I've been searching for more than 3 years for a support group for my particular issue. I hope I've found the right one. However, in reading the many posts here at adoption.com, I've noticed that no one seems to have quite the problem I have.
My son, age 25 and in the Army, was adopted when he ws 3 days old. Yes, we are older adoptive parents, but we have loved our son since day one. Three years ago, while he was deployed to Iraq, I received a one line email from him stating, "can you send me the name of the adoption agency...the search begins....lol". That was the beginning of a very downward spiral for his and my relationship.
We have always been out front and open about his adoption and answered all the age appropriate questions he's ever had. We told him everything truthfully, lovingly and supportively. Never did he ever exhibit the least bit of interest or desire to search for his birth mother until that email. After talking to my husband that day, we sent him the information he asked for, only to find out some days later that he had already....before emailing me asking for the agency....found the agency himself and had made contact with his birth mother through the agency who was holding a letter from her for him in case he ever contacted them. Needless to say, I was hurt and devastated, not because he even wanted to search, but for the way he went about it, totally behind my back. Since then, things have gotten worse. He has two step-sisters who he refers to as his sisters (he was our only child) and to make things truly worse, he took off the Christmas he arrived back from Iraq to go be with his birth family for the holidays. Since then, there are always posts back and forth on his Facebook between him and his birth mother, and she is always acting like his mother, giving advice and encouragement right after I do. In my mind, I see this as her trying to one up me. She even refers to him as her son.
When my son did this hurtful search and reconnection the way he did it, I felt something die inside of me. It took me no time to realize that there is no one out there in the world of adoption who is concerned or cares about the adoptive parents. When all this happened, I contacted the adoption agency and was told, in no uncertain terms, that he is 21 and he can do what he wants. AND they reiterated many times that their only concern in any adoption in order of importance is first the birth mother, second, the child, third the adoptive parents. We told them that we felt like we were nothing more than a walking ATM to them and that no one cares about us when we need caring about as much as the birth mother and child do, and especially when we are being told to just deal with whatever has happened because our child has a right to do what he did.
Over the last 3 years, my own relationship with my son has become very fragile. I know there are adoptive parents who claim they are okay with their child searching and reconnecting and even support this, but I don't feel the same way. Maybe its because of the way my son did this that's really torn us apart, but I need someone to talk to about this before I lose my mind. I still love my son, but I no longer crave his presence or even care if I see him. Looking at him reminds me of what he did and how he now has this other family that is clearly important enough to him to call them his sisters, and maybe he even calls his birth mother Mom....I don't know. I've asked him, but he's a good liar and I don't believe him when he says he only calls her by her name. I have told him that I am hurt and that this has affected our relationship in ways he cannot begin to imagine. He tells me I'm being stupid. I've told him that, had he ever just come to us and presented his wishes to find his birth mother, that we would have been supportive and would have hoped he'd want to share meeting her and her family with us. He just laughed me off and said that if he wanted to go see them, he'd just go....he didn't need us to do that.
So, he has just been returned again from a second Iraq deployment and spent his leave at home with us. But I didn't enjoy one minute of it, knowing that he has so much going on behind our backs with his birth family. I literally couldn't wait till he returned to base. When he did this to us three years ago, I literally had anxiety issues that I've never had before and had to be under a doctor's care for it. Whenever my son is around me now, I am filled with this anxiety again and need to reach out to my medication, just to deal with the affects his actions have taken on my heart. As I said, deep inside I love my son, but I feel so much has died as a result of his actions, culminating in my feelings of rejection and being pushed to the background of his life. My husband feels the same in some ways, but not nearly as deeply as I do. Afterall, it wasn't his birth father he secretly searched for, it was his birth mother, and therefore affected me more deeply.
I don't know what I really need. Maybe I'm just hoping that someone on this forum has had similar issues that they have dealt with. I have searched my soul and I am sure I'm not feeling anger as much as I am hurt by what he has so callously done to this family. If there's anyone out there who knows what I'm feeling, I sure would love to have some feedback and support.
1 Liked
 likes this.
jessisrael
my husband and i cannot have children and i have often wondered how potential grandchildren will be considered. will we be the grandparents? will the birth mom have all the "rights"?
adoption can be so beautiful. but it is also very ugly.
