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Rose's thread has really gotten me thinking. For those who have been adopted, how much information would you have wanted to know about your parents and at what age would you want to know? I don't know a lot about the background of our kids (all adopted from Russia) but I do have some details. Some of it isn't that pretty though and the one child in particular doesn't seem mature enough to handle it (now 12). His is probably the most difficult info to share too which doesn't help. How and when do you fill in those details? I've shared a bit with the oldest (14) about his situation because he seemed ready to handle it and it wasn't really ugly stuff. I don't want to hide stuff but I don't want to give them more than they seem able to handle. Any thoughts?
 

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The book that DD recieved just this Friday from their Social Worker on the completion of their adoption was written on a level that seems to be perfect for their 5 year old.

Tells about a family of squirrels. Most of the family members were grey squirrels but the one was a different color.
Adopted squirrel knows he is adopted and feels guilty about being curious about his birth parents.

Mama squirrel cuts out 2 big hearts. One for her and one for the adopted squirrel.
They both write down the names of everyone they love, everyone that is special to them.

Eventually both of their hearts are filled with names.
Mama squirrel asks the adopted squirrel "Would you like to write down your birth mama and daddy.

Little squirrel is uncomfortable with that idea so Mama squirrel explains that everyone's heart is SPECIAL. No two are exactly the same.

Little squirrels birth Mama loved him very much and that's why she gave birth to him.
But his birth mama wasn't able to keep him with her, and so she arranged for some very special people to care for him until his new mama and daddy could take him to their home.

So---yes, little squirrel certainly can put his birth mama and daddy down on his heart because they played a very special part in his life.

Baby squirrel is so pleased to know that he can make room for everyone in his heart, and that everyone has included him in their hearts.
And so he runs off to join the others in gathering more nuts.


This story line is all very juvenille, but perhaps it is all a child needs to know until he pushes for more info.

Perhaps some of you are more familiar with all kinds of "fuzzy" type adoption stories for children.
But being a Granma with my first adopted grandchild, I was especially impressed with this book.
 

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We have been able to find some warm fuzzy stories too and they are all great but my kids are teens now and are really getting to an age where they will want some more of the details. My kids were 3, 4 and 5 when they came so there was no question about 'if.' The bigger questions are the family history details that I do know and when to tell them. I want to make it as positive as possible without lying. That is a little challenging with the one story. The situation in Russia at the time they were born makes it a little easier with the other stories but the one is a doozy.
 

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rose2005 said:
I asked and asked if I was adopted...as the people who raised me treated my other siblings totally different from me. They also looked different and we had a different dialect. I NEVER fitted in and they never showed me love.

The answer they gave was no....all the way through till I was on my own at 16.

I found out I was adopted when I got married.

My suggestion is to be as honest as you can...with regard to their level of maturity. Don't lie. Your children always need to know that they can trust you.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such a kind, loving and caring adoptive Mom. Your children are truly blessed.

Rose
I don't mean to rake you over the coals, but why on earth did they adopt a child they had no intention of loving as their own? It angers me that they were so deliberately cruel to you.
 

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farmergirl said:
I don't mean to rake you over the coals, but why on earth did they adopt a child they had no intention of loving as their own? It angers me that they were so deliberately cruel to you.
From what I gathered in the other thread, there was money along with the child and eventually a farm that has since been sold off and developed. People will do all sorts of things for money. I have an aunt that had foster kids solely for the $ to care for them.
 

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rose2005 said:
My suggestion is to be as honest as you can...with regard to their level of maturity. Don't lie. Your children always need to know that they can trust you.
I agree with this 100%

My own experience with my son and my husband (who adopted DS at age 6 but had been his "dad" since he was 2) leads me to know that honesty works. Don't make it a big deal and it wont BE a big deal. :) Don't lie. Don't go over board. They'll only absorb as much as they want to know at the time. Telling them should actually be a process as opposed to a "sit down I need to tell you something". :)
 

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We have been honest and all our kids know which ones are adopted. My youngest girl has no memories from before us (she was 3 when we got her), so we talk about how she had a "tummy mommy" but that I'm her "heart mommy". We also constantly reinforce that she will always be our little girl and part of our family. Sometimes she asks questions and we give her answers but most are about what "tummy mommy" looked like. Having been foster parents, we understand the necessity of kids knowing their roots and why they aren't with the birth family. We try to give honest answers without making the birthfamily sound horrible.

I had a friend who didn't find out she was adopted until she was 30. It devastated her. She's still not sure about why they lied for so long, but they did answer all of her questions that they could about her mom when she asked.

I can't imagine hiding that kind of secret for so long. I would think it would subconsiouly build a wall between you, when you constantly lie to them.
 

