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DIL of Scotchzilla
Jan 15, 2007, 09:07 AM
Does anyone know of a version of this that is written specifically for adoptive parents and the crucial first days/weeks at home? If so, I'd be very interested to see it. :-)

leahg
Jan 15, 2007, 12:13 PM
How is this? :

The Adoptive Mother
By Leahg

Adoption and the expectation of the birth of a child brings and anticipation to entire families. It also brings stress, worry and various opinions on the subject of adoption. Not only the parents to be, but the grandparents and siblings of the adoptive couple all wish to share the joy of this miraculous event. A new baby in the family is a wondrous thing.

However, there are some dissenters here as well. These are friends and family members who are against adoption in general or of this specific adoption. Either they don't believe in adoption, or they have opinions of pure blood lines, or "bad blood". Some people, unfortunately, look at adopted children as second class.

Adoptions are filled with potholes and traps, and the fear that the child's birth parents will regret and demand the child back. Until the adoption is official and the waiting period is over and the last legal documents are signed, adoptive parents live with the terror that the child they have come to love will be taken away from them. No one has the right to add more anxiety and tension to what is already a very joyful yet traumatic time.

The adoptive parents have to deal with some or all of the above. Many a supportive family seems to forget the adoptive mother in all the excitement. Grandmothers and aunts start planning what they will do and give to the child. Family members sit and discuss who will come visit, when and who will get to hold the baby first, once it is brought home.
Most people who adopt are those who, for some reason, are unable to have children of their own. They have gone through years of trying, perhaps subjected themselves to numerous treatments and disappointments. Others, due to hereditary reasons, would rather adopt than risk inflicting a dangerous hereditary disease on their children.

Dissenters give their opinions and put a pall on the entire situation, one that is already stressful. Those who are against the adoption seem to think it their given duty to inform the perspective parents of all of the reasons as to why they should NOT adopt. Unfortunately, many a family is against an offspring or sibling adopting a child. They hold the spouse responsible and insist that this is the wrong thing and such a child will never be accepted into the family.

It is so very easy for those who have children to raise their noses in condensation at those who cannot have children and to judge them. In their audacity, these family members become cruel and holier then thou, adding more stress and pain on the adoptive parents.

If you are against an adoption, keep your mouth SHUT. Until one stands in the shoes of the parents adopting, one has no right whatsoever to tell them what is right and what is wrong. Telling someone that you will never accept their adopted child is one of the vilest actions another human can visit on one whom you supposedly care about. These people should be told that they are no longer welcome in the home of the perspective parents and should hide their heads in shame.

On the other hand, those who support the adoption can also cause problems. These people have watched the couple and shared their fears, and anxiously await the new arrival almost as much as the actual parents do. However, they seem to forget that they are not the ones doing the adopting.

Once there is even word of the child, some grandparents run out and buy entire nursery sets and decide color schemes. Many expectant grandparents see a grandchild as their opportunity to do all that they could not do, when they, themselves, were parents for the first time. People tend to forget or run over the feelings and desires of the actual mother to be. Some family members even go so far as to accuse the adoptive mother of being selfish, because she wants to share these first days alone with her husband and the long awaited child.

Then come the unwarranted and intrusive questions. Friends and family members appear to see nothing wrong with questions varying from how much the adoption cost, to demanding to know the antecedents of the child and the medical hsotyr of the child. Some people see nothing wrong in asking who the birth parents are, where they live, etc. These questions, and others like them, are no one's business other than that of the parents' doing the actual adopting.

Many of the following happen, and can ruin the entire experience and cause hurt that can never be truly healed.

1- Grandparents start to decide what the baby will be named. In fact, many grandparents start to insist and are then angry and hurt that they do not get to name the grandchild. They also believe that they have the right to veto a name that is not appealing to them. As much as this child will a part of your family, you already named your children. This is the sole right of the expectant parents.

2- Decorating the nursery: Many relatives start going all out and buying entire nurseries sets for the new infant. Either that, or they totally disregard the motherís wishes as to color schemes and decorating wishes for the babyís nursery. People, this is NOT your baby, please honor the mother and let her have the joy of decorating HER childís room.

3- There have been various occasions where the Grandparents go out and buy an entire nursery for THEIR home, with the intention of the baby staying over night quite often. There have been, unfortunately, many instances where the Grandparents will keep some of the shower gifts at THEIR home, so that THEY will be able to use them for the baby. Once again, we must iterate, this is NOT the Grandparentsí child. It belongs to the mother and father who conceived him/her. Most mothers want to have their infants/children with THEM at all times. This is NATURAL.