They may end up with 8 grandparents instead of 4 - the more the merrier. And if every grandparent divorces and remarry, they might end up with 16 grandparents - the possibilities are endless.
Actually, I've never known any of my grandparents, either adoptive or biological.
[QUOTE=BethVA62]
I know plenty of people who got married and chose to live far away from home near the in-laws. Chose one over the other. Spend all their time, and holidays with that side of the family, not to mention more time spent with one set of grandparents... Not that the relationship is over, but long distance is not the same.
My sister spends a lot more time with her siblings-in-law than she does with me and other siblings. It's no big deal. They fill a need in her that we don't - i.e. they all have children and my brothers and I don't.
We all accept that when people get married, their husbands/wives are going to fill needs that their family can't. Our friends fill needs that our families can't. That's life.
In days past, some women never did escape home and get a job because their parents decided their wishes/needs were more important than their daughters wishes/needs so the daughter would end up having no life looking after their parents because their parents made them feel so guilty for wanting a life and job that they never left home. I think we all feel sad for those women.
Most parents realise that their children will have different needs and wants once they reach adulthood and it is their child's right to be able to meet those needs if they so wish. Not everyone has the same needs and wishes eg many people want to get married and have children, others don't - neither party should be made to feel guilty.
Thus when it comes to one's adoptive daughters/sons, one needs to allow them to meet their own needs/wishes. Some may have no wish/need to know more about their origins, some do - neither should be made to feel guilty.
The thing is one just has to accept that one's adopted child does not come to one via an Adoptee Tree but via real human beings who will continue to draw breath somewhere in the world. Short of killing them once they've signed TPR, one just has to accept that they exist and that either party might one day want to know each other.
Disclaimer: Not all are interested, just saying there is the possibility that they might be. Each to their own.
Disclaimer 2: My interest in my bfamily had nothing to do with my love for my aparents - curiosity is not a reflection on one's parenting. I can actually understand that many poor APs do get that wrong impression because there can be a tendency for some to connect the two eg "my children have no need to search BECAUSE we loved them enough" - that is actually a bit offensive to other adoptive parents, not just adoptees, and can make an AP whose children do search feel that they have done something wrong when in fact, their child loves them just fine but just is a person with a curious nature or just likes knowing the truth behind things.
Jessisreal's post reminded me of a "Dear Abby" column I read years ago. (Not actually sure if it was Dear Abby, it may have been another advice column).
The writer and her husband were considering having children (biological). She was scared because she knew several people who had adult children who wanted nothing to do with them. She was scared this would happen to her and her husband if they had children.
I liked the answer she got. She was told that there was no way to know how things would turn out. Yes, it was possible that if she had children they would move away as adults and not want contact. But that's not the point of having children. Since there's no way to force a child to take care of you or even want contact later in life, the point of having children is to enjoy the process of parenting! People can easily miss the fun and joy in parenting by worrying about the future.
I also agree with previous posters that shared history and love aren't going to go out the window. I expect Sweet pea to want to know her origins. If she forms a relationship with her first mom one day and loves her, it doesn't mean she loves me any less. If she doesn't feel unconditional love from me and feels like I'd be disappointed in her -- that's what might push her away.
:thanks: Thank you for the reality check. I was seriously freaking out yesterday. I've been in a local support group with others who were in the process of adopting. Almost all of us have finalized. It was fun and new and exciting.
But last week, I met up with a woman whose adoptive daughter appeared to board the crazy train in her teen years and they haven't spoken since. I was thinking, "surely, that won't be us." But then I read this yesterday and thought, "good grief! any number of things could happen! ACK!"
I know there's no way to know how anything or anyone will turn out. Logically, I get that. But... my pessimism is rearing its ugly head, wondering what in the world is going to happen as ours gets older.
Will we scar her? I see it as less of an us vs. them thing and more of a ... "what if we end up scarring her for life and the moment she can get away she just runs to her Biological mom who will rescue her from the evil travails of her adoptive family?"
"Don't let her grow up." LOL! I know you're kidding and our family jokes about it all the time. Sorry. I just hijacked this thread. Thank you for letting me vent for a moment and calling me back to reality.
Anything is possible. I can enjoy the moments as they come or be a basket case the entire journey.
I went through a really bad time with rejection issues, that were all in my own head, they had nothing to do with mom and dad (I'm adopted).
