Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Teach to Love or Teach to Hate

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A few times in the past little while i have encountered birthmothers just tearing birthfathers apart. also i have heard of adoptive couples who do not teach about birthfathers. I am going to tell you my opinion as to why this wrong....DEAD WRONG.

Any of you adoptees out here can feel free to let me know if i am wrong in my thinking. 

A child who is adopted has two birthparents and two parents.

That child is going to want to know where they came from eventually. {in my opinion they should be taught this from the minute they become your children not when they turn 4, 10, 16, or 18}

You cannot very well teach them about their birthmother and not say a word about their birthfather, even if you do, that will only last for so long. Sooner rather than later they are going to want to know about their birthfather.

"Well Jessa, you don't understand, the birthfather isn't a fabulous human being." um ... i don't care. the birthfather gave you a fabulous child. therefore he is a fabulous person {even if only in a tiny increment}

If you keep the birthfather a secret, this will lead the child to think there is something wrong with the birthfather. and being as that birthfather is a part of your child, you are leading the child to think there could be something wrong with a part of them. This, from my talking to adoptees and aparents, is what leads to all the awful rebellious, i am adopted, teenager behavior. {of course it is not the only reason for this behavior}

I have spoken about this and listened to opinions on this EXTENSIVELY. I have a friend {some of you may know her as Heidi} who has adopted not 1 but 7 children. Most of which are from foster care. She in my opinion is an amazing woman who does amazing things. Once upon a time, i heard Heidi speak about birthparents at my first ever National FSA Conference. She told me that her children being from foster care, obviously had some birthparents with rough pasts. HOWEVER, Heidi also said she never focuses on the bad. She only focuses on the good, and if there are things that aren't so grand she spins it in a way so the child can understand. And Heidi isn't the only one who shares open relationships with her children's {from foster care} birth parents .  My friend Jenn, my friend Devin, and many others all do this.

If you teach a child to hate where they came from , they will start to hate themselves.

An example of this, {i know my thoughts are everywhere} Growing up my parents were divorced. Often times I would pry as to why they got divorced and my mom {not trying to talk bad} would say something negative. Well, over time {especially while a teenager} i would think, oh my mom doesn't like me because i look like my dad. And when my dad talked bad about my mom {again not trying to but letting it slip} i would get upset. There were countless times i would get upset and wonder if i was a negative thing that came out of their relationship. Well now i know I am the BEST thing that came out of their relationship...ok im really not that vain.... but for the sake of conversation.

Your children SHOULD know where they came from. and they SHOULD  NEED to feel good about where they came from. 

Find good attributes about their birthfather even if superficial
i.e. has a great laugh, gave you beautiful eyes, gave you awesome dimples....
even something as SIMPLE as he gave us you. 

I feel sooo strongly about this. I cringe every time i hear that an amom or adad don't bring up the birthfather. It makes me sad. Everyone should love themselves. you can't love yourself fully if you do not love where you came from.


Anonymous said...

WOW!!! I feel the same way!!!! We tell our little one that his birth dad likes to skate board and that our son gets his muscles from his b dad!!!! I Would also like to add that talking to others (friends family strangers) about your child's situation/ birth parents... in a negative light while your child is in the same building is so so so wrong, THEY CAN HEAR YOU! But can I please add that talking about your child's past whether they were a foster child/ baby or adopted from birth is his/her business not yours to share with others, even if that child is not present or it is done in privacy/ secrecy does not matter at some point that information that an adoptive mom or dad can share/spread can be damaging later, you just may not see it yet. What happens if you tell others that the parent did drugs and that information falls into hands that you may have felt was responsible enough to know such information and they say to your child, : oh little timmy you are not good at math because your tummy mommy did drugs...when you were in her tummy.." or does he/she have ADD/HD because their parents did drugs or... You can make your own examples of this... this is sad for the child not everyone should know your child's business, its theirs not yours to share and when they are old enough for the whole story they are old enough to share what information they want to share, when they are comfortable with it. I used to think that we would share our child's information with just family and close friends because maybe we could use it to blame why our child does certain things.... we are told by doctors.... maybe they do this because of drugs... we have a ligit reason but really does this matter and can we even prove this is why certain things happen with our child? NO! does is matter? NO!!! Do you tell the same neighbors and your in laws and close friends you met after high school that you were molested as a child or raped by a friend? NO!!!! so why would you share this information about a birth father or birth mother that made some tough choices. I don't feel this applies to everyone, there are some cases that a child has been shaken so they are severely handicapped because of drugs/alcohol or whatever but I dare say this is not all adoptions nor is it most, and for the later cause I would say please respect your little ones and the family they come from. A child is a blessing.