4- Visiting once the mother and child are home: While it is perfectly understandable that relatives want to see the baby, they must remember the mother. She is tired and stressed and still worried that the adoption will go through. She needs alone time with her husband so that they can get used to this new person in their household. The parents need bonding time, before the entire world goes back to its regular orbit. They need time to absorb the fact that they actually have finally received the long awaited child and to get used to the situation. Soon, the father will go back to work and the home must be taken care of. Give them a week. Also, may Grandparents want to come visit and "help" the new mother. Helping means doing the wash and the dishes. Helping means cooking, cleaning and doing the shopping. Helping does NOT mean sitting around, constantly taking the baby from itsí mother and waiting to be catered to. Helping also does NOT mean telling the mother all the things she is doing wrong, how her baby is starving and should bet the bottle instead of the breast, and generally berating her for all her child raising decisions.

5- Grabbing the baby: There is a very NASTY and HURTFUL habit of relatives and friends simply grabbing the infant from itsí motherís arms. No one has the right to do this, not even the grandmother who just wants to hold her grandchild. One has the right to do this. If you want to hold the baby, then ASK!!!!. The same thing goes for grabbing the baby from the stroller or waking the baby up. If the child is asleep, leave him be!!!! ASK the mother if you can hold him. This is also true when it comes to giving the child BACK to his/her mother. If the baby cries and the mothers asks to have him/her back to feed the infant, THEN GIVE THE BABY TO HER. There are numerous instances where a grandparent will refuse to hand the baby back, citing that the baby is NOT hungry or that h/she needs a bottle and not the breast. No one has the right to refuse to hand a child back to the mother.


Please remember, in all this excitement, that it is the woman who cadopts the child who is actually the mother. She and her husband are the ones who have waited and stressed and almost given up hope of ever having a child.. Let them ENJOY this special occasion and do not ruin it for them with selfish desires. Also, do NOT put the husband in an awkward position. Many men are pitted against their parents and their wives. Please do not put a son in this position. Yes, he has to honor his parents. Yes, he loves his parents. However, he loves and honors his wife as well. This child was created by TWO people, with no help and interference the grandparents (on BOTH sides). No man should be put in the position to have to placate his parents at his wifeís expense.

One more thing that we would like to speak about has already been mentioned above. Many a father finds himself torn between his parents and siblings and his spouse. There should be no problem here. When you decide to marry/live with/ start a life with a mate, then you have made a commitment to this person. THEIR desires should count above all others. Especially when it comes to something so precious as a child. Please remember that if you find yourself in the middle it is NOT your spouse who put you there, but your parents/siblings. Your spouse agreed to adopt a child with YOU, making the child yours and hers. She did not go through everything, all the suffering, etc., so that relatives on either side could have a child.

When it comes to childrearing, the ONLY two people who have a say are the actual parents of the child. To demand and insist that others have the right to tell the mother what do to is WRONG. Attempts to try and guilt oneís spouse into placating your parents/siblings it to betray and belittle her. By doing this, you are telling her that she is nothing in your eyes and that her only duty it to bow down to you and your wishes. Please do not use the old worn phrase of honor they parents, because your spouse IS NOW a parent and HER desires with HER child should be honored. Also, please take into account the implications and the results of your actions. If you side with others against the desires of your spouse, it will lead to resentment and lack of respect on her side. By you showing her that you have no respect for her, you are letting her know, intentionally or not, that you have little or o respect for her feelings AND WELL-being.

This article is NOT meant to bash anyone. It is not meant to try and ruin the very miraculous event of the coming of a child into this world. The only thing this article is meant to do is to remind people WHO is important here and to protect the mother who wants to raise HER child.

Motherthing01
Jan 15, 2007, 01:09 PM
Leah, I would add that it is the PARENTS who decide when, where and how that child is told of the adoption. As an adoptee I can assure you that someone else telling the child of its mode of coming into the family can be damaging. Luckily my parents were upfront about it from the beginning. I thought that everybody got their kids by going to court where the judge gave them to you. While I feel strongly that my parents handled it in the healthiest way possible, some don't want their kids to know and that should be followed.

Motherthing

DIL of Scotchzilla
Jan 15, 2007, 06:45 PM
These suggestions are fabulous. Thank you so much - will print this and keep it close by.

