Lv 4
I asked in Pregnancy & ParentingAdoption · 1 decade ago

Adoptees, what did your parents do wrong?

I adopted through foster care. People who know my kids are adopted often tell me their stories of being adopted themselves. All but one of those stories has been positive. I always ask them what one thing their adoptive parents did right, because I figure they know what my children will go through, and I want to learn from them.

Many of you here are unhappy about your adoption. Or maybe you are mostly happy, but there is that one little thing you wish they'd done differently. I don't usually ask people at a party what their parents did wrong because I don't want to invade their privacy or bring up bad feelings. But on this anonymous forum, would some of you want to share with me mistakes your parents made so I can avoid them?

My kids can't go home to their birthparents, for reasons I won't get into on this forum, as they involve other people's confidentiality. Since the ideal world of an intact birth family is not going to happen for my kids, I just want to do the best I can with the options we do have, if that makes sense.

I will be grateful for anything you can share.


Thanks everyone for your answers so far. Theresa, I looked at several of your blog entries and will keep reading. Responding to both you and Andraya, I understand that no matter how much I might want to, I can't take their pain away. It is helpful to remember that. I see why it could be an annoying question asking what the adoptive parents did wrong- it makes it sound like if they'd done everything right there wouldn't be any pain, which isn't what I mean at all. I just don't want to make it worse.

Understanding your perspectives can help me be an advocate for my kids. A lot of people expect them to be OK already and it hasn't been that long that they've been in our family. A teacher criticized me for picking up and holding my child at drop off time saying she was old enough to walk, which she is, but she's not too old to want to be carried. Plus I don't think she feels totally secure that she won't be moved again. But I was just told "She knows you love her" - cont.

Update 2:

They wanted me to refuse to pick her up when she cried when I got ready to leave. Even though she is in a good home now it's not like all her troubles are over and she's totally well adjusted. But they seemed to expect her to be completely unscathed. I don't think many of her teachers will understand much about the effects of adoption. A lot of people still try to tell me how lucky my kids are to have us etc. etc. I just hope they never lay that guilt trip on my kids.

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I've written about this extensively back in 2008


    Source(s): Expert on what my adoptive parents did wrong. ETA: Thanks for your additional comments. It's so rare someone asks a question and is ready to really hear what people say. So cool of you to really listen.
  • 1 decade ago

    Ah. Honestly I was lucky. In my heart I know that. I was adopted when I was 6. My mother died of a heroin overdose when I was four, I had been molested, and passed to 11 different foster homes in a 2 year span. I was messed up.

    Here's why things ever went wrong. It was my adoptive Mom and I both. I held my mother on a pedestal. And my parent's had lost a child. Coincidentally when she was 4. And they held her on a pedestal too, and I really felt as if I had been brought in to replace someone who would forever be unflawed. It was painful. But at the same point, they did so many other things right. I just had a lot of problems and they didn't know how to deal with them. Heck, I didn't either. I was awful at school, dyslexic, bipolor, reactive attatcment disorder, ect. At least that's what the therapists said. But at the same time, I think that they were always so desparate to explain away my pain. Say I was sick instead of accepting that I was hurting. They wanted me to pop pills and be ok, and never really let me deal with my problems.

    Again, I feel guilty venting like this but I sympathize for you and your kids. That's the one thing I really encourage, don't convince yourself any time they show emotion they are sick. That's all my parent's did wrong, otherwise I am sooooooo Lucky, happy and blessed.

    I wish you the best.

  • 小黃
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I'll ditto what Theresa said:

    "The #1 thing my adoptive parents did wrong:

    They thought they could love the adoption away."

    The other things that my adoptive parents did "wrong"?

    They underestimated how hard it is for a culturally-white-raised kid to "blend in" with an Asian community without having had ANY prior exposure to an Asian-Canadian community.

    They underestimated how difficult the language barrier would be and acted as if language classes were supposed to magically help me connect. In all honesty, I thought this, too. Unfortunately, this train of thought nearly led me into a massive breakdown when first reuniting because it caused *expectations.* Reunion is hard enough without expectations.

    That you can always "just go back" is supposed to make me feel better. As if all the love in the world is supposed to make me feel better. As if my reunion is supposed to somehow "make up" for all the years I lost. As if reuniting as an adult compensates for the childhood I did not have with my blood kin. No, it does not.

