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I was reading a thread in the Adult Adoptee's forum and the original poster made a statement that really made me sit back and think. I wonder how many adoptee's feel this way. What interactions happen that causes this impressing and how on earth can I avoid this in my own adoptions.
The post was beautifully written so I hope they don't mind me borrowing only this one part of the post but it's the part that I wanted to discuss with the others on the forums.
"I have always felt like a possession in my aparents eyes"
What are your thoughts on that sentence?
wrking, it sounds to me like unconditional love wasn't present in this case. (Of course I don't know the OP so I'm guessing).
I don't think a child who feels unconditional love will feel like a "possession". We see posts in the foster parent forum where it seems biological parents are treating a child as a possession. They don't have the unconditional love to go the extra mile to turn things around but they want to fight for what's "theirs".
From reading your posts I don't see you as treating your kids like possessions. I'm sure they feel unconditional love. :)
Any adoptees responding to this will have more insight but that's my interpretation. It just sounds to me like the poster didn't feel unconditionally loved.
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Well one of the things that gets talked about is how much Adoption Cost. We hear it all the time, but very rarely do we hear about how much giving birth costs. I really think that might be part of it.
Last update on January 29, 7:18 am by Sachin Gupta.
Maybe just never felt like aparents tried to connect with him/her? I can also see someone saying this because their parents were too smothering and possessive.
I've seen others post about feeling like a "possession". That they never quite "fit" in their families or that there was always a disconnect. I just wonder about it and how you can prevent it, knowing that this is a valid feeling some adoptee's have. I wonder how many are due to the AP's not being the kind of parents or if it's just something out of our control.
Yes Leeah, my kids are my entire world. There's nothing either of them can do that would make me stop loving them. I love them and their first families dearly.
Its just something I wondered...I know that my daughters have picked up several of our traits, yes they're not genetic clones obviously, but they pick up a lot of our personalities. So I just wonder if that doesn't happen in some cases. My 3yr old is my mini-me. She's soo much like me it's not even funny (super adorable though!). My 1 year old is a lot like her daddy, she's got a ton of her 1st mom's facial expressions and natural habits, but she's so much like hubby too!
Thanks for letting me talk it out loud.
Thanks Belle - Perhaps we do talk of the cost too much. It's a big hurdle for a lot of regular people, I think that's why it's talked about so much. But the cost to the First Family and adoptee is extreme. Thank you.
Thanks Beachy - perhaps... lord finding that middle ground is tough.
Wrking,
I totally understand why it gets talked about here on ap forums. The general public talks about it a lot too. I've heard people ask my parents how much we cost in front of us. Nobody asks how much my little brother's birth cost, kwim?
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Wrking,
I'm not sure I'd tie the "possession" and not "fitting in". Of course they could both be part of the experience, but I think they are two separate things.
To me possession means just that. They needed the child to be part of their social world, everyone has children type of thing. Either that, or the parents "settled" for an adopted child and want the child to be just like their own child would be type parenting...or both...
Not fitting in is something easier to define. You know when you meet someone you will never be friends? The personality that is like oil compared to your water? Then add into that mix that you are outgoing and everyone else you live with is introverted (or reverse). You are into sports and they are into the arts, they love meat and it makes you gag thinking an animal had to die, the list is endless. Any of those variables put together and you have someone who feels like the proverbial sore thumb, a stranger living in a family who are as different, as different can be. No one seems to think about this much in adoption for some unfathomable reason to me, other than perhaps they still believe in the Blank Slate Theory (which really also fits into the possession category too).
Kind regards,
Dickons
P.s...thankfully I copied my comment before I selected submit reply...really this makes having a conversation really hard unless I use one sentence replies.
I think the possession thing can come up in a lot of ways. With adoption, I see it in those parents who don't want to "share" with bfamily - you know, the idea that "this is my child, I'm the one who raised her/ him, how dare bparents think they should be able to know her/ him."
I see treating kids as possessions in other ways in biological as well as adoptive families. When parents won't let their kids be themselves, think for themselves, define their own identity, that can also make children feel like objects rather than people.
