15 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Adoptive Parents

     There are many emotions built up inside of adoptees about the loss they have experienced to the things they wish they could say to their adoptive parents about being adopted. Adoptees often discuss on I Am Adopted’s Facebook page things they wish their adoptive parents would have done; things they wish they would have shared; or things they wish they never did. These are all things that adoptive parents usually were not prepared for or educated about before choosing to adopt.
    The problem is, it is difficult for adoptees to express their feelings about being adopted because society forces the idea that adoptees should be grateful to be adopted and that adoption is a beautiful thing and a blessing. It does not leave room to speak about the parts where adoption hurts. Often, adoptees are afraid to speak out because they do not want to feel ungrateful or dishonor a family that has gone to great lengths to adopt and has spent thousands of dollars to adopt.
    Adoptees have shared with me that they feel like they have an obligation to their adoptive parents to be just who they want them to be because of what they went through to adopt. They don’t want to dishonor them or hurt them. To be clear, this does not mean that adoptees do not love their adoptive parents; it only means that there is work to be done in ensuring that the voices of adoptees are being heard and validated. There is no such thing as a perfect parent or adoptive parents. However, being open to learning about how adoptees feel about being adopted is a great start to support your adopted child.

    I asked adoptees to remain anonymous about what they wish they could say to their adoptive parents. Below are 15 comments that I pulled from the list that I believe adoptive parents should be aware of:

    1. Don’t shame or spank me for not telling the truth and being honest when you have continuously been lying to me about my adoption and information for decades.

    2. I wish you would have been with me through the whole adoption-reunion process; it made it a lot more difficult having to keep my “two lives” separate after reunion with my adoptive side and biological side. I wish I could’ve seen them all connect. They were still great parents, and I think they thought, especially my father that he was trying to protect me not realizing how much it could have helped me. Rest in Peace Mama 9/23/08 Papa 3/17/08

    3. They should have been more forthcoming with information about my adoption. Getting “my papers” at age 36 was crap. They should have openly talked about my mom and dad, “what do you think she’s like”? “I wonder if you look like him”?

    4. Talk about it, talk about it, talk about my adoption. That one time was not enough.

    5. Be honest and open, and no “special, chosen, gotcha” crap.

    6. You have always thought I was happy about being adopted. You never saw my pain. You made it all about you that you forgot about me.

    7. Keeping my status as an adoptee a secret was so hard for me. You made me feel ashamed and embarrassed.

    8. Don’t shut down when I ask questions about my adoption as if I am dishonoring you by wanting to know who my mother is.

    9. Don’t think you can make my real family disappear like they do not even exist. They are a part of me as much as you are a part of me.

    10. Don’t think that because you brought me to America you gave me “a better life”.

    11. I am not the cure to your infertility and marriage issues.

    12. You robbed me of my culture by removing me from my country.

    13. Be real and do not lie to me about my adoption. I deserve to know who I am, where I come from, and my birth family. You are only hurting my relationship with you by lying.

    14. You cannot be mad because I did not end up as you anticipated. I have my own genetics and bloodline. Bestowing your ideas on me can only go so far.

    15. You should have a talked with your biological children before bringing an “Outsider” into the family. It does not help when your biological children don’t accept me or think I am supposed to bow down to you because you “saved” me.

    What would you say to your adoptive parents? Please post your answers in the comment box. 

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    Jessenia Arias
    Jessenia Arias
    I'm Jessenia. I am an adult adoptee with 10 years of experience advocating and fostering relationships with adoptees, and over five years of experience teaching adoptive parents how to have a successful and genuine relationship with their adopted child.

    75 Comments

    1. Clifton Davy says:

      Communication is imperative in any and every situation. I hope that many other people will read this and learn from the things you desired and give their children, adopted or biological, a smoother experience in life.

    2. Anonymous says:

      I agree with the 2nd comment, I'm 26 and just got my file last year, I've met some 2 sisters and a brother, and numerous aunts and cousins, nieces and nephews but not the bio mother or father yet, and its difficult telling my parents I'm going to visit the bio side. My mom is trying to accept it, but the corner eye rolls and sighs are obvious to me, also because I stay with them (post college graduation decision), I inform them if I'm gonna be very late to avoid worries, and one night I was with the sister (13 months older than me) and I called my mom to tell her this, her response: I can't believe you're gonna stay that late with them. Had it been a friend or my family she'd say nothing but because it's my bio side its an expected feeling of threatened. That's a better reaction than my dad though who won't even really aknowledge the other side, he wants nothing to do it and would rather me keep it a separate world. I mean I do understand some of it, why should some of them get to share me if some of them didn't want/couldn't take care of me? But I don't think I'm asking a lot to just accept it, do we all have to sit down for a giant family dinner? Would I like to stick a rusty nail through my foot? No, but it would be nice if it wasn't so separate, to be able to talk freely without, I hate the short simple answers, "yes", "no", "maybe", and not going into detail when I've been with that bio side, they think me talking about it would somehow draw us apart but I tell them, nothing can change the life I've grown up with, I know who my mom is, I know who my dad is, that's a place that can't be etched out by anyone, even the woman who gave birth to me and the man who helped, but there can be a place for mutual respect and civility and yes even joining together…besides one day I do plan to get married, and the first time they all meet I would like for it NOT to go down there, because yes, I will invite everyone, who shows up is whatever but I don't want to have to worry about everyone getting along. If they try and attempt now, it'd take a load off my mind, at the minimum to say "we tried". I'm not tryin to have Soulfood Sunday with my family and the bio side, it would just be nice I it didn't seem like I'm exiting my family to enter the bio side and when I leave vice versa. All you have to do it try, most of us would appreciate that, most of us recognize the difficulty of the situation, so the effort alone, minus the eye rolls, would mean the world. If it doesn't work out then that's the way of the world, but don't squash my attempts to bridge the gap before we even get started, try going with the flow a little bit, you'd be surprised how close it could bring everyone.

