Support Groups - Bio-mom of our adopted daughter made a frustrating post

08-26-2013, 02:20 PM
This isn't weight related at all but needed a place to share.

We are the thrilled adoptive parents of a soon to be 3-year old. She has been placed with us since she was 8 months old and in November will be her 2-year adoption anniversary.

We adopted her through the foster system. Bio-mom was 17 (barely) when she had our daughter, homeless with no family in Texas. Her family in Michigan did not pass a home study. The plan was for reunification for over half a year but she did not follow anything.

She is now 19 or barely 20 with a 6 month old daughter. The bio-dad of that daughter and her are not getting married but still in touch. She doesn't have a high school diploma and no job. How do I know all this? Her facebook (we met her once briefly before she went back to Michigan has no security settings) accout since I know her name. I do admit to checking it every month or two.

Well just came across a few weeks old post. She is lamenting how giving our daughter up was the worst mistake of her life and how she regrets it every single day. Before she used to say how she knows it was the best thing for her daughter.

I guess this is now her emotional state and her emotions and thoughts are her own. But I am just thinking being 19 or 20 with two daughters, no job, no high school education, a boyfriend of one who won't even get married when it is his own daughter only.

Versus 2 college educated people. My wife is going on 20 years as an elementary school teacher who got a degree in child development. I am an environmental scientist. We love her and our friends and family do as well. She is thriving, going to a Montessori school,we give her great nutrition, and all the warmth, support, and love in the world.

I do know that was an emotional post from bio-mom and it is my own choice to go to the Facebook page when I shouldn't. But it is just frustrating that she now sees it as the worst mistake of her life and something she regrets everyday. Especially when earlier she stated some understanding it was the best for her daughter.

Well I know our daughter is much better off and all I can control is being the best dad and husband possible and cannot control whatever bio-mom thinks or feels.

08-26-2013, 02:34 PM
I can absolutely see why that would hurt you. I imagine you want her to be grateful for giving this child and healthy, happy, stable home. And just judging based on what you've said here it sounds like your daughter is 100% better off with you.

BUT I imagine it must be heartbreaking, and sad and devastating to give birth to a baby and then not be able to raise them. I'm guessing she's going through different stages of grief. And maybe her regret is more that she could not give her the life that she deserves.

Not sure if that makes sense but I can really empathize with both of you.

08-26-2013, 02:52 PM
Thanks, that helps. And I understand the regret. I think it was her saying it was the biggest mistake she ever made that was hard to see her write. But if that is how she feels, it is what it is.

And when we did meet her we expressed our graitude to her for the incredibly hard decision she was making. And we did through a set-up email account express that other times as well. So she does know how grateful we are and how we know it was a tough decision.

I guess it is the wording she used at the biggest mistake she ever made. And it did not seem like she was referring to anything leading up to the virtual impossiblity of her keeping her but rather the mistake being giving her up.

08-26-2013, 03:36 PM
What kind of person would she be, if she didn't think it was BOTH the best thing she could have done for her daughter AND the biggest mistake she ever made?

I'm 47 and was adopted as an infant. What I know is that my bio-mom was a very bright college student. My adopted parents were lower-middle class folk. My adopted mother was 19 without a high school diploma (she got her GED when I was about 10) and my father had one semester of college.

It's quite probable that my bio-parents were more educated and wealthier, possibly even older than the parents who adopted me.

Would I have been better off with one or two college-educated bio-parents who weren't ready to be parents?

I have very little interest in meeting my bio-parents. I love my very middle class, partially educated parents. They were young and poor, but ready to be parents. They made mistakes, but did their best, and they were always there.

I would guess that my bio-mom did not envision poorer, younger, less educated parents for me. If she knew, would she be disappointed. Would she think she had made a terrible mistake. Would it feel like less of a mistake if my parents were wealthy and educated, but had loved me a little less?