Belle - I do know what you mean. I agree. I actually think depending on the birth they are about the same. Neither should be discussed in general public and especially not in front of children.
Dickons - Yes I can see how they are two separate concerns. This sentence you wrote made me think too...
"No one seems to think about this much in adoption for some unfathomable reason to me".
You know I didn't honestly think about it much. I just assumed that since both of my children were adopted from family friends, that we already had much in common. We all live within 2 miles of each other. Same schools, backgrounds, family life "honestly I thought that's why I was "chosen" both times". So I just never thought that our adopted children wouldn't fit in. Just "assumed" they would.
Same with a niece I raised. However; I realized when she was a teen that no matter how much alike I was to her family of origin, there were bold differences. I hurt her feelings a lot because she's sensitive to the extreme and I'm, well not. So I had to re-learn parenting because I didn't want to be a source of pain. I wonder if other adoptive families who have kids with bold personality differences, recognize it and know that they have to do it different. Or if the inability to recognize it makes the "I don't fit in" more noticeable.
Ruth74 - I never thought of it that way but your are exactly right. I love every word of your post and wish we had a "like" button!
"I think the possession thing can come up in a lot of ways. With adoption, I see it in those parents who don't want to "share" with bfamily - you know, the idea that "this is my child, I'm the one who raised her/ him, how dare bparents think they should be able to know her/ him."
I see treating kids as possessions in other ways in biological as well as adoptive families. When parents won't let their kids be themselves, think for themselves, define their own identity, that can also make children feel like objects rather than people."
belleinblue1978
Wrking,
I totally understand why it gets talked about here on ap forums. The general public talks about it a lot too. I've heard people ask my parents how much we cost in front of us. Nobody asks how much my little brother's birth cost, kwim?
We have chosen to not tell ANYONE what DD's adoption cost. And we make it VERY CLEAR that she herself didn't cost us a penny. You can't put a monetary value on a human being!!! The reason we have not and will not tell how much DD's adoption cost is because we don't want those figures discussed between our friends or between our children. They will all be the same value to us. The cost of their adoption has nothing whatsoever to do with THEIR WORTH as a person.
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Waiting_on_God
We have chosen to not tell ANYONE what DD's adoption cost. And we make it VERY CLEAR that she herself didn't cost us a penny. You can't put a monetary value on a human being!!! The reason we have not and will not tell how much DD's adoption cost is because we don't want those figures discussed between our friends or between our children. They will all be the same value to us. The cost of their adoption has nothing whatsoever to do with THEIR WORTH as a person.
Judy,
My parents didn't tell either. In fact, I don't think they remember, because really, the money was irrelevant, they got my fabulous self after all, lol. I think it is great that you are choosing not to tell what the adoptions cost. You're right, we are people, and if you say "how much we cost" then it is about purchasing us.
It is amazing what people feel is fair game when discussing adoption isn't it? Why it would ever cross anyone's mind that it is ok to ask those questions, especially in front of the kid, is beyond me.
I should probably knock on wood while posting this.lol. I'm happy to say no one has ever asked me what Sweetpea's adoption cost. That's another one to prepare for, though, and have a response ready if it happens. I'd never actually answer it but would probably be pretty shocked and stumped as to how to respond.
In real life and before I ever came on forums, I never felt like a possession. However, after being on various mixed adoption and general topic forums/FB groups in the last few years, there are times when I've felt like people are discussing products (us) and suppliers (e/bmoms). It is not so bad on these forums but on some other forums, there are countless discussions on how to get a baby as quickly and cheaply as possible, how to make sure the emother doesn't change her mind, which states are the most "adoption friendly" (i.e which states have the shortest revocation periods). Also, though I understand that a failed match is very difficult emotionally for prospective APs, they can be difficult for adoptees and bparents to read.
