Sharing - adoption 24 yrs later

Avatar for nmillerhhi
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sharing - adoption 24 yrs later
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 3:51am

I am the proud mother of a young man who just celebrated his 24th birthday. Actually, he was born on my birthday and we went to see Predator together. During a scary part, he reached over and held my hand. I have raised him alone since he was 5.

I was at the hospital when he was born. It was a privately handled adoption and his birth mom was the niece of a friend. I was lucky. I was able to hold him less than 5 minutes after birth.

I thought I would share some of the moments of our lives together when his adoption was dealt with and how we did it.

When I went to bring him home at 3 days old, I had to dress him in front of an entire room filled with lawyers, paralegals, nurses, social workers, etc. I had bought him a cute outfit but the buttons were unbelievably tiny and I was afraid if I couldn't get him dressed they would say no.

When I first brought him home, I was terrified to take him out in public. What if she saw us and wanted him back because he was so beautiful? Even after our court hearing and the adoption was final, I was still afraid for a long time.

When he first made a comment about growing in my tummy, I explained that I couldn't grow him in my tummy so I prayed to God to find someone to grow him for me. That woman was his birth mother but I was his mommy and I was so thankful I had him. One day he was coloring and looked up and reminded me of that story. He grinned and said "we sure were lucky weren't we mom?

Of course, there were the expected times when I got the "you aren't my real mom". I expected that. It will happen more than once and you shouldn't feel rejected because of it. They are just working things out in their heads.

When he was 12, he met his birth mother and her family. Unfortunately, the meeting didn't go as well as I had hoped. My DS has emotional difficulties related to prenatal care. His birth mother would not follow the rules that were set up for the meeting to keep it healthy. My DS ended up acting out at school and home for awhile after that so I had to end the meetings.

On his 18th birthday, I gave him the contact information for his birth family (siblings, birth mother and birth grandparents). His birth mother doesn't really have much interest in a relationship with him other than an occasional phone call. He has tried to get her to let him move in with her but she doesn't want his siblings there either. He does have a continuing relationship with a couple of his siblings. In fact, I have a close relationship with his oldest sister whose little girl calls me Grandma.

There are still times he gets angry with me and says I'm not his mom. But those are getting rarer. I think it was more a late teen boy separating from his mom. They have to do that.

The relationship between an adoptive parent and child are almost the same as between a birth parent and child. There are times when you have to protect your child if the birth parent is not in a healthy mental place. (I used a family therapist to moderate the meetings so I could stay out of that.)

There are things I will never tell my DS about his birth mom. He doesn't need to know she was a stripper/prostitute, for example. I just told him she was young and couldn't support him so she loved him enough to find someone who could. Interestingly enough, he was 21 before he ever asked about a birth father.

We've had ups and downs, like any family. Now I look at this strong, handsome young man and my heart swells with pride to have been in his life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-13-2002
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 12:58pm
Hi and Welcome!

Thanks for sharing your story.

Avatar for nmillerhhi
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Thu, 08-05-2010 - 1:09pm
I thought it might help new and prospective parents to hear from a long time adoptive mom.