I made some really crappy choices that I take full responsibility for, but I thought they wouldn't love me anymore because I was so ashamed of my mistakes. Again, they had nothing to do with this, it was all in my own head, and my own stuff.
I didn't talk to them for about 8 months when I was 25. Now I talk to my mom four or five times a week and we couldn't be closer.
Point being is that I love my parents fiercely, always have and always will. Sometimes, like mom says, things go on in our heads that we can't control.
So, even if something does happen and things get wacky for awhile, because trust me, I was on the crazy train for a bit, doesn't mean that they won't get better and the experience won't make the relationship stronger.
Congratulations on finalizing btw.
Edited to add: Shortly after that time, I did find my first mom, and guess what? She wants nothing to do with me. Mom and Dad do though! My first mom is so damaged by life that I understand why she doesn't, I don't hold it against her, and honestly, I think Mom and Dad were more angry at her than I was.
1 Liked
 likes this.
Hi, Beatrice,
While I don't share your entire perspective, I sure do agree that adoptees and adoptive parents are very very often expressing opposite sides of the same coin.
Regarding the second to the last paragraph in your response where you requoted another post (I'll just put yours in bold for clarity):
"As an adoptee though, I'll be honest, if my APs had said anything like "have we just been babysitting you all these years", I would feel like I'd been slapped in the face - I would think "Really, after all these years, you can diminish our relationship to that? Doesn't years of history mean anything to you?". I would feel that perhaps they didn't love me as much as I thought they did, I would feel betrayed because I would feel like they had placed conditions on their love for me. I think this can often be when relationships between adoptees and their aparents "go south". "
I might be wrong but I didn't get the impression that the above adoptee was necessarily "dismissing their entire history and love for their APs", more that they too were expressing their feelings -
Yes, I completely agree on both accounts -- oddly I guess we are using what we agree on to make different points that we don't agree with. So, yes, the adoptee in my mind is expressing how they feel and so is the AP. Both valid expressions that deserve to be heard, then explored and healed.
I got the impression that they were in fact trying to get the OP to see that their child might have similar feelings to the OP (two sides of the same coin). Do you think the OP was dismissing the entire history and love for their child? No? So why assume that the above adoptee's similar description of his/her possible feelings re betrayal is necessarily dismissing their own entire history and love for their APs? Not because the ACs comment wasn't the from the same coin -- but because it was a thread regarding the AP. The AP needed to find the lost goodness beneath her sense of betrayal and have it explored first. There are few places for that to happen and she was hoping for that here. At the place she was at, If her feelings are disvalidated -- one comment (later) described her feelings as completely not valid -- then when the other side of the same coin pipes up telling the AP there could be dire consequences for her expressing her feelings to her son, the validity of APs feelings are shut down before they're even explored.
Is it not possible that adoptees and APs may have feelings that are similar but opposite sides of the coin? Definitely, that's exactly how I see it. The APs feelings beneath how they were expressed were pushed aside for the flip-side of the coin be used in a way to stifle rather than to feel safe and continue to express. In a different context, I can see how the other side of the coin can be useful -- VERY useful! But it felt cruel in this case.before the APs feelings were explored and validated even deeper.
1 Liked
 likes this.
I appreciate the passion in this thread. I realize that many of you probably spent a great deal of time forming your responses to each other. However, it was becoming too much of a back and forth battle, so sadly most of them had to be deleted.
Please keep in mind when you quote each other and respond back and forth, that it is done in a respectful way, rather than an opportunity to question and tear down the opposing response.
Thank you again for all being part of the forums! I hope that we can all continue to be here, without letting our opinions stand in the way of supporting one another as members of the adoption community.
Respectfully,
Spud
Last update on July 21, 8:53 am by Adoption Admin.
I'm going to try to articulate my thoughts but, unfortunately, they are all over the place, so please forgive the randomness of this post. I hope this one doesn't get deleted also. I think this discussion is very important and am disappointed it was all deleted.
After reading through this entire thread, including the posts that were deleted, it seems to me that some adoptees are in so much pain that it is difficult for them to see the good things they do have. Some APs, knowing that someone else actually birthed their child, live with the fear of the search and reunion their child might undertake later in life.