Whether you're adopted or not, you get the parents you get, and when you give up a child, unless you're a heartless monster, you're going to always wonder and worry about whether anyone else can love your child as much as you would. And you'll never know for sure. How can that not feel like a mistake?

I would recommend that you stop reading bio-mom's facebook page. I think it will only make your life more difficult.

I know open adoptions are now more common and accepted but I think the closed adoptions have many advantages. I think it would have killed my mother if she were to have known that my bio-mom regretted her decision, but it would have been just as traumatic to have proof that she didn't.

I know (only now as an adult) that for our entire childhoods, my mom was terrified that our bio-moms would come looking for my brother and I. If the adoptions had been open, I think her fears would have been magnified.

There are no perfect, happily ever afters with either side of adoption or with raising bio-kids either. Families are always made up of only imperfect people, because that's the only kind of people there are.

08-26-2013, 03:38 PM
As a bio-mom, who was only a smidge older and a tiny bit better off when I gave my son up for adoption, let me try to give you insight.

After I gave up my gave up my son, I did ok, just a bit sad for the first few weeks or so, probably because I tried so hard not to become attached because I had made my decision. I realize now, that was "denial" and that I was going through the stages of grief, but I didn't recognize it then. As time crept by, I began to feel terrible - anger, regret, and most of all overwhelmingly sad. I stopped working, stopped leaving the house, and eventually (a year later) was hospitalized because I was suicidal. After I left the hospital, I started to put my life back together - but for nearly 5 years I burst into tears every year on his birthday, or when I would see a similarly aged child. Even now, nearly 15 years later, I still hide the baby photo book the adoptive parents had sent to me, because I can't stand to think about it, I have to put it in a "do not touch" mental file.

The best way I can explain it, is to me my child has died. True he lives on, but he is another person, and another person's son - he is not my son and not the person who he would be if he grew up with me. The being who would have been my son is gone. I realize it is not exactly the same, but it is a similar hurt and the closest way I have to describe the feeling. Add to that the guilt and self hatred that comes along with knowing that I caused this situation to happen by choice (or by inaction in the case of your son's bio-mom) and you might understand why she might have these feelings of anger and regret. She is grieving and will probably grieve her whole life.

That being said, these feelings don't exist in a vacuum. She probably has other feelings to, like feelings of relief or acknowledgement of the impossibility of her situation at the time. I did, and do. In the muddle of emotions a bio parent can have concerning an surrender/adoption there is hate and love; thankfulness and jealousy; guilt and freedom; great joy and great sadness.

I am not saying my choice or her choice was not the correct one - just that it was an emotionally complex one, and will always be. Accept her regret as a healthy and normal emotion, one of many. Try not to take it personally. I know that is hard, because on your emotional plate is probably the fear that some how this bio mom might try to show up and try to whisk your child away or perhaps the emotional complexities of wondering how your child might feel or view this other person who is a stranger and yet not.

I am glad you can come here and vent. Your feelings and emotions are valid and important too. While this post probably isn't exactly what you were looking for I hope it was insightful as it is a difficult subject for me.

08-26-2013, 03:38 PM
If you have legally adopted this child you are her parents. The bio mom did the best she could as a teen and she needs to stand by her decision and I am sure she made the best decision she could at the time she needs to stand by that decision And you should stay off Facebook as it will only upset you.
PS I am an adopted Mom, my son is grown , now and has no interest in meeting his bio Mom.

08-26-2013, 04:46 PM
Yes of course we legally adopted the child. And for people that are unfamiliar with how foster adoption works, state foster agenices are quite literally, by law, required to seek reunification first. In my experience they try everything possible, giving fith chances, and tenth chances, and 20th chances. During the adoption ceremony presided by a judge and lawyers they make it very clear you now have all the rights AND the obligations of a birth parent. You are legally THE parents.

Then they try to seek relative adoption if the reunifcation is just not going to work out or bio parents relinquish parental rights. Non relative adoption happens 'as a last resort'.

