10 Things NOT to Say to Your Adopted Children

I’m veering off today from my usual DIY projects to bring you an instalment of my personal life! haha Okay, not quite but almost.

When I posted previously about being adopted, I mentioned a couple of things that adopted parents should never say to their adopted children.

I’m certainly not an expert in this field but I am adopted so I have first-hand experience.

So here are some tips if you have adopted children of your own and ever wonder what the heck you shouldn’t say to your adopted kids.

Full disclosure:  I am not an expert by any means and this is just my opinion as an adoptee. You don’t have to agree with this or take this as solid parenting advice. I am just relaying my experience and hopefully can help give insight to adoptive families from an adoptee standpoint.

10 things not to say to your adopted children | somuchbetterwithage.com

10 Things Not to Say to Your Adopted Children

Okay, deep breath, here we go!

10 things not to say to your adopted children

1. You don’t need to mention how ‘different’ your adopted child looks from the rest of the family.

This might seem like an obvious tip but I had a younger sibling that was conceived naturally by my parents. Family members were quick to point out how she had our grandfather’s chin or her mom’s eyes. Of course no one ever said things like that about me.

Adoptees can put up with it for a bit but make sure you don’t go on and on about it like it’s a whole family discussion for about an hour (trust me, I’ve been there).

Side note to adoptees:  maybe you’re happy you don’t have your grandfather’s nose!?

Takeaway:  Keep talk about physical traits to a minimum.

10 things not to say to your adopted children

2. Don’t try to hide the fact that your child is adopted.

I never got this one. When I was out with my mother and sister, sometimes people mentioned how much I didn’t look like them and that I must look like my father. My mother would just yes, she does.

Now I’m all for niceties if the situation allows for it. Not every person in the world needs an explanation of your life in that very instant. But for the majority of friends and acquaintances in your life, what’s the problem with telling them that my daughter is adopted. Which leads me to the next one.

Takeaway:  seems obvious

10 things not to say to your adopted children

3. Don’t keep secrets. Like ever.

Luckily I’ve always known I was adopted and I’m so grateful for that. JUST TELL THEM IMMEDIATELY.

It serves no good keeping it a secret. Would you like a neighbour or uncle telling them one day or hearing it directly from you? Secrecy and whispering among adults feels awful when you are a kid especially when it pertains to you.

Takeaway:  Don’t lie (which is a good rule in life too!)

10 things not to say to your adopted children

4. Don’t wait to tell them they are adopted when they are older.

Why? No, really why? Tell me one good reason there is for keeping something so important from your adopted child.

Takeaway:  Tell them as soon as they can listen.

10 things not to say to your adopted children

5. Don’t tell them ‘you wouldn’t understand because you’re different than us’.

I was a social butterfly and the rest of my family were introverts. They didn’t think I could possibly relate to how they felt in certain situations because I wasn’t born to them.

This always bugged me. If you have kids biologically, chances are they are not going to be 100% like you either! I have two biological kids. Sometimes they’re like me, and sometimes they’re not. Do you know why? Because they’re their own people. Everyone is unique, adopted or not. Case closed.

Takeaway:  this seems obvious 😉

10 things not to say to your adopted children

6. Don’t keep adoption records from them if you have them.

I knew from day one that I was adopted, but some kids in my generation weren’t so lucky. I had to wait until I was 18 to search for my original birth certificate and adoption records, and then it took me years to find. I was born in the 1970s, when adoption records were closed. I wanted that information so desperately because I was given ZERO information as a child. I didn’t want to hear a fluffy story about how some woman loved me so much that she gave me up. I’m sorry but that makes no sense to a child. Or a teenager. Or even a grown-up adult, for that matter. 

People want to know where they come from, period. It doesn’t matter if they were adopted in an amazing adoptive family or not. It’s just a natural, inherent need. Adopted people need to know where they come from, what the story is, and what their birth parents look/looked like (HUGE).

Everyone has a beginning. Could you imagine not knowing what yours was? Kids are usually good with a few bits of information a little bit at a time. Just go with the flow when their questions come up.

Takeaway:  Give them all the information you know a little bit at a time as questions come up over the years. 

10 things not to say to your adopted children

7. Okay, so you might not have any information or adoption records to give them. Why can’t you try to search together as a family?

I know that may be a touchy one for adoptive parents. You may not want to revisit the past or bring your child’s family into your life. When your adopted child is old enough to search, though, knowing that you support them 100% will make them feel more loved than anything else you could do. If you’re against their desire to search, you’ll make them feel like they are doing something wrong. Please read number six again. You can be supportive and search together as a family, or you can force your child to search all on their own like it’s a secret (and we don’t like secrets!).

Takeaway:  Search for records together as a family when child reaches maturity.

10 things not to say to your adopted children

8. Don’t give them special treatment or special jobs to do.

Okay, this relates to No. 5. I had a completely different role in my family than my sister because of my perceived differences as an adoptee. I was given a lot of grown-up responsibilities in my teen years, which made me resentful. It goes both ways, though. Don’t let your adopted child skip out on chores or otherwise give them other kinds of special treatment just because they are adopted (unless, of course, they have a disability that needs to be accommodated).

Takeaway: treat like them a normal person because they are.

10 things not to say to your adopted children

9. Don’t ever try to shy away from the subject or make them feel like adoption is a bad word.

Any time I brought up the word “adoption” in my household I felt like I’d said a big fat swear word. My mother would sigh or get a really anxious look in her eyes, as if I just asked her how babies were made. She did the best she could, but I felt awful just for asking! Why should I feel awful? I did nothing wrong. It’s a natural feeling to want to know more about your beginning.

As adoptees learn more about their adoption story, they may begin to feel some abandonment issues. This is natural and normal. But don’t keep information from them because you’re worried about how they’re going to feel. They need to know that you’re always there for them and that you’re not afraid to talk about their adoption story.

Takeaway:  Be mindful and ready at any time if your adopted child brings up adoption because it’s no big deal!

10 things not to say to your adopted children

10. The last one is actually a DO – ready for it?

Just pretend like THEY AREN’T ADOPTED. I know, ground breaking, isn’t it?

BUT and it comes with a HUGE BUT…. when anything adoption related comes up, you talk about it open and freely. Don’t try to shy away from the subject!

You are raising this person. They’re your kid. They’ll have the same traditions as the rest of the family. If they have traditions from their own birth culture, then embrace them as a whole family. Because that’s what families do, they do everything together. If you’re not up for the task, then you’re not ready to adopt at all (sorry, just another personal opinion!).

10 things not to say to your adopted children

Here’s the big takeaway from this whole list:

Everyone in this world just wants to feel loved. I don’t care who you are, that’s the bottom line. You want to feel loved and you want to feel heard. From the time adoptees learn they are adopted and as they learn a little bit more about their adoption story, they might begin to feel some abandonment issues. It’s normal. But DO NOT KEEP information from them because you are worried about how they are going to feel. This is a natural feeling that might come up at some point in their life. But if they know that YOU are there for them ALWAYS even though someone couldn’t because of a million various reasons that this world throws at them, then they will get through it and come out stronger on the other side because of YOU.

Life can be hard and cruel at times which has nothing to do with adoptees and they need to know that they DID NOTHING WRONG. They will feel like they truly belong with you as a family and you were all meant to be a family when they have your unconditional support ALWAYS.

There. I’ve said my peace!

***

For more information, you can check out this website on Adoption.

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238 Comments

  1. My older brother and sister were adopted. My childhood best friend’s sister was adopted. My best friends in high school were both adopted. It was just normal. For me, even more so than divorce and step siblings.

    My brother and sister are just that–my brother and sister. They just happen to be adopted.

    1. Wow, you knew so many people that were adopted, that’s awesome! I knew one other person growing up that was adopted who has a friend of mine and her life was completely different than mine. Of course everyone’s life is different! Thanks for sharing 😉
      Hugs,
      Jamie

      1. Knowing a lot of people that are adopted is not awesome. What is awesome about a child losing their mother? No child wants to be separated from their mother ( or father). Stop drinking the kool aide. Parent don’t place.

          1. Being adopted is not awesome. We don’t choose that life, but rather we were given that life. Adoption is a blessing, but I would never wish it upon someone else.

          2. WOW, Do you people really think a child dont miss their real mother?? I was adopted and I had a hard time growing up and I wanted to be with my real mother…she was a part of me. Her blood runs through my veins…I know how adopted parents HATE to hear about that but have you ever thought about what the kid wants to hear? Yall calling someone a brat because they LOVE the Bio mom. Most adoptive moms i have ever met were so insainly jealous of bio mom it was sickening.Its might not be what you want to hear but its the TRUTH in most cases. eNOUGH WITH THE pc BULLcorn. You not worried about MY mothers feelings just yours. BLOOD ,remember that Blood flowing through the veins and thats something no one will ever take away 🙂
            Good day

          3. Unless you have had to live through this you will never know what it is like… I laugh at you social workers, adoptive parents… who have no clue nor idea of what it is like to be a biological mother nor an adoptee.. none of your books work.. the best book is reading the child.. understanding the conditions of the parents when the child was adopted.. was it by choice?? did they want the child?? did the system steal them as they have a tendency to do??

            My daughter has went through HELL and is emotionally, mentally, psychologically scarred from them ripping us apart all because I was young and in “the system”.. they terminated my rights on the basis of me being “too young”… they did not offer me any real help as later I found out through workers and others that they never planned on letting me keep my baby..

            My daughter wanted for NOTHING… she had it all.. and more.. but a desperate attempt to pay a child who prior to conceiving refused to live peaceably in her conditions.. but my whole life changed after I had my daughter and everyone around me knew it.. she was my world and I was hers.. a lot of things that bothered me no longer bothered me.. in my young mind, I wanted to be everything for her.. I wanted to be the mother that I never had.. I wanted to protect her from experiencing the pain that I had experienced and that all came CRASHING down.. my dream of being a mother to my daughter was ripped away..

            I almost lost my mind when they took my baby.. she would yell.. scream… cry… reach for me.. try to get away from them.. calling me.. asking for me and there was NOTHING that I could do.. if it wasn’t for the help of God I would have never made it through this detrimental part of my life.. I had a hard time bonding with and loving my other children because of the trauma the separation caused me…

            DO ANY OF YOU ALL KNOW WHAT ANY OF THIS IS LIKE.. IN MY OPINION THE MAJORITY OF YOU ARE NOT “QUALIFIED” TO EVEN COMMENT AND THAT IS WITH ALL DUE RESPECT.

            THANK YOU…

            FROM THE HEART OF A HEALING MOTHER WHO HAS RECENTLY GAINED CONTACT WITH HER DAUGHTER THAT NEVER STOPPED CRYING FOR HER.. I AM BLESSED AND GRATEFUL AS MANY PEOPLE DREAM FOR THIS DAY AND NEVER SEE IT ALL BECAUSE OF A SCREWED UP SYSTEM..

            MANY OF THESE COMMENTS ARE TYPICAL STEROTYPES.. ALL PARENTS ARE NOT BAD.. ARE NOT ABUSIVE.. ARE NOT DRUG ADDICTS..

            YOU ALL CALL THESE CHILDREN YOURS AND THE REALITY IS IT DIES NOT MATTER WHAT THAT PAPER SAY.. YOU NEVER LAID DOWN AND PUSHED OUT THAT BABY… YOU CAN NEVER BOND WITH THAT CHILD LIKE THAT MOTHER CAN.. AND YOU EILL NEVER LOVE THAT BABY LIKE A PARENT WHO LOVES THEIR CHILD CAN..

            I WAS ROBBED OF FIFTEEN YEARS… IT IS A LIFE SENTENCE.. I NEVER STOPPED LOOKING FIR MY BABY… NEVER AND WAS DETERMINED TO FIND HER..

            I AM UPSET WITH THE ADOPTIVE PARENTS FIR SEEING HER SUFFER… SEEING HER CRY… ALL OF THOSE YEARS.. SEEING HER PLEA AND ASK THEM FOR ME AND THEY REFUSED.. SAID OH WE WILL ON OR BEFORE YOUR BIRTHDAY AND NOW IT IS HER DESIRE TO LIVE WITH ME AND NOW I GUESS I AM SUPPOSE TO BE THE CIVIL ONE AND THE UNDERSTANDING ADULT IN MAKING SURE SHE MAINTAINS A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM EVEN THOUGH THEY DENIED HER A RELATIONSHIP WITH ME EVEN THOUGH THEY KNEW SHE WAS SUFFERING “SEVERELY” BEHIND IT.. THEY WERE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT MAKING HER THEIR “DAUGHTER” INSTEAD OF DOING WHAT WAS IN HER BEST INTEREST..

            THEY WERE NOT GIVEN ANY BAD NEWS CONCERNING ME.. THEY ARE AFRAID OF LOSING HER AND THEY KBEW THAT IF SHE FOUND ME HERSELF OR I FOUND HER MYSELF THEIR RELATIONSHIP COULD HAVE BEEN EVEN MORE AT RISK..

            TO ME..

            PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE TO ADOPT CHILDREN WHO ARE NOT GIVEN AWAY, ABUSED, NEGLECTED, ABANDONED ARE A PART OF A BIGGER PROBLEM THEN THEY WILL PROBABLY EVER KNOW IF GOD DOES NOT OPEN THEIR EYES AND ALLOW THEM TO SEE TRUTH..

        1. To~ no longer adopted~ A child that is abused as my daughter was.. needed a mother that would love and cherish her.. and that is what she got. She is the most precious child in the world to me and I will spend every day of the rest of my life letting her know that she a life changing blessing.. so yes.. adoption is good.. she could still be suffering at the hands of the very ones that were supposed to love and protect her. but she’s not, because of adoption.

