I could be therapeutic. I have enjoyed coloring at various times in my life – don’t really have time now. I’m not an “angry” adoptee (just the child of two adoptees that found each other). However, this looks like a really fun way to release some emotions.
From LINK>Amazon where this book is available – The creators hope that being able to vent your feelings and thoughts in this Coloring & Journal book helps you along your healing journey.
Why an angry sweary coloring & journal book? Because punching people in the face is frowned upon, and anger isn’t great for your overall mental and physical health, if you hold on to it – so just let it all out !
As an adult adoptee that struggles with the 7 core issues of being adopted (loss, rejection, guilt and shame, grief, identity, intimacy, and mastery/control), I have created this therapeutic coloring book with angry quotes, original sweary coloring illustrations & patterns, journaling prompts and blank doodling pages (extra journal & doodle pages are included at the back).
A beneficial companion to therapy – the coloring pages will help reduce stress and anxiety, promoting mindfulness and reflection as you release your inner most angriest feelings about being adopted, adoption trauma, adoption laws, discrimination, and the adoption industry as a whole.
You don’t have to follow the journaling prompts, you can just write all your thoughts and feelings anywhere you please – this is YOUR healing journey and there are no rules.!
Helpful Tip – Don’t use felt tip markers – it might seep through to the next page. You can use colored pencils or even crayons, if you have them.
PS – I don’t know if the creators or Amazon put those “censored” stickers on the book cover but this was the only illustration I found.
When I was old enough to comprehend the gravity of my truth, my parents sat me down and told me that I had been adopted from China. It was fairly easy, even as a child, to recognize that I did not look like those around me, especially my parents. In fact, I found it quite awesome to be different ― to have come from a country so rich with history and culture.
However, the reality of living in a town with a predominantly white population is that many of its residents ostracize anyone who is different. I tried desperately to fit in with the other kids, but it became clear early on that despite my parents’ whiteness, my Chineseness would always make me an outsider.
Growing up, she didn’t realize the seemingly small acts of aggression she experienced were actually racist or that they would grow into hatred in the future. She writes – The first time I returned to China with my parents, I was 9 years old and longing for a place filled with people who looked like me. I was completely in awe of the country that created me, and this is when I first realized that I needed to embrace being Chinese. This proved nearly impossible. It was obvious that I did not belong to those who lived in China. From the way I dressed to the language that I spoke ― or couldn’t speak ― to them, I was American through and through. I felt like a foreigner in a country that I desperately believed should have felt like home.
She continues – As I grew older, it became more common for adults to ask me how lucky I felt to be adopted from China, and I became resentful at how their questions commodified me. I was adopted from China after being left at a train station and should be grateful for my parents’ generosity ― for the roof they put over my head and the food they put on my plate. My epiphany occurred when I realized that I am allowed to simultaneously love my parents and grieve what I lost. While transracial adoptees may be placed into amazing, loving families, it does not change the fact that their culture was stolen from them.
The second time I returned to China, I was 15 and felt more in touch with my emotions. I wanted to build connections with other adoptees and hear their stories. This trip, which catered to adoptees from the same agency, allowed me to spend time with others who had been taken into white families. Together, we found and created a safe environment for each other where we could talk about our experiences and vent our emotions without fear of judgment.
I held no anger toward my birth mom for giving me up, especially when I understood the state of China and the one-child policy. But the curiosity of knowing about where and who I came from was there, and probably always will be. By the end of the trip, I cannot say that this goal was completely achieved. But while it might sound cliche, we adoptees did find each other, and in some way that was worth more to us than our original goals.
All transracial adoptees deserve to have a place where they can release their emotions and feel a sense of community. While I know not all transracial adoptees will want or be able to return to their country of birth and connect with others who have shared experiences, I hope they can find another way to build a community, perhaps through local groups or online. Being able to share my thoughts, emotions and challenges ― which I worried only I was thinking, feeling and facing ― with people like me has changed my life for the better.
The author, Iris Anderson, is studying biology and psychology at Columbia University and is part of the class of 2026.