I'd also like to add that since most adoptions today tend to have at least a degree of openness in them, that it is no one else's right to question why adoptive parents would "bother" to continue on in a relationship with a birth mom or other birth family member. Some people have told us that they don't think it is right since the bmom has "given up" her baby and therefore should just deal with that fact!! Things have changed so much since the days when adoption was a hushed secret. If DH and I can continue to have bmom or bfamily be parts of our lives (in whatever capacity), then that will be great.

Also, there should be an understanding that extended family (adoptive side) will likely not be welcome at the hospital while bmom is giving birth. If DH and I are lucky enough, we will be there and it will be an incredibly profound and moving time for us, and one of great sadness and intensity for bmom. She will need to have some time with her son or daughter before she places him or her with us, and we would like to have this done in privacy. Of course, this would only be applicable in the case of an open infant consent adoption. :-)

ModCatseye
Apr 29, 2007, 12:31 AM
(This has been reprinted a number of times -- thank you leahg! -- and has been requested to be anchored here. If something hasn't formatted correctly or something, let me know. Catseye)

The Pregnant Mother
By Leahg

Pregnancy and the expectation of the birth of a child brings joy to entire families. Not only the parents to be, but the grandparents and siblings of the expectant couple all wish to share the joy of this miraculous event. A new baby in the family is a wondrous thing.
However, many people seem to forget the pregnant mother in all the excitement. Grandmothers and aunts start planning what they will do and give to the child. Family members sit and discuss who will be at the actual birth and who will get to hold the baby first.

Grandparents run out and buy entire nursery sets and decide color schemes.

Many expectant Grandparents see a grandchild as their opportunity to do all that they could not do, when they, themselves, were parents for the first time. People tend to forget or run over the feelings and desires of the actual mother to be. Some family members even go so far as to accuse the pregnant mother of being selfish. Anytime a pregnant woman will announce HER wishes, it is swept under the rug as raging hormones, and the other family members go on planning HER life. The following are situations that often occur during a pregnancy.

1- Grandparents start to decide what the baby will be named. In fact, many grandparents start to insist and are then angry and hurt that they do not get to name the grandchild. They also believe that they have the right to veto a name that is not appealing to them. As much as this child will a part of your family, you already named your children. This is the sole right of the expectant parents.

2- Decorating the nursery: Many relatives start going all out and buying entire nurseries sets for the new infant. Either that, or they totally disregard the motherís wishes as to color schemes and decorating wishes for the babyís nursery. People, this is NOT your baby, please honor the mother and let her have the joy of decorating HER childís room.

3- There have been various occasions where the Grandparents go out and buy an entire nursery for THEIR home, with the intention of the baby staying over night quite often. There have been, unfortunately, many instances where the Grandparents will keep some of the shower gifts at THEIR home, so that THEY will be able to use them for the baby. Once again, we must iterate, this is NOT the Grandparentsí child. It belongs to the mother and father who conceived him/her. Most mothers want to have their infants/children with THEM at all times. This is NATURAL.

4- The question of who attends the birth. Nowadays, there is a loud voice demanding that things be FAIR. If the pregnant womanís mother is with her at birth, than it is only FAIR that the husbandís mother be there as well. Many families are quite put out when they are told that they cannot be in the birthing room. They call the pregnant woman SELFISH. In this situation, the only people being selfish are those who demand the right to be in the audience, and this includes the father of the child. Many a time a man has berated his spouse, because she does not want his family members in with her while she is in the throws of labor. What people seem to forget, is that while this is a miraculous moment, there is an actual HUMAN BEING going through labor here. Just as everyone has the right to privacy when going under surgery, so does a woman have the right to privacy when she gives birth. While the event is miraculous and beautiful, it is also one of the most undignified positions a woman can find herself in, if she has people staring at her personal parts. No one has the right to demand or be hurt. Not even the father of the child has the right to allow someone in the birthing room, unless the mother gives her consent. Please do not guilt the expectant parents, do not barge in to the room when told not to. NO ONE has the right to do this. Fathers, do NOT tell your spouse that she is being unfair not to allow your parents view the birth. You did not ask them their at conception, do not insist now.

5- Holding the child after birth: While we acknowledge that the desire to hold oneís grandchild, niece, nephew after birth is a very natural and accepted desire, the mother and father have the RIGHT to hold their child first. They even have the right for a bit of quiet time to enjoy this bundle of joy. Please hold your excitement for a bit and let the actual parents bond with THEIR child. The mother has just gone through h#ll, let her enjoy the payment. You will have ample opportunity to hold and coo over the child.