          To ~ Jamie
          Thank you for this.. my goal is to make sure that my daughter knows that I love her from the deepest depths of my soul and I search out adult adoptees because I want to hear how they feel, what they wish their parents had done differently. Because of people like you that share with us, we are able to save our children from those feelings. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

          1. My daughter is three….but I adopted her when she was 3months. We live states away from the birth mom and her family. But during breaks we tell them our dates so if they wish to meet up we can. My little girl looks at the birth mom and sees that there is something there….as soon as she ask I am more than willing to tell her, but I never shy away from the fact she is adopted. I love her and think she is the blessing that I waited for 12 years. I too look for ways to let her know and feel love from all her family. I am a proud mother and I am proud of the birth family for choosing me to raise my little girl. Thank you for sharing your story…it is difficult to think that she would ever feel like an outsider. With this article I can think more and bless her to know she is my daughter always

          2. Adoption is a blessing for those children who have no soft place to land, for the motherless who’s womb could not bear children, and for the parents who were unable to care for their own babies. To ‘Broken with Purpose,’ I am sorry for your pain. I hope the adoptive parents of your daughter took care of her and gave her a good life. If they were good to her, it is a blessing that someone was willing to take her out of the system and give her a home to keep her from being passed around in foster care. If you indeed did nothing to cause your child to be taken from you, be mad at the system that ripped her from you and be thankful to the adoptive parents that were trying to save her.
            As an adoptive parent and a fatherless daughter, I know first hand that being a mom is not a matter of pushing out a baby. Animals push out babies and sometimes eat and abandon them. I bonded with my babies when I was up with them all night while they vomited in the bed, had to be fed every 2 or 3 hours throughout the night, cried whenever I tried to put them down, and took care of every other need they had. Yes, I am their mom, like the paper says.

          3. I wisj my parents were more open about the adoption. We never ever mentioned it. I was in shock at 50 to find out the truth. Finally. But all parties were deceased. I found out alot about my parents from family and friends. I recommend not keeping the adoption secret. Everyone deserves to be acknowledged and loved. My parents chose to keep it a secret but in turn I was ashamed. It is still with me after all these years.

          1. As an adoptive father, I have to say, I’ve tried very hard to understand and empathize with my beloved daughter’s situation. I try to imagine how hard it must be to not be with her biological parents (she is 9). I try to inform her about what we know about her biological mother and father as she inquires. We have never hidden the fact that she is adopted from her, and our entire (very large) extended family loves and treats her no differently than any of the other children in the family.

            This is much more than I can say for my own childhood, where I was chastised and beaten on a regular basis from my own biological parents. My daughter has our utmost devotion and care and is being raised in a far better situation than she otherwise would have been. How is that bad?

            She will someday meet her biological mother (her bio-father is nowhere to be found), and that will be another great experience for her. Until then, we will love and care for her in a way that many parents don’t. She is in great schools, is on a swim team and a judo team. I just spent that past summer week with her in “Camp Dad” (her mom waited too long to sign her up for an official summer camp this week), and we enjoyed an absolutely amazingly fun week together. I love her so dearly that, in all honesty, I would not hesitate to give my life to save hers, if required.

            My wife and I were unable to bear children. Our daughter’s biological parents were very young, separated and did not want the burdens of raising a child. We did, so we brought her into our lives. As with many adopted children, she is being raised in far better circumstances than she would be with her biological parents.

            Again, how is this bad??

        2. Ok. The parent of a child is defined as the person who brought up the child from young. The people who made the child are only called parents scientifically, and in my opinion aren’t the child’s parents as God has already chosen all of our parents since the dawn of time. Some parent(s) get their child created with the hands of God by conceiving them on their own, and some through the conception of another, in which those who made the child are known as God’s agents, and not the child’s parents in either way, in which are the people used to deliver the marvelous work of God to his/her parents. The parent(s) of the child are already fated to be the parent(s) of the child and is the child’s destiny no matter how time bends. So, there is no what if the people who made the child kept the child, as they were only the agents who delivered the creation of God to the parents. So, if you ever have a child not conceived by you, be open to him/her, that you are his/her father/mother, but was conceived by another who’s God’s agent to deliver that child to you to parent as God has already chosen you to be the parent and no other to the child since the dawn of time. A child has only got two parents, one if single parent. The people who conceived the child are only God’s agent. But we have to always remember, that all of us are created by the Big Man upstairs, so he is all of our spiritual father. As for Earthly father, he has chosen one for everyone since the dawn of mankind. The parent chosen need not be the one who conceived the child, but the one who brought up the child from young. God bless all the parents of the world.

      2. My 9 year old daughter is adopted, I have a 4 year old (biological) and in 8 days we will finalize the adoption for my 9 year old’s siblings who are 4, 3 and 16 months. BEST DAY EVER! I’m a foster parent so I know more adoptive families than non-adoptive families (a slight exaggeration but you get my point) and it’s just normal for us. It’s hard to believe that anyone would actually do any of the things that you mentioned in your article. Maybe it’s because my children are adopted through the foster care system but we are very open and adoption has never been looked at as a negative thing in our circle of friends and family. I have the best kids and I’m so lucky to have every one of them. My two 4-year olds (although not bio related) are practically inseparable and everyone in the family is treated with the same love and respect no matter how or when they came to be a “Jordan”.

      1. hello. i have been reading so many site on adoption and that is based on the child knowing she is adopted how much different it is that i know there is a 40 year old women both her adopted parent has passed away and she doesnt know she is adopted there is 7 more of us children and both my parent a healthy and alived my mother is in her late 70s and i think her wish is to see her and make sure maybe one day we will get to meet her or know her?

  2. We adopted our 2 kids and I’m so thankful for open adoption. It really helps to answer the “why” questions and where they come from. One thing I learned going through this whole process is that, I, as a parent, needed to get my stuff together before adopting. Meaning, we have the responsibility as parents to settle and deal with the pain of our infertility issues before we adopt. Children pick up on how uncomfortable parents are about talking about adoption so any issues that an adoptive parent might have really needs to get dealt with and healed so that the children aren’t having to deal with your grief as a parent. I think this is huge.

    1. Yes, Amen sister! You nailed it. Parents do need to figure out their stuff before adopting. I think in the 70s it was unchartered territory unlike today with so many resources available. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this. Your children are very lucky 😉
      Hugs,
      Jamie

      1. Ok, so I don’t get it. I mean, I don’t know if I’ll ever get my stuff together!

        I have two biological children. I screw up all of the time with them. I’m sure there are a million women out there who could be a better mom to my two kids than I am, but we get by and I’m theirs. So, how is that different from adoption? Wouldn’t a child be better off with a flawed mother like me than in and out of foster homes?

        I kind of think that learning to forgive mistakes in your parents is just part of growing up. No one’s parents are perfect. My own mother said some pretty horrible things to me that will probably always be imprinted on the back of my mind. Truly horrible. When I tell people, they gasp in horror that she’d ever say those things to me.

        But, whatever. That’s just life. People say and do stupid things. People screw up even when their intentions are good. I don’t hold it against her (most days) because I recognize that she loved me in the best way she knew how. (Which was NOT ideal!)

        I just feel like there are SO many kids in foster care/ waiting for adoption that if everyone waits until they feel they are perfectly mature and ready to adopt, we’ll have a bunch of 90 year olds who are about to keel over yet ready to take on some kids.

        Is this crazy? Is that not what you meant? Please elaborate! 🙂

        1. PS- Sorry if that comment was all over the place like a squirrel with ADHD. I think, perhaps, I’ve had too much coffee today. 🙂

          1. Hi Sarah,

            I’m a mental health counselor working on a case with kids in the foster system. I came across this post while looking for resources to help them in their transition to an adoptive family. I think that what Jamie’s point was (although I hope she’ll come back and correct me if I’m wrong) was that parents need to be able to provide, at the VERY least, the basic needs for their kids.

            The kids I’m working with now have a mother who is in and out of jail and refused to seek medical treatment for her them, even when one’s cheek was swollen to the size of a grapefruit. She could not provide food. She could not provide shelter. And she had six children.

            This is a woman unfit to be a mother. Sure, parents lash out at their kids sometimes when they don’t know better ways to communicate – you’re right, that’s just life sometimes. No one is ever fully put-together, but if they have it in their hearts to open up their homes and lives to adopted children as well as the means to care for them… that’s all it really takes.

            I hope that made sense. Like you, I’m also a coffee fiend. 😉

    2. Yes God blessed you with your two kids. Your two kids came from God who chose you to be their parent through the conception of another. They may have came from another person’s womb, but you’ll always be their father/mother no matter what. You are their destiny. God bless you.

  3. I am adopted too but I didn’t find out until I was 41 and that was by accident. I went to get a copy of my birth certificate from the state and there it was! I asked my mother about it over the phone and she hung up and didn’t answer the phone for 6 months. I don’t dad ask about it again or she will just shut me down. Love the post and the good advice!

    1. Gigi…how sad, I’m so sorry. That’s an awful way for them to treat your natural curiosity about where you came from. The older generations had different ideas about communication, that’s for sure. My advice is to find out as much as you can while your parents (adopted, and biological) are living even if it is difficult. I wish you the best!

    2. Oh Gigi, how sad! I’m so sorry that happened to you. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s so important to be open about adoption. Hopefully we can changes some minds out there 😉
      Big hugs,
      Jamie

    3. I have to admit, that as an adoptive mom, it’s so scary to think of my daughter searching for another mother.. with that being said.. I love her enough that I have come to terms with the fact that this isn’t about me.. this is about her and if she were sad, I would be sad. I want nothing more than her to be completely fulfilled and because of that.. there is a box in the top of my closet with pictures of her birth parents and I printed an email between her birthmother and I and put it in there. She knows what city she was born in and her birthmothers name already ( she is 6) we do not have an open adoption because of some abuse that she suffered, not at the hands of her birthmother, but she allowed it. While I feel I have the right to make a closed adoption call based on that information, I still email her birthmom about once a month to tell her about her favorite things etc.. not that I’m sure she even cares, but I feel like I owe it to her to let her know that this precious child is thriving. I can’t imagine not knowing. But the main reason is, I want to know where she is so when the day comes that my daughter just has to contact her.. I will know how. I would be lying if I said it didn’t make me sick to think about that day.. it does, but I have to do it for her.

      1. It is very sad. My adopted parents were wonderful but I still needed to know my birth Mother. I never got to meet her. I was too late at 50. Be patient with your daughter. Finding out earlier I think is better. I am still in shock when I think about my parents. They had another child after me that tbey kept. That makes it even harder. Let her take the lead and be supportive. No one can ever take your place you raised her and she loves you.

    4. Well, it is nomal to be curious where one came from. Well, so sorry, your parents should have told you earlier, may be they didn’t know how to tell it to you. But always remember that they’ll always be your parents, and the one who created you is the everlasting God.

  4. Great advice Jamie! I know a few families with adopted children and the best thing they ever did was involve the children with their history from the get go. In one case, the child has been raised knowing their “Tummy Mommy” as she’s called and everyone is better for it.

      1. I was adopted when I was 6 months old. I grew up hearing that my mother is my “heart mommy”. Now I’m pushing 30 y/o. I’m glad for the opportunity of growing up in a healthy family, with love and care.

  5. Thank you for this, Jamie! My husband and I are just in the very early stages of adoption, and I always appreciate hearing from adult adoptees.

    1. Rachel, that’s awesome that you’re adopting! I’m adopted myself – and I was so happy to read Jamie’s ten things. She is SO RIGHT! I ALWAYS knew I was adopted, and was very proud of it. I have never been able to understand why anyone would want to keep that a secret from their adopted kids. I did find my birth mom at the age of 38 (I’m 60 now) and we are great friends and I have four siblings and we have a lot of fun together (and look alike!). I never felt like I HAD to find her…. it happened by accident and took me about 45 minutes and turned out to be very, very cool – most exciting thing in my life….. have fun with it and teach your adopted children all about love and why you wanted to adopt them in the first place….. good luck on your journey!! -Leslie 🙂

  6. I love hearing from adult adoptees, and I agree with your list. As adoptive parents, my husband and I have never tried to keep it a secret that our daughter is adopted. Since she is Asian and we are both of Scandinavian descent, she would have figured it out eventually anyway! The only comment I have is in regards to #2- sometimes as an adoptive parent (especially in a transracial adoption) it gets tiring to have everyone staring whenever we go out, and perfect strangers being nosy and wanting to ask questions. I can see myself answering like your mom did, not because she was ashamed that you were adopted, but because you just don’t want to share intimate details about your life with someone you don’t know, because frankly, it’s none of their business! (Unless they are genuinely curious about adoption, and then I’m happy to direct them towards adoption resources.) It varies in every situation, but I will answer questions about our daughter’s adoption if the person seems to actually be interested in adoption, and not just wanting to ask insulting questions like, “But you’re still going to try to have YOUR OWN kids, right?” “Why didn’t her real mom want her?” “How much did she cost?”
    My favorite is when she and I are out (without my husband) and someone asks, “Is her dad Asian?” and I say, “Is yours?” They’re usually still trying to figure out a response while we walk away!

    1. I would answer that question in different way since we were living in China with our adopted daughters from China. Mostly they got sick of the question and wanted as little said as possible. We have have told them more as the years go by as the surrounding situation and cultural views is pretty harsh.

    2. April, I love hearing your perspective! And yes, that makes total sense. You sound like wonderful parents. Thanks so much for sharing 😉
      Hugs,
      Jamie

    3. Well, being a smart-a$$, I would be tempted to answer their question about whether their dad was Asian, with: “No, I had an affair with my Asian postman – anything else you want to know??!” People sure can be awful, can’t they?!!

