January 13th, 2014
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I often wonder if my kids do or will eventually feel abandoned.  Many books and professionals have lead us to believe that some children who are adopted will feel a sense of abandonment through their life.  Some question, “Why did my birth mother not want me? or “What was wrong with me?”  As my son gets older, I wonder if some of his insecurities have to do with him being adopted.  When he was a baby he did not like being left alone at any time.  He did not even like it when we were not in the same room.  I know children can have these behaviors even if they are not adopted, but does being adopted intensify these feelings?  My son is five now and he still does not like to be in a different room than me.  At one point I would have to go in the bathroom with him.  Leaving my son at the church nursery was traumatic for both of us.  He does better now, but it took several years before he stopped crying when we dropped him off.  Even leaving him with my parents for the night was hard on all of us.  He would just cry the whole time.  It didn’t dawn on me at the time it could have something to do with him being adopted and the way he came into this world.


My son was born in an apartment without any medical assistance.  The paramedics did not make it in time for his birth.  We are still unsure how long it was before the paramedics arrived after his birth.  When they did arrive at the hospital, his birth mom left.  The nurses did love on him, but it was two days before we were able to meet him.  After a day of us being there the doctor had mentioned to us that he seemed less agitated.  He was also sleeping and eating better.  His doctor told us it is amazing what consistent love and care can do for a baby.

My daughter is 16 months old now and she is completely different.  She is independent and confident.  When I leave her in the church nursery, she does not cry.  She is a great sleeper and loves to play by herself.  For now, I have not seen any signs of her feeling abandoned.  Her adoption was a smoother process than my son’s.  I was there when she was born and her birth mother lovingly placed her in my arms.

Does it make a difference on the child if the placement goes smoothly?  Does it make a difference on the child if the birth mom is with them until placement?  Is this normal behavior or is this behavior stemmed from being adopted.  These questions go back and forth through my mind all the time.  Regardless of the answer, as parents, we have to recognize these behaviors and teach our children to deal with their emotions.  Our children need to know that we love them unconditionally and their birth parents love them as well.  I want my children to always know that even though their birth family chose to place them for adoption, they were never abandoned.

Do you see signs of your child feeling abandoned?  I would love to hear from you and how you teach your children to cope with these feelings.

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5 Responses to “Feeling Abandoned”

  1. Cindy Hailey says:

    I cannot answer your questions from an adoptive parent’s perspective, but I can from an honest adoptee’s perspective. I was adopted at 3 months of age…much older than your children, but so much younger than so many! Knowing that everyone has a different make-up, I can only answer regarding my own make-up…but the answer is, “Yes, it does affect us, and again, yes, you can do something about it.”
    I can see, in fact, that you are trying. Hard. Keep trying and I’m sure you will not ever regret your efforts. I absolutely love that you are resolved to open adoption and to reinforcing the fact that not only you, but your children’s birth parents, love them…and that this love is unconditional. Thanks for your post. I’ve read some of your others with much admiration.

    • dena1104 says:

      Hello, Cindy, I agree with you as well. Yes, the majority of us do go through separation anxiety. Especially, if we were torn away from our birth mother at birth. We were never give the opportunity to have that maternal bonding. I was give up to foster care at birth and then adopted at 9 years old. I also, gave up my son for adoption when I was 22 years old. His adoption was a private one. He found me about a year ago, and I am here to tell you I could of done better myself. From my abusive adoption I grew up with such insecurities that I felt that I was not good enough to have a child. Actually I felt not good enough for anything good. I was manipulated into giving my son up for adoption. And as a result, my son’s life has been affected the same way mine has. Now I have another son I raised on my own and he his perfect. I give him much unconditional love and I never let him cry when he was born for the first year so he can develop trust. He is now 19 years old and he is in University and the top of his class. I myself have a blog so I can reach out to other adopted children and adults so they can go to a place to help them feel normal. http://adoptionsoulmindbody.weebly.com

  2. alison1984 says:

    Hi there, I too can’t answer your questions as an adoptive parent but having been adopted myself I will give you some good news. I was adopted at about 6 months old. I grew up an exceptionally happy child in the most loving and adoring family I could have asked for. Life was not always easy because my adoptive father left my adoptive mother when I was 5 years old and we had a bit if a struggle financially. Saying this, their divorce never affected me. I grew up feeling like the most special girl in the world who could conquer all. I am still now at 29 years old closer to my adoptive mother than most people are to their birth mothers. I do not believe that a baby is aware of their birth not of their adoption etc and I therefore do not believe that your son being adopted has any recollection of the past or it affecting him. How you handle the future and how you ring him up and the bond you form with him is all that counts. My mother is my best friend in the world. I speak to her almost daily and couldn’t live without her- she is not my blood. This has never affected me and although I am now in contact with my half sisters (children of my birth mother), I have no hankering what so ever to get in touch with her. My mother is my mother and that is all that matters and all that I need.
    I am no psychologist or psychiatrist but I am an adopted child who was bought up as one of the happiest children in the world.
    If you ever want to talk feel free to contact me.
    Hang in there, shower your son with love and let him know that he is special because you CHOSE him and you want him more than anything in the world and I guarantee you he will be a happy child with no bad connections or feelings towards being adopted. I have absolutely no resentment towards my birth mother or any feelings of abandonment. I was too young at 6 months old to have had any impact on my life. A mother and child’s bond grows over time and love not blood.

    I am also now a mother to two bouncing beautiful twin girls. One spent two weeks in NICU and it was very difficult because I did wonder if the bond was affected. However my nicu daughter sticks to me like glue and we are very close so I now know that this was not the case.

    I hope this helps you and gives your mind peace. Sorry to disagree with the comment added by another. People are different and have different experiences and emotions with regard to adoption. I do strongly believe that I and many others are not in the slightest bit affected or ‘traumatized’ by the fact that we are adopted. This is a beautiful special journey of life. Your son is lucky to have you and if you play your cards right, soon he will show you this.

    Wish you all the best

  3. alison1984 says:

    Sorry I also want to add to my comment above that my twin who was not in nicu is in fact more clingy than my other. She is my needy baby of the two and that alone should show you that the birth isn’t the problem nor your adoption process not being as smooth. Scarlet my needier twin is the one who cries more to be in mummy’s bed etc and my twins are identical and of my blood. I think it all idea down to the child’s make up on whether they are needier or not. You will probably find although your son is needier and wants more of your attention- if you give that to him you will possibly see him being the more confident of the two. To explain quickly. Scarlet although needier is far more confident when playing or out and about, where as my Bella (nicu twin) is far less needy, although likes to be by my side sometimes, she sleeps through the night almost always etc but is a little less certain of strangers etc.

    Again I hope this helps :)

  4. tito says:

    Hi, do not worry, it seems to me that your situation is very good, I understand that you have made an open adoption. I have adopted a Romanian boy in an orphanage at age 7 and was necessarily a closed adoption. Inevitably has had many problems, in this case due to the trauma of abandonment;
    In my experience of adoption , I realized that adoptive parents should encourage relations with the family of the natural parents . Although I understand the difficulty and desperation of a mother who abandons a child for reasons of majeure force, we must consider, however, that in reality
    No condition of indigence or poverty justifies the abandonment of a child. As far as my own experience is concerned I am sure that a child would rather die of starvation or get to know that his parents are in prison, but they did not abandoned him.
    If genocide is a crime against humanity, the abandonment of a child is much more, it calls into question the first ethical principle for our survival: a mother who abandons a child. Animals do not do that, or do so only if the little ones are naturally self-sufficient by birth.
    It is an everlasting torture and I am sure that my son is wondering – in his own confusion – why he did not get what many people were granted.
    I came to this conclusion, which may seem strong and ruthless, after the experience of the adoption of my son who has had many problems because of the trauma of abandonment.
    But this is not the case, and I am convinced that the open adoption is the best way to help these kids, I suggest, if the child wants to maintain relations with his natural mother

    Two years ago, my son and I , we went to Romania, where he was born , and with a little luck we found his natural mother …. so the story continues !

    I wrote a book on the story of the adoption of my son “ The Rabbit Culture” . I’d like to share my story with people , and if you want I give you a link where to find it.
    I apologize for my poor english … I’m Italian
    A hug to everyone, and much gratitude to all the people who have the courage to embark on the adventure of adoption!

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