My 12 yo daughter asked to see a pic of her birthmom. Does this mean she does not feel I am her mom?
I have offered before; she always said no. We have always been so close, and I guess I feel a bit rejected, but would NEVER tell her that!! I have always told her positive things about adoption and her birth mom, whom I met once, when she was born. I told her that, if her birthmom needed a kidney, I would give her mine in a heartbeat, bec she gave me my daughter. I dont ever want her to feel bad about asking. I wish I didnt feel so insecure about this! By the way, we have a 4 year old son who is adopted, too.
I'm not an expert, but my guess is that she's just curious. She doesn't know her, and no doubt has decided she'd like to know what her birth mother looks like, but you're the one she will always know as "mom." I'm not adopted, but my husband was; even though he was adopted at an older age and actually knew his birth mother, his birth mother is always referred to by her name and "mom" is always his adopted mother. I knew about his adopted siblings long before I knew anything about his biological siblings.
I also have quite a few friends who were adopted, and for most of them it was around 12-15 when they started being curious about their biological parents, and for all of them it was simply a matter of curiosity, and maybe wanting to know where their physical features come from and what-not. Their adopted families are still their only true family, they're the ones they return home to for holidays and the ones everyone knows as their parents and siblings. I can't imagine the insecurity since I haven't had to be in that situation (just have to deal with my son's stepmom ) but I can tell you that the parent that's in a kid's heart will always be a lot more important to them than the one that's in their DNA.
My Step-Father and his sister were adopted - he was a middle-aged adult before he tracked down his birth-Mother, met her and her family. He was quite disappointed, as his adoptive-parents were of incredibly high-calibre and his birth-family seemed crude and ignorant by comparison... Nice people, of course, very welcoming and loving - but the man he'd grown into had grown along a different path, which seemed to have been for his greater benefit, all things considered... His search for his birth-parents was mainly out of a desire to know himself better, and for him it happened to reaffirm the love and gratitude he had already always felt for the wonderful people who raised him.
Without knowing you or your daughter, I'd still venture to bet that exploring her hereditary roots could only serve to offer her greater clarity and appreciation for the family she enjoys daily. Adopted children have an extra difficulty understanding their place in life, and the more you can do to allow them to pursue such interests can only strengthen the bond that adopting a child in need represents in the first place... I think - your best judgement is best, of course!
Simple curiosity is the most likely reason! I have a few close friends who are adopted, some of whom know their birth parents and have a great relationship with them.
Of course you are and will always be her mom--but she is lucky enough to have another family who loved her enough to give her up for adoption. Your daughter most likely wants to know and understand her history, which will in turn help her know herself better. Don't feel insecure or jealous, as she simply wants to learn more about where she came from. Building a good relationship with birth parents, if appropriate, can actually make both the birth parents and the adoptive parents feel strong and confident in their roles.
Because I was adopted... my adoptive mother always let me know that I was adopted. There were no secrets. I think as most children who are adopted, she is just interested to know what she looks like, and if she looks anything like her birth mother. I never thought of anyone, and still don't, but my adoptive mother being my "real' mom. She has been there for me and I love her as though she did give birth to me. But to have most of the people around you, knowing where they came from and what they look like, who's nose they have, or ears, or body type, make a person who doesn't know, just that much more curious. I don't think there is anything to worry about, all children want to know where they came from, but that doesn't mean that where they are and who they are with isn't the most imprtant in their life. I am sure she is just interested. Since I was adopted this story hit very close to home..
As an adoptive mom of a grown son, I'm guessing your daughter wasn't curious before - and now she is. I had the benefit of having had two children myself, so I could see, for myself, that there was absolutely no difference in my relationships with them versus with their brother; and that the quality of bond between my son and me was every bit as solid and permanent and strong as with his siblings. As a result of being able to experience that sameness for myself, I never felt the least bit insecure about not having delivered my son, myself.
A mother who has adopted but not had a "birth baby" or two doesn't have the chance to see how "different it ISN'T". The birth story/family is your daughter's reality, so at one point or another it's an issue she and you will face and process. I think, though, a lot of adoptive parents need to be careful about letting their own insecurities create self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to a child's feeling firmly rooted in her own life, and unquestionably belonging in the only family he's ever loved.
I am adopted as well, and like your daughter, my parents were the only ones I knew. They received me just before I was a year old and adopted me a four. I actually forgot I was adopted and found out when I was 13. I didn't want to know much other than where I came from, but now that some years have passed, I want to know more. I have a child of my own now and I have become extremely curious as to my family history and so on. I am in contact with three of my at least six siblings and we are very close. The thing is, though, that no matter what, my mom, the one I grew up with, is still my mom. My dad is still my dad. I may have different blood, different looks, and even a different lifestyle or personality, but they are my family no matter what,and that's what counts. Don't worry, you will always be your daughter's mommy.
Oh, not at all! It means that she is finally coming to terms with the fact that she has a "real" mom and a biological mom, and she feels secure enough in your love for her to go directly to you to satisfy her curiosity. As "wychic" said, she certainly wants to know where she got her physical features. She may also want to look into the face of the woman who gave her away, whatever the reason.
I have an adopted daughter, and am raising my grandson. I found that over the years, when they were ready, questions began to surface. They began to wonder why they were given away: is there something wrong with me? Is there something wrong with my birth mom or dad? If so, and I come from them, does that mean I will turn out like them?
It may be simple curiosity about what she looks like, or your daughter may be dealing with deeper questions, but it is a healthy sign of trust and intimacy that she is able to speak up. You are doing a great job and should be very proud of raising a secure, open child!
by colp 10 years ago
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