  7. What a thoughtful and articulate reminder, so beautifully written. You ARE an expert since you have lived it and know how hurtful the wrong words can be whatever the intentions. Thank you for writing this.

    Another worrisome “trend” are those “saving the orphans” (because God told them to) as a very popular blogger likes to boast (oh how that term orphan should never be used around an adopted child) and parading their effort to adopt an “orphan” from China.

    Adoption should never be a grandstand effort to receive applause, it needs to be well thought out and for only the most sincere reasons as a lifetime commitment. Your guidance is really needed. Maybe you need to write a book.

    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, Loulou! You’re too kind. Um, saving the orphans? Yeah, that’s crazy and shouldn’t be said, I totally agree.
      Big hugs,
      Jamie

  8. Fantastic!!! Fabulous! I have 2 adopted boys and this is exactly how I am raising them. I truly and honestly feel that there will be less of an issue later on ( they are 9 and 7 now) because they knew their story from very early on. It’s not an “issue” , it’s our life! I honestly often “forget” ( I say that in jest) they are adopted. But whenever the situation comes up, we talk about it matter of factly. Thank you for your perspective on all of this. It really does matter!!!

      1. Hi Jamie, Thank you so much for sharing with us! I adopted my son at birth 2 years ago and I really want to begin talking to him about adoption and I’d like him to know that he was adopted, but I don’t know how to begin the conversation with a toddler.

        I’ve purchased many adoption books that have very little to do with his adoption. I don’t have the words nor the confidence to make him a little book. I’d love to be able to give someone information about his story and have the book created for me/him regardless of the expense, but I have yet to hear of such services.

        Without a little book to read to him, how might you suggest that I speak to my son about adoption? Tonight, during our bedtime prayers we asked God to bless his birth mom (by using her first name) at the same time as we individually listed our friends and family. Would this be one way to start the conversation, if we pray for his “birth mom Susie” at the same time we are praying for our loved ones?

        Any insight from you or other readers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

        1. Hi Tanya,

          My 4 year old daughter is adopted. We adopted her when she was 4 months old. She was abandoned by her mother at a railway station. I do not know how to break that piece of information nor I know if my daughter will ever be able to find her birth parents.
          I’ve told her through many simple stories, how God led us to this orphanage and we found this perfect little girl and we became a family. I read a children’s book (chinese tale) on adoption called The Red Thread -http://smithsonianapa.org/bookdragon/the-red-thread-an-adoption-fairy-tale-by-grace-lin/
          My husband & I weave this story into our adoption story. We have read couple of parenting books on adoption. Before these books, we used to tell our daughter that she was born from our hearts, while other babies were born from their Mumma’s bellies. Then, I read another book, which said that every child needs to know how they were born, the natural process, their birth parents. And I realised, when I tell my adopted daughter that she was born from our hearts, I’m nullifying her parents existence, so now we tell her, all babies are from their Mumma’s bellies, even my daughter. I brought out her stuffed animals to tell her the story one day. And I asked her, how she felt, she said she was sad. I gave her a hug. Later I noticed, that whole evening she held onto her pretend birth mom. It was heartbreaking. She’s a fun-loving, hyperactive, extrovert girl. I’m sure she’ll do well.

  9. Great post. I was so lucky to have supportive parents (my sister and I are both adopted) who not only told me from the beginning, but also gave me information about my birth parents from early on. I didn’t get their names until I was 18 but then my parents helped me search for them (no luck). Just by them being supportive and confident, I was always reassured that things were OK and I was right where I needed to be. We talked about adooption OPENLY. I remember telling kids in elementary school I was adopted and they would say “no you’re not” and I would get so defensive… “YES I AM” haha.

    Also: this poem was framed in my room growing up and helped me through:

    “Legacy of an Adopted Child”
    Once there were two women who never knew each other,
    One – you do not remember, the other you call mother.
    Two different lives shaped to make yours,
    One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.
    The first gave you life, and the second taught you to live in it.
    The first gave you a need for love and the second was there to give it.
    One gave you a nationality; the other gave you a name.
    One gave you the seed of talent; the other gave you an aim.
    One gave you emotions; the other calmed your fears.
    One saw your first sweet smile; the other dried your tears.
    One gave you up – that’s all she could do.
    The other prayed for a child and God led her straight to you.
    Now you ask through all your tears the age-old question through the years;
    Heredity or environment – which are you a product of?
    Neither, my darling – neither – just two different kinds of love.

    PS-I ended up finding my birthmother on facebook about 4 years ago!

    1. I love this poem…it is one of my favorites as well as Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh you weren’t born under my heart but in it or something like that.

    2. Okay, that poem is amazing! I LOVE it! How come I’ve never heard of it before?? You’re adoptive parents sound wonderful, Stephanie. Thanks for sharing your story. You found your birth mother on FB? I’d love to hear more about that if you’re willing to share. My email is [email protected]
      Hugs,
      Jamie

    3. I work with an adoption agency, part of my job is making life books for children that have ben adopted. I use that poem as on of my first page in the life books, absolutely love it!

  10. So nice to hear this from your point of view. We have a biological son and an adopted daughter. I think (hope) we’ve done a good job of not doing these things. Thankfully people are so much more relaxed and open about adoption these days. Funny thing is, our daughter is a social butterfly like you and the rest of us are introverts but she brings so much life and joy to our family. We are so lucky! Thanks so much for sharing this!

    1. That’s such a sweet comment, JoAnne. It sounds like you’re doing such a great job. I love the part where you say you are so lucky 😉
      Hugs,
      Jamie

  11. “Not to say” # 5 gave me a chuckle. We have five kids, the 2 youngest are adopted. I can’t say I understand any of them at all times. I never occurred to me. Thnaks for sharing how you as an adult feel about being adopted.

  12. I’m a birth mom who has been waiting ever so patiently for my daughter to want to meet me (she’s in her 20’s now) I’m thankful for blogs like this that give me hope! We had an open adoption and have kept in touch with her parents over the years but she’s not ready yet. I was young when I got pregnant and knew that I wouldn’t be able to provide her what she needed – I was a child myself! It was the most difficult decision I have ever made but one that I don’t regret. We hopefully all want what is best for our children and I knew keeping her was not the best thing for her.

    1. You’re a wonderful and strong person, Angela, to give up your daughter. I know that your daughter thinks of you every day. Whether she feels she is ready to meet your or not, she is thinking of you every day. You have given her the best gift of life. Good luck to you!
      Big hugs!!
      Jamie

  13. We just adopted this year so I loved reading this post. And I have to say that so far I tell everyone our adoption story. It’s just a great story so I’m glad to hear that hopefully she’ll like that. I’m currently in contact with her bio mom and hope to have lots of info to give her at appropriate times (glad again that she may want it) she’s ours just like the rest of my kids.
    Again loved this post

  14. I’m an adoptive mom. Thank you for writing from the perspective of an adult who was adopted. Learning to blend into a new family can be tough but it is worth the hurdles. I recently got a little castle statue from our developmentally delayed adult daughter. She had written “god put us together”. I believe with all my heart he did too. Loving this child has taken more hugs, tears and love than I ever knew I was capable of having. I’ll look forward to reading more about your journey.

    Be a Blessing,
    Nancy ~ Bead Charmer Girl

    1. Awww, what a wonderful story, Nancy. I think all families are tough and have their hurdles but yes, adopted families have MORE. You sound like a wonderful mother, Nancy.
      Big hugs,
      Jamie

  15. Thank You for posting this, it helps me to see that I’m doing I right. Ours was a open adoption we stay in touch with the Grandparents, and the two siblings they are adopted by a different family, so there are some jealousy issues that she has been dealing with the older siblings think she has it made. Do you have any advice on this?

    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Johanna. That’s wonderful you have an open adoption. I’m sure it does pose more issues for your family. It’s going to be hard when the two families are being compared. I think if you focus on how lucky each individual is and what blessings each person has it will help them. Because life is full of ‘grass is always greener’ scenarios and it’s like that for everyone, isn’t it? It’s just a matter of being grateful for what you have and you’ll be content with your life and more blessings will come.
      Hugs,
      Jamie

  16. Great list 7&9 are my faves, my husband is adopted, we found his biological family 19 years ago, against his moms wishes! But like you said you need to know, we love the extended family, we’ve even just vacationed with his biological family it’s good to open yourself up to find out the missing pieces, his Mom still dislikes the idea but it her issue not his or ours! We have kids & it’s nice to see the similarities in their biological cousins too! Like I said great list!

  17. THANK YOU for sharing your story! I wholeheartedly agree with all your points. I am a biological Mom who placed my daughter for adoption when I was 16. I later married and became a step – mom to three wonderful kids. We then later adopted a daughter. We openly celebrated her adoption and always explained our blended family as being one pieced together by God. Being adopted has its challenges and we as family members need to do all we can to nurture, understand, guide, and help in any way. I am so glad you spoke up….Again thank you and God bless!

    1. Awww, such a great story, Lori. Thank you for sharing with me!! You sound like a wonderful mother, a wonderful birth mother and adoptive mother and step-mother. Wow, you are amazing!! My hat and everything goes off to you!
      Big hugs,
      Jamie

  18. I can agree with these to an extent. My cousin was adopted and found her birth mother and it ruined her life. Brought up painful repressed memories and she struggled mentally with a lot of things until she commited suicide. My father was adopted and has had absolutely no interest at all in knowing or finding his birth parents. He says genuinely that his (adoptive) parents were enough for him. I on the other hand am interested in knowing. Haha.

    1. I understand everyone is different. I’m sure I’m in the minority with my feelings but it’s just me 😉 Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I’m sorry about your cousin, Lisa. That is just awful! My heart goes out to you and your family.
      Hugs,
      Jamie

    2. Well, honestly, the parent who raised you up is your true and real parent. The person who gave birth to you is just the person who gave birth to you, she’s the person God used to deliver the baby for his/her parent. I am not saying that you should hate the person who gave birth to you but appreciate her as she was the one who delivered you to unite with your parent(s). Well, in gene research, it’ll be interesting to see the inheritence with biological ancestors, and is not wrong in doing so. But, I have also done my family tree and put family member’s parents as their parents, not necessarily having their parents the one to conceive him/her. So, always remember your parent is the one who raised you up and love him/her forever. God bless your family.

  19. Absolutely love this post! My two oldest children are my husbands but their mother left them 5 years ago. She has never had contact since then. They lived with her for four years so transitioning from one “mother” to a new one with all of those unanswered questions was HARD to say the least. I have been very open with them about the entire situation (age appropriately, of course!). When I look at my beautiful family sometimes even I forget that I didn’t birth them! All of my children (4 total) complete my soul and while I did not ask for adoption I thank God every day that He chose me to be their mother. Thank you for sharing your perspective and giving me a look into what THEY are feeling.

  20. I absolutely agree. There are a few hard issues that will have to be discussed with mine as they grow. In some ways, I’m waiting till the questions naturally lead us to those issues but for some (like the drug use) there’s a time limit on how long I can hold that peice. It’s part of their medical history and they need to know it already and be comfortable with it the first time they are offered drugs. I would add to the tell them as soon as they can listen – tell them as soon as they can hear. If their ears work start talking. Telling the story when they can hear but have no clue what you are saying gives you the chance to practice the words, get past the awkwardness and get used to it before they truly understand. Then when they can actually listen and know what you are saying, it’s normal to you and not awkward.

    Thanks for sharing these. I’m actually amazed that some of them needed to be said. But the sad fact is that they did.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this! It sounds like you do have some hard issues to discuss with your kids but they’ll appreciate it when they’re older 😉 And I, too, am amazed that some of these needed to be said too! It should be labelled common sense lol
      Big hugs,
      Jamie

  21. I have four children total–two home grown and two adopted. I rarely mention adoption unless it’s brought up, only because I usually forgot about adopting my kids!

    As an adoptive parent, I wouldn’t dream of pointing out differences! No secrets, no lies and no shame.

  22. This is a great list but there is one thing that keeps rubbing me the wrong way and keeping me from sharing it with others. My children are not adopted, they WERE adopted. Adoption is an event that happened in the past that made it possible for us to become their parents, not a description of who they are today.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Kay. That’s such a wonderful way of describing that event and I’d have to agree with you. I think it’s wonderful that you take your children on as your own (as you should), I applaud you as a parent. This post is really how I felt growing up and I just wanted to share with others in case others were feeling any bit the same way. Unfortunately, I did feel different at times and because I don’t share genetics I always thought of myself as adopted. I appreciate you commenting and giving me your perspective.
      Hugs,
      Jamie

  23. It is because of adult adoptees like you speaking up that things are getting better. There is still a lot of ignorance but the conversation is shifting. As someone currently in the foster-adoption process, people like to tell me what a great thing I am doing and how wonderful adoption is, and I gently correct them saying “No, I’m not wonderful for adopting because it is what I want and I am blessed to be entrusted with kids. I’m glad adoption exist like I am glad surgery exists- it is a cure for when something goes wrong. Adoption is fundamentally a trauma for kids because they are losing their first family even though they are gaining a new one. I’m so excited to adopt, but I can’t expect that my kids will be excited to be adopted- I’ll just tell them that I wish their first mom could have raised them, but since she couldn’t I’m glad they made me part of their family.”

  24. I love your advice. Our first son was adopted. And oh have things changed over the years. Ours was a semi-open adoption which we have loved. My son came from an amazing family. I love talking about them and their wonderful characteristics that have brought much joy and happiness to our family. My son’s biggest discovery up to this point (9 yrs old.) that I love his birth mom. She is a wonderful person who gave me the greatest gift.