As I said I go to her pages once a month or every two months, she is still bio-mom, but I agree stoping is probably best. Education is only one small factor. She was literally living on the streets...had and has no job. And already another child at 20 or 19.

See if she had expressed that it was BOTH the best and worst thing she ever did then I could have easily been OK with the post. Not that she needs me to be OK in any way. It seemed like she may have had that understanding and feeling at one point but not in that most recent post. But people are not static and you don't always express everything in every post. So I have to accept that I hope she has that understanding or will have it at some point.

08-26-2013, 04:54 PM
Probably having this second baby, and watching it go through all of its firsts, tears a hole in her heart -- realizing everything she missed with her first child. It's possible that she didn't truly realize what she was giving up, until she experienced parenthood with the 2 nd child. As in, you don't know what you don't know.

08-26-2013, 05:42 PM
It sounds like you want her to be either a good, responsible, insightful selfless person who is grateful to you for coming to her (now your) child's rescue - or a horrible, stupid, useless, selfish waste of humanity who doesn't care that she gave up a child.

In both cases, you're the hero and she's either a victim or a villain. She's both and neither.

On one hand, you tell us how messed up she and her entire family is, but then you want her to act and think like someone who is responsible and rational.

It probably isn't going to happen. And if it does, it isn't going to make you feel any better.

The less you can think about HER, the better for your family. Believe me, adopted kids are often almost clairvoyant when it comes to their parents' thoughts and feelings about their bio-parents. And it can affect the child's self-esteem.

Both my brother and I grew up with the impression that we came from very bad places. Even strangers would tell us how lucky we were to be rescued (No sane person tells a kid raised by bio-parents how lucky they are that their mother didn't choose to abort them or give them UP for adoption).

Being an adopted kid can be tough. In the early years, there's always the fear whenever you make your parents angry (and what kid doesn't occasionally) that if you can be given away once, it can happen again. And when you're old enough to understand that it isn't going to happen, you still often feel guilty for ever being an imperfect or ungrateful child, because everyone (and sometimes even your parents) seem to think you "owe" your parents more than other nonadopted kids.

When my parents had my sisters (their biokids) I was 14 and then 16. I wasn't afraid my parents would love their biokids more, but I was relieved when I watched my sisters growing up and saw that they fought with each other and got in the same kind of trouble my brother and I did. It was reassuring to me, in a weird kind of way that my brother and I were normal kids.

I still have very bad memories though of my mother's thoughts regarding our birth mothers. My mother didn't talk to us often about her feelings, but we overheard and intuited a lot. Her anger, fear, and even her gratitude were sometimes palpable. Her conflicted emotions rubbed off on us too. She often didn't know how to feel, and we didn't either.

Around the time my sisters were born and growing up and my younger brother and I were becoming young adults, my mother gradually lost her fear of us being stolen from her. I think because in her mind, we were old enough to resist abduction or find our way to home or help if the worst were to happen.

We lost our fear too. Though my brother had a much harder time with being adopted than I did. He focused more on the being thrown away than on being chosen. I, on the other hand would proudly announce it to strangers, from the time I was four years old.

When our youngest sister was three or four, she declared that she wanted to be 'dopted too, because it meant she was chosen.

Sorry, getting way off my original point. Adoption is complicated, because people are, but the less you think about the bio-mom, the less your daughter will think about her and about being adopted, which I think is good. The important thing is that you're a family, not how you became one.

08-26-2013, 05:58 PM
Kaplods, yeah we probably all wish people were different than they are. Entirely human thing. But I was hoping for some understanding, which she did have at some point into how untenable her situation was. That perhaps it wasn't the biggest mistake she ever least for her daughter if not herself.

I don't think, by far, we 'rescued' our daughter. There were at least 33 other families who expressed interest in her. We ARE extremely grateful. If anything our daughter helped not rescue us exactly but allow us to be parents which we both wanted very much. So we will always be very grateful to bio-mom.