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Adoptive stories...that's the word,stories. The story my twin sis and I heard was that our mom had died in a TB sanotarium and my dad had left for parts unknown but yes, we did have some brothers somewhere.....what a load of hooey. My big bro Bill searched for years for us and about 6 years or so ago we finally met when the courts in MI opened up the adoptive records. We found out everything we were told was wrong. Our real mom is alive,in her 80's and on her fourth or fifth marriage, have about 11 steps bros and sisters plus Bill, Michael and a baby born after my sis and me that died of malnutrition/neglect. My real mom walked out and left us...Bill was five years old and he kept us fed,diapered and cared for for three days before a neighbor noticed we were all alone. Our dad was working in another city when she left. He died about two years ago...we actually went to the funeral home with Bill and found that no one knew about us girls at all and they were shocked when we were introduced. He'd kept the secret of his first marriage/children from his second wife. The real mystery is that we were probably actually relatives as my real biological dad's middle name was Reitz and that was my adoptive dad's last name...very uncommon German name in this country. And my adoptive folks were what would have been considered too old to adopt back in 1952. We used to get handmade dresses every Christmas from a "friend" of the family...according to Bill that was our real grandmother who knew where we were all along. So much hiding and deception back then...I sometimes wish for just an hour with my parents,both deceased to sort out the real truth which they obviously knew and never revealed to us. Our two oldest boys are adopted and they know everything about their adoptions and biological parents. DEE
 

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On my Mother's side An aunt Adopted 2 Boys. And Yes they knew they were Adopted. Later in life they both Found there Birth Families. I talked to Cousin David 6 years ago last. he was the one who told me they found there birth Parents. Teddy( AKA BILLY) is A physco. lives in A basement. He could NOT handle finding his Family. They had 7 other kids. But put him up for Adoption. David is A year or so younger than me. We wentr to school together A grade apart.. I Think A child should Know All of the facts.
 

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I was adopted. I never knew, though I asked several times, until I was 18 and I sent away for my birth certificate. How shocking to get back a reply from vital statistics that *person of my name born on my birthdate* doesn't exist. What?!

Showed it to my mom and boy, what a scene!

Luckily, my mom and dad made sure that I knew that they loved me and they did take good care of me. That helped.

I almost met my "birth" father. He chickened out because his current wife threw a fit. Meh. My birth mother died when I was small. I did get to know my maternal grandmother as a child, though; my mama took me to see her lots. I even called her grandma. Who knew?

I would love details for medical purposes and evidently I have half siblings.

Secrets and lies serve no good purpose. I think that everybody around me, neighbors and family, knew that I was adopted. Not nice.

Still love my folks, though. I guess it was a different time then.
 

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LSF, let me tell you about Bailey. You have read about my history, being adopted. I told Bailey that she was adopted from the very beginning, and while I am not the best mom in the world... I believe in my heart that she knows she is loved and wanted.

We got B when she was 18 months old. She was malnourished and could not walk. She had no hair on the back of her head because she had been strapped in a car seat all the time... it rubbed the hair off as she would turn her head. She was abused and mistreated from the get go. Her birth mother had an older girl and thought the sun rose and set in this child. When I met the young lady she was pregnant with another child, and we almost adopted him too. In the years since we were blessed with B, her birth mother got further and further into drugs. She got messed up with meth and at one point was institutionalized for them. I always felt secure because we had changed B's name (It was Julie) and the birth mom didn't know what B looked like. B, knew she was adopted but I had told her that her birth mom couldn't take care of her because she (the mom) had some problems and had given B to us. I was pretty sure that B heard the story at some point down the line, about being abused and mistreated.. but I had never told her. We just focused on how we fell in love with her when we saw her and got her to smile for us the first time.

Then one day this last fall I was totally taken off guard in a Walgreen's. I heard someone say "Debbie!" and I turned around and there was B's birth mom staring at us. It took me a second to realize who she was. She looked awful. Like death walking. Bless her heart, she is still messed up in drugs. She looked at B and then at me and I knew what she was asking, so I shook my head yes... She got a soft look on her face and then looked at me and I smiled and turned the kids away and we went on with our shopping. No small feat, let me tell you. Bailey picked up on it right away. She wanted to know why the scary lady in the store was mad at me. I asked her why she thought the lady was mad at me, and she said it was because she frowned at me. Then she wanted to know why she had looked at her so sadly. I chose to tell her. I then took the time to tell her about the drugs and the whole story. She was probably not ready yet, but since the birth mom had seen her now, and saw my van, I wanted B to know the whole truth and hopefully not be tempted to see her in any way until she is older.

