Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Adoptee Asks a Tough Question

I encourage my readers to ask questions if they have them, and this is one that came through that I have to answer:

I came across your blog in the Adoption Circle. I am an adult adoptee. I found your blog and it peeked my curiosity. I'm trying to understand why you felt ok to raise some of your offspring but not the others? How do you explain that to the adult adoptee?

Thank you for your curiosity, and thank you even more for this question. Let me say first off, there was a 10 year gap between the births of my children placed for adoption and the birth of my son Bodde. I had plenty of time to grow, beat myself up, grow some more and eventually come to terms with the fact that I have children in the world that I chose not to raise.

There are many reasons why I chose not to raise my first three children, I call them children and not offspring because I do not see them as objects. I know, I did not raise them but no one can tell me that they are not my children. I was there, I gave birth to them and therefore I can call them my children. I have explained before on this blog the reasons, but I will give you a short version of it. A) I was young when I had my children and did not feel mature enough to raise children at that time. B) I had many issues going on at the time I found myself pregnant. I did not feel that it would be fair to bring a child into the world and expose them to my problems, serious problems that I could not begin to understand myself. I found it virtually impossible to TRY and justify raising a child when I could not even take care of myself. C) I was not married when I became pregnant. This seems to be a selfish reason to some, however it was not to me. I was raised without a father and I can testify that it really can mess with a child's life when there is not that father figure there to help with the life lessons that need to be taught to children (not to mention the love and acceptance that is needed by all children from their parents). D) I was in the middle of trying to complete college, to be one of the first in my family to have the opportunity to get a college education.

I feel that being able to provide for your children is important, and I knew that if I raised my children I would not finish college and more than likely would be working several jobs for the rest of my life just to put food in their mouths and a roof above their head. At the time, I could not provide a father for them, I could not provide the emotional stability in myself that I would need to raise them, and I definitely could not provide a home, stable job or any of the other things that are sooooo important in raising children. Of course, this is all my opinion of myself and my situation. Everyone's lives are different, everyone sees themselves differently than they appear to others. I had no problem admitting that I needed help at a time when so many others might be ashamed to ask for it.

That was when I was younger. As time went by, I healed my heart while keeping in touch with all three of my children's parents, if for nothing else so that they could tell my children how much I cared about them. I was fortunate to have wonderful parents that raised my adopted children and understood MY reasons for choosing adoption.

Years later I married my soul mate and of course we wanted a family of our own. 10 years is a long time, and so much can change and be learned in that amount of life. When it came time to deliver my son Bodde, you better believe that your exact question crossed my mind more than a few times. I had always worried about what my adopted children would think if I had children after them. I struggled with that emotion for a long time until the actual birth took place. After being with Bodde for a few days in the hospital we went home and it was in those quiet moments at home that I realized just exactly what I had given up, and exactly what I was able to give those parents. It is pretty powerful to feel the unconditional love from a child. I would not even be able to compare it to any other thing in life. It did not take long for me to realize that although I had missed so much in my adopted children's lives, I could not begin to measure what it was that I really gave to them in the long run. Loving parents who moved mountains to show them what life and love is all about.

I have been paid back in spades. My two boys that I am raising love their parents and their lives, and the same can be said for my adopted children as well


Anonymous said...

as an adoptee I never would have even thought of asking that question! the answer seems rather obvious to me. My mother was 16 when she had me,,,the children she most likely had that she kept were probably born years later, when she had grown up and was with a partner or husband..I understand that some adoptees have issues about things like that and other stuff... but I have none! I like to believe my birth mom had common sense( like me!!) and knew she couldnt give me the life she wanted me to have so she let me be adopted.. and I have had wonderful parents and a fantastic life all thanks to her making that right decision. I have my life and I hope she has been able to have a great life with her family as well.

Merrie said...

True and from the Heart Kelsey...thanks for sharing your story again. There's powerful healing in your story!!!

A Life Being Lived said...

I love, love, love, love this post. You write it better than I could have, but your reasons are very similar to my own and I love the positive attitude and voice you have about adoption and your personal story. So many times I feel "sheepish" explaining to someone about why I chose adoption and I realized in reading this that my story is just that- my story, and my situation, and adoption was part of the answer to providing for a child. I am not a "bad person" or evil because I had a child and placed her for adoption- I had very good reasons and I am going to remember this post the next time I talk to someone who is curious to "why".

CCmomma said...

wonderful!!! I'm so linking this post to my blog too!!!

Robin said...

"not to mention the love and acceptance that is needed by all children from their parents"

One of the reasons that adoptees have so many emotional problems and difficulties is because they need this love and acceptance from their BIOLOGICAL parents. The love from adoptive parents cannot in many cases overcome the sense of rejection and abandonment by the first parents. In many cases, the adopted child may appear as if s/he is okay with it but in reality is afraid to speak up about his real feelings because s/he fears another abandonment and/or disapproval.

You are lucky that your open adoptions were not shut as they are for so many other first mothers. Many PAPs put their best foot forward when they are trying to get your child and can be very different behind closed doors.

Anon 4:54 may have had a wonderul family but adoption is always a crapshoot. Not everyone who is given up for adoption gets a loving and supportive family. Giving a child up for adoption is always a very risky thing to do. In some cases it is the best or only option. But I could never imagine feeling proud of myself or wanting my child to think I was happy about giving him to strangers.