Blogger’s Note – being in an all things adoption online community has made all the difference for me as the child of two adoptee parents. I have learned so much and very often, what I learn is translated into these blogs I write almost every day. My only hope is that I help others who have much less experience with adoption understand better what adoptees feel and experience in the lives they lead.
One writes – Was just writing an email to my toddler daughter’s email account (it’s my way of preserving memories in lieu of a baby book) and realized: WOW. I couldn’t believe my birth mother gave up her own flesh and blood as a newborn when I held my daughter for the first time, but I also can’t believe how she’d give up these amazing toddler moments now either. And it’s not like she didn’t know…she had two children of her own already! Just a big F YOU to her. I’m so upset the more children I have, the more I watch them grow. I don’t understand it. I never will. And as much as I guess I love her? I’m still angry. And hurt. Even after all the conversations and heart to hearts. It is all just words. She still gave up her own baby. Later, she adds – I was an affair baby. So I was adopted simply because of who my father was. She had the resources (financially) to keep me. She just didn’t want the shame. If my birth mother had given me up due to lack of resources, I think I would feel much differently. Because that is a system problem, and a society problem. Not so much a personal one.
Another writes – I was pretty “healed” from my adoption trauma until I had my son. It ripped open wounds I forgot I had and gave me a WHOLE new perspective at just how f*cked up both of my moms were. We deserved better and I just remind myself all the time that my baby (possibly babies in the future) will NEVER know that kind of pain.
Yet another – My birth mom kept me for 4 months then put me up for adoption after she found out she was pregnant again. She went on to have and raise 4 children total including the one she was carrying when I was surrendered. I have 5 kids myself and it’s very hard to understand, as a mother.
And this – I know that my birthmother was placed under incredible pressure and everyone told her that if she loved me, she would relinquish me. And, also told her they would put her out on the street if she did not. She did not have access to other voices or assistance. She said no one told her that her body would ache for me and she would spend her life yearning for me. When I see comments from adoptees or former foster care youth that have experienced birthmothers who did not seem to grieve their loss, I feel terrible.
One notes – when we finally got to the point that I could have this talk with my mother, this is the same sentiment she shared. She had a lot of problems and wasn’t much of a mother when I was born. She thought I was getting a better home and a better life. The sadness in her voice when she realized the trauma I endured was… a lot to handle.
And this – I bought into the whole narrative of being grateful for being rescued. I was sure I didn’t even care to know my mother. Then I became one myself. I think that’s the first time it hit me. Whether she was anything special or not, I WAS. I was a precious new life. I should have been protected. I should have been shielded. I should have been wanted enough to cause whatever action was necessary to keep me. I wasn’t. And that’s HER loss… but it was my loss too.
Another – Having my own kids made me so angry about being given up voluntarily and utterly denied the comfort and co-regulation that I needed as a baby and that I saw my kids needing (and of course receiving from me). My birth mother had her reasons, and I quite like her, but ALSO on behalf of tiny, baby me: f- her. Having reasons doesn’t erase the trauma she caused.
One adopted at 7 hours old in a closed adoption writes – My birth mother already had a 2 year old, and gave me up. Then, she had 3 other kids after me. The reasons she gave me will Never. Be. Enough. Being a mom with two kids and seeing all the milestones etc…it just makes me confused and angry all over again, when I think about it. I still have trauma, I’m in counseling but I will never get over it or the feelings, and I will always have unanswered questions because the answers won’t be good enough.
From a mother who gave up her child – I did not know at all the trauma that it would cause my child. There were so many people in my ear telling me how beautiful adoption is and how I’m doing the “right thing” for my daughter. If I would have known then, what I know now, I would have NEVER put my child through that. I was conditioned to believe (based on my own shame and the false positivity all around me) that I was not worthy of caring for my baby. It pains me because it was never about her not being enough, but thinking I wasn’t. There is not a second that goes by where I am not wishing I was having those moments with her and I am mad that I robbed myself and mostly her of that.