My advice, tell you child what ever you feel they are ready for, add to the tales over the years as your child grows and is ready for more information. Don't hide the ugliness if you feel that your child will ever be cognitively able to understand the whole thing. If he finds out the truth later, he will feel betrayed. Keep an open line of communication with your child about this subject and keep on being the great mom that I am sure you are. Your unconditional love and support will go a long way to making your child feel secure and loved. HTH
God bless you and yours
Deb
 

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I was (apparently, don't remember that far back) told from the day I came home that I was adopted. There were some great books back then (late 70's) that were very candid, and not at all sugar coated, but still appropriate for kids. One of them was about a little girl who knew what it was to be adopted and was helping her parents bring her new adopted brother home. It was my favourite story for years. (To the point that when my sister came home I had her convinced she was a boy until she was three, and she told someone so at a dinner party.) I was not sheltered from the fact that I was adopted, but becuase of the way that adoptions were conducted at the time, neither of us has any real useful information on my birth parents.

In the other thread I talked about how lost I feel. That's on the one hand. On the other hand, I always knew that NONE of the people in my nuclear family were related to each other, mum, dad, sister and me, and that made us the best motley crew ever. We were all different, all loved, and all an important part of the family.

Something my mother always stressed to us when she talked to us about adoption was that we were chosen. (Not true, I learned a lot later. Mum and Dad had to wait a long time to get just any kid, and I was the first available to them. But it sure made us feel special. LOL) Another thing she stressed was how much work, how hard, it was to get us, and how much it was worth every bit and more. I think that's an important point.

Now, as an adult, mum tells me how unique I am, still. How it was so hard, and yet so much fun to figure me out, and how she could never forget that I was an autonomous person with my own way of being in the world. A great thing for any parent to instill in their child, birth *or* adoptive.

I'm not a parent yet, but my mum brought me up in a way that I would like to emulate. She always expected me grow, every minute, and treated me as though I was smart, capable, and wise beyond my years.

I'm mostly not, but it's nice to be treated that way :D

Good luck to all you adoptive mums. What wonderful ladies you are!
 

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I was not adopted and do not have anyone in my family that was adopted. I have a brother that is 8 years younger than me. He is from an extra-marital affair that lasted for over a year. My mother and father came back together when he was 1 year old. I'm guessing he would have been about 2 when he learned he had a different father than the rest of us (4 kids). Learning about his bio-dad never shocked him. Probably being the only child with brown hair and olive skin gave it away pretty fast.

He is still loved dearly by my father! My dad has always regarded him as his son, he was there to cut the umbilical cord. Knowing that his bio-father is in prison for life for shooting a man to death, makes my brother a better person.

I whole-heartedly agree with telling very small details as soon as they can understand.
 

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I have an adopted daughter I knew her bio-parents all their lives, they are at least 10 yrs younger than me, and living i a small town,, you have to be honest from day one, some one tell, if not being nosey just out of spite. Samantha was a very negelct baby, when i got her she was 4 mos old and weighed 6 oz. more than at birth. I went into her bio-moms house and picked this little girl out from under a coffee table, and when i picked her up stink my gracious did she stink, but she had the most beautiful smile I melted, some thing told me right there as i was holding her she wasnt comig back here, she would be mine. I took her home with me for 3 mos -bio mom never called nothing, long story short, it was 4 yrs to the day she finally signed her over legally to me thru private adoption.Sami is 18 now, she has known from day one she was adopted, I didnt want someone to be mean and tell her, her bio-parent live the next town over she knows them, she spends time with other sister and brother who are older, the last time she spent time with parent was an Easter 8 yrs ago, she called me at 6am in mornig crying asking me to come bring her home she didnt belong there, which melted my heart but made it ache to because she was hurt and finally understood she never would come first in their lives.Sami looks just like her birth mom, which some days is a little heart stopping, but all in all she is glad I have her, she has told me more than once how much she is glad she didnt grow up in the life style they have, that she wouldnt of had the love and affection the home she had if she had of stayed there.. Be honest,, some how some where it could come back and bite ya. Telling her rom day one, she grew up knowing so nothing was ever a suprise and so upsetting she couldnt deal with it..
 

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I was told from day one. I was adopted at birth.

My parents said that they had a lot of love to give, and that they didn't want to have kids of their own because of medical factors that were familial (spina bifida, cancer, etc). So they adopted children. It seemed quite "nomal" to me my entire childhood, and - as such - I think that's the lowest impact method (it was for me). They knew little about our birth parents and told us little... but because it "always had been", we didn't question it much.

R
 

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LSF, thanks for asking this. I was wondering the same thing but didn't want to hijack Rose's thread. Our little guy was born in Russia and spent the first year of his life in an orphanage. He's 23 months old now. We have some adoption-related storybooks and I plan on making a lifebook for him when he gets a little bit older. We know that he has an older full sister who is still living with her mother. I worry about telling him that someday and helping him deal with the questions of "why did she keep my sister but not me?"
 