      • I am smiling and shaking my head at the same time because I know EXACTLY how you feel. I met my family a year ago and I am in the process of getting engaged and the thought of everyone sitting at the table together at my reception is making me nervous. My a-mom is pretty cool about it now, she is just so hurt and I guess bitter toward my b-mom for how she abandoned me and they way things went down. However, I explained to my a-mom that if I was able to get over it she has to to…especially because we are Christians. We have to love people regardless. I know my b-mom did not have her right mind when she did what she did, and for that I will forgive her either way. It is unfair that we have to live two separate lives trying to appease both side of the family. It is easy for either side to forget how WE feel. I truly believe in voicing your opinion and letting them know how it makes you feel. I pray for courage on your journey and strength. Thanks so much for being a voice and writing me.

    3. Anna says:

      I'm an adoptive mom and can see how my older children (adopted) would feel these things. As much as it has been a struggle for them, it has been a struggle for me. I think that adoptive parents are blind for the most part when they go into adoption and because it is so "glorified" in a lot of ways as a noble thing to do, they just think it could only be good for the child and they are disheartened when they are in over their heads, their children/child hates them, and they wonder where they went wrong. Now having the perspective of an "adoptive mom" I can see why your adoptive parents may have felt confusion about whether to tell you the truth or not and how they may have not felt "confident" about mingling or connecting with your biological parents. I also adopted internationally (my husband's older siblings), so the situation is a little different because both biological parents had passed away and we had a "biological" connection to them in some way. But all I have to say is, being a parent is soooo hard (biological AND adoptive) and I used to think I knew a lot more than I claim to know now. Your points are very insightful and I may send them to my three adopted daughters to let them know that someone can relate to what they may be feeling. At the same time, I do think even if they feel they've gotten the "short end of the stick," there are certain principles of gratitude that will be beneficial for them to carry throughout life, "in spite of." I got to your blog from Twitter. @googleorgod thanks for sharing.

    4. adoptmomof6 says:

      We always do a little something special for our kids on their adoption days and gotcha days and we tell them their stories…..Do we tell all of the gruesome details of course not, but we do tell them how they came to live with us….we adopted all 6 of our kids through foster care. Our oldest just turned 18 and although he knew a lot about his past I gave him his book with all of his medical papers. We will be searching for his birth family this year. I want him to do this before he leaves home so I can be there for him. Our kids have always known that they were adopted and when they are older we will help them find their birth parents….

      • Wow! YOU ROCK! Thanks for sharing that with me and the rest of us. I salute you for adopting via foster care and giving a child a place they can call home without worrying they will be moved again…and again. I am still and have been for awhile a little weirded by the "gotcha day". I know it may work for the kiddies, but as you get older I would like to think that we just want to blend in, and not remember life before. It becomes a constant reminder. But hey, everyone is different right? 🙂 I am happy to see that you are as supportive as you are. It is a blessing. Many AP dont understand what search means to us. We dont want to replace you or leave you. We just want to know. It may be just to see or find out why. It may last one day and it may last forever. Thank you for being so open. You have a piece of y heart for that!

      • Why wait to make connection? Time is something that is being taken away from the children, their bio parents too. I have met a lot of a- parents, their excuses sound good to them. But hey, what a jump on things if you made contact with their birth families, sorted out any sordid, unsafe details, or figured a way to integrate them now. Time is robbing these children. I do not understand. I am a father who lost his daughter. It started with mother who needed a plan, a plan to care for her child. It was the adoptive plan, that showed her what she did not have to offer. When our child was born, I still was not included, she changed her mind, she says three months, my lost daughter says a week. Foster care is what happened next. Apparently same people who had been part of the original plan, stepped in after a waiting period. ?
        I have experienced enormous grief. Being walled off from my off spring. I gladly would have raised my lost daughter. Cousins have been an enormous joy in my life, in my kept child's life. When adoptees share their stories growing up waiting to meet their people, their family of origin, all the angst they feel looking for their people in others faces as they travel about…..I cannot fathom this artificial world that betrays them. Yet, for adoptive parents it makes perfect sense, their children are but their putty and their love will prevail.
        Breaking bonds is a disgrace, when it is unnecessary.
        I hope that these children were not far removed from their culture of origin. It is such a disgusting, insensitive practice. I have to agree, when adopting children from foster care, ending a cycle of compounded grief, creating a sense of place.
        My life now needs to focus on my lost daughter, how to be part of her experience, while not forsaking my kept daughter, and her children as well. I just loathe adoption, communication, could change so much.

    5. Anonymous says:

      Hi jess, so much i could say but lets get straight to the point: After 46 yrs of knowing i was adopted but no luck of finding my blood parents,of feeling lost and not belonging to anything,confused and separated from "normal" families and nobody else understands… i found that the best thing for anybody who's been adopted to do is to read accounts of others who have been adopted and join in conversations with them, for these are the only people on the whole planet earth who do know that same feeling (thank goodness for the internet), to feel that you're not alone at last in this world has given me my own kind of family, ie. other adoptees. I thought my vocation all these yrs was science(but lonely science,no matter how big the crowd), now i'm going to devote my life to adoption counciling to help myself and "be there for others" because of course i've already earned my degree in understanding all the angles of adoption, ive been studying it for say 40yrs!!!! Luckily i managed to arrive at this epiphany before i virtually internally self destructed through paradoxical emotional deadends, the powers that be did not offer anything after i was adopted thinking i'd be fine!!!!!!!. I'm sure alot are but i want to be there for those that wernt ok,that didnt feel like they belonged to anything, the wandering souls, and advise anybody who's ever been adopted to just write something on the internet even if its just to say "i was adopted aswell". You will find that you do belong to something,you belong to our special club that "normals" will never understand, that only we get and only we can join, and at last fill that empty hole thats always been niggling you but you never knew what to call it,maybe that is at last our family. Works for me lol x

    6. Anonymous says:

      This is for your what adoptees wish they could tell their adoptive parents. I would have preferred it if you were more comfortable with the fact that I was adopted and that I hadn't had to worry about hurting your feelings by discussing/exploring that, but I understand and times were different then– so, really, what I want to say is that I've met my birthparents, and you had nothing to worry about; Meeting them didn't didn't change the fact that I well and truly am your daughter -Thank you, thank you, thank you; you were fantastic parents,and I miss you every single day.

