Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Positive, Well Adjusted Adoption Blog

Yes, there are bad adoptions out there. Yes, there are adoptees that are not happy and have had a bad go of it. For that I am sorry.
To all who have lost babies to death or adoption, I'm sorry...it has to hurt. For those of you who have lost their childhood to bad adopted parents, I'm sorry...it doesn't seem fair. There are people who did not have a great life with their natural parents too....it's sad that all could not have experienced a happy, well adjusted, accepting and loving family (it's becoming more and more prevalent that children do not have this). But, for all the adoptees who have had a good life, I stand up for them. I represent those who do not blog, who don't feel the need to blog. Blogging is great for those to share experiences and support eachother....I'm glad for it. But, because the other side is not represented.... it can sometimes seem we are not out there and all adoption may be a bad idea....it's not, and we are out here.

There are about 130,000 children adopted in the US every year

As of 2004 there were 1.6 million children under 18 in the US that are adopted.

The number of all adoptees estimated in the United States are 6-10 million - that means 3.4-8.4 million are over 18.

That's a lot of people.

"Adopted kids are every bit as well-adjusted, socially skilled, and intellecutally able as their nonadopted peers", according to research published by psychologsit L. DiAnne Borders of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Another study - of 881 adopted adolescents, the largest on American adoptive families so far - found that the teens reported positive identities, strong family ties, and sound psychological health at the same rates as their nonadopted siblings.

Why do people believe adopted kids have more problems?
E. Wayne Carp, an adoption historian says, "Adoptive parents are more likely to seek psychological help more quickly and for less serious problems". Early researchers, convinced that adoptees had more behavioral and emotional problems than children who grow up with their biological parents, went looking for trouble - and found it. Often, they focused on adoptees who were struggling, ignoring the majority who were doing fine. They didn't compare adoptees with a similar group of nonadopted kids. And they lumped together children adopted at birth and those placed later, who may have been mistreated by birth parents. While Carp declared earlier studies "deeply flawed," he says new studies employing more objective method "add a breath of fresh air to the debate." These studies found adopted children aren't so different from other kids - and may even have special strengths. (In the large study mentioned above, conducted at Minneapoplis' Search Institute, adoptees rated themselves less withdrawn and less likely to encounter social problems than did nonadopted peers.)
Borders believes two key factors influence whether adoptees thrive: the timing of adoption (the earlier in a child's life, the better) and the quality of parenting afterward. It's a subject she knows well: She's the adoptive mother of Jacob, 7. Someday, she says, "my son will have to figure out how being adopted fits in with his identity. Hopefully I'm laying a good foundation."
Are you all wrong that adoption practices need to be changed?.....no.
Are the rest of the millions of adoptees wrong when they say little to nothing about being adopted because it doesn't affect them?....no. It just is.

Adoption does hurt the natural mother....it has to. But if there are 6 million adoptees there are 6 million biological mothers as well. They all have to live with it - it can't be easy but there must be some of them at peace, there must be some that live normal lives and no one hears from them. I am not writing this to take anything away from what anyone feels. You all are awesome ladies (and men) and I'm glad everyone has found eachother. But everytime I say I am happy and had a great life I get people (or I read other blogs) telling me that I must be disguising how i "really" feel. Is it so hard to believe or accept that other people had an okay time of it?

I Just wanted to put a different perspective out there. We are out here and we are not "faking" it, I am happy and content and at peace. The only reason I started with blogging is to journal about adopting our child. I wanted to remember everything I was feeling at the time. I was bombarded with people (on my other blog) with people telling me how wrong I was and how much adoptees wind up hating their adopted parents and how wrong adoption was all together. It was amazing. I saw a side of adoption I had never seen....an ugly side that I am glad I know is out there...it made me more aware. But it is one sided.

God bless you all........from a happy adoptee.


9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Petunia,

Thank you for this message. I feel as it was written for me. As a prospective adoptive parent, I have been reading blogs to become more informed on how to help our future children. I'm beginning to become aware of many difficulties they may face, but I'm glad stories like yours are out there as well.

Ali

TeamWinks said...

Thank you!

Mom2One said...

Petunia,

It all swirls around in my mind, over and over and I think this and that. I appreciate all the voices of adoption, I want to know what my son might go through, I want to be prepared so I can be the best parent I can possibly be.

My best friend and my son's godmother is adopted, and she is like you, she doesn't think it caused her a lot of issues in her life. In fact, she's in reunion with her birthmother and while they do have a relationship, my friend keeps up the relationship probably more out of obligation and a sense of family ties than anything else. She's one of the unusual stories and she doesn't feel a real sense of connection with her birth mother.

Anyways, thank you for offering a different perspective. I think it's important to hear all different kinds of stories.

Trace said...

I was meandering through adoption blogs and found yours. Thanks for posting that message. I do LIKE to hear about potitive situations and it seems as if there are always more negative than positive stories out there. I'll visit often.

AFF said...

As the mother of a child who entered our family through adoption, I know that there will be issues that we will face as a family, issues that will be best dealt with by his bfamilies (we have an open adoption with both sides), and I am open and ready. However, sometimes it feels like all you read is about the negative, so thank you for taking the time to remind us that there is good out there, as well.

Melissa said...

I, too, want to say thanks for this post. These past months as I've read so many other blogs I am grateful to have learned what I have learned. But it has all leaned toward negative and can really get me down. It has rubbed me the wrong way to see some of these folks, who want their perspective and feelings to be accepted and respected, to spout off that happy adoptees must be in denial. It seems to me the acceptance and respect should go both ways. Uh oh, I feel another blog post coming on. :-) Anyway, thanks for sharing your story here.

Suzanne said...

I agree. Years ago I blamed my adoption for everything. Now, I see my own responsibility in some of it as well as God's hand. For the longest time I stayed away from adoption related blogs because they seemed so angry and harsh (even vindictive and judgemental). I remember being angry, but I also remember when I met my birth mom that I really clearly felt that her turmoil and her decisions were about herself and not about me. She in fact did make the BEST choice to give me up for adoption.

You've made my favourite's list.

Alix said...

A kind commentor on my blog pointed me in your direction. Awesome post. I'm an adult adoptee and I agree whole-heartedly.

MLO said...

It is so refreshing to read a post from a happy adoptee!

I have a good friend who is adopted and thinks that those who complain about being adopted are: "too busy seeking the negative to live the positive." She is a different sort of person, though.

I also know folks who had "bad" adoptions, and everything in-between.

I really like your blog.