Another echoed this – I believed that my son would hate me for keeping him instead of placing him. I believed that by placing him I was doing the very best for him because he would have stability and 2 parents. I never thought that anything bad would happen as a result of placing him. Of course, so many years later, I realized that I could have kept him and we would have been fine. But in 1973, at age 18, I didn’t know.
A woman writes – I have a sister in law who arrived here from an international adoption (and her adopted parents still deny any trauma). They adopted her at 18 months, changed her name and brought her to the US. When we had our own son and he was around that age, it made it so hard to believe that someone thought it was okay to just pretend like the first 18 months didn’t exist. I try to be a very trauma informed person, but having my own child and then thinking about adoption – opened my eyes so much more than anything.
One mother shares – I seriously considered placing my third child for adoption…. Not because I didn’t love him, but it was an unplanned pregnancy and I was already suffering postnatal depression and feeling so incredibly inadequate as a mother to the two toddlers I had; I loved him so fiercely and deeply that I desperately wanted a better mother for him than I believed I was capable of being. At the time, I didn’t really know anything about the trauma it would have caused him.
Finally, this perspective from someone in the field – I have worked with vulnerable children for over twenty years. I have worked with many women who have decided to relinquish their children. This discussion makes things seem like it is an easy decision for a birth mother and there are so many factors involved for each situation. I can’t ever stand in someone else’s shoes and judge the choice that is made. I have spent years with young children / teenagers and young adults in orphanage care (that was in an Asian country) and have tried to be a support to them as they have expressed their anger and hurt, watched them struggle as they have tried to figure out their whys and their who am I questions. My heart aches for these women, it aches for these children. The system is so broken and I don’t have any answers but I don’t want to make assumptions about birth mothers either. Adoption is messy. The world likes to paint this beautiful picture about adoption that is not reality.
From LINK>The Huffington Post by Marie Holmes – There are some key differences between the experiences of adopted and donor-conceived kids, but one thing remains the same: They should know about their origins.
For many people today, a surprise DNA test result opens the door to their true identity. The outcome can reroute their lives around uncovering of their family’s secrets. Many become advocates for people having full access to their genetic histories. I certainly believe that is important. From experience, I know that my genetic origins did matter greatly to me.
One woman describes finding out that her parents’ story, the story she’d bent herself into a pretzel to continue to believe, was a fabrication. The years that followed were difficult. “I went through a really serious time of grief and just identity crisis.” For a time, she didn’t speak to her parents.
The current consensus among professionals in the related fields is that it is best for children to know their whole story from the very beginning. That has been the perspective for me and my husband with our donor egg conceived sons. A communicative openness is best between parents and their children. Always we have believed in as much openness as our children encourage. We did not made a big deal of it, just a matter of fact-ness on occasion when called for.
And yet, secrecy is still an issue. Advocates today recommend a ban on anonymity. In my mom’s group, almost 20 years ago, we split into “tell and don’t tell” members. No one anticipated the inexpensive availability of DNA matching sites like Ancestry and 23 and Me. Parents who have not yet disclosed to a child that they were donor-conceived, are encouraged by advocates not to wait another moment. Ideally, children would never remember a time before they knew they were donor-conceived, because parents would speak about it frequently and openly. There is no minimum age a child needs to reach in order to hear the story of their origins. It is the right thing to do for their children and parents owe this truth-telling to themselves. Secrets do have a tendency to out themselves.
Unfortunately, sperm banks, egg donation agencies and other providers of third-party reproduction continue to remain silent on the issue of a donor-conceived person’s right to information about their origins. To be honest, in the past parents were usually not given any information about their donor, and donors weren’t told how many children were born as a result of their donations. Today, queer couples and mothers who are single by choice make up a majority of any sperm banks’ customers. These families tend to have a different attitude toward their sperm donors’ anonymity, with many specifically search in advance for “willing-to-be-known” or “identity release” donors who agree to allow their children to contact them once they turn 18.