    7. Anonymous says:

      what I would say to my adoptive parents

      thanks for being the best parents anyone could wish for

    8. Anonymous says:

      I agree with no. 15. It hurts to know that you're taken into their care only to blatantly be reminded that you are inferior, that you are not 'their blood' and therefore have no direction or say in what you want as a person. It hurts to know that because they took me in, I owe them because they 'saved' me.

      • Hello, please dont ever feel like you owe anyone in your life! You are here with a purpose no matter what happened to you or how your adoption took place. You keep on your journey with your head up and be unstoppable. I dont have to know you to know you are are full of power inside and have a great testimony. This is your life, live your best future and dont let anyone make you feel otherwise. xoxo

      • I knew my adopted cousins hurt, growing up. I could not believe it happened that I had a child that became adopted. I was always reminded how much like my dad I looked. I was a love child. My parents chose to love me, not to adopt me, not to plan for me, I happened too. All of these thoughts went through my head, in a flash. And my child's mother did not know I cared. So tragic what planned parenthood became an obstacle too.

    9. Kendra Cyrus says:

      Jessenia, that's a great list. It is true that a bit of a paradox can develop between adoptees and their adoptive parents. "Don't lie, but we've been lying to you," "we didn't tell you because it doesn't matter," are two such common refrains. Of course it matters to the adoptees that they were adopted. Anyway, great post, as always…

    10. Anonymous says:

      I am 28 and gave my daughter up for adoption when I was 13…I since found her on social networks and I will not say anything until she's 18.However I am mixed with white and black and her parents are black and Cuban .She claims her race as being Cuban..Is this normal for adoptees? I'm just scared that maybe she doesn't even know she's adopted..

      • Hello, thank you for your comment. It is very possible she does not know. I did not know for the longest. I was about 14ish when I found out. Till this day I can only confirm one side of me because I have yet to meet my bio father and I dont know of I ever will. However, my b-mom is Puerto Rican. My adoptive parents are Ecuadorian and Costa Rican. You can tell by the looks at me first sight that I am not either of those two nationalities. With your daughters birth mix and her adoptive parents mix, it is easy to play it off as being one or the other, or something completely different. Another answer or possibility might be that she knows who she is and what her nationality is; however, she would like to be like her AP (so she doesn't feel different) and says she is Cuban and avoids everything else. She may not know though. Just as I advised on the comment below, if you are interested in one day being open to meeting your daughter, I pray that today you go adoption registry boards and register your name in case she is looking for you. Also, go to the agency and update your whereabouts. Include a phone number, address, and someone close to you in case you move. It would be an amazing thing if she would be able to reunite with you someday and not have to dream about you. It would make her smile forever and bring her peace 🙂

    11. Anonymous says:

      question for adopees..I was 12 when I got pregnant with my bio daughter(first time) I was such a silly naive little girl..my biggest fear is that she'll hate me or already does.I see her on social networks and she claims another race and often talks about how much she loves her mom..If she knows she's adopted do u think she thinks of me? I know this is silly bcus u don't know her but this racks my brain a lot..I absolutely love the parents I picked for her I just really want her to know she is very much thought of and loved from afar ..

      • Hello, thank you for your comment. I am sure she does not hate you if she knows you can exist. She may be hurting if she does and that is normal. Depending on where she is in life will really determine how she can comprehend how she feels about you. But hate? No, I dont think she does. If she knows you exist, I am willing to bet my life she thinks of you. How could she not. I thought about my mom and family almost every day. When the time is right, I pray you will be able to meet her again. She just may be searching for you. I think it would be awesome if you register on all adoption registry sites and social media sites…oh yes and your agency update info there because she may be looking for you sooner than later. It would be awesome if you could fill that piece inside of her by allowing her to easily find you. Thank you for reaching out and commenting!

      • Why is this waiting being played out? Who's interests are we serving? I'm sure my own grief is not allowing me to see the picture, or is it?

    12. Anonymous says:

      That keeping me a secret from my biological sister is very messed up, and that liven your life as a lie is very sicken. I know deep down inside you were shock to think I Won't going to search for you, but you have no right to get mad ; at the adoption agency , and say I'm going to get my lawyers involve , because you can't handle the truth. Guess what I'm better off not knowing you anyways. The Truth Will come out NO MORE FAMILY SECRETS!

    13. Anonymous says:

      I wish I could say I'm pissed off at you for not learning to co parent. I was adopted by my great aunt and uncle, my mom was 17 when she got pregnant and after I was taken, even when she told everyone she wanted to try and raise me. And I know she could have because I had my son at 17 and am raising him just fine. her mother (my adopted dads sister)and the rest of the family all abandoned her because my adopted mom didn't want me to know I was adopted. She was kicked out of the family the day I was born. So I am pissed you were so selfish that you made her into the alcoholic she is today, making it hard for me to have a relationship with her. You broke her. You took her daughter, mother, grandparents, aunts uncles all away from her all in one day with no warning. Who does that?? I hate you burnt the letter she gave you with my father's name on it. Now that she is so brain damaged from the drugs and alcohok she can only remember his first name. I hate you trash talk her like the jealous girl friend talking about a bfs ex. I hate that you yelled at me because I asked who my real dad was. The biggest best advice I can offer adoptive parents is CO PARENT. DON'T CUT THEN OUT, OFFER MORE THAN PICTURES. most people don't want to put them up but have to!! I want to tell them YOU CANNOT ERASE MY BIRTH PARENTS.

