on your blog – lots of similarities!! Amazing what gets stored up inside and great that they can talk/ask about it (I’m sure there’s a few gems still stored up though!!). Keep in touch!
      Fi

      adoptresources

      March 17, 2010 at 12:45 pm


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