Kingstonrule: As an adoptee though, I'll be honest, if my APs had said anything like "have we just been babysitting you all these years", I would feel like I'd been slapped in the face
The AP was expressing her insecurity about the adoptee's feelings toward her. The adoptee took it in the exact opposite way, as an indication of the AP's feelings towards HER. However, I agree it is two sides of the same coin. There are insecurities on both sides and both need to be acknowledged by the other.
I am infertile. I love kids and have always wanted them. The only way I will ever experience raising a child is by adoption. "Having a right to a child" has nothing to do with it. Having and raising a child is an innate biological urge. I had no idea how difficult dealing with infertility would be. It has been stated that adoptees are told they must be grateful that they are adopted. Infertiles are told they should adopt! It's so selfish to pay all that money for treatments when there are all those kids out there who need homes. I am someone who always wanted to adopt as well as have biological children, but what about those for whom adoption is not the right thing? They are left with nothing except deep emotional scars and the contempt of society.
I say this not to gain sympathy for infertility, but to point out that society has it's views for pretty much every group out there. Adoptees, adoptive parents, infertiles, homosexuals, muslims, the handicapped. You name the group, society has something to say about it. Society says a lot of things...most of it is crap.
My cousin and her husband adopted a little boy several years ago. They were told he was healthy and had no behavior issues. Turns out he had RAD and FAS. He threatened to kill my cousin. Many times, she woke up in the night to find him standing over her with a knife. He is now in his 20s and the whole family is still afraid of him. Not only was this child rightfully taken from his birth parents, he should never have been adopted out to anyone without the special skills needed to handle his problems. My cousin's family was decimated both finacially and emotionally by this damaged child. I wonder what the adoptee opinion is as to what would have been the right thing for this child? No one else really seems to know.
On the other side of my family, I have a cousin who is adopted. He's awesome! We both love animals, we both love rock and roll, and we both have the same sense of humor. I never think about his adoption. No distinction was ever made between him and the rest of our family. It's a non-issue. If he has different feelings, he's never spoken about it. It kills me that he may be hurting.
1 Liked
 likes this.
Brenda, I'm only going to say a couple things:
1) There is a difference between true support and enabling support.
2) I will quote a previous post by one of this forums wisest adoptive mothers :) She is a very fairminded individual and she is calling it as she sees it. You can check out her previous posts to judge for yourself (she is usually very knowledgeable re international adoption):
Your son almost certainly feels your anger and coldness. This is a young man who has been serving his country. He has probably seen death, and maybe had experiences where he came close to death. For goodness sakes, you have a son of whom you should be proud. Reach out to him. Hold him close.
People who have been in a situation like combat are often changed by their experience. They may think a lot about their life and possible death. An adopted child may want to learn about his birthparents, so that they can meet him and he can meet them, just in case he is killed, so that they don't have to wonder, for the rest of their lives, what their birthson was like, what happened to him, and so on.
People who have been in a situation like combat also may feel a need to reach out to their own families and mend fences. Life is fragile, and they may not want to go off to war, having angry words out there; what if it's the last time they see their loved ones. So please, for his sake, let him know, in the nicest way you can, that you don't mind that he searched for his birthparents, or even that he saw them, but that some of the things he has done have bothered you and you'd like to talk about it. Try to clear the air, and make sure that he knows that you love him. You don't ever want to see him go off to war with your sullen glances and curt words in his head, and face death. You will feel guilt for your entire life that you let him go off without knowing that you love him.
If you are so angry at him that you can't do that, I do hope that you will seek out professional help. His desire to search is so normal under the circumstances, and he almost certainly didn't mean to hurt you. He wants to know these people who share his genes, but that doesn't mean he loves you any less. In fact, he will probably come to love you even more for letting him get to know his birth family, and for being welcoming to his birth family, as long as they are safe and pleasant people. I am almost certain that your son's birthparents aren't trying to hurt you. In fact, they may be so overwhelmed with joy that you were open to your son's search, that they probably feel nothing but love for you. And they may be a little overwhelmed, knowing that this young man who has suddenly come back into their lives, could well be killed in combat, and want to make every minute with him count.
You have a fine son -- a son you should be very proud of. He is a good son to you, and he is being a good birth son to his birthparents. Respect him and love him, and let him go off to do his patriotic duty knowing that, whatever happens, he now has the love of two families enveloping him.