      • Hello, and thank you for sharing a part of your life with us. I am sorry all that happened to you and you are having these feelings. My heart goes out to you. I pray for your mom and for you that your mom will be healed and you both can work on a relationship. I know you have been strong all your life, but u cannot give up girl! You gave the best advice possible, "CO PARENT. DON'T CUT THEN OUT, OFFER MORE THAN PICTURES. most people don't want to put them up but have to!! I want to tell them YOU CANNOT ERASE MY BIRTH PARENTS." No AP in the world can replace our birth family. It does not mean we love them less. be strong for you and your son. He should be proud to have such an amazing mom. xoxo

    14. Anonymous says:

      I agree on what your talking about. Ever since I started the search people in my adoptive family were looking at me like I was crazy ; for searching for them. I know I am an result of a one night stand and everything; but my adoptive parents could've had more faith in the search; it seem like they were waiting for something wrong to happen. I know I had a decent up bringing ; but I just wanted to know where I came from that's it. I'm trying to get over how the reunion ended with my birthmom , and birth sister; my adoptive mom keeps bringing it up. I just want to forget about the bad stuff ok.

      • Hi there! I am sorry you feel that way, and the way things ended up. You have the right to voice your opinion and let your AP's know that you dont want to talk about it again. If it is possible and if you feel comfortable, let you a-mom know why it make u feel uncomfortable. Perhaps she simply doesnt get it. After all no one knows exactly how we feel. I used to get annoyed at times…well sometimes I still do when my a-mom brings things up about my adoption. When I hear her about to start, I simply say, "no mom, not now", and then she goes onto the next subject. Keep ur head up through this journey and keep the faith. Try not to let them get you down. And most importantly, I want you to know that no matter how u were created, you have a purpose of for your life and a very powerful one at that! You are loved!

    15. Lynne says:

      You should have told me I was adopted. I could have handled the truth. Really. I wish you hadn't kept my adoption a secret. But I love you both and thank you for being good parents.

    16. Anonymous says:

      Adoption agencies taking your money for searches, but give you the run around. Has this every happen to anyone?

    17. Jules says:

      In a nutshell I wanted to explain my situation and get your opinion…I came across your blog because my husband and I are beginning to consider adoption and I am in total research mode! We want to adopt because as Christians it is foundational to us that God adopted US as his own through Christ. We have one daughter who is 2 1/2 and her life is such a gift to us…and the more we talk about how heartbroken we would be if she were living the life that many orphans live leaves us feeling increasingly burdened to help one child. We at this point don't care if it is an international or domestic, we just know we have willing hearts to grow our family and give a child a safe, loving home. In all honesty…a lot of what I am reading here is scaring me to death! I already believe that my adopted child should know that I love them because they are my own and would be treated no differently from my biological child. I also already plan to encourage them to know about their birth parents, family, country when they are ready. My question…since I have a very tender heart (a fault at many times), am I on the right track? What advice would you have to me? Thanks in advance, I'm definitely not trying to glorify adoption in the respect that I would be "saving" someone. I guess I could phrase it as I truly belive it is my responsibility to do this because I have the means and an open heart. Any thoughts at all are appreciated as I dive into this process…

      • Hello, Jules, I am an adoptive mom of one, bio mom of one, and we are in the process of another adoption currently. I want to back up what Jessenia has already said… Our son is adopted from Uganda, and while I am not against international adoption (we are adopting again internationally!) it is a hard and tricky road full of fraud and corruption. Many families go into this wanting to give a child with no family a family, but all too often agencies are finding healthy infants for families to adopt and by-passing the kids who really need it. Most of the kids who really need adoption are older children (over 6) or children with special needs. I just want to say that if you really want to consider international adoption, please be open to taking the kids who are "hard to place". I would love to chat about special needs adoption if you were ever interested. We have also worked in the foster care system in the US and there are kids here who need adoption too! Again, most of the kids who really need adoption are older kids or have special needs, but they still deserve families! Some of the older kids we have had have been the greatest blessings to our family.

        It is also no walk in the park once you are home. We have tried to be as open as possible about my son's history with him, telling his "story" very often at bedtime and such. When your 4 year old tells you repeatedly that he did not come from an orphanage, but from my belly, it is heart breaking. I always expected the hard questions to come later, but I am finding myself stumbling to answer them now, in 4 year old terms, and that is hard. I am very grateful for blogs like this that give us APs a little advice and let us know how to better help our kids. I have to say that I would NEVER expect my kids to be grateful for us adopting them, in order for us to adopt them, they had to loose their other parents. I would never tell a child who has suffered the loss and hurt that my kids have to be grateful. They have every right to hurt and feel sad, because it is sad to loose your parents!

        The only thing I have to disagree with, and not even fully, Jessenia, is that International Adoptions should not happen. Is it hard to leave your country? I am sure, but it does not have to be total loss of culture. We plan to travel back to my kids birth countries as often as finances will allow. I know that is not the same, but in the 5 months I lived in my son's orphanage with him (during our adoption process), 6 children died. There are children who need families in other countries and for some of them, it is literally life or death. I am all for finding ways to prevent kids from having to be in an orphanage in the first place, but the sad fact is that there are parents who will abandon their children. There will be always be children who need families other than their own to care for them. Does this make birth parents bad? No, I can not imagine finding out I was pregnant at 14 or 15, or not having the funds to feed my child, or any of the other reasons kids are abandoned. I just know from experience that even if we had all the money in the world to keep families together, there will still be some birth families who will choose not to parent their children. International adoption can be navigated, but it is hard. It takes a lot of detective work and digging and checking up on lawyers/babies homes/agencies to make sure the kid you are adopting is truly in need of adoption, but it is possible. As for never getting to reunite with birth families, that is the hard part. We have decided that if our kids want to try to track them down, we will do all that we can to help them. I just really do not see us ever being able to find them. Even I think of their birth moms and wonder about them. As jealous as some APs get over birth parents, we will always have one thing in common, we are both mothers and fathers to our kids and that is a very strong bond.

    18. Hi Jules: I am glad you found me. It is a pleasure to connect with you. One thing about me is that I am very straight forward; however, everything I say is out of love because I am a Christian. I know how sensitive adoption can be and is.

