Difficult Choices – Babysitting Grandchildren

April 12th, 2008

When my first grandchild was born, I insisted that my daughter let me baby sit for her when she returned to work. She may have been a little surprised because she came to live with us as a teenager and we adopted her when she was 15. During those days just after my granddaughter’s birth, I went to visit her and rock her almost everyday. My daughter had to return to work when her daughter was only five weeks old to support her. As you can imagine, I really bonded with my granddaughter during those early weeks. Eventually, our daughter Ami was born and placed with us through private adoption. I took a part-time job, my daughter got married, had another baby, and I wasn’t the… [more]

When Adoptees Search For Birth Parents

March 30th, 2008

Many adoptees wished they had waited until they were more mature before searching for their birth parents. Comments like, I would have handled it so much better if I had waited were common. However, as individuals, we all do what we feel we must, when we feel we must. If a teenager is so obsessed with meeting birthparents that he or she cannot concentrate on anything else then it might not be possible to wait. If thoughts of birthparents are becoming so constant that, they are beginning to disrupt your other relationships, then searching immediately might make more sense. Before you begin your search, Danea Gorbett, author of “Adopted Teens Only A Survival Guide to Adolescence,” suggests that you examine your motives. Decide what you want… [more]

Am I Normal? A Guide for Teenagers

March 22nd, 2008

Chapter one covers an adoptee’s fantasies and curiosity about their birth family. Throughout the book, Danea reinforces the normalcy of a teenager’s feelings, emotions, and curiosity. She makes it very plain that everyone experiences these feelings, fantasies, and emotions at some time in their lives. She validates a teenager’s rights to feelings, whatever those feelings might be, and rights to information. She encourages journaling to help teenagers work through their feelings and track their progress. Danea states in the book that it is natural for an adopted teenager to “try to close the gaps by creating images in your mind to fit your story.” She says that teenagers may “try to fill in the missing pieces by acting in ways you imagine your birthparents would… [more]

Adopted Teens Only A Survival Guide to Adolescence – Book Review

March 18th, 2008
Categories: Adoptees, Book Reviews

I was really excited to receive a new book in the mail about adoption issues. Adopted Teens Only A Survival Guide to Adolescence is 98 pages of clearly written, useful, and relevant information organized in a logical sequence. The book isn’t actually for adoptive parents although it can be eye opening for us to understand what our teens are thinking and going through emotionally. It is written for adolescence who were adopted and are trying to make sense of it all. The book was written by Danea Gorbett and published by iUniverse. Danea had many questions and mixed feelings about her birthfather as a teenager. Therefore she wrote the book to help adopted teens work through their feelings and search for their own answers. When… [more]

Are Adopted Children Less Likely to Move Out?

January 21st, 2008
Categories: Adult Adoptees

I cannot remember where I heard or read this, but I have heard it said that adopted children are less likely to leave the home when they turn eighteen. They are also supposedly less likely to leave town to go to college or take a job. Instead, they are more likely to live at home while attending a local college or get a job closer to their adoptive parents' home.

I tried to find this article on the Internet but was not successful, so I must have read it in a book somewhere. I am not saying that this premise is true. I just thought this was an interesting topic to discuss.

The author speculated that adopted children were less likely to move away because of… [more]

Opening Adoption Records for Adoptees

December 13th, 2007
Categories: Adult Adoptees

This week, I have been posting about topics raised by an adoptee named IzzyMom on her blog in the post entitled What About MY Rights?. In this post, I will address the heart of her message.

IzzyMom makes some valid points about the unfairness of denying adult adoptees basic information about their pasts. She did her own research to track down her birth family after being told that no records were available from the adoption agency because it had closed.

IzzyMom asks some valid questions on her post about the rights of adoptees to know their own history:

But what about the adopted children who grow up, both knowing or not knowing of their adoptive status? What about them? What about their rights? What about MY rights?

Doesn’t… [more]

Adoption Affects an Adoptee

December 12th, 2007
Categories: Adoptees

When I was going through the home study process, I did not want to believe that my son would have any challenges resulting from his adoption. I wanted to believe that I would have the answers and love him enough to blot out any negative feelings from having been separated from his birth family. Then, I learned about a book called The Primal Wound by Nancy Newton Verrier. In this book, the author asserted that all children who are separated from their birth family suffer from grief, even when they are placed for adoption at birth.

Here is how I explained the book in my post, Resilience of Adopted Child in Facing Adoption History:

In a nutshell, the author asserts that all adopted children suffer… [more]

Reasons to Tell Adopted Child About Adoption

December 10th, 2007
Categories: Adoptees

One of my friends forwarded me a powerful post written by an adoptee named "IzzyMom" on her blog. The title of the post is What About MY Rights? I e-mailed IzzyMom and asked permission to quote from and discuss her post. Here was her response:

Please feel free to discuss my post and quote from it. People need to know that secrecy about adoption is never a good choice. - IzzyMom

I agree with IzzyMom that keeping the fact that a child was adopted a secret is never a good choice. It is a lie, pure and simple. To withhold such important information from your child is to lie by omission. I would imagine that you would need to lie overtly to maintain the secrecy each time… [more]

How to Teach an Irresponsible Adult Adopted Child Responsibility

August 20th, 2007
Categories: Adult Adoptees

Tree in Swamp (c) Lynda Bernhardt

In my last post, Perceptions of Irresponsible Adult Adopted Child, I talked about how insulting it is to an irresponsible young adult to assume that he does not have the ability to learn how to make better choices. I promised to provide advice for how to teach an adult adopted child responsibility in this post. Here is my advice: Love your adult adopted child enough to allow him to make his own choices and experience the resulting consequences. This is very hard to do, but it really is that simple. If you allow your adult adopted child to experience the consequences of his choices, he will learn responsibility.

I speak from experience here. I do not have an… [more]

Perceptions of Irresponsible Adult Adopted Child

August 17th, 2007
Categories: Adult Adoptees

Cave (c) Lynda Bernhardt

In case you missed it, the Reactive Attachment Disorder blog has a heated debate going about Nancy’s adult adopted child who is not making the most responsible choices. Nancy has made the decision to let her adult daughter make her own choices and either sink or swim without bailing her out. Some readers have accused Nancy of not being “loving” by making this choice. See the following posts and comments for more on this situation:

How to help your adult adopted child become more responsible is definitely a worthwhile topic to cover on the… [more]