Sharon
After reading through this entire thread, including the posts that were deleted, it seems to me that some adoptees are in so much pain that it is difficult for them to see the good things they do have. Some APs, knowing that someone else actually birthed their child, live with the fear of the search and reunion their child might undertake later in life.
I can't speak for anyone else but I'm a perfectly happy person. From what I've seen of the other adoptees, they seem like lovely people, eg Dickons is very wise, BethVA62 never fails to make me laugh and Angry Adoptee tells it as she sees it. If you take time to read their posts, you will see that shine through in their posts.
Anyway, back to myself because I can only really speak for myself. As I said, I'm a happy individual. I have good relationship with both my families. Now, I think I said this on one of the deleted posts but I am at the stage where I consider each of my relationships on their own merits. My relationship with my mom is a relationship that stands on its own merits and the relationship with my birthfamily stands on its own merits. This is something I've learned in the last two years and thus my advice to those who do live with the fear of search and reunion is to concentrate on their own relationship with their child. If one has a solid relationship that is built on rock, it is not likely to be shaken by any other relationship. My own relationship with my mom has gotten stronger BECAUSE of reunion. Why? Because it has stood the test of time and the relationship stands on its own merits.
Am I a hurt adoptee? Not as such. One thing I have done is to separate my adoptive family from adoption in general. I have a good relationship with my adoptive family. However, after years of being online and after reading a lot of the stuff out there in cyberspace, I am perhaps not so enamored with the adoption industry and the way things are done. I also feel angry on behalf of those adoptees that can't get their original birth certificates. I feel angry on behalf those adoptees who have written articles in newspapers and told they were ungrateful little minxes (there were a few earlier this year). I think though that is righteous anger. If it was just about me, then I might not be saying much, I could easily go off line and do nothing, but things like OBCs and proper adoption practices are important. Many of the better changes in adoption have come about BECAUSE of adoptees and bmoms who have spoken up (although there is still a way to go and in some ways things haven't improved).
One thing you will also find is that the reality of reunion has helped many online adoptees to see things in a different light - many of us have been told "be grateful - you could have been aborted, burnt with cigarettes, resented, thrown in dumpsters" but we have found a different reality. Note that many of adoptees are from domestic infant adoption situations from the 1960s - our mothers were just ordinary girls like you and me. I also was never particularly into fantasy either - I never had any particular view of my birthmother but after reunion, I discovered she was just a nice ordinary person like the rest of us. She didn't fit all the stereotypes.
The thing about constantly being forced to compare is that it leads to forced indebtedness - eg "You should be grateful because of the alternative". I now feel realised from that . I AM grateful for my things in my life but my gratitude is the gratitude of ANY human being, adopted or non-adopted. I NO longer feel that I need to be more grateful BECAUSE of my having been adopted.
If you have not done so already, Susan, it might be doing some reading about the history of adoption. Here is a good place to start:
http://pages.uoregon.edu/adoption/
Last update on July 22, 3:06 am by beatricesmith.
1 Liked
 likes this.
Btw I've realised that I never responded to the OP:
My son, age 25 and in the Army, was adopted when he ws 3 days old. Yes, we are older adoptive parents, but we have loved our son since day one. Three years ago, while he was deployed to Iraq, I received a one line email from him stating, "can you send me the name of the adoption agency...the search begins....lol". That was the beginning of a very downward spiral for his and my relationship.
Perhaps you can share with us why it was the beginning of a downward spiral? Did you exchange emails at the time and did both of you say things you might have regretted? You are of course entitled to have feelings and there might have been a later time when you could share those feelings but the initial response should just have been to give him the information and wish him luck.
We have always been out front and open about his adoption and answered all the age appropriate questions he's ever had. We told him everything truthfully, lovingly and supportively. Never did he ever exhibit the least bit of interest or desire to search for his birth mother until that email. After talking to my husband that day, we sent him the information he asked for, only to find out some days later that he had already....before emailing me asking for the agency....found the agency himself and had made contact with his birth mother through the agency who was holding a letter from her for him in case he ever contacted them. Needless to say, I was hurt and devastated, not because he even wanted to search, but for the way he went about it, totally behind my back. Since then, things have gotten worse. He has two step-sisters who he refers to as his sisters (he was our only child) and to make things truly worse, he took off the Christmas he arrived back from Iraq to go be with his birth family for the holidays. Since then, there are always posts back and forth on his Facebook between him and his birth mother, and she is always acting like his mother, giving advice and encouragement right after I do. In my mind, I see this as her trying to one up me. She even refers to him as her son.