  25. “I don’t know how we raised the likes of you.” doesn’t do much to build a child’s self-esteem either, especially when that child was truly gifted and the hateful comment was spawned from a parent’s jealousy.

  26. Well written!!! I am also adopted and what you wrote resonated with me. I think the one very important point is that. unless you are adopted… you don’t know what it ‘feels’ like to be adopted. It is not an event… it is a lifetime of feeling a bit like an island… while you know you belong and you are loved, you also don’t. Kay, you refer to it being an event, and to you it is, and it is incredible how much
    people can love their children, natural or not, unfortunately with almost every adopted person I know, that feeling of disconnection is there. It has nothing to do with not feeling part of a family, or not feeling loved, or not feeling that you are their parents, you always will be. It just is… I am actually writing a book about the stages you go through and why you feel that disconnection. This is not a punt for my book… my book is a purge ‘for myself’ to try and unpack ‘for myself’ why you feel that disconnection.

    1. Nicky, thank you so much for sharing. It’s nice to know other adoptees share the same feeling of disconnect. Please contact me about your book! I would love to read it.
      Big hugs, Jamie

  27. Our son is adopted and has special needs. People would say what a blessing we were to take him in. I always tell them I needed him as much as he needed me. Ours was a private adoption. His birth family was not a good one. Although it was private, family and friends were invited to the adoption proceedings and the “it’s a boy” party afterwards. We all celebrated and he got tons of gifts. Every year we celebrate adoption day. It’s the day he became ours.
    Birth certificates and adoption papers were available. They lived 2 hours away. I didn’t want them to influence him when he was younger. A lot of criminality and alcoholism. Once he was grown he was able to make his own decisions about them. I had told him they loved him, but we’re sick and unable to care for him. Since he had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, he knew what his birth mothers sickness was.
    When he turned 18, he met his birth family. My only regret is that his birth mother died from cancer, wishing that she could see him one last time. He was 14, but I would have made a special effort for that had I known. Some of his extended birth family are good people. Now he has tons of relatives and lots of love. I think that’s the way it should be!

    1. You sound like a wonderful mother, Mary. It sounds like you and your son and all the extended family are blessed because of adoption!!
      Big hugs, Jamie

  28. We are in the early stages of adopting, so this is great information! I think the current trend toward open adoption has helped eliminate the secrecy and avoidance that seemed so common with closed adoptions. I hope our little one will be spared from a lot of the hurts you had to experience. Thanks for sharing your advice!

  29. Thank you Jamie! My husband and I are starting the process for adoption and we are so nervous about it. Reading this definitely made me feel more at ease. It’s good to know that you can never go wrong with honesty and support.

  30. My husband and I are waiting on our baby right now via adoption…. This list is very helpful in thinking about our future babe. We have already decided to make ‘adoption’ part of the story from the get go 🙂 Bless you for sharing! 🙂

  31. I love everything about this – what a beautiful site. I love the way you write and as an adoptive mother and adoption consultant, this really spoke to me. I’ve been open with my son since the beginning and when people start whispering about adoption, I remind them that there is nothing to whisper about. I’ve shared this on my FB page. Hmmm, possibly a guest blogger on my site???

    1. Rebecca, thank you for your message! Such kind words. I’m off to check out your website and guest blogger and your site would be wonderful 😉
      Hugs, Jamie

  32. Bahhhhhh, I get asked so many stupid questions all the time. Most recently, I heard, “Well those are your real kids and then there’s your other one…..” Wait WHAT? Can I knock you in your idiot face. I read your list thinking there would be some glaringly obvious thing that our family is doing wrong–thankfully nothing on the list was anything other that what we’re already doing or plan on doing. Yay us! Now if only the other dinks on this planet would get the memo…You don’t have to say everything that comes to mind!

    J.

    1. YA, Jessica! Your message made me laugh, loved it. Yes, people can be idiots at times. Sounds like you’re doing awesome 😉
      Hugs, Jamie

  33. We adopted our daughter and I never intend to hide from her. We don’t have an open adoption but we have met with het birth mom. She’s only 20 months but we decided that she wasn’t gonna be a mystery to our child.

  34. Thank you very much for your post! We are in the proccess right now and I love to read these advices. I agree in everything! Thanks for helping my son or daughter to be!!XX From Spain!!

  35. Great post. I’m adopted, 45 years ago through Catholic Social Services and my younger brother is adopted as well. I was raised in a loving, supportive family and my parents were always open and honest with us about our adoption. I have never felt there was anything “missing”, at least not enough for me to search for my birth parents. But, there is a part of me that wants to know “who am I?” and “where did I come from?” I think it’s a natural curiouslty and would love to know my health history, but the initial search seems daunting to me, so I’ve left it alone. Maybe one day.

  36. As a 72 year old woman who was adopted at the age of 12 days from a home for unwed mothers in Fort Worth, Texas, let me chime in here and say how great it is that you are telling our story, without judgement but with authenticity.

    I made one effort to find my birth mother, but the laws are very much against success in my state. I was able to purchase all my birth records, but everything pertinent was redacted (blacked out), so I learned nothing. The only thing I got out of it was a letter from my birth mother to the home, sort of a thank you note for seeing her through the birth and adoption ordeal. It rang phony to me, though it was well-written.
    She had to choose between her baby (me) and her mother who was widowed and aged and helpless.

    I didn’t even make the effort until my adoptive mother was in her grave at the age of 99, because it would have hurt her so much. She didn’t like to remember that I was adopted, not for me but for herself. She had one stillborn son, and could never have another. She should have had a houseful of children, as she was a natural parent, just a perfect mother.

    I am so grateful that I was given up. I had wonderful parents and though I was often lonely as an only child, I never doubted that I was loved. I learned at age 3 or 4 from a neighbor child that I was adopted and that there was no Santa. I was far more upset about the Santa thing! LOL

    That said, I agree with the feeling of disconnect, to this day. I feel different, even though I’ve reared three children of my own and know better, intellectually. Emotionally, the feeling is still there. Maybe I’ll grow up some day!

    This is a great board, and you are a very wise young woman and I thank you.

    1. Mary, thank you so much for sharing your story. There are so many wonderful adoptive families and I’m so glad you were part of one of them. I believe that feeling of wanting to know more or that feeling of disconnect that you mentioned is very natural for us. You sound like a wonderful mother! Oh and I would be upset about the Santa part too, lol.
      Thanks again for sharing,
      Hugs, Jamie

  37. I am adopted along with my brother and sister and I think your list is fine except for one thing; not every adopted child is going to care where they came from. I never even for a minute wanted to know anything about my biological parents, none of my siblings did. Knowing who gave birth to you doesn’t tell you who you are. The woman who changed my diapers, helped me with my homework and taught me to play the piano is my mom. And the man who played games with me, took me camping, taught me to drive and gave me away at my wedding is my dad. They, along with my older brother and sister help shape me into who I am and that’s more important and far more powerful then my genetics. This is just my opinion but giving your kids info on their biological parents puts a wall between you. I don’t think a parent should keep that stuff from their kids but they shouldn’t offer it either. I have always known if I wanted info on my birth parent I could go find it I have just never wanted to.
    Being adopted was the best thing that could have happened to me because I grew up in a real family; my parents love each other they weren’t forced to marry because my dad got my mom pregnant. I didn’t grow up feeling like someone’s mistake, I was a baby that was long awaited for, and prayed for. I was wanted. And there was never a single moment that felt unloved. I was and am blessed.

    1. My husband and I are looking to adopt. I like reading articles like this because I want to make sure we care for our future children in a way that is best for them. I know that we WANT to involve the bio family (depending a bit on circumstances) as much as possible in their lives. I feel like I read two very opposing views often. People who hate their adopted parents for missing out on life with bio family and people who are glad that they knew they were adopted but never knew the bio family (because they had some level of dysfunction) and never wanted to… With the only agreement between the two being to tell your kids they’re adopted and don’t make it a big “thing” or a bad word. But the opposing views do certainly make it hard to decide what is the best route for a child! I am not concerned about my feelings but I am concerned about the mental health of a child being influenced by people who may or may not have deep rooted mental disorders, drug abuse, severe physical abuse (in my specific county, these are the main reasons for adoption from foster… not age or financial status of bio-mom or anything “benign” like that… usually anyway, OF COURSE there are exceptions). We definitely want to be open and honest with our kids, and I want to be sure I’ve prepared ahead of time BEFORE my heart is involved (lol) … it just feels like there’s no right answer sometimes! I see such extreme feelings on either end — “I’m glad I never knew my bio family” & “My adopted parents stole me from my parents and were too jealous to let me know them”. oh gosh. I hope there’s a balance that tells the truth, we’re adopting because we LOVE children and want to give them the BEST life, which may or may not include some level of bio family. @alexis , Do you feel being raised with adopted siblings helped with the adjustment? Do you think it would’ve been negative for you if you had bio family involved in your life? @jamie Do you feel that if the bio parents present an unsafe or unstable environment that it is okay to pick and choose more indirect bio family to involve in the child’s life?

  38. My daughter is only 4yo, so I tell her what she can understand, she asks if she came from my belly and I tell her she came from my heart and then I tell her I’m glad she came from my heart because she wouldn’t have her beautiful blue eyes and smile if she came from my belly and those are some of my favorite things about her!
    She is one of the kindest, smartest, greatest kids I know, and I’m so grateful to get to be her mommy!

    1. Wow, what a wonderful story to share! That’s such a great thing to say to your children! I really love that. Thanks for sharing 😉
      Hugs, Jamie

  39. Jamie…

    thank you for this post…I know it is older but I found it through pinterest:) my husband and I have 12 children…8 are adopted. I always LOVE to hear an older Adoptees point of view about all of it. Thank you for sharing your feelings on a very fragile subject!!

  40. I am adopted. And i feel great that i got a new second life. I am just teenager now, want to grow and be a nyc human being 🙂

  41. I am so glad to hear a positive “post adoption” story. For some reason, a lot of these seem to be negative. One encounter I read said it took them 23 years to get over “Stockholm syndrom.” It made me feel horrible to ever think about adopting a child someday (which is something I want to do).

    I think a lot people have resentment and bad feelings about adoption now is because when they were adopted in the 90’s and earlier it was like you said, a “swear word” to say someone was adopted. They were shamed into adoption or it was kept a secret from them until “they were old enough to handle it.” I think this is a horrible way of dealing with it. I hope I’ll do better someday in the future.

    1. Leanne, thank you so much for sharing. I think adoption is such a special gift to give but I agree, sometimes there is shame involved with it and there shouldn’t be. Everyone just wants to be loved.
      Hugs, Jamie

    2. My daughter was adopted from Korea in the early 1970s, and was so very wanted by our whole family. The fact that I was pregnant by the time she came was not something that detracted from how excited we were to have her, or how much we loved and treasured her once she was here. Her sister was born several months later, and they ended up being very close, even sharing a room for years by choice. The younger one admired and adored her big sister, and our adopted daughter was a great big sister, though they were so close in age (they were less than 1 1/2 years apart). I agree with much of what you have said, but it does seem as if you may be coming from a place of somehow feeling as if your mom might not have adopted if she had known she could have bio children. My children grew up with many friends who were adopted, I had cousins who were adopted, and some who were placed for adoption, so it wasn’t some weird idea to me, nor was it to my children. It isn’t reasonable in any relationship to behave as if only one person has feelings that should be respected. There are some adoptive mothers who struggle with the idea that the child they love so much, have cared for day and night, seen through crises, wants to search for their bio mother. A few conversations that assure mom that you aren’t thinking she has been babysitting for the last 18 years, and you are “finally going to find your “REAL” mother, thank God”, might go a long way toward the support and help the adoptee says they want when they search for their bio family. Our daughter was found on the street, so there is no way to find her mother and she has shown little interest. We have another child who is adopted and has refused to meet the bio parents, and is 30 now. Not all are dreaming of finding someone who is never going to hurt their feelings, or looks just like them, and some are. There are so many stories about wonderful happy reunions, but the hurtful ones don’t make the news. For instance, one of my friends, who thought of nothing other than finding her bio parents her entire adolescence, told me her bio mother slammed the door in her face and said she wasn’t interested. Her bio father was an alcoholic she couldn’t get rid of after she made contact, and, as an adoptive parent herself, she said she would be careful not to sugarcoat the adoption story and let her children know it isn’t always a beautiful story and they should be prepared for that. Everyone’s story is different, and perhaps instead of hard and fast rules, it’s important to love your children very much, and know who they are and what they need.

  42. My uncle and two of my best friends are adoptees. As long as I’ve thought I might want to have children, some day (which was rather young, since baby dolls are shoved on girls from infancy), I’ve known that I want to adopt. It isn’t altruism, and I don’t feel I’m better than anyone else for wanting to do so. This is just a way in which I want to build my family. Admittedly, coming from a blended background very likely affects my decision, too.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Jessica. Adoption is such a special gift! It sounds like something you were ‘born’ to do 😉 Good luck to you.
      Hugs, Jamie

  43. Somehow I stumbled across your blog via Pinterest and was pleasantly surprised to discover this post. As an adoptee I agree with every single one of your points. I’m no expert either, but I did write a book about my adoptee experience. 🙂 I love the rest of your site too, and I’ll be following along.