      First thing first:

      "We want to adopt because as Christians it is foundational to us that God adopted US as his own through Christ."

      You have to be VERY careful with statements and feelings like this around adoption. Why? Because as of late there have been many "Christians" adopting using the same if not similar statement you made as a reason to adopt and they have turned out to be murderers and abusers. It breaks my heart into a trillion pieces to know that people have the audacity to even throw God into the mix of this when they commit such heinous acts. That is NOT who are God is. It has adoptee on their toes anytime people bring up the fact that they feel they are compelled or have been moved to adopt because what God has done for us or what is in scripture.

      (comment continued…)

    19. Hi Jules: I am glad you found me. It is a pleasure to connect with you. One thing about me is that I am very straight forward; however, everything I say is out of love because I am a Christian. I know how sensitive adoption can be and is.

      First thing first:

      "We want to adopt because as Christians it is foundational to us that God adopted US as his own through Christ."

      You have to be VERY careful with statements and feelings like this around adoption. Why? Because as of late there have been many "Christians" adopting using the same if not similar statement you made as a reason to adopt and they have turned out to be murderers and abusers. It breaks my heart into a trillion pieces to know that people have the audacity to even throw God into the mix of this when they commit such heinous acts. That is NOT who are God is. It has adoptee on their toes anytime people bring up the fact that they feel they are compelled or have been moved to adopt because what God has done for us or what is in scripture.

      (comment continued…)

    20. In my opinion sister, it takes more than the will of God or feeling led to adopt because it is the Christian thing to do. Adoption is a very delicate and lifetime commitment. I applaud you for taking the time to do the research. I am completely against international adoption. It has ruined and hurt so many adoptees around the world stripping them away from their country, culture, and being able to one day meet and have a relationship with their family…which is something that you should prepare for. Almost every adoptee is going to want to know, meet, or have a relationship with their biological family. You have to understand your role as an adoptive parent and keep in my mind that you are not replacing your prospective child's family. Will you be their mom and dad? Yes, of course. However, always keep in mind that that child does have a family whether or not they want to care for them. Next thing is…whether you will be adopting from foster care or a new born. This is an entire subject that is worth researching. It is a heavily debated subject in the adoption community. This is a huge part of the reason you are reading a lot of negative comments on this thread about adoption. There has been a lot of "baby snatching", babies stolen, unethical adoptions, abuse/neglect, you name it and it is happening. We would like to think in a perfect world that people adopt to give children a safe home, but it doesnt always happen that way. Adoption is a multi million if not billion dollar business where mothers are coerced to place their babies for adoption for agencies to sell babies to prospective adopters for 10-50 thousand plus dollars. These agencies promise all sorts of things and do nothing but lie and advocate for everyone with exception of the adoptee.

      I believe in adoption when it is done the right way. I believe we should all love with the love of God to be able to give at least one child of the 300,000 plus children in foster care a home. Why do we wait for years to adopt a new born baby when we have thousands of children crying every night for a place to call home and not have to live in garbage bags moving month to month or year to year. Many children in foster care live up 8-10 different homes by the time they are 18 years old. That is not what God had intended. I know it can be that way. People adopt newborns for many reasons. Two reasons are:

      1. It is a newborn, therefore, the baby with me "ours". We wont have to worry about the babies past or them knowing where they come from. Again, the baby is "ours". Adoptive parents forget that adopting is not a "thing" you can treat a baby as if it were a possession. This is a life we are speaking of.

      2. I have heard an adoptive parents say "I dont want my child to ever know where they come from or know that they dont belong to us". If you have that mindset you are allowing yourself to have an unsuccessful adoption. This should not be your motive. They key to a successful adoption is being open and honest, and to remember that is about the child first and foremost.

      I think you even considering adoption is awesome! I love it! I just want to be sure that you understand what it means to adopt and most importantly how to have a successful child by understanding your (future) adopted child. There are many adoptees that are "grateful", happy, and feel blessed that they were adopted. I fit in that category. I know what my life would have been like it I remained with my birth family. What I would like to have u look into is Googling – adoptee rights, adoption grief and loss, and I would HIGHLY recommend reading this book "Primal Wound". Going into adoption with an open mind and your child in mind before anything will guide you in the right direction. I am blessed to hear that you want to adopt. I pray that this message as helped you in some way. If I can further assist you please email me directly at [email protected] God bless!

    21. In my opinion sister, it takes more than the will of God or feeling led to adopt because it is the Christian thing to do. Adoption is a very delicate and lifetime commitment. I applaud you for taking the time to do the research. I am completely against international adoption. It has ruined and hurt so many adoptees around the world stripping them away from their country, culture, and being able to one day meet and have a relationship with their family…which is something that you should prepare for. Almost every adoptee is going to want to know, meet, or have a relationship with their biological family. You have to understand your role as an adoptive parent and keep in my mind that you are not replacing your prospective child's family. Will you be their mom and dad? Yes, of course. However, always keep in mind that that child does have a family whether or not they want to care for them. Next thing is…whether you will be adopting from foster care or a new born. This is an entire subject that is worth researching. It is a heavily debated subject in the adoption community. This is a huge part of the reason you are reading a lot of negative comments on this thread about adoption. There has been a lot of "baby snatching", babies stolen, unethical adoptions, abuse/neglect, you name it and it is happening. We would like to think in a perfect world that people adopt to give children a safe home, but it doesnt always happen that way. Adoption is a multi million if not billion dollar business where mothers are coerced to place their babies for adoption for agencies to sell babies to prospective adopters for 10-50 thousand plus dollars. These agencies promise all sorts of things and do nothing but lie and advocate for everyone with exception of the adoptee.