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Sherri C said:
We know that he has an older full sister who is still living with her mother. I worry about telling him that someday and helping him deal with the questions of "why did she keep my sister but not me?"
That's exactly the issue I'm concerned with. How do you put a positive spin on it? I've really been mulling it over and come up with a few ideas. First is the ecomomic climate in Russia. It is very hard for families to make ends meet with one child. They honestly may not have enough $ to feed two, esp if it is a single mom. The social stigmas are worse than they are here as well. An unwed mom may have incredible pressure if they were to try to raise a child alone. Then there is that whole drug/alcohol thing which causes the parents to make choices they might not otherwise make. Our youngest knows that his mom was an alcoholic but doesn't know about the other sibling or the drug abuse and some other not-so-nice details. He knows there is more to the story and that we want to wait until he is ready to handle it - not that we don't want to tell him. I just wasn't sure how to spin that positively until now and I really thank Deb for her insights.

A number of people have commented about how great adoptive parents are. That makes me really uncomfortable. Adoptive parents aren't any different from biological parents except perhaps in the learning curve. Adoptive parents figure out right from the start that the child is only loaned for a time, that love is a decision, not a feeling - there will be times you don't feel like it but you decide to act in a loving manner anyway, that your children are not perfect and neither are you and that above all, there will be joys and sorrows along the way. With adopted kids the joys and sorrows may be slightly different but they are still there. Biological parents may be slower to learn these lessons (or not), but they are still the same lessons.
 

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Our two kiddos know who there Bio parents are. And they both had things done to them that no child or adult alike should ever had done to them or be around. Well we found the best way to deal with somethings was to not talk badlu about there bios with in ear shot. tell them good stuff about them when they asked (ie: they were really good at math, or they could sing like a brid ext..) So they know that part of them was good.
When they would ask about why we had them, We told them simply that there bios had sick brains and we didn't know when or if they would ever be better, ( only thing we could think of to tell a younger kiddo at the time) also we had them for 3 yrs before the adoption took place. So we put aside all the DCF paper work all the other info for 3 yrs worth of truth digging and papers police reports ext.. so that when they get older and want to know about why it's there in black and white and it's not a he said she said fight between us and there bio parents.
Ok that's my 2 cent worth. Not worth much, But thought i woud toss it in there.
 

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Well... I have three stories..

1st is our Daughter.
We had three Children of our own at the time and got a call from Family services that one of my Sisters Children that had been given out for adoption several years ago was dumped back on Family services because these very rich upstanding in the community parents were getting a divorce and neither wanted her.
She had so many problems you could not believe it.
They thought she was autistic as she had several of the symptoms.
She was major introverted. Sat with her hands up to her chest swinging them all the time and could not laugh. She would snort loudly instead.
She was sexually abused by both her adoptive Father and Brother.

We adopted her ASAP! It took years to correct her problems but they are ALL gone now. She laughs. She hugs (that was the hardest to accomplish) and OH yes...I forgot... She was classified as retarded too. She graduated high school with no special classes. She did have those through grade school and JR High.
She was 10 when we got her and now a Mother of three and in her mid 30's.
She was told about her natural parents and did use them against us in her teens and that hurt but she finally met both her Brothers and did not like them and that was the end of that.

Second story is our Grandson that I still have not met even though I do have his picture now.
He was a product of a high school relationship between his Mom and My Son.
They broke up and she was so angry over it that she never told my Son she was pregnant and when GS was three she married and her DH adopted him and they never told him.
He is 24 now. Found because his Father treated him different from his Brothers and he suspected something just wasn't right.
Mom confessed. Told him everything. He did not want to meet me Son for a year after that but She finally called my Son and told him.
His wife of 22 years went off the deep end about it and they ended up divorced.
So did the GS's parents.
Can you imagine the shock of finding out all this at 22 and then both your biological Parents divorcing over it?
I want to give him a hug so bad.
My DS and GS's Mom are together now. Father and Son have met and become Friends. Someday soon I hope to get to meet him too.

Third story..
Best friend at work is very close to her parents as they are quite elderly now.
She has several sibs, is married and has a Son of her own.
Some lady met her on the street and introduced herself as her aunt. Told her her parents were not really her parents and one of her sibs is really her Sister but the others are not.
She told me this and was sooooo mad that someone would tell such lies!
She was telling her Mom this when all of a sudden her Mom broke down crying and confessed the whole thing.
Seems they had a young couple working for them on their farm and they had these two little girls they kept leaving with them and going off for months at a time then they found them passed out on drugs and the babies crying and dirty and hungry so they just took them and kept them.
They didn't even legally adopt them for years.

Please don't do that to your kids! They should not have to find out like this.
 

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longshadowfarms said:
From what I gathered in the other thread, there was money along with the child and eventually a farm that has since been sold off and developed. People will do all sorts of things for money. I have an aunt that had foster kids solely for the $ to care for them.


DO we share the same Aunt? I have one just like that. She also keeps my uncle because of his government check!
 
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