Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Insecurities of the Adoptive Mom

I think when you adopt, there tends to be that fear in the back of your mind that your child will one day think you are not enough.  There is for me, anyway.  I worry about when they'll start wondering about their biology and that mysterious birth parent.   I’d be lying if I said that I don't dread the idea of them wanting to know more about her.  But, for the record, I do understand that it's all natural and I will answer their questions when the time comes.  And, I sometimes worry that when my kids get mad at me, they will wish that someone else had adopted them.  I don't worry about it all of the time, but it does cross my mind more than I would like.  But, it’s the cross that I bear for being an over-thinker, I suppose.   Most of the time, though, I am secure in the knowledge that there is a lot of love in our family and that we are just plain meant to be together.  .

But, sometimes my insecurities get the better of me.

It was a rough morning.  Antwan was not cooperating and I thought there was a real possibility that I was going to lose my mind.  When I finally got us all in the van and heading to school, I decided to use the opportunity to lecture my youngest son. 

I was lecturing Antwan on how he needs to follow directions, cooperate with me, be part of the team, and anything else that I could think of .

And, then he said...

"I want to go to another home."

What???  I could practically hear my heart breaking.  Feeling extremely rejected, hurt, and a bit mad, I turned around and said, in the calmest mom voice that I could muster,.

"Don't you ever say that!  Do you understand?"

He quietly said "Yes."

Then my anger quickly faded into hurt.

And, I continued, while barely choking back tears, "Antwan, that really hurts Mommy's feelings.  It's not nice to say something like that, just because you are mad at me."

I looked at him to see if I was getting through at all.

He looked at me with a confused expression and then finally said, "But, why Mommy?  Why does it hurt your feelings?  I just wish we had a different house."

Then the realization struck me that we were having two very different conversations. 

"Oh, so you're just talking about us moving to another house?"

"Yeah" he said, still looking confused by my reaction.

So, Antwan had picked that moment to ponder previous conversations about wanting to buy a house and the idea of us moving?

With great relief and totally ignoring the fact that he had obviously not been paying any attention to my lecture at all; I explained that I had misunderstood him.  And I told him that I also wanted to move.  

Then I went back to driving.  I was feeling a little foolish and a lot relieved.  I completely forgot why I was mad at him in the first place and really didn't care at all how late we all were, anymore.  :)


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  5. As an adoptee myself, and now an adoptive mom, I'd say there's a good chance that at least ONE (if not all) of your kids will someday say they wish they'd never been adopted, or that they wish someone else had adopted them. It's the equivalent of saying "I hate you!" as most kids do at some time. It's anger talking. I did it to my mom, my daughter has done it to me. Interestingly, though, she has never said she hates me. (Yet. She's 12. There's still time.) If they ever do say such things, just remember it's the anger talking and teach them how to say instead that they're angry, and why. And then, in a calmer moment, let them know how much you love them and that you're so glad they're part of your family.
    Terry A

    1. Thank you for your insight! I appreciate it. :)

  6. You sound like a great family. I too am adopted and while I never told my parents I wished someone else had adopted me I can admit that I thought it occasionally, usually when I was mad over something that now seems trivial. I can remember doing my chores one day and fantasizing that I had an amazingly rich biological uncle who was searching for me and when he found me, he was going to rescue me from my harsh middle class life. LOL! Kids are imaginative, they know how to push buttons, parents of adopted children just have buttons that are a little more sensitive. Keep up the great job you are doing as a mom, the time will come when your children truly look back and realize how blessed their life has been by you. I have seen the blessing of adoption in my own life and I am so thankful for it.

    1. I guess I'll have to accept that they'll have those thought. I'm sure it's very common, even though I don't like it. ;) Thanks for sharing your thoughts and thanks for reading!

  7. I too am an adoptive Mom and I actually hope my kids feel safe enough to throw adoption daggers - because when those come at me I can take that opportunity to talk to my kids about the layers of adoption loss that inhabit all 3 of them. My son told me he wished he wasn't in our family (we are 3 for 3 by the way) and I asked him...why? What do you think it would be like? Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be with your bio-parents? Tell me about that? And layer by layer I see him processing his story in a safe way. I have talked to too many adoptees that don't share their questions for fear of hurting their adoptive parents - and either when they have kids or when their ad.parents pass away, only then do they feel safe to speak of the secret questions they have been carrying. Maybe that reframing will help you not dread the daggers, but look for them. My youngest told me that he misses his Birthmom when things are hard for him. (He was 9 at the time) and I said "I bet"..."What do you think she would do?" And we talked about how she would make it better - and then he looked up at me through tears and said, "I love you, Mom" It is in those moments that healing comes.

    1. Thanks for the comment! You definitely have a point. The last thing that I would ever want would be for my kids to be afraid to talk to me. I'm going to have to toughen myself up a little bit first, though. ;)

  8. My eleven year old daughter has been writing a book about all of her feelings and questions about her first family. It has really impressed me and I love the fact that she feels comfortable with sharing.

    1. That's awesome! I'm sure that really helps her to get it out.

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  13. I have had a moment so similar! We also adopted from foster care and although our son has lived with us all of his life (we picked him up at 3days) he did spend a considerable amount of time with his birth family before we were able to adopt him at age 3. We continue to have post adoption visits & so his birth mother is a constant topic. Well, maybe not constant, but it comes up more than I like! I have struggled with the same feelings you have & if I am honest I just wish we could wave a magic wand and poof! I am his birth mother. Anyways, never going to happen & I really do encourage his relationship with her & keep my negative feelings to myself. One day my son & daughter were playing and I hear my son yell "mommy, mommy come here quick!" I go running into the playroom & ask if everything is ok. He responds with "I wasn't calling YOU, I was calling my REAL mommy!" Ugh. My heart sank and with tears welling up, I ask "and who is your real mommy?" He tilts his head, smirks and says "duh, Michael Jackson!"

    1. You are a strong woman. I respect you for keeping the contact. I have to admit that I would have a very difficult time with that. In my case, it wouldn't be an option since she is basically a total train wreck (to put it nicely). But, yeah, that would be hard. Michael Jackaon?! Wow, my heart was breaking until I got to that part! Thanks for sharing this!

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