To be certain, there are crucial differences in the experiences of adoptees and donor-conceived people. The latter generally grow up knowing one biological parent. Adoptees must also reckon with deeply emotional questions regarding why their family gave them up for adoption. Donor-conceived people do not have that challenge. A recent study published in the journal Developmental Psychology surveyed 65 families formed via third-party reproduction (sperm, egg or embryo donation) and compared them with 52 families who had not used assisted reproduction. The children were 20 years old at the time they completed the survey. Researchers found “no differences between assisted reproduction and unassisted conception families in mothers’ or young adults’ psychological well-being, or the quality of family relationships.” I find this good news but also my own experience.
It’s worth noting that in families where the children were informed about the donor by age 7, they were less likely to have negative relationships with their mothers, and the mothers themselves showed lower levels of anxiety and depression. The study’s authors say their findings “suggest that the absence of a biological connection between children and their parents in assisted reproduction families does not interfere with the development of positive mother–child relationships or (the children’s) psychological adjustment in adulthood.” With donor conception, an intentionality on the parents’ part appears to make them feel more responsible about telling their children the full story of their creation. So, are not adoptive parents also intentional about their choice ? I wonder. As my sons matured, we did 23 and Me, first for their father and then, for each of our boys. This allowed us the perfect opportunity to fully explain the reasons behind our choice. Their donor also did 23 and Me and they have the ability to privately contact her there should they wish to. They have had some contact with their donor, though years have passed since. They are aware she has other children and I show them photos from Facebook so they have some idea.
Sharing some thoughts from an article in The Guardian – LINK>Not being able to have a baby was devastating – then I found people who embraced a childfree life by Helen Pidd. Adoptees in my all things adoption community often suggest that couples struggling with infertility accept remaining childless rather than adopting someone else’s baby and inflicting trauma on that child.
The author writes that her three rounds of IVF produced 24 eggs and six decent embryos, none of which resulted in a baby. Therefore, they decided to stop trying. Not everyone seemed to respect their decision. Imagining they were being helpful, they would share stories about their friends who had succeeded on the seventh try or had gone down the egg-donation route.
She tells the story of Mia and Laura, who are married but had decided early on not to have children – they just didn’t feel that children were the key to a meaningful and worthwhile existence and didn’t fancy the day-to-day drudgery of parenting. There’s a freedom that comes from opting out of motherhood before you hit your 30s. She notes – “Having children is a good way of not having to think about what you really want from your life. Without children, you are responsible for your own destiny.”
She describes why she started to seek out others without children. For one, she preferred the optimism of the childfree-by-choice community over the grief of those suffering from their infertility. Sometimes, there is a distinction defined, between the childfree and people coping with infertility, referring to them to as “childless”. Adding “less” to most words makes them negative: hopeless, meaningless, useless. She came to understand that she personally preferred “childfree”, because she did not want to be defined by what she didn’t have.
There is actually a community for such people – LINK>”We Are Childfree.” They are a community-supported storytelling project that celebrates childfree people, explores their experiences, and dispels the myths the world holds about childfree people. They offer a global community for anyone embracing a childfree life, whether by choice, by circumstance, or for those who are just curious. Through their efforts, they are committed to fighting stereotypes and strict gender roles; creating a world in which everyone enjoys equality, bodily autonomy, and is empowered to make their own choices, to live authentically. We Are Childfree began in 2017 as a photographic project to celebrate women who had chosen not to be mothers.
It is really medicine for the soul to know it’s OK. To accept that one’s life is supposed to go this different way. They celebrate with the first names of four childfree legends: “Jen & Betty & Dolly & Oprah” – Jennifer Aniston, Betty White, Dolly Parton and Oprah Winfrey. It is true that only those who have tried IVF and still failed to have children can honestly understand how those who have feel or think.
Even so, all the evidence suggests that as women become better educated and financially independent, they choose to have fewer children. What feels new is that women are now talking about this decision and refusing to apologize or be pitied for it. One comedian famously is very deliberate. Chelsea Handler rejects the idea that if you don’t have children you have to use all of your extra free time productively.