Even though my parents were supportive, I still searched on my own before telling anyone. Do you know why? Because I wanted to make sure that it was a success first. If it had been a disaster, no-one but me would have known. Have you thought that that have been behind his decision to search on his own? Also, reunion can be tricky - it is actually a good thing for him to have such a good relationship with his bmother. And she is one of his mothers and he is her son, just like you are his mom and mother and he is also your son. That is the nature of adoption. Would you rather she had denied him altogether?
When my son did this hurtful search and reconnection the way he did it, I felt something die inside of me. It took me no time to realize that there is no one out there in the world of adoption who is concerned or cares about the adoptive parents. When all this happened, I contacted the adoption agency and was told, in no uncertain terms, that he is 21 and he can do what he wants. AND they reiterated many times that their only concern in any adoption in order of importance is first the birth mother, second, the child, third the adoptive parents. We told them that we felt like we were nothing more than a walking ATM to them and that no one cares about us when we need caring about as much as the birth mother and child do, and especially when we are being told to just deal with whatever has happened because our child has a right to do what he did.
Over the last 3 years, my own relationship with my son has become very fragile. I know there are adoptive parents who claim they are okay with their child searching and reconnecting and even support this, but I don't feel the same way. Maybe its because of the way my son did this that's really torn us apart, but I need someone to talk to about this before I lose my mind. I still love my son, but I no longer crave his presence or even care if I see him. Looking at him reminds me of what he did and how he now has this other family that is clearly important enough to him to call them his sisters, and maybe he even calls his birth mother Mom....I don't know. I've asked him, but he's a good liar and I don't believe him when he says he only calls her by her name. I have told him that I am hurt and that this has affected our relationship in ways he cannot begin to imagine. He tells me I'm being stupid. I've told him that, had he ever just come to us and presented his wishes to find his birth mother, that we would have been supportive and would have hoped he'd want to share meeting her and her family with us. He just laughed me off and said that if he wanted to go see them, he'd just go....he didn't need us to do that.
His sisters are his sisters, why would that take away from you being his mom?
So, he has just been returned again from a second Iraq deployment and spent his leave at home with us. But I didn't enjoy one minute of it, knowing that he has so much going on behind our backs with his birth family. I literally couldn't wait till he returned to base. When he did this to us three years ago, I literally had anxiety issues that I've never had before and had to be under a doctor's care for it. Whenever my son is around me now, I am filled with this anxiety again and need to reach out to my medication, just to deal with the affects his actions have taken on my heart. As I said, deep inside I love my son, but I feel so much has died as a result of his actions, culminating in my feelings of rejection and being pushed to the background of his life. My husband feels the same in some ways, but not nearly as deeply as I do. Afterall, it wasn't his birth father he secretly searched for, it was his birth mother, and therefore affected me more deeply.
I don't know what I really need. Maybe I'm just hoping that someone on this forum has had similar issues that they have dealt with. I have searched my soul and I am sure I'm not feeling anger as much as I am hurt by what he has so callously done to this family. If there's anyone out there who knows what I'm feeling, I sure would love to have some feedback and support.
It is hard to know how to help without knowing your son's side of the story. You call him callous but why? Because he made contact with his bmom without telling you? Because he has a good relationship with him? Do you feel that you did anything that might have contributed to the situation.
If you are still reading this 3 years later, perhaps it might be worth calling your son and having a good talk where both of you really listen to each other.
Btw my experience is that adoptees relationships with their amother always become STRONGER when the amom is supportive. It is a sign of trust.
Last update on July 23, 2:58 pm by beatricesmith.
Another resource is offered here for the OP or those in her position because APs will have triggers unique to their own subconscious. For example, if you have feelings of concern about your child having siblings that you aren't the parent of, those are natural feelings, especially if you've deeply bonded with your child. That situation can trigger very strong and powerful mothering instincts and it makes sense not to stuff them away or beat yourself up for having them, even while another AP will not be affected by it... but will in fact have her own triggers unique to her. Your feelings, however they emerge, are welcomed and honored with me. If you want to start a private conversation to share and release more of them, I'm here for you, and here to understand even more deeply how it has been for you.
