Mother’s Day for many adopted and foster kids may be a mixed bag. It’s like we’ve just scraped our long fingernails over a blackboard and just the mention of Mother’s Day can give us “the willies.”
We can’t stomach the “Two Moms” poem or the saying that we grew in our adoptive parents’ hearts. Leave those out, please.
Why should that be?
After all, we have two moms, right? Or, three or four….
Yes, our adoptive moms have tried their best to nurture, but because of our misplaced anger or their inability to attach, we reject them. And, for our first moms, there is sadness unspeakable.
For those of us adopted at birth or shortly afterwards, consider our initial perceptions of “mother.” For those adopted after birth, we sense disappearance, absence, and rejection…even in the most positive of circumstances with those adopting us.
And, adoptive or foster parents can’t fix this.
For those of us who are adopted later in life, perhaps through foster care, emotional reality would contain those things listed above, plus absolute chaos and trauma, and an inability to trust anyone.
So, is the dye cast at relinquishment(s), or placements?
Doesn’t rejection become our “normal” for all relationships in life?
For me, it did. I didn’t know that there are people out there that are emotionally available and nurturing. Thus, I along with many, seek those who will reject.
We need to find a new “normal.”
These elements may help both parents and kids.
Parents Who Affirm the Split
I love what Mary Watkins and Susan Fisher say in TALKING WITH YOUNG CHILDREN ABOUT ADOPTION. “My wish has always been that my children would feel normal, that they would feel all their questions about adoption have been answered, and that they would experience being our children as a wonderful and natural occurrence. And so, in telling their stories, which of course often reveal what a painful conflict being adopted is for them–and this is their reality–no matter what my wish, in effect I have to confront the split between my wish and reality. It strikes me as I write this that Teddy and Anna often confront this split. Sometimes, they let me in on the pain and sometimes they don’t. They–we all need to stay aware and continue to try to find the words for this split as we stay in the reality that this indeed is OUR family.” https://www.amazon.com/Talking-Young-Children-about-Adoption/dp/0300063172/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1526138435&sr=1-1&keywords=talking+with+young+children+about+adoption
Mental Health Provider Who “Gets It”
Sometimes, that reality comes through counseling. For me, that is how it happened. After hospitalization for depression, my psychiatrist proved that there are such people in the world. He was filled with respect and compassion and encouraged me to always “aim high” with future decisions.
Fellow Adoptees Who Cry With US
Sometimes, it happens through friendships with fellow adoptees. I will never forget the late Dr. Dirck Brown sitting with me while I recounted my birth mother’s cruel rejection after reunion. He cried with me and then told me how his birth mother had rejected him on her death bed.
Parents Identify Triggers
Birth mother raped: Hostile environment in womb…I am a mistake
Infant arches back: Who in heck are you? I want my mom.
Child withdraws and is sullen: I am sad that first mom gave me away.
Child clings to adoptive mom: Why didn’t I grow in your tummy, mommy?
Child sick on first day of school: I feel sick. Child is afraid of any new situation.