      I believe in adoption when it is done the right way. I believe we should all love with the love of God to be able to give at least one child of the 300,000 plus children in foster care a home. Why do we wait for years to adopt a new born baby when we have thousands of children crying every night for a place to call home and not have to live in garbage bags moving month to month or year to year. Many children in foster care live up 8-10 different homes by the time they are 18 years old. That is not what God had intended. I know it can be that way. People adopt newborns for many reasons. Two reasons are:

      1. It is a newborn, therefore, the baby with me "ours". We wont have to worry about the babies past or them knowing where they come from. Again, the baby is "ours". Adoptive parents forget that adopting is not a "thing" you can treat a baby as if it were a possession. This is a life we are speaking of.

      2. I have heard an adoptive parents say "I dont want my child to ever know where they come from or know that they dont belong to us". If you have that mindset you are allowing yourself to have an unsuccessful adoption. This should not be your motive. They key to a successful adoption is being open and honest, and to remember that is about the child first and foremost.

      I think you even considering adoption is awesome! I love it! I just want to be sure that you understand what it means to adopt and most importantly how to have a successful child by understanding your (future) adopted child. There are many adoptees that are "grateful", happy, and feel blessed that they were adopted. I fit in that category. I know what my life would have been like it I remained with my birth family. What I would like to have u look into is Googling – adoptee rights, adoption grief and loss, and I would HIGHLY recommend reading this book "Primal Wound". Going into adoption with an open mind and your child in mind before anything will guide you in the right direction. I am blessed to hear that you want to adopt. I pray that this message as helped you in some way. If I can further assist you please email me directly at [email protected] God bless!

    22. Megan says:

      Thank you for this post. We all have so much to learn from each other. I'm so thankful that I can gain so much wisdom from adoptees willing to share their stories so that my adopted children might have a more positive experience where they do feel like they belong and can be heard. I know that sharing is not always easy- but from someone who treasures both the positive and the critical stories I hear from adoptees- thank you from the bottom of my heart. When we all know better, we do better. Thanks for helping us do better.

    23. pepafeti says:

      As an adoptive mother, I'm reading any adoptee-blog or -story I can get my hands on, so thank you for this one!

      I actually have a question for adoptees out there.

      Recently, we have decided to track down her birth mother. It was a difficult decision. On one hand, we felt like this was her decision to take, not ours. We did tell her, and although she grasps the idea and kind of agrees with it, the actual decision, to search now or wait, was too difficult for her to take. On the other hand, we feared that if we would wait for 10 years or longer, the risk of not being able to find her mother (alive) again, would be too high, seeing the background files we have. So we decided to go for it, and save any information we would get, for when she is ready for it. We believe we rather have her being angry with us for searching for her mother unasked, being less hard to digest for both sides, than have her cope with hurt and anger for NOT doing it when we had the chance and ending up empty-handed when she would search for her mother herself. But I wonder if you adult adoptees out there would agree? That 's my first question: how would you have felt when your adoptive parents would have taken this huge step without (fully) consulting you? In a way, it is too late, we can't take back what we did, but we like to be prepared and understand how she might feel about it as a teen or adult.

      Now, yesterday, we got the news that her birth mother was found! We will have to await the full report of the 'search', but we are absolutely thrilled, relieved, grateful and excited about it. We haven't told her yet, because this is another doubt we have. Sometimes she can be really open about her birth mother. She says she wants to send her drawings or her house and her cat ;-). She also tells us stories about how she consoled her birth mother that she was going to be fine, and that she 'picked us' for being her parents because we would love her just as much as she does. It actually brings me to tears (of gratitude), hearing this from my darling 4-year-old. I'm grateful she thinks of her birth mother that way. But, there are also other times when she is reluctant to talk about her birth mother. Then, she would tell us that she doesn't want to meet her, that she is scared of her, that she doesn't want another mother, that we are her parents. She is only with us for 2 years, and she still copes with separation anxieties and attachment issues. To me it seems like she is still struggling with attachment towards us and still being loyal and loving to her birthmother. I can tell her we will not be offended in any way if she loves her birth mother, but she has to trust in it herself I guess… So there's my second question: do you believe it is OK to keep the information about finding her mother a 'secret' untill she is a bit older? We like to be very open, but we sometimes feel she isn't quite ready for it. But maybe the information, a picture of her mother, our openness about it, etc, will give her the peace and trust she needs? I just don't know.

      We are thinking to tell her where to find the picture of her birthmother (if and when we will have one), so she can look at it when she decides for herself. Or would this seem like we don't care and don't want to support her?

      I would truly be gratefull for any opinions about this…

      • Hello, great to hear from you and welcome to my blog 🙂

        I think you asked a great question and I would like to take this further. I am going to do a poll or ask a question on our Facebook page and put together a post comprised of the responses.

        I commend you first and foremost for being a pro-active adoptive parent and wanting to know more about adoptees by reading our blogs. Good for you! 🙂

        Of course there will be two answers and two sides to your first question whether you did the right thing by seeking our her birth mom. In my opinion, I think you did the right thing just in case she ever wants to know. As u mentioned, the longer you wait or she waits the more grim the outcomes can be. It happened to me. I wish I knew sooner. Many adoptees do too. It is what we fear most….death. Your daughter is so young she may not understand it. However, there is nothing like having the option to meet her or to have whatever type of relationship with her she chooses. I can only imagine the heartache you are going to save her from for not having to jump through hoops and what not. The adoption search is expensive and madness all in one. It isnt fait to adoptees. Now that you have done the hard part, she is just left with deciding whether or not to meet her.

        Your daughter sounds like the sweetest little girl on the planet. How precious. She sounds like a little angel to me 🙂 I can only imagine the feelings built up inside of her. Children know more than adults think. We have all heard that before. They know love. They know safe love and how to distinguish it one from the other. However, it does not stop her from loving her (birth) mom. That will always be her mom too. The best thing is to be as open as possible with her especially because she is old enough to remember her birth mom. I would recommend counseling in her near future to help her sort out her feelings. It can be a lot to deal with because she may want to love her mom and you as her mom and not know how to. All sorts of problems can happen. At the same time she may have it all figured out and may not need counseling. It would be good if she had a neutral person to talk to that she can open up to without her feeling like she may be hurting your feelings or her BM.