The three resources I listed below will also help your feelings be understood and honored, if it takes more than just a few emails with someone.
And as far as the kind of downward spiral that started a while back with her/your son, if she or any others have similar concerns, here's another resource regarding "adoption transference" by people who have been involved in adoption for many many years. It may further validate your goodness as a mother and how alone one feels during turbulent times. http://nysccc.org/adoption/become-an-adoptive-pare...
Last update on July 25, 11:53 am by Brenda James.
Beatrice said,
Brenda, I'm only going to say a couple things:
1) There is a difference between true support and enabling support.
My response about the above for the OP or others in her position, true listening is not the same as enabling. So don't be afraid to be truly listened to under the fear that you're being enabled. True listening also is not the same as someone giving advice.
Here are three resources for you as far as finding out about true listening, which should be found easily online. One is "Compassionate Communication" developed by Marshall Rosenberg. Another is The 7 Habits (tm) Solution. Another is simply this interview if you have facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidAvocadoWolfe/videos/...
Last update on August 11, 10:19 am by Brenda James.
I find the responses to the OP extremely interesting. She came here for support. The title of this particular thread is "Adoptive Mother Support". Brenda James in the above post has done an excellent job in providing that support. The emotions experienced by the OP were acknowledged and resources were suggested on how to cope with them. I hope the OP is around to read it.
Most of the other responses were more focused on trying to explain to the OP how her emotions were invalid. These responses wanted her to justify her own emotions. Why should she? She doesn't have to justify anything. She feels how she feels.
Apparently, it was just fine for her son to feel how he felt. I am distinctly getting the impression that the right to "feel how one feels" is only extended to the adoptee. Ironic, in a thread titled "Adoptive Mother Support".
Beatricesmith: I can't speak for anyone else but I'm a perfectly happy person. From what I've seen of the other adoptees, they seem like lovely people, eg Dickons is very wise, BethVA62 never fails to make me laugh and Angry Adoptee tells it as she sees it. If you take time to read their posts, you will see that shine through in their posts.
Beatricesmith, I assure you I have read every post in this thread and several others on this sight. I will not speak of any particular member. I will say that the general tone is one of "no matter what you say, it's wrong". There is no discussion here. There is only a picking apart of what others say, no matter what it is! There is no attempt to understand or try to see from another's viewpoint on the adoptee's part. This should go BOTH directions!
Well, I will point to one member, Angry Adoptee. I don't know exactly what AA has been through, but from what has been said, in AA's shoes, she should be spitting nails! Anger is more than justified.
I keep reading about the good relationships with APs. How they got stronger. I hope that's truely the case. But if it is, why on earth would there be the need to tear down someone else's AP, as is done to the OP, for feeling normal human emotions?
Sorry, that just doesn't add up.
Did these good relationships get stronger when the AP was supportive toward the search for birthparents AND the adoptee was supportive towards the APs fears? Or just when the AP was supportive of the adoptee? Did the AP perhaps experience the same sort of "tearing down" seen in this forum? Did they perhaps hide their fears in a form of self-protection?
APs should be supportive of the search. Adoptees should be supportive of their APs. When each party in a relationship supports the other, that is when the relationship is strong. I hope this is what's happening. If not, maybe these "strong relationships" need to be studied a little closer.
1 Liked
 likes this.
I was previously invited by Beatrice on this thread to consider the following quote. That invitation was not removed by admin when they went through and removed posts they felt were too embattled, so I'll assume a response to it will be allowed. Mostly because the response can be of value to the APs needing a safe place here to express their natural emotions: So here's the quote:
Your son almost certainly feels your anger and coldness. This is a young man who has been serving his country. He has probably seen death, and maybe had experiences where he came close to death. For goodness sakes, you have a son of whom you should be proud. Reach out to him. Hold him close.
People who have been in a situation like combat are often changed by their experience. They may think a lot about their life and possible death. An adopted child may want to learn about his birthparents, so that they can meet him and he can meet them, just in case he is killed, so that they don't have to wonder, for the rest of their lives, what their birthson was like, what happened to him, and so on.
