' [Birth Mother] First Mother Forum: Adopted or Not?

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Adopted or Not?


This caught my eye a few weeks ago and...I thought of all that I have learned from adoptees. How do you feel when you see this picture? Write down the first thing that comes to mind and leave it as a comment, please.--lorraine


TO READ  

How It Feels to Be Adopted 

"Adoptive parents, when you buy your first picturebook about how your adopted child came into your family, purchase this book, as well. Read it immediately, and then tuck it on the bookshelf for future reference.

"This book is based on personal interviews of adopted children between the ages of 8 and 16. They share their opinions on adoption and tell about their families. The range of feelings and attitudes demonstrate that there is no generic adoption experience. Some individuals are very curious about their biological parents (a few even search), and others are not. Some are satisfied with explanations about how they came to be adopted, and others can't understand why their bio parents didn't make another choice. Some feel that being adopted is an important part of their identity, while others see it as a minor issue in their lives.


"Though most of the youngsters in this book were adopted as infants, the stories and photos represent a larger diversity, including inter-racial adoptions and older children adopted from foster care. 
The author suggests that adopted children think about adoption more often than their parents may imagine. This book will clue parents in to adoption from children's points of view, and offer companionship to adopted children looking for others to understand "how it feels to be adopted." --from Colleen M. McDonald on Amazon. (Full disclosure: Lorraine and her daughter are included, with photos and her daughter's interview by the author.)



34 comments :

  1. " I don't belong here." That's the first thing that popped into my head. Then: " out of place", "different", and " where are those that look like me?" Those are my first thoughts.

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  2. One type of bush growing in with another, both getting what they need to flourish.

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  3. It reminds me the kids song from Sesame Street, "One of these things is not like the other; one of these things just doesn't belong." http://www.metrolyrics.com/one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-others-lyrics-sesame-street.html

    I remember seeing a couple of sisters who were friends of one of my daughters in a restaurant. The girls were only a year apart in age. The oldest girl was adopted. The difference was striking. The bio girl looked like her mother, titled her head in the same way. The adopted girl looked so out of place.

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    1. I know a couple who adopted their oldest child, a girl, due to infertility. As so often happens after adopting, the mother became pregnant and she gave birth to identical twin boys. The boys not only look just like each other but they are the spitting image of their father. The girl with her dark brown hair looked so out of place in this family of blonds. I haven't seen them in many years but I always felt sorry for that adopted girl.

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    2. Robin's story makes me wonder about my foster daughter Nina, who is biracial. She is dark haired and dark eyed, and growing up in her all-white biological family that is mostly blond and blue-eyed (she has no contact with her African-American father or that side of the family). I wonder if being adopted intensifies the awareness of looking different, or if Nina too feels different, even though she is among bio family members.

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    3. Robin, you hit the nail on the head. As a child I felt so out of place, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I would hear comments about how I could not possibly belong to the two olive-skinned, raven haired people who claimed me as their daughter. I felt very embarrassed when people commented on my blond hair , fair skin and freckles, adding that I could not possibly be theirs. I felt even worse when a-mom told these people that my father was blond as a boy. How ridiculous. I have no siblings, but lived in very close proximity to a hoard of cousins, all of whom resembled their parents and each other. I was the only odd man out. It's a very lonely feeling. At least I understand it now.

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    4. JE,
      You bring up such an important issue. I know that for BSE babies like us, everyone seemed to agree that we were blank slates and would meld easily and effortlessly into our adoptive families. But didn't anyone wonder about the fact that we wouldn't look like our APs and about how that might make us feel? I mean, no matter how much one believes nurture triumphs over nature, our physical characteristics could only come from our bio-families.

      It must have been very hard for you to feel so isolated and so different. But I am glad you are finding your voice.

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    5. I didn't think about the fact that my daughter would not look like her adoptive family. In the BSE, adoption agencies attempted to match children to their adoptive parents with the same ethnic background (Irish, German, and so on) and hair and eye color. When I gave up my daughter, the social worker carefully wrote down my background and her father's and our physical features.

      I think some adoptive parents wanted as close a match as possible to give them assurance that the child would have traits like their own which they believed were good. It also helped adoptive parents keep the adoptive status a secret if they chose.

      Adoption agencies had some success at matching. Adoptees have told me that strangers told them how much they looked like this or that adoptive parent.

      Of course, in order to place a child, agencies were not above lying about the child's ethnic background. This complicated searching because the adoptees would seek out possible parents with last names of the ethnicity they thought they had. Some adoptees became very involved in a particular culture, thinking it was their birth culture only to learn it was not.

      Today, agencies don't try to match as far as I know. At the same time, though, some adoptive parents and first parents seem oblivious to how a child feels having starkly different features from his adoptive parents.

