Why Does My Adopted or Foster Child Hate Me?

Dear moms through adoption,

I just received another note from a discouraged mom. “My daughter hates me. Will I always be second best? Will she always reject me?”

Perhaps you are feeling the same?

My heart goes out to you moms.

How I wish I could talk to my own mom again and tell her that I didn’t know what I was doing. I lashed out at her uncontrollably almost a daily basis, yet she took it and kept loving me.

With my anger, I thought something was wrong with me because no one else that I knew had as much anger as I. Why was that?

The anger comes from a deep sense of abandonment by our birth moms. Even in the most wonderful of circumstances, even though the parents had a fancy ceremony, even if the parents were there while the birth mom gave birth, we still feel abandoned.

WE FEEL ABANDONED, YET UNCOMPROMISINGLY FAITHFUL

In addition, there is a deep loyalty to her, even if there was trauma in the womb or after birth. I know of one case where a mom fried her toddler in hot oil. When the child was hospitalized, for some crazy reason, they allowed the mother to visit. And, guess what the first thing was that the child did? She lifted her arms in glee and called “mama.”

Yes, our love for our birth moms (and dads) is cellular. Of course, our birth mom’s womb was our first home. But, she kicked us out. That’s how it feels.

WE DO WANT TO LOVE YOU

Your child’s anger doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you or that your child doesn’t want to love you. We do want to love you but we just can’t get past the flood of emotions. They’re like an avalanche, pounding down on us.

This whole subject makes me think of Jesus on the Cross when he said,”Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

That would describe us,  moms. We don’t want to throw the avalanche on you, but we can’t help ourselves.

In my heart of hearts, I believe that we know that you are there for us, and because you are, you get the brunt of our anger.

ADOPTEE FANTASY IS CRAZY MAKING

Of course, you must know that our anger is at our birth moms. We are angry as hell that she disappeared from our lives. If you try to point this out to your adopted child, he or she will deny any anger at birth mom. Why? We fantasize about her. Perhaps she is a queen living in a palace? We envision her as everything.

HELP FOR YOU AND THE KIDS

The only advice I can give is  to help your child learn to regulate her emotions. How do you do this? Here’s my understanding of it and as I explain, realize I am still an angry adoptee in recovery:

  • TELL THE TRUTH. “You are very very angry.”
  • VALIDATE THE EMOTION:  “I know that’s what you need right now. It’s okay to be so angry. You have been through a lot in your life.”
  • SEPARATE THE PAST FROM THE PRESENT: I don’t believe in blaming adoption for the intense anger. If it were me, I would just refer to hard things that your child has gone through. “You may be remembering something from long ago that really hurt and you’re feeling those strong feelings right now. “I wasn’t able to be with you then, but I am with you now and want to be with you as you work through these feelings. I am here for you and always will be.”

Moms, you need support of those who are in the trenches like you. May I refer you to one of my favorite resources for parents? Confessions of An Adoptive Parent. Check it out. You’ll realize you’re in good company, even though you’re going through difficult times.

Last of all parents, I want to assure you that there is always hope. Adoptee anger is not a terminal disease.We can learn to work through the issues and grow because of them.

Hang in there, moms.

Sherrie_Signature.2

 

 

 

8 comments

  • This is for all adoptive mothers. In all actuality I must ask, do you love the child? You see I’m an adoptee, oh how I hate that word!! Nevertheless I’m 53 and in all actuality whether you’re 3 or 53 you truly know if someone loves you. I was adopted when I was only a few days old, though as long as I can remember which was back to being a little girl, mother never did love me, let alone like me! I knew it too. Sad she still doesn’t. I have tried my best to love her with all my heart, you wouldn’t believe the things I’ve done throughout my life to try to please her. I know what I’m saying is true because of my little girl. She’s also adopted. She loves me very, very much because I love her!!! She is my world; it’s an unconditional love!! She doesn’t like my mother, for at times I see my mother wanting to treat her the way she did me. I didn’t need that kind of validation to tell me what I already knew though it did confirm it. I have no earthly clue as to how old the child is you’re talking about, just be patient…for if you truly love this child they WILL know. Just like it states in the Bible…Love, Hope and Faith; but the greatest of these are Love! That’s always been my motto. God definitely knew what He was talking about!!! You wouldn’t believe the horror stories I have read in the past about adoptees hating their adoptive parents, especially their adoptive mothers. They had good reason to. I don’t hate mine because I refuse to send my soul to hell, instead I try my hardest to feel sorry for her. Please read some of these stories. I strongly suggest it for if you read our stories it might just help yours. There are hundreds if not thousands out here. Everyone wants to be loved. Though so many times mothers and fathers adopt children to fill an empty hole. Then turn around and find they’ve done so for the wrong reasons. If you truly adopted the child because you want to love this child and have a family with this child, then you will be patient. You’ll read these other stories and you won’t stop here. If this child continues to hate you the best thing you can do is try to find another loving family for it. I’m sorry to say but there’s definitely a reason this child is hating you. Truly I am trying to help you and give good advice. Go to the narcissistic website also, read some of the stories there too. That’s where I started a few years ago when I was trying to find answers as to why my adoptive mother hated me. Lo and behold one thing led to another and I’ve been reading how to handle my narcissistic adopted mother ever since. I’m one in a million for there are millions of us out here. Prayers For A Happy Family… Simply, TJ

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  • What a beautiful post. The title caught my eye as I was looking for blogs on adoption and adoptees. Reading this hit home and I teared up a bit. I’m an adoptee and my mom and I have had quite the rocky relationship over the years. Especially my teen years. Glad to see it’s not just me.

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  • Do you have a Facebook page?

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  • Pingback: Hasst mich mein Adoptivkind? Warum es ihm so schwer fällt, Liebe zu zeigen… | Charlotte's Adoptionsblog ©

  • Former judge of the Family Court of Australia, Professor the Honourable Nahum Mushin on ‘permanency and adoption’:
    “I think the concept of permanency is contrary to what I regard as being in the best interests of children. We shouldn’t be talking about permanency, we should be talking about long-term. Once we get to that, really what you got to do is that you have to construct a care regime for each particular child depending on his or her needs, and you can’t say ‘one size fits all’.”

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  • Sherrie, thank you for articulating this for us. I have read this before, but it helps coming from your mouth.

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