6- Visitation after birth: A woman who has given birth is just like someone who has gone through surgery. She needs time to rest and she needs peace and quiet. She does NOT need tons of relatives coming to visit. She does NOT need the grandparents sitting by her bed 24/7. She certainly does not need rude people who refuse to leave, even when she nurses the infant. Also, as exhausting and hard as the birth is also on the father, his wife needs him WITH HER. He should not be catering to his family or going home to rest and leave his wife alone at the hospital while he entertains relatives. The time for entertainment will soon come. Taking a couple of days off and spending it helping the mother of your child is the RIGHT thing to do.

7- Visiting once the mother and child are home: While it is perfectly understandable that relatives want to see the baby, they must remember the mother. She is tired and needs her rest. She needs alone time with her husband so that they can get used to this new person in their household. The parents need bonding time, before the entire world goes back to its regular orbit. Soon, the father will go back to work and the home must be taken care of. Give them a week. Also, may Grandparents want to come visit and help the new mother. Helping means doing the wash and the dishes. Helping means cooking, cleaning and doing the shopping. Helping does NOT mean sitting around, constantly taking the baby from itsí mother and waiting to be catered to. Helping also does NOT mean telling the mother all the things she is doing wrong, how her baby is starving and should bet the bottle instead of the breast, and generally berating her for all her child raising decisions.

8- Grabbing the baby: There is a very NASTY and HURTFUL habit of relatives and friends simply grabbing the infant from itsí motherís arms. No one has the right to do this, not even the grandmother who just wants to hold her grandchild. One has the right to do this. If you want to hold the baby, then ASK!!!!. The same thing goes for grabbing the baby from the stroller or waking the baby up. If the child is asleep, leave him be!!!! ASK the mother if you can hold him. This is also true when it comes to giving the child BACK to his/her mother. If the baby cries and the mothers asks to have him/her back to feed the infant, THEN GIVE THE BABY TO HER. There are numerous instances where a grandparent will refuse to hand the baby back, citing that the baby is NOT hungry or that h/she needs a bottle and not the breast. No one has the right to refuse to hand a child back to the mother.


Please remember, in all this excitement, that it is the pregnant woman who caries the child for 9 months under her heart. SHE s the one who throws up, feels sick and has to run to the bathroom every ten minutes. The MOTHER is the one who goes through labor/surgery and has the child. SHE and her husband are the only ones who have a say in what goes on during and after the pregnancy. Let them ENJOY this special occasion and do not ruin it for them with selfish desires. Also, do NOT put the husband in an awkward position. Many men are pitted against their parents and their wives. Please do not put a son in this position. Yes, he has to honor his parents. Yes, he loves his parents. However, he loves and honors his wife as well. This child was created by TWO people, with no help and interference the grandparents (on BOTH sides). No man should be put in the position to have to placate his parents at his wifeís expense.

One more thing that we would like to speak about has already been mentioned above. Many a father finds himself torn between his parents and siblings and his spouse. There should be no problem here. When you decide to marry/live with/ start a life with a mate, then you have made a commitment to this person. THEIR desires should count above all others. Especially when it comes to something so precious as a child. Please remember that if you find yourself in the middle it is NOT your spouse who put you there, but your parents/siblings. Your spouse agreed to have YOUR child, yours and hers. She did not agree to be an incubator so that relatives on either side could have a child. When it comes to birth and childrearing, the ONLY two people who have a say are the actual parents of the child. To demand and insist that others have the right to tell the mother what do to is WRONG. To try and guilt oneís spouse into placating your parents/siblings it to betray and belittle her. By doing this, you are telling her that she is nothing in your eyes and that her only duty it to bow down to you and your wishes. Please do not use the old worn phrase of honor they parents, because your spouse IS NOW a parent and HER desires with HER child should be honored. Also, please take into account the implications and the results of your actions. If you side with others against the desires of your spouse, it will lead to resentment and lack of respect on her side. By you showing her that you have no respect for her as the woman who carried your child, and in pain shalt thou bring forth children, you are letting her know, intentionally or not, that you have little or o respect for her feelings AND WELL-being.

This article is NOT meant to bash anyone. It is not meant to try and ruin the very miraculous event of the coming of a child into this world. The only thing this article is meant to do is to remind people WHO is important here and to protect the mother who wants to raise HER child.