Ruby Warrington, author of Women Without Kids, wonders, “What if more women having more time, energy and other resources at our disposal means more women leaders in business, politics, and the arts?” It could potentially lead to a more restorative, collaborative way of running the world. On this Earth Day, 2023, it is worth considering.
My adoptee father was never interested in learning about his origins. I get it. Sometimes, DNA testing brings an uncomfortable truth to light, as it did for this woman. She shares her story at Right to Know >LINK Gloria Taylor.
Gloria writes that “In 2019 I finally got the nerve to confront my then 89 year old mother when she came to visit from California. Little did I know when I asked the question that I would experience another shock. It turned out the man I believed to be my biological father was instead my uncle. His younger brother was my BF. My mother met him while working at a State Mental Hospital where he was a patient. All that played over and over in my head was I was conceived in a mental hospital. I felt like I was trapped in someone else’s nightmare.”
“I felt sick, and I remember thinking not my perfect mother. Suddenly the memories of my childhood came rushing in; never feeling like I belonged, overwhelming sadness, not looking like anyone in my family, and always feeling something was off about me. I was crushed. I was surprised to learn I am 52% European, 40% African (with 9 % being Afro Caribbean), 5% Asian, and 3 % Hispanic. I was shocked to learn of the Asian, Caribbean, and Hispanic heritage.”
She further shares – “I have always had this self loathing destructive side. I would look in the mirror and think how ugly I am. I often thought about suicide, and I would cut my arms to relieve the pressure in my head. I still struggle with finding something good about myself. I have always self identified as black, although it was always apparent in my family growing up we were of mixed ethnicity. My maternal grandmother was also multiracial. Discovering my ethnicity breakdown, led me down a another road of emotional turmoil. I’m still trying to figure out where I ethnically fit. At this point in time I choose to identify as mixed.”
She ends her essay with this – “I am no longer angry, and have forgiven my mother. I understand there are things that happened in her life that probably led her down this road. I think sometimes we forget our parents are human too. I still can’t seem to find my place in either family, and feel I exist in a space somewhere between both worlds. I grieve for all that was lost, but am hopeful that in time I will find my place.”
A young girl, age 4, lost her mother to suicide at a very young age and her father is unknown. The mother was this woman’s husband’s sister. They had been living with her grandparents but they didn’t refer to the woman as her mother but rather as her auntie. It was selfish of the grandparents not to be honest with her. Her mom died and of course, that is terribly terribly sad. The grandparents are now both in their 70s. The woman’s question was whether adoption or guardianship would be best. The answer was adoption would alter her birth certificate, removing her mother, in effect erasing her. Guardianship would allow the child to stay with them but preserve her mom’s role as that.
A woman with a similar experience shared – You should be talking about her mom often. Father, I’d try to find him if at all possible. You should also have plenty of pictures of mom and her and just mom in your home, that’s all she has left of her mother that she lost so young.
I adopted 2 children whose mother committed suicide. We talked immediately. They were older, and had more understanding but I wouldn’t have changed my approach had they been younger. The truth hurts whether they find out young or older. The conversations started with setting them down, just the 3 of us and saying. In this case, there was already a therapist on board. “Mrs.___ (therapist) just called and told me that your mom died yesterday.” The tears came immediately, and I held them until one asked how she died and what happened.” I said, Mrs.___ said that she K— herself.” They asked “why did she do that?” And I said “your mom was really sad, and her heart was hurting really badly and she did not want to hurt anymore. Your mom did not have anyone to help her when she was feeling bad, and she probably did not think things would ever get better. Sometimes people hurt themselves when they are hurting and don’t know what else to do. Sometimes they just don’t want to live anymore. And sadly, that is how your mom felt.” The youngest said “I hurt like that sometimes too, but I talk to Mrs ___ and you. I guess mama didn’t have anyone to talk to.” I said no, she probably didn’t and I wish she would have. The oldest said “so we won’t ever see her again huh?” I said, not alive, but we will go to her funeral, and you may get to see her in the casket if you want to. She will look like she’s sleeping and Me and Mrs__ will be there to help you and talk to you.”