    1. Aww, thanks Linda! It’s so wonderful to ‘meet’ another adoptee. Thanks so much for being here. You wrote a book?? Please tell me the title. I’d love to read it.
      Hugs,
      Jamie

  44. Hello, Just stumbled on this site tonight and got to reading your top 10 Jamie. I think you are bang on and can’t possibly be in the minority of thoughts on this topic. I agree on every point. It truly is an inherent need to know where one comes from and perhaps you have to be an adoptee to know this. I find it difficult to understand that an adoptee would not have this desire. Perhaps it doesn’t consume you, but it’s there and crosses your mind, it has to. I too always knew I was adopted, as was my brother, though my sister was a miracle birth for my parents. My adoption was closed, files sealed to adulthood. At the time when I registered to find my birth parents both parties had to be seeking the other in order for contact. Thankfully we both signed up within 6 months of each other. I was 22. It was a hard decision to make as I didn’t want to hurt my adoptive parents (Mom! and Dad!) who provided a loving and wonderful life for me. They knew the day might come and said they understood. I never held resentment for the parents who gave me up, even though I didn`t know the story…(simply, they were young, first date, her Mom was calling the shots and shipped her out of town to hide). My story is perhaps rarer in that my birth parents married a few years after giving me up and had 3 kids, so I met a whole family, all of whom I resemble in one fashion or another!! That was really cool to see! My youngest sibling was only 14 when we met. I’ve maintained the relationship with this family and I am blessed to have two families. Today I am 46. The difficulty I have and continue to have is the feelings of guilt and betrayal, as I know my adoptive family (mostly my Mom) is not totally comfortable with the relationship with my biological family. I think it is a natural feeling that an adoptive parent may experience, but my feelings too are natural. I am completely loyal to them and my primary relationship and commitment of time is with my adoptive family. These parents are the only people that I reference as Mom and Dad. That too is natural for me. My biological family is 4 hours away so we see each other maybe 2 to 3 times per year. I so know the “we don’t like secrets” as I still experience it, but differently now, compared to as a child when my Mom said we didn’t have to tell everyone… I have adult kids and they grew up knowing both families. They call my birth parents Papa T and Nana T, my son was two when we met and their first grandchild. My siblings kids call me Auntie, they too grew up always knowing me but didn’t see me as much. We had to explain to all of them when they got old enough to understand why we were not at all the Xmases, etc. We’ve spent a week or two every summer at the lake all together and time in the winters. When we come home, I have had to tell my kids not to talk about having too much fun when we see my other family, as I know it bothers my Mom… This bothers me, but not sure what else to do. This is what brought me here, seeking other adoptee thoughts and experiences. I am certainly not complaining, as I said, I am blessed to have two families, to have had a great upbringing and great reunion, but it is sometimes a difficult road to travel between the two families.. I only share this latter part for another adoptee who may be experiencing a similar sharing of time with two families (or maybe two mothers) and the feelings associated with that, and for the adoptive parents or the birth parents perhaps going through the same. It is good to know that both of my families have all met and spent some time together over the years. I also realize that not everyone has the same story as me and so maybe won`t have the same feelings. Sorry this comment was a titch long. Thanks for your post Jamie!

    1. Not to too long at all! I love reading these comments! It’s made me feel less alone and I love when we share our stories. I carry that same guilt even though my adopted family isn’t even in my life (they are not in my life for various problems but nothing to do with me trying to find my birth mother). These are real feelings that just can’t go away and I sometimes have a hard time deciphering it. I loved reading about your story. It’s unique just like all of our stories but will still help and inspire someone else here. I guess your story is a bit like a blended family, but there are no books or manuals on how to blend this kind of family and we just have to do our best I guess. With adoption being so open nowadays, I’m sure in the future there will be a lot more information on how to navigate but for now we’re the guinea pigs. Thanks so much for sharing.
      Hugs, Jamie

  45. If you don’t mind me asking, was your younger sibling conceived after you were adopted? How did you feel about that? (My husband and I are in the process of adopting, but I would still welcome a child conceived naturally, but am not sure how that would make the adopted child feel?) Forgive me if it’s an ignorant question, just trying to learn and gain perspective. 🙂 TIA!

    1. Hi Anna, I don’t think any question is ignorant here!! Thanks for asking it! My younger sister was naturally conceived after I was adopted. A one in a million chance, the doctors said but apparently it happens quite often. I think it’s a wonderful blend to the family. We always played together as sisters but unfortunately, I feel that some of the differences I wrote in this post made me not feel as close as I could have been to my adoptive family. And there were other issues too. Regardless, it would not have been a big deal and it was so nice to have a sibling. I never thought of her as different growing up, we were just sisters. My mother put us in matching clothes all the time too. Thank you for asking 😉
      Hugs, Jamie

  46. I read the ten things not to say to an adopted child . Actually could add a few more that were said in anger to me.
    First of all I was adopted @ 2 & there were weekend visitations with my birth mother. I don’t remember this. I found all that out when I was 61 after locating my birth mother & 3 half brothers. My brother(the one I grew up with) told me I was adopted when I was on the school bus! The shock & hurt was overwhelming…. I still see & relive that moment. Of ourse once home he got into a lot of trouble, my parents confirmed it & added “we will never discuss this again!” From that moment on I felt “dirty” because the word adopted was a forbidden word. At the age of 35+ I received in the mail from my adoptive father a copy of the adoption. I had the information I needed to research & seek out the truth. My father and I never spoke about why he sent me my file. On his death bed he tried to explain , yet the moment was so painful I asked him to stop. Both of my parents took it to their grave. I in turn searched anywhere & everywhere. 11 years after I posted on a German Genealogy forum I got an answer. After extensive research back & forth both sides determined that I probably was the missing child–that no one really knew about. That same year my husband & I flew back to Germany & all was verified! The bond that developed is amazing. As if time had stood still. Sad part is that my birth mother has dimentia and repressed it for so many years it is difficult for her to comprehend I am that child. I have no regrets, I loved my parents that raised me & finally got the truth about why–German law during the post war years did not allow an underage (21) to have & keep their child. I became a ward of the state & had weekend visits. Finally I could believe that I wasn’t ugly, unwanted or thrown away and the word adoption was not a bad word. Why my parents did the adoption in that manner –no one knows! I just know I finally came full circle in my life when I saw my 3 half brothers waiting at the Airport gate in Frankfurt, Germany for someone they had only recently found out about.
    Bottom line is–please tell the child as soon as possible they are adopted and explain as much as you can. A child will dream up some very bad reasons why their birth mother would give them away. In my case it has been proven that I had an EARLY onset of PTSD– as a child due to the constant back & forth from the orphanage & birth mother. Then suddenly I get placed/adopted into a new family never to see my birth mother again until I was 61–and living for all those years that I was a thrown away, unspoken of mistake, “adopted” child.

    1. Oh Linda, my heart breaks for you. Thank you for sharing your story. I think that is the biggest point here, it doesn’t matter if you were placed in a wonderful or not-so-wonderful adopted family, we just want to know where we came from and don’t want to feel like adoption is bad. I’m so happy for you that you got to meet your half-brothers. You must feel at least some completeness although that will probably never be fulfilled for you. Just know that there are people all around the world that are going through the same thing and we all care about you.
      Hugs, Jamie

  47. I really enjoyed this article! I to was adopted young and I agree with everything you said. My husband and I are currently in the addition process and we will definitely live by this and my personal experiences of being an adoptee. Thank you for writing this article.

  48. I am an adoptive mom, and quite frankly I’m a little appalled that anything like that would ever need to be posted. Sorry that in your case it did. My children are the most beautiful blessings I’ve ever had in my life and I can’t even fathom making them feel like they weren’t completely part of our family. Adopted in our means “specially chosen”. My feathers get most ruffled when people ask me if I had any children of “my own”. Of course I do, I adopted them.

    1. You sound like a wonderful mother, Kristin! Thank you for sharing 😉 I know my parents did the very best they could in raising me and I think they did a great job, but the things I wrote about really did ‘stick’ to me as not being good for me. It’s hard because I want to write about it to help others but at the same time not put them down. It does seem odd to me that it even has to be posted about, I agree! But I’ve had so many people ask me questions when they adopt kids what they should or shouldn’t say I thought it needed to be said. Thank you for sharing your story.
      Hugs, Jamie

  49. I’m adopted too. Going into it, I thought it’d be a cheesy argument. I was pleasantly wrong. 🙂 Great article and totally agree with you.

  50. Hi Jamie!

    I’m adopted as well as both of my brothers. I grew up going to my birth families homes for holidays, spending birthdays with them. I was around for both of my half siblings birthdays and learned who my birth father was when I was 16. I am one of the few who wishes my adoption had been closed.. There’s photos of my adopted parents (Mom & Dad) in the hospital with all of us, and yes, it would have been harder as I had gotten older, but my Mom & Dad are my parents. Myself and the middle bother look like exact replicas of my parents, and once you know that my mom was a brunette to begin with the brown hair makes sense on my baby brother. My husband and I have decided that if we cannot have children we will not adopt. Not because its a bad thing to do, it works for a number of people, just didn’t leave me as a well adjusted person emotionally. I was always with someone who was “family” the neighbors were family, my friends parents got family titles, and then when I was 18 my birth mother shut me off from my birth family and my great grandmother died within the five years she shut me out. She still waited a year before allowing my back in, and I still do not trust her, but I put up with it for my half siblings. I hope anyone who has adopted or will adopt will take into consideration that both sides of the coin sometimes suck. You have an open adoption and there’s a risk of your son/daughter being hurt even more by a birth family, and if you leave it closed you risk the question of the unknown. I would not have gone looking because I was never lacking for love in my FAMILY. I was so worried that I was breaking my dads heart when I went to meet my birth father, and I just think sometimes the grass isn’t always greener. In my experience, all three of our birth mothers burned us later on in our lives and we all agree that sometimes it’s better not knowing at all.

    Maria

    1. Awww, I’m so sorry Maria. I know, everyone’s story is so different and unique. I agree, the grass isn’t always greener. I think the unknown is what is hard to deal with sometimes as you make up stories in your head as you’re growing up. In your case, you didn’t need to make up stories in your head but you probably wish you had a chance to. Thank you for sharing your story!
      Hugs, Jamie

  51. What do you think when a person mentions physical similarities between an adoptee and adoptive relative at a family gathering? I know you said it was rude to get too into physical DISsimilarities. But what if the adopted child really does have grandpa’s nose?

    1. Well, I think that would be cool, Anne! I don’t think that would be rude 😉 I mostly posted it because certain comments were brought up like that all the time growing up for me and it just became old. I honestly wish I did have some of those similarities then it would be a non-issue. Thanks for being here.
      Hugs, Jamie

  52. Hi Jamie…came across your blog by accident and so glad I did. I never knew I was adopted until a stranger told me at my dads funeral when I was 48. I did have suspicions I didnt belong all my life but thinking and knowing are two different things. I am bitter at my mum and dad for not telling me…it was a secret they planned on taking to their graves. Long story short…I have found my birth family and my birth mum has made her displeasuree known at me finding her but the good news is I have 5 siblings who have grabbed onto me and called me their own. I do carry alot of anger for missing out on a lifetime of knowing my brothers and sisters and its not going to be easy building that relationship as they all live in another state but I will do the best I can.
    So yes adopted kids should be told because finding out as an older adult is just horrible. You have summed it up nicely. I look forward to following your blog.
    Michelle

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Michelle. I’m so so sorry about you finding out when you did. How awful and shocking. Good luck to you in your new family relationships. It’s never too late, right?
      Big hugs, Jamie

  53. There is a scene from the movie “Easy A” that perfectly sums up your thoughts. Everyone is eating breakfast and the brother (who is black, obviously adopted in to a white family) says something about how he’s sure he’ll never go thru puberty. His mother reassures him that the family is full of late bloomers and he’ll probably be a teen when he finally hits puberty, just like his sister.

    “Um, I’m adopted,” he tells his mother. The father slams his head (or hand, I can’t remember) against the cupboard and says “Who told you that?!”

    Everyone just smiled and rolled their eyes.

    Be candid, but remember the promise of adoption. When you adopted your child, you swore to love them and care for them as if they were genetically yours. In deed, from that time on, it’s as if they are. You made a promise add an adoptive parent. Keep it.

  54. Love this!!! We adopted our daughter at birth and she’s 2.5 y/o now. We already talk about it, so she will know everything as she grows, bit by bit. I also took notes from my calls with her birth mom that I plan to give her should she want them. I love #10…she’s our baby girl, forever and always and nothing will ever change that!!!!

  55. I feel for you and your mom. I myself have five kids. Four were adopted and one bio. I know the feeling you described of being anxious when my kids ask about adoption. I think “what should/shouldn’t I say” I’m always worried something will come out wrong. But, I do the best I can. I would never treat my kids any different, so that I cannot relate too or even fathom. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.
    Much Love,
    Laura

  56. Spot on! I have three adopted siblings and one biological, as well as a biological and an adopted daughter. Just love and treat them the same as if they were biological and help them through any issues that arise.

  57. This article really hit home. Like you, I was adopted in the 70’s. Records are scarce and I never found out who my birth parents are. Back then it was taboo to talk about the adoption. I only found out about it when a house helper mentioned it. Yes, I’ve got abandonment issues, only because people refuse to talk about it. Should I bother looking for my birth parents? My only concern now is my family medical history. I’ve got nothing. If I have some genetic disease I need to prepare myself and my children.

    1. Hi Trixie, thanks for sharing your story. I know, family history is huge. I just did genetic testing through 23 and Me so it was exciting to finally know the other half of my genetic life I didn’t know about! That might help you piece together your life.
      Big hugs,
      Jamie

    2. I have heard of cases of people that found their biological family after they took a DNA test. Currently, Ancestry.com provides a DNA test for that purpose. Most people take it out of curiosity but a lot of family searches have been successful as a result. Once you take this test, they can check in their records if there are any DNA results that match with yours. In this way, some people have gotten answers about their ethnicity, where their family comes from and in some cases, discovered unknown family members. I pray that your search is productive. God bless you!