People who have been in a situation like combat also may feel a need to reach out to their own families and mend fences. Life is fragile, and they may not want to go off to war, having angry words out there; what if it's the last time they see their loved ones. So please, for his sake, let him know, in the nicest way you can, that you don't mind that he searched for his birthparents, or even that he saw them, but that some of the things he has done have bothered you and you'd like to talk about it. Try to clear the air, and make sure that he knows that you love him. You don't ever want to see him go off to war with your sullen glances and curt words in his head, and face death. You will feel guilt for your entire life that you let him go off without knowing that you love him.
If you are so angry at him that you can't do that, I do hope that you will seek out professional help. His desire to search is so normal under the circumstances, and he almost certainly didn't mean to hurt you. He wants to know these people who share his genes, but that doesn't mean he loves you any less. In fact, he will probably come to love you even more for letting him get to know his birth family, and for being welcoming to his birth family, as long as they are safe and pleasant people. I am almost certain that your son's birthparents aren't trying to hurt you. In fact, they may be so overwhelmed with joy that you were open to your son's search, that they probably feel nothing but love for you. And they may be a little overwhelmed, knowing that this young man who has suddenly come back into their lives, could well be killed in combat, and want to make every minute with him count.
You have a fine son -- a son you should be very proud of. He is a good son to you, and he is being a good birth son to his birthparents. Respect him and love him, and let him go off to do his patriotic duty knowing that, whatever happens, he now has the love of two families enveloping him.
Sharon
For any APs here who find this helped them love much better than they did before because of it, thank goodness you found what you were looking for.
However, since we're all unique and heal in different ways -- for those who recognize this as shaming and disregarding the needs of the AP (she is "cold" and should not be feeling that way) where the adult adoptee has all kinds of reasons for everything he does, including being "cold" and he has every right to feel that way, you may recognize that this type of response is enabling more guilt and repression of feelings to APs which has the opposite effect of healing, and that it simply triggers more shame (which then blocks even more of our true inner lovingness). I hope that you honor your instincts and intuition regarding that. You may find the study of "inducement" and "adoption transference" surprising in how it calls out many well-intentioned people who are considered experts in their field who are well-meaningly seeing problems when there is actually love trying to be born.
Both the adoptee and APs feelings need to both be understood. If it's "enabling" to accept the APs feelings, then it also has to be "enabling" to accept the adult adoptee's feelings. One or the other. And some of us choose to accept the feelings of both adults vs. just one of them as a starting point to healing.
It could also be pointed out here that like many perhaps, I'm from a family that has military individuals. And there's one reason they join the armed forces. They joined as a career choice like any other career from teaching to nursing. They may or may not have seen tragic and shocking deaths, but if they have, it's no more than nurses have. They are brave, just like nurses, police officers, teachers, and parents who adopt potentially rebellious and bitter adoptees are. We are doing them no service by telling these adults that they don't have to act like adults but instead are entitle to ignore the feelings of others because they've joined a career allowing them to legally kill other humans.
Back to the study, it points out that APs are supposed to demonstrate talking about their negative feelings to their kids. Because the kids are looking to their APs for direction on how to handle their own inner turmoil. If parents pretend to be all sunshine and unaffected when a child has "induced" rejection and abandonment in them -- then the child will have had demonstrated to him or her they must treat their own sense of rejection and abandonment as all sunshine, never to be spoken of.
Because it's on a subconscious level, APs will have abandonment "induced" by their child in a way that speaks abandonment to that particular AP. The form the sense of abandonment takes (being cold once finding birthparents, or any other form) isn't the issue that's supposed to be shamed away. Rather, the abandonment feelings beneath the form are to be expressed honestly, as they are really felt as long as they don't involve outright violence.
APs also are said by the study to allow themselves to include natural consequences enforced on the part of the AP. If an AP expresses her pain, and eventually must protect her heart from continued abandonment pain triggered by her adult son while the inducement acting out is going on, such as removing herself from situations that are too painful while she then goes on with her life without her son as long as he wants it that way (vs. an outright permanent rejection of him), then the adoptee sees demonstrated that he or she can express pain just as he or she feels it at the moment, and that regardless of abandonment, their life can still be valued and can still continue on. It starts with knowing your pain is just as real and valid as your children's is. And comes from a source greater than any shaming can ever eliminate.
Last update on November 12, 2:02 pm by Brenda James.
1 Liked
 likes this.