        In my heart, I would just hate for you to keep anything from her about her birthmom even though I can understand why you would. It can be very traumatic for your daughter to take in at once especially is she is already showing signs of separation anxiety. Maybe even a little statement of "if you ever want to know more about your mommy just let mommy know", and then you can go from there. However, I don think introducing her into her life right away could be such a good thing. The key thing is to create a stable home and mind for your daughter. It is difficult when you put the whole two-mom concept in her life and she cannot understand it. You have the right idea though. Having pictures of her mom or even letters would be nice 🙂

        The more open you are the more likely you are to having a peaceful adoption. My response is only a snippet of what I would like to say. I am going to post this question on my Facebook page and then post the outcome here. If you would like, please follow me on FB http://www.facebook.com/iamadoptedblog

        thank you again for stopping by and I look forward to hearing more from you and your journey. I am going to check out your blog. xoxo

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow – so many hard questions!!! How old is your girl? I think trying to give her permission to love two moms is a huge gift to her. That is a big step in assimilating who she is. Art therapy might be a great idea to see how she is managing all this. And reading adoption healing- there is a crucial time when kids who are between 6-8 to affirm their loss.

    24. Emily says:

      We have a little girl living with us through foster care and it's looking more and more like she will need to be adopted. It's frustrating for me because this was not the impression that her parents gave in the beginning. I was surprised by their commitment and more than happy to supervise visits so that they could be longer and more frequent. Very quickly, though, the depth of their addiction showed and showing up for visits was extremely difficult for them as they were always high. It was painful to watch them struggle as I sincerely like them. They're sweet, young, naive, gentle people who clearly loved their daughter but are completely unable to care for her and protect her the way a toddler needs to be cared for. I'm building a history for her so that no matter what happens, she has some record of her family. We take her to see her grandfather in a nursing home every week and they do things like make t-shirts and record his voice for her. I keep little gifts that her mom gives her like bracelets or clothing and carefully put them in a box so that they're not lost. I made sure that we took good photos of them together and I'm glad that I did because now they've been missing for quite a while. If we end up adopting her, she'll always know who she is and we'll try to keep in touch with safe family members as much as possible even while she learns the Turkish (as well as English) we speak in our family and travels where we travel. We're a Muslim family and in Islam, children raised by other families are given a level of 'history protection' that is beginning to be more common place in Western adoptions. They are given the legal stability, but keep their name and history, rights to inheritance from their birth family, etc. We have three other children and we're careful to teach them to treat her fairly and kindly as we would any other family member. She's as happy as a clam and we're more than happy to include her in our family for the rest of our lives. One thing that is different about how I feel versus what I hear from other adoptive or potential adoptive families is that I don't have a need to grow our family through adoption. This is not a way for us to have children. We care about her in her own right, she's a neat, fun person who already shows wit and creativity. She will gain a lot in our family and we'll enjoy giving it to her. I do feel like we'll be raising someone else's child and I want us to do the best possible job in that so that she feels that we did justice for her and her family doesn't feel like we're disrespecting them. She is part of our family via a very different route and in some ways that requires more care and thought than having biological children so that she never feels used or lied to or left out.I know without a doubt that her family loves her and they want her well cared for. They thought they could do it, but are realizing that they really can't. They still want to do it themselves, but it's simply not working out. I'll keep reading this blog.

      • Hi Emily,

        So great to hear from you. I am glad we connected. I am so pleased to see how open you are and how careful you are as a foster parent (perhaps perspective AP) to this little girl. The past couple of months there are been nothing but horror stories in news about abuse, neglect, and murder. It breakes my heart; therefore, when I hear of foster/adoptive parents doing all that they can to take care of their child or even make them feel a part of the family warms my heart. I know despite all the madness there are still great people out there that are capable of living children as their own and not giving up on them. It is sad to hear that her parents cant simply get it together for themselves and most of all for their child. This is why foster care and adoption is necessary, and I will fight till the death of it that adoption is needed. We cannot let these children stay in harms way just to keep a family together. We already know what can happen to this poor little girl if we did. I am glad to know that you are very open with your biological children in explaining to them to take good care of her and look out for her. One of the worse feelings is feeling like you are different or not a part of the family. It sucks. Plain and simple. I have felt like that at times and it hurts. It all boils down to being open and being of sound love. Emily, I really think you all are amazing. As I go through your comment to reference and make sure I hit every point I continuously smile. I am glad you will be doing what you can to remain in contact with her family and doing all that you can to keep pieces of her parents. That is really important. I wrote a blog once on Adoption.net called "Leave Me With A Memory". It is about birth mom leaving their children with something to remember them by instead of just papers with a signature of relinquishment. I think it will be fascinating if she is able to pick up Turkish. That would be awesome.

        How has your extended family felt about adopting a child that is not of Turkish decent? I ask that because I hear many people have problems sharing the news with their family due to blood lines and culture. I live in Asia now, and it is a huge problem here. I was wondering if it was the same for you. I would love to know more if you dont mind sharing.

        You said, "One thing that is different about how I feel versus what I hear from other adoptive or potential adoptive families is that I don't have a need to grow our family through adoption. This is not a way for us to have children. We care about her in her own right, she's a neat, fun person who already shows wit and creativity.". Emily, you are right on! This is what adoption is TRULY about, but as I always say…many AP's just dont get it. I dont know if it is a cultural thing or what. What I see is that adoption these days means possession. "She belongs to me"! Type of thing. It shouldnt be that way. I think that is where we misinterpret adoption.