    I love them.

    But I can't be "fixed."

  • 1 decade ago

    I was a tom boy and my adoptive mom hated it. I played sports and she would say if I had a real daughter she would have musical ablity and all. I hated that saying a real daughter. Then she and by bio uncle divorced she moved 1200 miles away so I then could never see them. But she remarried a man that was horribly abusive sexually and mentally. I was not sexually but my siter was. I felt like I was 4 and my baby sister was 1 that she only really want the baby and I was a package deal. She always talked bad about my bio family as she was married divorced. I felt that where I birth came from way a bad family and I should be grateful and shut up. You know she could have said small things nice about my real mom as she new her she died. she even put her down. I believe that if you try to not violate and respet the kids your the winner and so are they. Yeah that pain maybe there but not as bad as it could be. Remeber they are all differant even our own kids. SO hug them and you know what happened to them so I would look up ways to deal with that and show attention understanding respect. You will get it back. I felt as if I owed my adoptive mom growing up. But I was hurting as I just wanted and needed love. be honest but keep it age appropriate.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The only thing any of my parents did wrong was when my natural mother signed the papers.

    You can't love away the pain of adoption. The more you try the worse off your whole family will be. Be open, honest and emotionally present for your children, don't hide their truths and history from them and make sure you listen to them when they want to talk. Beyond that you will never be able to remove their pain, it is what it is and no amount of love can take it away.

  • 1 decade ago

    Too many expectations as to what they thought their child would be. I was knever truly accepted as me a person in my own right. They wanted a clever, beautiful child who would conform to their ideal. I felt I failed when I did not match the expectation.

  • Willow
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    My adoptive parents lied to me. They told me they were my parents and that their son who died when I was a baby was my brother. In fact he was my father and they were my grandparents.

    Then when they knew I knew the truth, they vilified both of my biological parents and expected me to be grateful they took me in.

    When I reconnected with my first mom, they gave me a hard time about it and tried to make me feel guilty and disloyal.

    As an adoptive mom, I am trying to make sure I do not make these same mistakes with my adoptive daughter.

  • ackart
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    i'm a organic mom who has been by using anger, bitterness plus a lot greater adverse emotions. those i think are justified with the aid of fact i grew to become into coerced into surrendering then expected to get on with my existence and not communicate approximately my son. to function salt to the wound he got here upon my kinfolk who theory it grew to become into o.k. to misinform him so he did no longer be attentive to the place i grew to become into and that i did no longer be attentive to that they had touch until eventually fairly much 5 years later. Reunion has helped me artwork in the time of the adverse emotions and to benefit to forgive my kinfolk for what they positioned me by using. I nonetheless have adverse emotions in the direction of adoption yet now use those in a helpful way as i'm taken with adoption reform. I unquestionably have have been given to be attentive to some adoptive mum and dad who fall into that class of indignant and bitter. they even have sturdy motives for this as they even have positioned the superb pursuits of their accompanied toddlers first. they have been by using adoption disruption (older newborn adoptions) with the aid of fact of social centers questioning they be attentive to superb. instead of working with the households they have worked against them with the youngsters ending up lower back in foster care. the youngsters have been devious approximately preserving up touch with their adoptive mum and dad yet they could somewhat be with the aparents no longer their foster carers.

  • Flower
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    my natural parents abused me I was sent to live with my aunt and uncle they were great to me but yet I still had the void of the relationship I yured with my natural parents I loved them no matter what there my dna my family I loved them

    no parents are perfect parents im in reunion with my natural mother an things have been great we settled our differences an we are on good terms ever since =]

    Source(s): Adoptee, Mother 1
  • 1 decade ago

    i was six when i was adopted from the city (new york, the bad part) to pennsylvania. im now 19, live with my bf, and have hardly kept in contact with my adoptive parents.

    what they did wrong: they tried to be my real parents! i had hardly knew my real mother(father died when i was 1). i had lived with my somewhat abusive grandpa, but all he ever did was hit me. They had another adopted child, a girl named Wendy. when i called them Chris and Kaitlyn, they got kinda mad. i felt made to call them mom and dad. i have said, i never really knew my real parents, and even if i had, these people were trying to be them! dont try to be the kids parents! if they call you your names, dont act mad! dont react! it really kinda ruined our relasionship.

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