I’ve been reading about infertility again. I really don’t understand it. My experiences of loss and shame do not stem from my infertility, au contraire. I am infertile now, but totally cool with it. Menopause, yay! (getting my glib out on the table here).
I am very sensitive about feelings in person, particularly my own.
And my feelings get riled up that SOME adoptive parents don’t want to have their infertility brought up and aired out regarding adoption. If their feelings are hurt by their situation of infertility, those feelings are being shared with their adopted children, whether they intend to or not.
I’ve been reading someone who plans to home school her children without bias. She hopes her children grow up without knowing her political views, so they can form their own. That is only likely if her children are fairly insensitive and/or dense themselves… or vision impaired, maybe. Our kids watch us all the time. They usually know more about us than we do. It’s part of their survival.
Our kids know what hurts our feelings. They’re reading our facial expressions. They’re watching us. They catch the subtleties. It behooves us to know ourselves so we’re aware of what we’re showing them; so our unconscious behaviors don’t speak louder than our conscious ideals do.
What do adopted children want? To be loved and accepted unconditionally. Don’t we all? But most of the time we don’t feel it. So we often behave to earn the much more common conditional loving. Shoot it would be nice if infertile people loved and accepted themselves unconditionally, the way God made them.
Really, it would be nice.
Trying to get to my point here soon.
Please, please, please work out infertility issues before starting to “grow your family through adoption”. Acknowledge and accept you can not have “your own children”. No doubt it is possible to love adoptees just as much as one loves genetic children. — IF you’ve worked through your own “stuff”.
But some people treat their genetic children pretty shabbily.
Maybe we could think about it this way– When you acquire an adoptee, you are starting a blended family. That child already has biological parents. There are articles, books and research studies, newsletters and classes on how to deal with blending families due to divorce and death. Difficulties are anticipated. There are stories about helping children realize their parents divorce was not their fault. Where are the tips for helping adopted children understand their very real loss was not their fault either?
It is not the child’s fault. It is not the child’s business to cover for either their first or adoptive parents.
They don’t need anyone speaking ill of their nature or nurture. Children tend to take those kinds of things way too personally. I can be pretty defensive of my own mother. I remember being on the attack as a teenager. “She didn’t understand me. She oppressed me. She tried to use me as a salve to her own ego. ” That’s all true. She was imperfect. Not only did she promote my firstborn’s adoption, she discouraged our reunion. But she’s MY mother and I do not want to hear anyone else criticizing her.
I do not want my firstborn daughter to hear anyone criticizing her mothers. How do you feel about your mother? How do you feel about other people’s opinions about your mother(s)?
Adoptees can’t fill the shoes of missing genetic children either. It’s not their fault some people can’t have genetic children. I think that is HUGE, a huge mistake, to expect some innocent baby to grow up in your image or ideal. It’s a common mistake too.
I thought my natural/raised son would grow up in my image. The differences started becoming clear when he was two. His interests differed from his parents. It was kind of fun to discover that in the context of our commonality. I imagine it could be more challenging to find your child developing in unexpected ways without that genetic mirroring — especially if you’ve been deceived into thinking you’re receiving a “gift of a child to raise as your own.”
I remember finding my mother’s copy of Kahlil Gibran when I was a child, and reading, “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself…” I believe that.