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  4. This may come across as really kooky but the first thing that came to my mind was Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. Tis the season, eh? That one plant may be a misfit but perhaps its difference is just the trait that will make it strong and will turn out to be its most valuable asset.

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    1. Robin, you have the most interesting thoughts ever - I love how your brain operates! If you have an official "Fan Club," I'm joining :)

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    2. You are so sweet, Jay :)

      By the way, I left a comment for you at the previous post. I wanted you to know that I think you are spot on regarding how you want your son mentioned in your obit.

      And I bet you've been watching a lot of the children's holiday specials lately!

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    3. Thanks Robin and yes, 'tis the season for the specials indeed!

      I also left a comment for you on the "Adopted from Romania" blog post.

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  5. Something's out of place.

    Immediate second thought was ''one of these things is not like the others'' (sesame street?)

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  6. I don't look like my AP's and I don't think like them. They are blissfully unaware of this. I have been a fish out of water my entire life, and no one ever addressed it. And they won't because they are desperate for this adoption to work. So many years later.... They are still desperate.

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  7. I'm trying not to be anonymous like you asked,went to pick a name but don't know what URL means so here I am back to being anonymous I was going to be Trixie but decided that was over the line so in the future I'll be Esmerelda. Anyway, I didn't see one plant as different at first I first thought of a houseplant that my brother has with the yellow-edged leaves and then when I saw the healthy-looking all green plant in the middle a line from U2's song popped into my head"The heart is a bloom,shoots up through the stony ground-there's no room"

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    1. You do not need a URL--which is a website. You don't have one, don't need one. Please use a name.

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  8. I thought it was beautiful because of the differences and it reminded me of Goldie Hawn's poem, "Here's to the kids who are different." Check it out if you haven't read it. I'm one of five children and my mother often commented how glad she was that we were all so different from one another as she felt that it made her job of being an awesome mother that much more interesting!

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  9. Greenie says "I'm the biggest, baddest, greenest plant in this boring garden!"

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  10. Plants bearing such variegation are chimeras, with more than one type of genetic makeup in their tissues. The typically growing greenery bares only one genetic background. Make of that what you will.

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    1. Hey--explain further. What do you mean, "typically growing greenery bares only one genetic background"? Is the variegated plant an engineered mutation and the shoots that come out solid a throwback to the original. There was another fully green shoot in the bush.

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  11. Weirdly enough, I used to think when I was growing up that I was absolutely NOTHING like my mother. Yes, I could see myself in my father and his family, one aunt specifically whom I resembled so much that when she visited (from New York!) people assumed she was my mother when I was young--even though my mother was with us too.

    As I got older--this didn't really happen until my 30s and 40s--I realized that, in fact, I had a lot of my mother's traits, both mentally and physically. Just sayin. Not even sure how it relates to this post but I guess I am responding to the person who said she really felt like an anomaly in her family. Once, I did too.

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  12. Jane, I posted my comment prior to reading the others. That's exactly the song I was referencing

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  13. My first thought was, its reverting back to its root stock, cut the green one out. Then I thought of the adoption implications.... ouch.

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  14. I see fresh growth. These leaves may well "fade" as they mature.

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  15. I am adopted, but adopted was not what came into my mind when I saw the picture. If you put it in that realm, okay. But who knows what lies outside the frame of the photo? I don't identify with a plant, and I don't usually like the "grafting" metaphors and all that.

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  16. I'm not adopted, so the plant said to me "hybrid." Which I always felt like in my family. I was different than them, and not because of adoption. I am however a first mother, and I see how my son suffered from not growing up in his family of origin.

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    1. In looking at my extended family, the children who were the most different from their parents or siblings, not because of adoption but because that's how the genetic dice landed, had more troubles growing up which extended into adulthood.

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  17. Jane, regarding your 11:35 comment, I am both sorry to read that and slightly relieved to read that. Certainly was true in my case: once I wriggled out of the square hole into which I'd been forced, I was essentially kicked out of my bfamily of origin.

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  18. Out of place. Many adopted kids feel that way with the families we are raised with. I was told growing up how much I looked like my mom. I never saw it. The fact is, there is a very strong gene on my side of the family. My daughter looks like me, her daughter looks like me. (so much so that the pictures of us at the same age, you can not tell them apart). A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit my first family, I look just like my mother. I was told there was no reason to do a DNA. They knew who I was as soon as I got off the plane.

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  19. The first word that came to me when I saw the picture was the word "odd". The second word that came to me was the word "protection".

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  20. Wrong family. Out of place. How come they can dance and I can't? How come I can sing and they can't? What is wrong with this picture?

    ADOPTED.

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