Robyn C said...

I think you make a good point, but - I don't think people should lie.

Some children are conceived during rape. While I don't think you need to tell a 3-year old this, I don't think you can really find anything positive to say about his/her birthfather either.

Some birthfathers are unknown, or, at least, the birthmothers say they are unknown. In these instances, it's better to say "I don't know" then to make something up.

I'm reminded of the adage, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." If you don't know anything about your child's birthfather, or what you do know is unpleasant, then it's better to say as little as possible than to lie. Lies are really going to get you in trouble when the child is able to communicate with his/her birth parents on her own.

Anonymous said...

Robyn i agree with you for us we dont have a lot of possitive things to say about our sons birth dad other than he likes to skate board. It can be tricky for sure.

Elizabeth said...

I agree with this completely. I've already made a promise to myself (and to my daughter) that I will always be honest and up front with her about everything about myself and her birthdad - barring things that might hurt her and aren't necessary for her to know. I'll volunteer any information she wants to know about our relationship when the time comes. Will I tell her right off the bat all the ways he hurt me? No, I won't. But if she wants to know, I will.
I've found myself, at times, when he hasn't sent her family the letter he said he'd send, or the photos of himself he promised he'd send, thinking 'I hate him/I can't stand him.' However, I push the thought out of my head before I can even finish it, because he gave me one of the greatest gifts in my life (even though she isn't physically "in" my life). My beautiful girl is HALF him. How can I hate him, when I love someone with my entire heart that is a part of him?
I cringe when I hear birthmoms saying that, too. I guess it's different in complicated situations: ie incest, rape, etc. but I do believe a child is entitled to form their own opinion of BOTH of their birth parents. I don't need to tell my daughter the negative things about him. When they meet again, he will either how her himself or not. No need to bash him.

Megan said...

I'm an adoptive mom whose son was conceived in rape. His birth father is in prison and will be for the rest of his life. I don't hate him. I hate that he hurt my son's beautiful birth mother, but I know there is a lot of goodness mixed in with the evil, as there is in most people.
My son looks like him. I love him for giving him his dimpled cheeks and his perfect lips and his very strong body. I love him for giving him his Native American Heritage. I love him for not fighting the adoption.
We are very open with how he was conceived. His birth mother mentions it in letters he has written him. We can think of nothing worse than for him to find out something of that magnitude from anyone other than us. If we hid it from him he would (rightfully) believe that we were ashamed of a part of his story and his past.
He will grow up knowing that alcohol makes people make very bad decisions, and that God can make a miracle out of even the worst decisions. That is a gift his birth father has given us the opportunity to give him.
There is something to love in every person on this earth. Find it, cherish it, and share it.

Anonymous said...

I was 15 years old when I was pregnant due to a rape. I love my baby boy. And the adoption is very open. I believe that my fine young man can learn from the things his "birth father" did. I do not know this man and I sure hope my son won't until he is under complete understanding that he was the blessing that came out or a terrible situation. And that I'm pleasantly aware his adoptive parent will raise him knowing that god can turn rough times into prays answered. Lying about what he did to me isn't right. It is not fair to him, his adoptive parents, or me. But to help him come to terms with the fact that his "birth father" is not who my son is should be done.

Anonymous said...

For those adoptive mothers saying made up nice things about the "birth father" that raped your birth mother. How do you suppose that makes her feel. After all if it was a rape in most cases, and in mine. The "birth father"; or rapist or what ever your choice of title, had nothing to do with anything. He hurt me. Almost killed me. Yes he did give me my amazing baby boy. But whom i had to give away because i was a freshman in high school. Not to mention the pain, suffering, heart ache, and stress that comes with a kid on top of being a teenager. I don't know who he is besides his name from court, he is a convicted child molester (I was 15, he was is his 20's). I personally, from a birth mothers perspective would be infuriated if I were to find out his adoptive parents were lying about who his "birth father" really is.

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