Also, I googled that sentence that Working21 quoted and noted that the adoptee's amom had lost a baby at birth in the same hospital where her bmom was giving birth and so she was given to the amom to replace the one she had just lost which probably made her feel as if she were interchangeable eg "your baby's died - here take this spare one". It would be interesting to know whether the amom just acted as if the adoptee was the baby she had given birth to and whether she ever grieved the loss of her lost baby - I would feel a bit sad for both babies if she had just treated the adoptee as if it were the baby she gave birth to and had never grieved the lost baby - both the lost baby and the adoptee are a human in their own right.
Another occasion where an adoptee can feel like their aparents love isn't unconditional is when they decide to search for parents and their aparents tell them that searching is a betrayal to them and that their child is disloyal etc etc. Some adoptees have been told "us or them". I would imagine that if I were in that position, I would feel really sad that my aparentds didn't trust me enough and would feel betrayed that they had placed conditions on their love for me.
In regards to adoptees rights re open records, if one posts in support of them, it is surprising how many replies one gets (often just from the general public) telling one that it is a betrayal to our adoptive parents - as if we are owned by them. I usually tell them not to worry and to MTOB - my own aparents are pretty supportive of open records.
Disclaimer: I do want to point out that on al the forums I've been on, there are many wonderful APs. Many evolve and change their thinking throughout the process and that is very encouraging.
While I was growing up my parents fostered several children and after I was grown and moved out, adopted a sibling group. I always felt very lucky when we were able to stay in contact with the children and their families after they were reunited. It made me feel like I had the biggest family ever. My sisters (2 of whom are younger than my son) are not able to have contact with their BM, but they do know who she is. They are however, no different from the rest of us, though we all have different parents, we all have remain very close. Even the children who were reunited and now have children of their own are still "brothers and sisters" and now there are grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. We love each other and our AP's and BP's love us too. We don't all have the same background, but we are all connected by being there for each other through all the good times and the bad, we held on to each other. Our AP's never made us feel like we were any different but made sure not to treat us like we were all the same. I never heard any talk of money, I never felt like a possession. I often felt more like I was the one who had it all, if my BM had kept me, I would have never had the opportunities, chances, bonds, and experiences I did and still do. We are a different kind of family in our own way and agree after reading some of the posts I realize how lucky I really am to have AP's that loved each and every one of us unconditionally for being us and recognized and embraced our uniqueness. I can't begin to think the cost of raising and adopting us, and I don't think my parents ever though of it in monetary terms. It was always an investment in love. Now I am becoming on the journey of becoming an AP and I would never think to put a price sticker on my child. If someone ever asked me what is cost I would have to say "hearts and tears, strength and courage, and an investment in love."
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BeatriceSmith - I agree I can totally see where the person who wrote this post (sentence that I shared) would feel like a possession, she felt like she was a replacement you don't get much more "objectified" then that. Her whole story really bothered me for all involved.
Also, I googled that sentence that Working21 quoted and noted that the adoptee's amom had lost a baby at birth in the same hospital where her bmom was giving birth and so she was given to the amom to replace the one she had just lost which probably made her feel as if she were interchangeable eg "your baby's died - here take this spare one". It would be interesting to know whether the amom just acted as if the adoptee was the baby she had given birth to and whether she ever grieved the loss of her lost baby - I would feel a bit sad for both babies if she had just treated the adoptee as if it were the baby she gave birth to and had never grieved the lost baby - both the lost baby and the adoptee are a human in their own right.
Leeah - I too have never been asked that question (knocking on wood). Honestly I don't even know the total. But I never thought about how to answer that question should someone ask it.
I should probably knock on wood while posting this.lol. I'm happy to say no one has ever asked me what Sweetpea's adoption cost. That's another one to prepare for, though, and have a response ready if it happens. I'd never actually answer it but would probably be pretty shocked and stumped as to how to respond.
Belle - I agree, I wonder why people find it okay to ask such rude and inappropriate things. I know that as an Amom I have had other rude questions asked about my kids "which one is the drug baby?" yes, who says that to a parent. I know a family who were "smokers" and I never asked them how their drug baby was!
It is amazing what people feel is fair game when discussing adoption isn't it? Why it would ever cross anyone's mind that it is ok to ask those questions, especially in front of the kid, is beyond me.