This conversation is ongoing years later and evolves as it needs to, to help them understand exactly what happened. Obviously, your conversation will look differently because her mom died a few years ago, but she can understand more than you think, and even if she doesn’t understand, she will someday and the conversation is still important.
Every person will need a different approach when discussing tragedy. Not every child will have the same experience with grief or loss. One thing for sure, children who have already experienced trauma have sometimes already seen the worst of the worst. So while the news of their mom’s death was tragic, and heart breaking, it wasn’t a huge surprise. It wasn’t their first discussion regarding suicide or self harm. They had been in therapy and had already talked about many things involved in their mom’s suicide. While they hadn’t seen her in a year, she often talked in visits about being lonely, alone, and sad. I would never answer any questions with “I’ll tell you when you’re a bit older”. If she asks the question, then she’s old enough to take in the answer on her level.
Don’t wait to talk about her mom and the circumstances of her joining your family. Keep it age-appropriate, but honor her mother, and speak about her positively at random times to show her through action and words that it’s perfectly fine for her to bring her up. Make photos and other mementos accessible. With her being so young, she’s not likely to have many clear memories of her mother. If you can share your own happy memories, she will be able to have a deeper picture of the person her mom was.
Deliberately removing mothers cannot possibly be called progress. It is a denial of biological reality and human need. Every child has a mother: the woman who was ‘home’ for nine months, delivered them into this world, and (in most cases) fed them from her own body. A mother and her baby share an intimate and irreplaceable bond–even before the child is born. Beyond birth and breastfeeding, mothers continue to relate to their children in a unique way.
When we delete mothers from our vocabulary and from children’s lives, we are sending the message that there’s nothing special about mothers – any adult will do. But the reality is that every human being needs and longs for their genetic mother. Babies spend nine months preparing to meet the mother they already know and share a relationship with. After birth, mother-infant bonding is of the utmost importance for a child’s healthy development.
No relation to me, simply illustrating family relationships carved into grave stones.
I often walked cemeteries with my husband back in the day before our oldest son was born looking for relations of his. His family surname is not common and many of them settled within a close geographic range. I didn’t know anything about my own ancestors at the time. I had not considered how often people are defined for all eternity simply by their relationships to their family members. Their identity encapsulated and literally carved in stone. Cemeteries were important then and also when I started looking for the graves of my own genetic family members, as I learned about my origins (something my adoptee parents didn’t even know when they died at 78 and 80 years old).
How is it that so many people can’t understand why these relationships might be meaningful to adoptees ? Why they might want to search for these, why their absence might be something they grieve. It is no wonder we care about our own bloodline or ancestral family. That facet of life has been ingrained into every culture as being important throughout time. Virtually all cultures revere ancestors as I do now that I know who mine were. People will even pay a lot of money to ship bodies home for burial.
When I visited the graves of my mom’s genetic family members (all of them already deceased), I sat there at their stone markers and talked to them, poured my heart out, and told them who I was and how I was related to them. The only way I will ever have to talk to any of them.
My maternal grandfather’s grave stone in Pine Bluff Arkansas (the first one I found).
My mom’s half-sister, also in the same Pine Bluff cemetery (the information on it also led me to my cousin).
My maternal grandmother, Lizzie Lou, at Bethany Cemetery in Eads Tennessee.
I have yet to visit the graves on my dad’s side as they are further away in Arizona and California. Maybe someday, I will.
I saw this recommended in my all things adoption group – “For adoptive parents: my adopted daughter asked me to read this recently. It has been really helpful to me, but also to our relationship. It gives us a framework for talking about how she feels and what she needs from me. I’ve learned so much, but there’s still so much to learn.”
Found this review in an interesting place – LINK>”nightlight Christian Adoptions.” Not a place I would normally think to look for any adoption insights. The review says that the author is an adoptee herself as well as a speaker and adoption trainer. She has written a book specifically about what adopted kids wished their parents knew. This list will give you amazing insights – whether you are an adoptive parent, an adoptee, or are considering adoption … and these insights can also apply to kids in the foster care system and foster parents.