  58. My wife and I adopted a 4 month old baby over 6 years ago. He was removed from his bio mothers house due to her beating and starving him. He was wearing new born cloths still and that broke our hearts. We know his bio parents and we do plan on sharing this with him. He knows that is was sent to us from god and that he is very muched loved. Every year on the date that he came to live with us we celebrate and call it happy Gottcha Day. He will be 7 soon and yes we have had many up and down from fetal alcohol syndrome to ADHD. he has turned out to be the most caring and smartest kid i know and we love him dearly. If he would have stayed in that home he probably would not be here today. He has questions about his bio mom but i do think he is to young to tell him the truth about her. Thanks for sharing your post.

    1. I agree, Eric. I would give him tidbits of information as he asks but not the whole story at this age. He sounds like an amazing kid with wonderful parents. I would also emphasize when you are both ready to share and hear the story that his mom did things to him that he did nothing to deserve. She was obviously messed up and it was because of her own issues she did abusive things not because your son deserved them. That seems like obvious information but it would be awful knowing that about your mother and really, it didn’t have anything to do with him. But that’s what kids naturally think. It’s an innate thought to think what did I do to be given up? Thanks so much for sharing your story.
      Big hugs, Jamie

  59. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I have both biological and adopted kids. We are not all the same, yet we are all the same because we are one family. I appreciate when adults who were adopted share their experiences and advice. Your wisdom and perspective help me to be a better parent to all of my kids. I am so appreciative that you took the time to share!

    1. Awww thanks for your sweet comment, Christine. You sound like you have a wonderful family. Everyone is unique just like any other family, right?
      Hugs, Jamie

  60. I won’t go into too much detail because I feel its not warranted, but suffice to say that I wish this list had been given to my adoptive mother.

  61. May I add another??? Please do not tell the adopted child (or allow a family member) that they “owe” their adopted parents for raising you. i am now caring for my elderly mother and an uncle said this to me a few years ago when he misunderstood that I wasn’t dropping my son off for her to babysit while I worked, rather I was dropping him off to babysit her. They are super close and when I worked nights on Fridays he stayed with his grandma and got her water and even heated a can of soup to feed her and so on. She loved the company and he helped her out. But I will probably never forget that comment.

    1. That’s very insightful, Ramona. Thank you so much for sharing. No, just because we were adopted doesn’t mean we owe someone. How is it different for anyone being born? You sound like a wonderful daughter. Some people just don’t get it.
      Hugs, Jamie

  62. Hi– Thank you for your insights, Jamie. They were very helpful. We are beginning the adoption process and there is one outstanding question I have. We had a biological daughter who died at birth. Her life was not a secret and i would want our future children to know they have a big sister, even if she isn’t with us. I have no idea how to handle that or how our future children would feel. I don’t want them to think that we love her more than them, but I also will not keep her as a secret from them. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Sarah, I’m so very sorry. My heart goes out to you and your family. I just can’t imagine.
      For your adopted child, I think just sharing with them that very thing is perfect. Your first child is in heaven (as an example, however you want to handle it) and that they have an older sister. I would share pictures and honour her like you normally would. I would also emphasize that you also wanted to have them. It’s not because something else happened. I would only bring it up if they do that they were never replaced (you could bring it up but depending on their age they might not think of it). You wanted both children and it’s just incredibly sad now that you only have one. I would talk about it openly and freely. If you are constantly telling and showing them they are loved, I can’t imagine they would find any issues. No family is perfect. It sounds like you are wonderful parents.
      Hugs, Jamie

      1. Thank you, Jamie. I like the idea of being as open, honest and loving as possible. Thank you for your advice. Thank you also for using the present tense when referring to us as parents… despite having had Autumn many well intentioned people still say “you will make such good parents” Thank you for that kindness and understanding.

  63. This made me cry. Eye opening… I’d like to add one treat all siblings the same especially when they are grown up and have their own children. Those kids are your grandkids as well…

  64. Oh my~ You hit the nail on the head squarely. Fortunately for me, that’s always the way my family treated my being adopted.

  65. This is an awesome list. All 3 of my kids were adopted, I say were because it was a one time event, not an ongoing condition. Their adoption stories were part of their good night routine just like any other story. We just treat them like kids, our kids, in our family. Adoption is just how they entered our particular world. We belong to each other.

    1. Thank you for sharing, Lisa. That’s wonderful you adopted your three children!! I understand that many have that view, that adoption is an event and it is but to the adoptee it is an entire life-changing event. It sounds like you are a wonderful mother to your kids, they are very lucky!
      Hugs, Jamie

  66. can you please email me. I am having problems and I think u may be able to give me advice much needed. Please..I added my email into this site by the comments so hopefully you receive it and may have time to reply

  67. im adopted with four other kids only me and my my twin brother and I are blood related the other three are from a separate family. my brother suffers from add, ahdh and a bipolar disorder. I was lucky and only have adhd. I still find myself struggling to find who I am .I would punish my parents by doing bad things because they were not the people I wanted to be ….my biological parents. im 16 years old right now. I feel as if im always struggling to fit in and find my place. Not only this but in one of the foster parents I was with before this one I had sexually abused by one of the foster girls living their .then again in the family im in now .my parents know about it now after I told them after coming home from a temporary group home, because of my behavior. I started making myself throw up because it was my way of letting things out, not long after my freshman year in high school I got a boyfriend who hit me because I wouldn’t have sex with him and it was hard to hold all of that it. I then found out my dad is recently homeless and my mother was an alcoholic. I want to find a way to ask my parents to reach out to them but I don’t know how. Any advice?

  68. My husband and I are adopting our 4 year old granddaughter, we’ve had her since she was 3 months old. Our daughter was not in the right place at the time to care for her. Although our daughter is now married and has another child, she decided she didn’t want to take our little girl away from what she’s always known, us as her parents. In a few weeks, the adoption will be finale, we have yet to tell our little girl. My husband thinks she will be angry with us, I don’t know. She’s a smart little girl, we talk to our daughter on the phone all the time, (we don’t live in the same country). My daughter is excited for us, she said she’s always felt like she was a surrogate mother. We all have a great relationship, our only fear is how to tell our little girl, although I’m pretty sure she’s aware. She is the love of our lives!!

    1. It sounds like you are wonderful grandparents for taking in your granddaughter and adopting her! Congratulations! Secrets are the WORST for the adoptee. She might be initially mad/confused/upset but it’s much better to do it as soon as possible then wait any longer. She is 4 years old right now? It’s probably the perfect time. She won’t fully understand but the language you’re giving her and the longer she grows up with that information, the more it becomes normal to her. Tell her a little bit at a time just a matter-of-factly and as she has questions that come up over time you just answer them as honestly as possible. Kids don’t need to know a lot of information all at once, just a little bit at a time (think like the birds and the bees!). And I would emphasize that she’s a very lucky girl with how many people love her and, of course, later on you can tell her that it was to give her the best life possible. I hope this helps. Good luck!
      Hugs, Jamie

  69. I agree with all your points. As an adopted kid I just have to add, degrading the adopted person in any way for the fact that they’re adopted is a terrible thing to do. I, like you, was not raised in an ideal setting. my adoptive dad was my best friend but my mother was an abusive alcoholic that resented me in every way. I grew up very fast for that. I still remember being around 11, and later 14 or 15, when I asked for basic information on my bio-mom. I was told I was “too stupid and immature to know anything about HER.”
    I’m 22 now and remembering that situation still makes me extremely sad and angry. As point #11 I’d add “don’t berate, insult, accuse or judge someone for inquiring about their adoption.”
    My adoptive mom has done a lot of work on herself and is getting better, but remembering what she said still kills. I understand it may have been a scary thing, but that is no excuse for doing what she did to me over the years. No one is stupid or too immature for wanting to know basic info like a first name, talents, likes or traits that their bio parents had.
    Anyway, great article. =)
    Cheers x

    1. I’m so sorry you had to go through that Riku. And I agree with what you’ve stated. It should be common sense but unfortunately it’s not for some people. And some parents have their own issues and take it out on their children. Focus on yourself and creating a beautiful life as best you can! It’s worth it and it’s possible.
      Hugs, Jamie

  70. What if it’s your niece your raising and the brother in law is in jail…..?!? We have had her since she was 9 months old; and is now 4. Ongoing battle of to take her or not to take her for visits with her ‘biological’ father. She calls us mom and dad!! We have GUARDIANSHIP of her.

    1. We have adopted our great niece so I understand your situation a bit. I’d say it depends on how long he is going to be in jail, how well she handles the visits, what his relationship will be with her when he is out of jail, how he interacts with her and you now, how long/hard the trip is to see him, that sort of thing.

      We try to keep our main focus on what’s best for the child. The adults just have to deal with it but we don’t owe them one ounce of pain or discomfort from her just to suit their egos. Good luck. 🙂

  71. My adopted daughter has been with me since she was 12 months old. I fostered her at first, and adopted her 1 1/2 years later. That was 4 1/2 years ago. She is now nearing 7 and we’ve been having those difficult talks. Just tonight, I had her in my arms as she cried for the birth mom she doesn’t remember, but loves dearly anyway. She asked me to print a picture of her so she could keep it in her room and look at it when she was alone. I did – I sat patiently while she got her feelings out, and answered her questions as best I could. It was the hardest thing to here her thoughts about not wanting to hurt my feelings while pining for her bio mom. I wish things could have been different and we could have had an open adoption, but it’s just not feasible. After I left, I felt so melancholy – I know I did the right thing by her, and possibly by us both, but it hurts when you love a child that much (like your own) and you know they are hurting for the mom that couldn’t/can’t take care of them. No one ever told me it was going to be easy – and I am fully aware that I signed myself up for this and that in the long run whatever we go through now will be better for us both in the long run. But man, my heart hurts tonight!

    1. Oh Charmaine, thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you’re doing the right thing. That must be very, very hard to hear from your daughter. I’ve recently went through similar things with my children but for different reasons – divorce! My kids were crying for their dad at night and wishing we were all a family again. It broke my heart into 1000 pieces and it was awful to sit through and listen to them cry. I know that’s not much of a consolation but it might make it easier to think that sometimes your daughter will be crying over her bio mom and maybe something else. It’s hard being a parent! You’ll always be her mom and the one that’s always there for her. Just continue being the awesome mom you are and she’ll always talk to you about her feelings which is so amazing! Some kids keep it bottled up inside so her talking about it now and crying about it is good. She’s grieving and later on it shouldn’t be so difficult.
      Good luck!
      Hugs, Jamie

  72. Very well written article. It is amazing the experts that comment whom have never been on either side of adoption. I do have a question for you and seeking some advice.
    We have a 7 1/2 year old we adopted through DSS foster care and his 4 year old full sister are living with us. They also have a 3 year old full brother living with another adoptive family. Nathaniel came to us at 15 months old and the adoption was not finalized until three years later in December 2012. Also at that time his full brother was placed with the other family. A great family that has been patient and supportive. By the way DSS placed the brother with the other family at the time. He has been adopted by them as well.DSS felt we had enough on our plate with 2 already and a biological son. Nathaniel has had attachment and anger issues since being with us. Hence the reason we have waited to tell him. Nathaniels sister was 6 weeks old when she came to us February 2012 and December 2012 the adoption was finalized with Nathaniels. A year later their full brother followed the same path with the other family. Therefore the 2 younger ones do not have the same struggles as Nathaniel as we are the only families the younger ones know. By the way Nathaniel came in to foster care at 10 months old due to testing positive for drugs and 5 months later he came to us. We being his 4th and final placement. He is not on any meds but does see a therapist once a week. He doesn’t like talking about adoption even though we have been open about it. Our biological son is 18.
    Any help or resources would be so appreciated. Thank you so much.

    1. Just to clarify the advice and question that I was seeking was when do we tell Nathaniel that he has a full brother living with another forever adoptive family? Thank you

  73. Based on my own experience as an adoptee, the one thing that I would NEVER tell someone adopted is “that if I never loved you, I wouldn’t have adopted you”. My father would hit me all the time when I was growing up, and then when I started crying he would say “if we didn’t love you, we would not have adopted you”. My adoptive mother just stood by and let it happen. She had a reputation in the public (realtor) to maintain, and the income our father was bringing in was really nice.

    1. I’m so sorry your parents were hateful. I always heard “You’re just like your mother” growing up. Never understood why that was a bad thing until I found out I was adopted. Then it was “I’m your mother. Not her.” and just like you “If we didn’t love you, you wouldn’t be here”. And on and on. No one ever told me how happy they were when I was around. As a parent of 2 girls, everything I learned about being a parent came by doing the polar opposite of how I was raised.

    2. I’m so sorry you had to go through that Tom. Thank you for sharing your story. I can hope you can make a beautiful life for yourself now.
      Hugs, Jamie

  74. After several failed IVF, my husband and I decided to go in for an adoption and finally adopted a new born baby Boy and Girl from an orphanage so would like to share our experience with other moms in the same situation or you can contact the orphanage directly if you would like to adopt. E-Mail: ([email protected])
    regards hope your dream come true also

  75. I wish my adopting parents would have done at least 1 of these 10 things. I grew up in a very sad and destructive house. I was abused in many ways by the “family”. I didn’t find out I was adopted unti just before my 15 birthday. My sister was my mother!! WTH..who misses passing on that memo. Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos would have a field day. An entire family hid my story and treated me like crap for 16 years. Now I tell people I make my family up of people who love me. That “family”doesn’t qualify. It saddens me that through no fault of my own, I’m the black sheep. The dirty little secret. I’m almost 41. I still have no real idea what happened. “It’s in the past” I’m told. No kidding. I still am amazed at how cruel humans can be.