08-26-2013, 07:10 PM
Kaplods, yeah we probably all wish people were different than they are. Entirely human thing. But I was hoping for some understanding, which she did have at some point into how untenable her situation was. That perhaps it wasn't the biggest mistake she ever least for her daughter if not herself.

I don't think, by far, we 'rescued' our daughter. There were at least 33 other families who expressed interest in her. We ARE extremely grateful. If anything our daughter helped not rescue us exactly but allow us to be parents which we both wanted very much. So we will always be very grateful to bio-mom.

My point was only that emotions and feelings get all jumbled up with adoption, by everyone involved.

Remember that she isn't writing her facebook page to you. When I worked as a probation officer, I had a client who wanted to give her two young children up for adoption, because her situation was so desperate, but she didn't feel like she could admit that to anyone. Her family was abusive and as screwed up as she was, but they were her only support and they told her they would kick her out and never speak to her again if she didn't fight to keep her kids.

What she would say to you, may be very different than what she says on her facebook page. I have worked indirectly with both sides of the adoption process, and my master's degree is in developmental psychology. Giving a child up is still very taboo, and felling good about it, is not acceptable. Admitting anything but regret tends to be viewed extremely negatively by others.

This is part of her grieving process and has absolutely nothing to do with you, your daughter, or reality.

Facebook is essentially an online diary. One day, when she's a teenager, your daughter may write "I hate my parents" in her diary or on her facebook page. And she may mean it as she writes it, but that's normal.

And pouring emotion onto a facebook page or in a diary is not confined to teenagers. Even if bio-mother feels understanding and relief more often than regret, she's not going to be expressing those feelings as much, because those feelings are so taboo that she would likely get flamed or shunned by her family.

Again, this has nothing to do with you, and it doesn't matter how biomother feels unless she is going to be a vital part of your daughter's life. If your daughter will see her biomother less than a few times a year (if she's allowed to see her at all) then what she does or doesn't feel isn't important.

It's just not important what she does or doesn't understand, and what she says is even less important.

I can only imagine giving up a child, but I know I would regret it a lot more passionately and often than I would feel good about it, and I would be far more likely to grieve openly on facebook and with friends and family than I would say good things about the adoption and the adoptive family, because most people wouldn't understand and might even attack me for being a heartless b****

I'm not defending her though, because I don't know her. She may be a clueless, selfish, monster.... but none of it matters unless she's going to be an important and frequent part of your child's life.

If she does frequently visit your daughter, then you have to talk about this with this woman. If not, let it go.

08-26-2013, 07:22 PM

08-26-2013, 08:58 PM
This is exactly what I hate about facebook. I'm constantly learning something that I just didn't want to know.

I know it's tempting, but stay away from her page. She's young... she's going to say and do a lot of things that you won't like, but it has nothing to do with you and your happy family.

Please don't put yourself through unnecessary grief by watching this person's posts. Your daughter's life began again (in a sense) when you adopted her. Enjoy being together!

08-26-2013, 10:02 PM
Thanks AwShucks, Mozzy, Kaplods, and everyone. I do just have to stay away, it serves no purpose. And I have to remember she is basically still a teenager and one that from having read her file (something you do once a foster placement turns to an adoptive placement) did not/ does not have an easy life.

08-27-2013, 12:42 AM
I use to be a foster care worker, her post sounds very much like what I'd hear from clients. Sadly many of the people I worked with were no strangers to the system, a few had already had children removed from their home and either custody was given to family members or they were adopted (there is a difference). I cannot count the number of times I'd hear parents lament how they wished they had never given their kid up (even though very few did it willingly) and none would even mention the fact that their kids were obviously so much better where they were. Sadly many of these people just lack insight into their own lives and ability to parent. They can't (or won't) see the reality of the situation. I imagine its painful to acknowledge you are unable to care for your own child much less that someone else is a better parent. She may just not be able to deal with that thought right now. Maybe as she gets older she will, or maybe she won't, who knows.