        Thank you so much for being so awesome! And I truly look forward to hearing more about your journey. I would love to chat more. Feel free to comment hear or join me on our Facebook page where I chat daily with adoptees and parents. http://www.Facebook.com/iamadoptedblog

    25. What would I say to my adoptive parents? First of all, do not adopt if you are only trying to fill a need within yourself. I empathize that you can no longer bear children of your own and your own childhood was not what you wanted. I remember from as early as 3 years old being told that I was special, literally delivered by a stork to be taken care of by a family that could give me everything my adoptive Mom had gone without. That being said, I was quite spoiled as a young child. My Mother made sure I had all the dresses, dolls and toys. She always reminded me that God had sent me to them and that I should always be thankful for everything they had given me, although I always felt different. I didn't want dolls and dresses and toys, I wanted to be tucked in at night and told I was special just because God loved me, rather than because I was so "lucky" to be placed with a family that could give me everything no one else could give me. As I got older and started to question my heritage, I was told that if I ever tried to find my birth parents I would be dis-owned. Hence the teen-age years, by now I am not as cute and easy to take care of, I don't want a bedroom lined with dolls and had no interest in wearing dresses and anklets. I have become more aware that I am a lot different than this family that has raised me, and not in a good way. No longer the cute little barbie doll to dress up, i had turned in my parents eyes to being a nuisance. True to their word, when I turned 18, my bags were packed and left on the door step. Funny, all those years thinking about running away, but stayed "home" because I didn't want to break their hearts. After all , I'm special, if I love them enough they will keep me. I am very thankful for all that have love to give from their hearts and I pray you will be the most amazing parents!

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow Susan – i was adopted and get this so well. I was disowned once I looked as well… I always had that feeling it would happen too. You are right in that we dont need to be told we are special and chosen and are possessions … That isnt normal!! We just want it to be a commitment they honour and they live us for being us- even if we need to look eventually ( im 43!!) its really hard to go into your future without knowing your history- and it affects your kids as well not knowing your genetics. Some adoptive parents should be unable to qualify- i think some go into it to get own needs met- not to meet your needs. We need to validate t as a family and parents instead of them validating us

    26. Laura Janov says:

      I am interested in how the more common and current open adoptions that are the trend in recent decades provides relief to much of the pain and heartache coming through in the comments and the list

    27. I am a mother that has a son I will never see again because I was homeless ..and had a mother that never wanted me so she made sure I would lose my son..Idont think he will ever look for me and it hurts..thecase worker I had told me she will make sure I will never see my son again all because I was cussing and crying because no one would help me and she wouldnt do her job…I hope my baby is ok….I hope the adoptive family didnt listen to the case worker ..I love my son..he has two sisters who wants to meet there brother

      • gonzofamily says:

        Sassylynn,
        I am an adoptive mom of 7 kids from foster care. My heart is breaking thinking of your sadness. To me, all of my children have 2 moms and 2 dads. Neither is more important. My children's birth parents are precious to all of us and we regularly pray for their health, safety, and happiness! I am praying that your precious son is well-cared for by a family that understands how important you are and that one day you will see him again! God Bless
        Katie

      • Anonymous says:

        It makes me cry. Homelessness. To take children away permanently. This is a crime in itself. I know to many that would be homeless save for parents giving their children a leg up. Ladies in need, often it takes time, stability is often a helping hand away.

    28. gonzofamily says:

      Jessica,
      Thanks for the thought provoking article! I am an adoptive mother to 7 who were in foster care. It is such a fine line to balance my needs (and selfish desires) with the needs of my children. How often I can look only to my needs and hurt those that I am caring for without even realizing it! I do think of my children as blessed but not because of me, but because God gave them life. I am the one who is blessed to get to be called mom by them. As a family, we spend a lot of time talking about birth families, praying for them (all of our kids parents are not living in safe situations) to be safe and healthy. This list gave me a lot to think about what it really is my kids need and want from me. I have a blog about our family's journey, http://www.seedsofhope-matt1720.blogspot.com if you're interested in reading it.
      Thanks again!

    29. Anonymous says:

      I am adopted and i need to speak to someone.. help :/ i feel like sometimes am not loved as equally as everyone else in my adoptive family…

    30. I have just come homre from college for 2 weeks and the first thing my a-dad told me as I got in the car was that my b-dad had contacted the adoption agency with a letter for me. I was so overwhelmed I burst into tears. I mean I've always known I'm adopted, and my a-mom, aunt, uncle and my brother are also adopted so it has always been an open topic for discussion in my house. I am so grateful to have this because my a-mom has met her b-mom and I can always go to her for support. They are not pressuring me to receive the letter or anything, but I have decided I can at least hear what my b-dad has to say. I never expected any contact from them but I had always thought about what would happen if it did…I'm still shocked and it has not sunk in yet how emotional this whole process is. I will receive the letter in a couple of days and I can only hope it is positive and that I'll have a reply for him 🙂

    31. Anonymous says:

      that i had the right to look for my biological parents. To stop telling family members that the adoption reunion went bad.Truth told they really don't care all they do is toss it back in my face. Very disrespectful , and this is suppose to be family rite . that's a lie.

    32. Rebecca Kutz says:

      You spent years trying to fit me into your perfect extended family but never thought about how uncomfortable I was knowing that I would never truly fit in.

      • Anonymous says:

        I can agree. years i tried to pleased my adoptive parents only to drive myself insane. Then i realizes i got to make myself happy.

    33. Anonymous says:

      I'm 43 and know you're lying! I want a chance at being whole…I know she was raped. I get it, you're not protecting me anymore. You never did, I was only an extension of you, so tell me what nationality I am, how old am I really? I know she doesn't want to meet me, just stop lying!

    34. My new book called "Separated Lives" is a true story about the adoption of a baby boy and years later a friend taking him on a fascinating but uncertain journey to search for his birth parents. It is available from Dorrance Publishing (in Pittsburgh, PA) http://www.DorranceBookstore.com, Barnes & Noble barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com.
      Author: Lynn Assimacopoulos

    35. Unknown says:

      What would I have wanted to tell my adopters. You were the worst, most incompetent, nastiest adopters ever. You will rot in hell for referring to my mother as "that whore", and treating me like a refrigerator you purchased that didn't live up to your expectations. I hate you and everyone knows that you are horrible human beings. Oh, wait, I did tell them that. Never mind 😀

    36. Anonymous says:

      I curse god for the moment you walked up to my crib.

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