    1. Theresa,
      Thank you for sharing you story. I’m so sorry what you’ve had to go through. I hope you can find peace and make a beautiful life for yourself regardless of your past. Clearly you are a strong woman and you can put the next part of your life focusing just on you.
      Hugs, Jamie

  76. I’m adopted and recently found my half-sister. So far, we are keeping in touch. I still have a hard time processing it because honestly it feels surreal to find my biological and how and partly where I came from. My adopted family is great and I fit in good, but I still feel “left out” on some things like when they all say “blood is thicker than water”…etc etc. No ONE will EVER know what its like to be an adopted child unless you are an adopted child. Sad but true. And Yes adopted children ARE different. We are not biologically related to our adopted family no matter how much great relationship we have and I believe deep down all adopted people know this and affects them in some way, shape or form. I feel a connection with my sister already partly because I know that we share the same exact DNA and that feeling is something that is indescribable if you have never had that feeling in life. DOnt get me wrong, my adopted family is all i know and they have been there and “like blood”, but truly its just not the same. Once you find your biological background you start to think differently on everything.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Myish. It seems like there are so many things that we, as adopted children, feel the same on. It’s nice to ‘meet’ you.
      Hugs, Jamie

  77. Jamie,
    Thank you so much for writing this post. I have two adopted children that I love dearly. For those that think sharing the same blood through your veins makes all the difference in the world, sorry, they’re wrong. If having biological children would mean that I would not have my adopted children, then I would have to pass. I can’t imagine life without my babies. I don’t take my children for granted. I am so grateful everyday that God chose me to parent them. Regardless of the outcome, that was not by accident. I will take heed to your advice. I want to do the best that I can for them.

    Adoption is a blessing for those children who have no soft place to land, for the motherless who’s womb could not bear children, and for the parents who were unable to care for their own babies. To ‘Broken with Purpose,’ I am sorry for your pain. I hope the adoptive parents of your daughter took care of her and gave her a good life. If they were good to her, it is a blessing that someone was willing to take her out of the system and give her a home to keep her from being passed around in foster care. If you indeed did nothing to cause your child to be taken from you, be mad at the system that ripped her from you and be thankful to the adoptive parents that were trying to save her.

  78. OMG! I can’t wipe my teirs away to type this. I wish I could have showed this awsom story to my “mother” I’m 63 years old and I’m still trying to get over the damage she caused me, my story is a very long one but I could relate so much to yours. I was adopted befor I was born, but she never let me forget, ” your Father always wanted a Son” I was never smart enough, I always learned things the hard way, you better find yourself a rich guy” well guess what, I have ADD and I never felt loved, thank you for sharing your story, Im still surching for ” just want to feel loved” but now I know, Im OK . Bless you. Gail

    1. Thanks for sharing your story, Gail. Sorry for the late reply. You’re never too old to undue damage caused. You just have to love yourself.
      Hugs, Jamie

  79. This was certainly very well thought out. I feel fortunate as I grew up with awesome parents. They let me know as soon as possible that I was adopted and have always treated me and my siblings (Who are also adopted) like their own flesh and blood. I feel especially lucky that I get to see each of my birth parents at least twice a year. (My birth father comes up a lot more than he used to) You’d be surprised how comfortable I am with the fact that neither of them are married and weren’t married when I was conceived. So when someone calls me a bastard, I can just shrug my shoulders and say ‘Yes, I am. Thank you.’ I even take humor in knowing the story of how I was apparently the result of a condom breaking. Still, this was a very well-written article and, well, thank god I never had to deal with any of this because I’ve certainly heard of others who did.

  80. Hi jamie,
    My brother and i were both adopted.. My adoptive father has always been loving in supportive.. my adoptive mother not.. infact we never got along.. I have never felt like i belong anywhere.. Having my own kids has helped as i finally have “blood relations” I hate feeling different and not knowing who i look like or take after.. I always wonder if my birth mother thinks of me? If she had other kids do they know about me? My brother found his birth mother and she was horrible, He was devestated. Anyways i agreed with what you said about the 10 things.. 🙂

    1. Hi Kara,
      Thank you for sharing your story. It seems so many things are universal with adoptees and are challenging. I agree that having your own kids helps with the feeling of loss. I met my birth mother and she doesn’t look anything like me! Oh the irony lol.
      Hugs, Jamie

  81. I’m adopted and I agree with you 100% I don’t know much about my old family I do know my back story and I think I have figured out why I was given away so my mom has almost done everything you said they should do exept she does shy out of looks nervous when ever I bring it up. I have made a vow to find my real parents before I get married that’s exactly what I’m gonna do!!

  82. I still feel left out by my biological family and my adopted even if I am now an adult with a family and grown up children , i really still have this empty feeling inside.

  83. I have three children of my own, and I’m fostering three children that are siblings that I plan to adopt if the lord is welling. My three year foster child is asking for his mom and I have no clue what to tell him, at the beginning of fostering the siblings they were to be reunified and things didn’t go as well as everyone planned, their mom has said in court that she is giving up her rights to the children and she has made no contact for a month, the court system says there is a process for the final adopt but thankfully enough my family can be a candidate to adopt all the children, but what do I tell the three year that keeps asking for his mother, the babies are still to young to know the changes the twins are 16 months

  84. What a awesome post and very in sight full. When I was married I had wanted to add to our family by adopting, but my ex was not on board and I was crushed. Love the life story’s.

  85. This is just wonderful!! I absolutely LOVE this! I am 43 years old, I am adopted however just by MY FATHER. My mom met him when I was 3 and married him when I was 5. I will also add my mother had me when she was 15!! My mother was 20 when she married my dad and he was just 22, he at 22 years old chose not to just become a husband but he also chose to become a daddy!! I can’t ever thank him enough for loving me so much he wanted to be my father for ever!! Of course me being 5 knew he was not my biological father BUT that was NEVER an issue. His entire family welcomed me with open arms and hearts, in an instant I was a daughter, granddaughter, neice, and cousin. I had/have the BEST relationship with my dad or papi as I call him (he loves that I called him that 1 day joking around and he loved it so much it just stuck) anyway at 18 I met my biological father and wow what a difference from my dad (the man who raised me) and my biological father, he has no problem coming in and out of my life even for years at a time! Were my papi can’t go more than 2 days without calling, texting, or fb messaging me to check in on me even at 43 lol. He walked me down the isle, he was there for the birth of both of my children HE IS MY DAD IN EVERYWAY POSSIBLE!! The word “step” was NEVER allowed in our home, I have a brother who was born to him and my mom however he is just that MY BROTHER!!!! All this being said I think what you wrote was perfect and spot on!!

  86. Some sad stories here. I have been so blessed. We got to pick our son up at the hospital when he was 2 days old. I started reading to him at a very early age and had several books on adoption. One of them expressed how adoption is just ONE of the ways that God brings a child into a family. One day when he was two, my husband asked if I ever talked about adoption. I said sure, “you know you’re adopted don’t you.” His reply was, yeah, I go to doctor Reddy. As he got older and I would try to bring it up again, he just wouldn’t want to talk about it. Finally one day, as a teenager, he simply said to me “mama, I don’t want to talk about it. If I ever have any questions, I’ll let you know. Well, he’s 28 now and still doesn’t discuss it. He’s always known he is a gift from God. He knows he was never under my heart but IN it. Thanks for all you’ve shared.

  87. Hi Jamie,
    Just meeting you today and discovering your blog! Beautiful! My mother used to live in Verdun, France, so I love all things French. Although, my decorating style is coastal with a hint of french thrown in sometimes. I can so relate to your story! My life in someways could be a novel and that I’m reading a character’s mishaps! To really tell my story would definitely be too drawn out for a blog comment, but I will tell you a little bit about my sort of adoption. I love the ten never to say to an adopted child. It is so fitting. You see my mother is my biological mother, but my father is not my biological dad. He married my mother when I was two years old. However, I never knew anything was different until I was about 12 years old.( Just to let you know, my mother and my biological father married young, had me, and then he decided he didn’t really want to be a father so he gave me up.) I love my dad so very much, but I always sensed that there was something different between me and my siblings! We all sorta resemble my mom, but my sister and brother have my dad’s personality and are so much like him! I just could never figure out why we were so different when we were together!! As a teenager, you start picking up clues. My parents would hesitate when I asked them how long they had been married. So I began to think, i was adopted! Well, Rule #3 you shouldn’t keep secrets??? Very important!! Do you want to know how I found out about my father not being my biological dad? So here’s the scene: I grow up and marry a guy, think he is a great Christian man, have a beautiful daughter, after 2 years of marriage find out he is part of a child sex trafficking ring, have to fight for 2 years to keep custody of our daughter, and my HUSBAND”S parents find out from my GRANDMOTHER, that my dad adopted me when I was little so they bring this all up IN COURT! Yes, this is how I find out that my dad is not my biological dad. And that is only part of my story. God is so good. My parents sat down and explained it all to me. They admit they never should have kept it a secret. My husband was going to be arrested because we finally had enough evidence on him, and he committed suicide. At first there was relief, now when I think back I’m sad but I know God loved him and I pray he knew God. My daughter grew up to be a beautiful woman and is about to have her own little boy. We made amends with my grandmother, I think she thought she was helping. She has since passed. i know that in spite of ourselves, God puts our broken pieces together and uses them for our good. I dont think I would be the strong person I am today had I not gone through all that I have. Looking forward to enjoying your lovely stories and blog!

  88. I’m going to assume that this advice goes for us who adopted stepchildren as well.

    I just recently adopted my stepdaughter shortly after marrying my wife. I’ve been with them since she was only a month old. My wife had escaped an abusive relationship with the biological father shortly before she gave birth. After finding out that she and I had been seeing each other (the two were no longer together at this point), he freaked out and then refused to be involved with his own child so long as I was in the picture.

    Our daughter is now two years old, and is most definitely the best part of my life. I was going through a very dark part of my life before my wife and daughter came into my life. Because of that little girl, I feel that my life has a significant sense of purpose, and I often say that she saved my life.

    That being said, I agree that transparency will be best for her in the long run. I do not intend to hide the fact that I am not her biological father for very long. Understandably, I don’t think that the conversation is quite appropriate when she is only two years old. But I have no doubt that within the next few years, that’ll change. Until then, I’ll just do my best to take care of her and show her how much she and her mother mean to me.

    Thank you for posting this article. Nice to hear it from an adoptee.

  89. This was a great post! And also I love your skirt! 😀 It’s super cute!
    I do have one comment. You said you didn’t want a fluffy story about being placed for adoption because you were so loved. But that IS most often the reason. It is literally the greatest act of love I can imagine. It is putting this incredibly powerful desire you have for yourself aside because you love the baby more than you love yourself. I mean, it really is the epitome of love in my book.

  90. We adopted a 14 month old baby girl from China in 2006. We don’t like the term “Gotcha Day”, in reference to the day we actually met and she became our family member, so we call “Gotcha Day” “Family Day” and we celebrated our Thirteenth Family Day Anniversary a couple of days ago. We treat it like any other Special Day such as a Birthday. We bought several gifts while in China and we give her one each year, while we’re out for dinner those nights. We are very open and honest about her Adoption. My wife’s is half English and very white skin, and me, I’m Italian, bronze skin, from California. I have two biological adult children who adore their younger Asian Sibling. I mention all to explain that it would be impossible to hide adoption which we DON’T.From time to time, she says she’d like to know about her bio parents, which we did do a search for her. We still are in contact with her Foster Mom who handed our daughter to us. In China, many families want boys, to carry on family name, can earn more money working, AND at that time, China had very strict rules concerning having only one child.
    When a baby girl was born, they get abandoned and left at churches, orphanages, and places like that, all bundled up. These girls did nothing wrong but being born. You can only imagine what terrible things and terrible lives these children would have to endure. People say the babies are lucky that we adopted them, and I always say, “No, we’re the lucky and blessed one’s”. She gets asked questions about her parents, (us) frequently, especially after seeing just one of us. “Is your Dad Asian?, She has a great sense of humor, and will make comments like “no” and just walk away, (smile), or “standing right there – what do you think?” There are a lot more than 10 Q’s to NOT say to Adopted Children or Bio Children for that matter. I always try to make people smile daily, and I tell silly jokes to break tension in rooms of people, and usually, AI will tell people, “I’m going to apologize right now. Although purely unintended, I’m likely to offend you in some way, with one of my comments of jokes. So let’s just get that out of the way, right now”. Their are times like another person wrote that said, “people don’t mean to offend adopted kids or parents, but do with Q’s like , “how much did she cost, etc”. Another is “Why didn’t you adopt from the U.S., there are so many children available here. Depending on my mood, I will either give an explanation or I’ll look at my daughter and then look back at the rude individual and say, “Xiao, are you in the mood to discuss family relationships” with this person, I’m not”. She’ll always say, No, not today Dad. Now, I hope this isn’t too much info or getting off track a little bit, if it is, I apologize. To the person that has so much anger and sadness, I feel your pain. I had a similar feeling of loneliness, lack of positive emotion, lack of affection, abandonment, “Do as I say, not as I do”, “Children are to be seen, but not heard”, “boys don’t cry” philosophy, and more in my “Short” childhood, and I was living in homes with my mom, step dad and a sister, (My best friend), who died of an aneurysm right before her 10th birthday. I was 11, and my other sister was one year old. My child hood stopped right there. I try NOT to be like my stepdad was, and my wife will let me know if I start sweating the small stuff, saying, “You’re sounding like _____”, which makes me stop immediately. He made me feel totally worthless, with comments, and pushed me around. He was a bully, pure and simple. My real father wasn’t in the picture, so I felt like I was on my own, really. I went to 14 or 15 schools as we moved a lot. I’m 58 now, and like I said, I can feel your pain. I have resentments that can’t be healed unless I completely forgive both my dad and step dad, which I have done. It takes a lot of energy to walk around with that “Chip” on my shoulder. I carried that crap around way too long. My stepdad has since passed away, and as for my dad, we’ve connected, and reconciled and both buried past resentments and everything else that hurt us. Life’s too short, I’ve missed out on relationship’s with my brother and sister and niece’s, nephew’s, and a grandfather on my dad’s side of the family that I remember and have pictures to prove it, that I last saw in 1967, 52 years. Now that’s sad. My daughter is my daughter, period, She loves to hear stories about family stories (as she doesn’t know any of hers), especially about my grandfather on mother’s side who was my best friend – who passed away 30 years ago, and I still get teary eyed I miss him so much. I mention all this because it all pertains to this subject. For being adopted, I ask her from time to time, if she feels abandoned or chosen. She always replies, “Chosen”. God made me for You. It makes me feel so loved when she says that because I know she has a warm, loving heart, despite the part of it that we can never fill. The tiny empty part that only can be filled if she did in fact meet her biological parents. We’d search right along with her. On a funny kind of note, my mother law is English and I moved her into our basement (Colorado). She says that when we brought Xiao home people were asking what she looked like. (picture a 14 month old baby 100% Chinese) My Mo-in-law said, “She looks just like me”. I replied, “She does not look like a 70 year old British woman…..with a DRINKING problem”. To which she replied, “I’m NOT 70! She was 69, but, she didn’t argue the Drinking Problem part. haha.