Here’s the list of the 20 things –
1. I suffered a profound loss before I was adopted. You are not responsible. 2. I need to be taught that I have special needs arising from adoption loss, of which I need not be ashamed. 3. If I don’t grieve my loss, my ability to receive love from you and others will be hindered. 4. My unresolved grief may surface in anger toward you. 5. I need your help in grieving my loss. Teach me how to get in touch with my feelings about my adoption and then validate them. 6. Just because I don’t talk about my birth family doesn’t mean I don’t think about them. 7. I want you to take the initiative in opening conversations about my birth family. 8. I need to know the truth about my conception, birth, and family history, no matter how painful the details may be. 9. I’m afraid I was “given away” by my birth mother because I was a bad baby. I need you to help me dump my toxic shame. 10. I am afraid you will abandon me. 11. I may appear more “whole” than I actually am. I need your help to uncover the parts of myself that I keep hidden so I can integrate all the elements of my identity. 12. I need to gain a sense of personal power. 13. Please don’t say that I look or act just like you. I need you to acknowledge and celebrate our differences. 14. Let me be my own person, but don’t let me cut myself off from you. 15. Please respect my privacy regarding my adoption. Don’t tell other people without my consent. 16. Birthdays may be difficult for me. 17. Not knowing my full medical history can be distressing for me. 18. I am afraid I will be too much for you to handle. 19. When I act out my fears in obnoxious ways, please hang in there with me and respond wisely. 20. Even if I decide to search for my birth family, I will always want you to be my parents.
Not everyone (especially adoptees) are fans – “Eldridge is not an ally of adopted people! On one of her disturbing Facebook pages, she regularly deletes comments by adoptees, and blocks them if they dare to point out the nonsense she’s been sharing. I can see why adoptive parents would like her content.
We have had custody of my great nephew since he was 4months, adopted at 4 years. He is now 7. His mom (my niece) comes in and out of our lives and they have a good, but not always consistent, relationship. This week she has been in a horrific car accident and has significant injuries. Currently she is alive but critical. Her partner died.
My question specifically for adoptees. Would you have wanted to see your mother in the hospital like this? My wife thinks it would be too traumatic and upsetting for him. I think he is old enough to remember her and (though I agree would likely be traumatic) would regret not having a chance to see her. We hope this isn’t goodbye but it is very unstable and I want to make a decision before we no longer have a choice.
Reality – You need to tell him, brace him for how bad it is AND TAKE HIM. HE MAY BE WHAT GIVES HER THE FIGHT TO COME THROUGH THIS.
On the other hand – let him make the decision. It is HIS life. HOWEVER, if she is mangled, disfigured and doesn’t look recognizable to the person he knows, then I would caution against it or wait for an open casket. That way she can still look like the person he knows. As an adoptee, I wouldn’t want to see a disfigured/unrecognizable version of her. I’d want to remember her as she was in my life. There’s no need to add more trauma to his history.
A trusted voice affirms – you know the right answer. Tell him what happened and that you will take him to his mother immediately. Yes, it will be upsetting, but you can’t rewind life. If she passes, regret and guilt can be even harder. Just before you get there, prep him for what to expect – machines, wires etc.
An adoptee adds – There are no do-overs in life, only I wish I hads… do not over protect them both to the point of not allowing him to live his own truth, bear his own sadness and deal with grief in whatever way he must, but also to have whatever memory he could have, so that he has proper closure, if that indeed is what happens in the end.
And I didn’t know about these support persons but glad I do now – LINK>Certified Child Life Specialists are educated and clinically trained in the developmental impact of illness and injury. Their role helps improve patient and family care, satisfaction, and overall experience.
From direct life experience – I lost my mom at age 7, due to injuries she suffered in a car accident. That resulted in my being raised under legal guardianship. I still would have given anything to have been able to see her/say goodbye.