    1. Hi BJ,
      Thanks for sharing! I have never heard of Gotcha Day, I like Family Day much better too. I think most of the time people just don’t know what to say and often put their foot in their mouths! haha I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through. I appreciate you taking the time to share your story with me and my readers.
      Big hugs,
      Jamie

  91. It makes sense that you should let your child know that they are adopted because they deserve to know where they came from. My wife and I are looking into adopting our first child and want to learn about what we can do to give our child the best life possible. We will make sure that we are completely honest if they are ever curious about their adoption records.

  92. So I was adopted I have almost the same story as you only I was abandoned. My birth mom had a disability She wasn’t loud to have me or my sister because she didn’t know how to be a mom and let her boyfriend beat my sister almost to death. I had to figure out my story myself because my foster mom din’t want me to know any of it because she thought i wouldn’t understand it. MY foster mom doesn’t care and doesn’t want to support me in finding my mom. When I was 17 I finally got the courage to go downstairs and get my birth records and my binder because my foster mom never wanted me to look at them which I didn’t like because. I have special needs i have a processing disorder and cognitive behavioral health so I knew I could handle it so I looked on my own. I didn’t only understand it i understood it well. They thought i would be angry that’s why they never let me see it. In reality I wasn’t angry at ll bout my story i found it to be interesting because its my story. She had a disability which I could understand she didn’t know any better she couldn’t help what she did. I got in contact with her and it turned out to go very well but my foster mom never supported me in finding her so I took it on myself through hard times. My story might have not of been happy but I learned something from it. To this day i don’t care what my foster mom says because i have to grow up at some point and make my own decisions so I started when I was 17 it was the best decision i ever made on my own. I am becoming a paraprofessional and helping kids with special needs. I am 17 and i am going to college straight out of high school I have a job working at a elementary school. I am so glad I took things on for myself. If I really wanted something i fought for it no matter the consequence. I don’t need a family to tell me how to live my life so i grew up to be a beautiful smart young lady i am compassionate. I can do so many things i don’t need to be told i can’t do anything. I challenge those with disabilities to rise to the challenge no matter what happens because we are fighters and we don’t give up if we want something we should get it no matter what. Don’t give up. Everything is worth it in the end. Thank you for showing me some things i learned lot from you Jamie. I hope you can be able to see this. Thank you for showing me a lot it changed my life. You saved my life you brought me to be this way thank you for your story i needed it.

  93. One thing I wish is that my parents had told me about is the types of adoption because they got mad at me when I asked them if I could visit the foster home I came from later cause 7 years later I had to figure out why my birth parents never came to see me cause I had friends who had talked with theirs.

  94. Agree with all except number 2 (my opinion). As a parent of an adopted boy i feel the people who need to know or are close enough, will know, the rest don’t need to know. I will not be informing any acquaintances unless the situation absolutely requires it. So he doesn’t look like me, yeah that happens. Giving that piece of information is unecessary and just lends itself to even more questions. My son, end of.

  95. I love what your saying and I get it, but I’m Puerto Rican and my parents are white. There definitely is a difference. I wish that someone would explained that to me.

  96. I was a foster parent for 3 years. I didn’t become a foster parent because I couldn’t have any biological children. It was a calling from God. It broke my heart that so many children in this world were without safe homes and a mothers love. I wanted to help a child who needed the safety and love I was able and desiring to give. I live right outside of a large inner city. Many of the children that came to me were very badly abused by their birth parents or families. Horrible stories of the worst possible abuse you could imagine done to a child. I wish I could unhear some of those stories as they still haunt me to this day. I am so thankful that I was the one to pick up my daughter whom I adopted straight from the hospital. She was a month old and had been living in the hospitals NICU her whole life because she had been born addicted to various drugs. She had to be sedated and weaned off the drugs for a month. She was discharged to me and suffered many side effects from her prenatal trauma. I am SO thankful that she came straight home to me as I had seen the scars both physical and emotional of abuse from the older children who I have fostered. This baby’s birth father had a warrant out for his arrest for child abuse on her bio sibling and multiple charges for assault. Both parents were drug addicts and domestically abusive. Homelessness was also a consistent reality. This being said, they loved my daughter and fought for two years to get her back. However, their problems were bigger than they could control. They couldn’t get clean, failed drug tests over and over, and cancelled about half of their parent visits with their child… The state gave them every possible opportunity, and service to try and help them rehabilitate their lives and get safe so they could get their child back. Meanwhile, I raised this baby full time for several years alongside my other child and she began to scream and cry whenever I brought her to see her bio parents. She would cry for me and run to the door screaming Mama after me. They often would call and ask me to come get her because it’d been over an hour and she hadn’t stopped crying for me. To her, I was her mother. Mama is the one who feeds and holds you, who rocks you in the middle of the night when your afraid, who kisses all your boo boos and nurses you when you’re sick, who reads you books and sings you lullabies while stroking your forehead as you fall asleep, Mama is who teaches you to talk and walk and pray and share and love. She teaches you your ABCs and how to ride a bike without training wheels and how to swim without floaties and how to read! Most women can get pregnant and birth a child but that doesn’t always mean they can safely raise them and give them the childhood every child deserves. I adopted this child when she was three years old after fostering her for three years full time. I have loved her fiercely from the moment I looked into her little face. She stole my heart and I absolutely would die her. There is no difference whatsoever in the love I have for her and the love for my bio child. No difference. She is mine and I am hers. She is the most joyful, sweet and pure hearted child. I am so lucky to be her Mother. Light comes forth from darkness. And it is beautiful when love can be found in the brokenness of this world. She knows that she is adopted and whenever she hears the word “adoption” she lights up and smiles and says “I’m adopted!” She is thankful God sent her to me and I am beyond grateful that God gave me this beautiful daughter whom I adore. She brings so much light and laughter to our home and we are blessed by her in our lives!

  97. I was adopted, given the usual platitudes the social workers advised and – of course – that inslpid book “The Chosen Child.” I was also abused by my adopters. I was always so glad I could tell myself they were not really my parents.

    The law did everything possible to keep us apart, but I did find my real parents. I was also taken just because a social worker felt my mother was too young (she was in foster care).

    I hate adoption. It makes courts and adopters happy via legalized baby selling. Adoptees are not considered and have no rights.

  98. I adopted my son when he was
    1.5 years old. From day one, we were telling him that he was adopted (never sat him down, just freely talked about it). Unfortunately, my son started having major behaviour issues and one day,
    something he said made me realize that it’s because he knows he’s adopted. So, I told him that he came out of mommy’s tummy (he was still very young so I figured that I can wait to tell him when he’s a bit older). Since then, I tried twice and both times, he cut me off (when he can tell what I’m going to talk about) and says he doesn’t want to know. So, I haven’t tried again. As far as I’m concerned, he is my son in every way, that said, I never intended to keep him from his birth mom (he comes first). What do you do when your child doesn’t want to know or care – do you push anyway because it’s the right thing to do?

    1. Well, what you should have taught him is the definition of parents being the people who take care of you, the people who play, eat, laugh, talk with you. The people who buy you ice-creams, the people who’ll have your back. Try to let him understand this concept. Teach him the meaning of fate. Tell him life is like a story book, but unlike a story book, the pages are still to be written by you as you hold the pen. The only thing not written by you but the Big Man upstairs is one’s parents. And the parent isn’t the one who kept you in the tummy for 9 months, that lady who did was just the person whom God used to deliver you into one’s family being you and your wife. Tell him this analogy, first ask him what was his favourite birthday/Christmas present. So, let’s just say it is a wooden toy train. The person who made the toy train need not be the person who’s the owner of it (in real context, parent, not owner, people are not owned). He (your son) is the owner of that present (as you could say you and wife are the parents not the people who made and delivered him). Well, if you let him meet the petson who conceived him, tell him that she is an aunty who let him be with mummy and daddy. When he is old enough and understands all these concepts that you and your wife are the parents (parents as in the definition of parents as I have said above), the one who kept him in the tummy is just God’s agent whom God used to conceive and deliver the child to his parents who are you and your wife. In the story book, God chose both of you to be his parents, you are fated to be his parents and are his destiny, but he chose your son to be brought into the family in another way, through somebody else’s tummy, that lady is not the mother, but just God’s agent. whom God used to deliver him to his parents. But his real mother is your wife, not that aunty who bore him. If he doesn’t like you and your wife as his parents, well tell him that you are his parents as God has already chosen you. Now, I am giving you that confidence that you are his father and your wife is his mother. If he disagrees anc says that the person who kept him in his tummy is his mother, tell him that he has got the word mother all wrong as it is defined as the woman who took care of you from young, correct him there. You can say that the person who held him in his tummy is God’s ageng or tell him she’s an aunty. But, let him spend more time with you and your wife than that aunty. Have someone whom he trully respects to tell him this, you can also tell him this as I hope I have already given you the confidence.

    2. Well, I also think you shouldn’t push him in knowing yet. But, you should explain to him what I have said soon. As, he could be bottling up all these questions inside him which could lead to depression. Once you’ve explained all of this to him, hopefully he will get the peace of mind and your family can live happily ever after, father, mother and son. And him knowing that mother not necessarily has to be the one who gave birth to you, but that lady who gave birth to him is his aunty or God’s agent who helped deliver him into the family he is in from God. Well, just a suggestion, once all of this settles down, you should get for him a sibling so that he wont be lonely.

    3. The definition of mother is the one who took care of you since young, not necessarily the one who gave birth to you. The lady who did is just God’s agent who God used to deliver him into his Daddy (you) and Mummy’s family. You are already chosen to be his parents by God whether he likes it or not. Have confidence, that you are his father and always will be no matter how time bends. You’re fated to be his father and noone else and so is your wife fated to be his mother and noone else

    4. The definition of mother is the one who took care of you since young, not necessarily the one who gave birth to you. The lady who did is just God’s agent who God used to deliver him into his Daddy (you) and Mummy’s family. You are already chosen to be his parents by God whether he likes it or not. Have confidence, that you are his father and always will be no matter how time bends. You’re fated to be his father and noone else and so is your wife fated to be his mother and noone else

  99. Ok. The parent of a child is defined as the person who brought up the child from young. The people who made the child are only called parents scientifically, and in my opinion aren’t the child’s parents as God has already chosen all of our parents since the dawn of time. Some parent(s) get their child created with the hands of God by conceiving them on their own, and some through the conception of another, in which those who made the child are known as God’s agents, and not the child’s parents in either way, in which are the people used to deliver the marvelous work of God to his/her parents. The parent(s) of the child are already fated to be the parent(s) of the child and is the child’s destiny no matter how time bends. So, there is no what if the people who made the child kept the child, as they were only the agents who delivered the creation of God to the parents. So, if you ever have a child not conceived by you, be open to him/her, that you are his/her father/mother, but was conceived by another who’s God’s agent to deliver that child to you to parent as God has already chosen you to be the parent and no other to the child since the dawn of time. A child has only got two parents, one if single parent. The people who conceived the child are only God’s agent. But we have to always remember, that all of us are created by the Big Man upstairs, so he is all of our spiritual father. As for Earthly father, he has chosen one for everyone since the dawn of mankind. The parent chosen need not be the one who conceived the child, but the one who brought up the child from young. God bless all the parents of the world.

  100. Well, I also think you shouldn’t push him in knowing yet. But, you should explain to him what I have said soon. As, he could be bottling up all these questions inside him which could lead to depression. Once you’ve explained all of this to him, hopefully he will get the peace of mind and your family can live happily ever after, father, mother and son. And him knowing that mother not necessarily has to be the one who gave birth to you, but that lady who gave birth to him is his aunty or God’s agent who helped deliver him into the family he is in from God. Well, just a suggestion, once all of this settles down, you should get for him a sibling so that he wont be lonely.

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