My Family

If you are new to this blog and want to read the entire story chronologically - please start in January with "Our Story, Part 1"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

“If she could do that, what about you?”

I haven’t written for the past week because I have been trying to sort out my own feelings with regards to open adoption (debating on even continuing this blog) and also dealing with issues with my children as they explore their own feelings and try to make sense of being “adopted.”

“Even if the child recognizes that the adoptive mother is not the abandoning
mother, she certainly could become one. After all, if it happened once, it could
happen again. Frederick Stone points out that the question, whether spoken or
unspoken, “Why did my own mother not keep me?” is always followed by the
unexpressed but equally anxious thought, ‘If she could do that, what about
you.’” (The Primal Wound)
A few years ago my son Cole and I were out on a walk and he asked me a very interesting question, he said “can someone else adopt me?” I wasn’t quite sure what he meant but then he said “can you give me to someone else?” We talked about this for quite some time and I tried to make him understand that there was nothing that would make me give him up. But he asked “if I was given up once by my own mother (Ruth), couldn’t that happen again?”

Then a couple of days ago my boys and I were all in the kitchen together, my two younger sons were arguing and I said “you guys have got to stop arguing and try to get along with each other.” Then my oldest son said “maybe you should just adopt them to someone else.” I was so surprised/stunned by his comment; I didn’t even have an answer. I had to leave the room and try and compose myself before I told him "that wasn’t an option" ~ but sometimes the reality of adoption is hard.


  1. Is this the right time for you to be reading this book? It seems to be causing you more angst than it is worth right now.

    I know that The Primal Wound is a valuable resource in many ways, and it creates an awareness of the brutal side of adoption, but don't let it plant seeds of fear or doubt either.

  2. It's not adoption that's the problem. It's the relinquishment part.

    Those kids were given away without so much as a background check done on you beforehand.
    You could have been anyone. Thankfully, you were decent people. Can you imagine from those kids' perspective how tough that must be to process?
    Would you give your precious children to people you had only known for a couple of hours?

    Thank God adoption exists so that children can grow up in loving homes.
    Adoption is the good part.

  3. The Primal Wound had a big effect on me and how I tune in to my children.

    We had a cross-triad book discussion about this a few months ago. If you're interested in reading the thoughts of adult adoptees, first parents and adoptive parents, check out the link list that starts here:

    That must have been a stinging moment in your kitchen. It does show that your son felt comfortable to express his feelings with you. Has it come up again?

    My children have said similar things, and I'm never sure how well I handle these conversations.

  4. @Kgerl: I decided to stop reading the book right now; it was helpful but also making me feel like adoptive parents were the enemy and like you said, making me doubt myself as a mother. I did learn a lot from it and will most likely purchase the book because there are things I can learn from it!

    @Anon: I hadn’t thought about the “relinquishment” part as being separate from the adoption, but I believe you are right. In actuality, we did have a background check done before the children were placed with us, before we even met Ruth the first time. We were also thoroughly interviewed and investigated by our attorney (he was a chief prosecuting attorney against child molesters and child abusers at the time). But I understand what you are saying; we had barely met Ruth before the children were placed with us so it was still a huge risk, especially as our adoptions were all handled privately and not through an agency. I agree with your comment “Thank God adoption exists so that children can grow up in loving homes.” I can’t imagine my life without my children; adoption is definitely the “good part” it has blessed my life so much!

    @Lavdender: I have learned a lot from the book, I think I just have to not take things so personally sometimes

    Thanks for the link! A while back I found a Q&A session where Nancy Verrier was asked the question about the “perfect adoption” if there was such a thing and she talked about how being placed as older children, instead of as infants was probably a better scenario (she almost described my children’s adoptions), and it was very helpful.

    The moment in my kitchen was one of those moments I will never forget, but it also lead to a very good discussion… I am very grateful that my children can come to me with their questions and that they have each other to discuss their feelings as they are all biologically related and have the same birth mother. I think if our children know they can trust us and that we will be honest with them they are most likely to feel comfortable discussing things with us. The question hasn’t come up again, but I am sure it will as my two daughters are still too young to be involved in these conversations at this point and they have different birth fathers than my boys. I am excited to read more from your blog! I need a little more positive right now!

  5. Here's my take on it: since I am a religous christian I have an eternal perspective on our sons adoption. We KNOW he was meant to come to our family through heavenly father's plan for US and HIM. When the time comes and my son ask those questions ("if she could do it what about you") I will answer that because I couldn't have children, Heavenly Father picked a brave woman that he KNEW would be strong enough to carry our child and find us. It was the only way to get him to us, adoption is Heavenly Father's way of building our family. and our son is right where he is supposed to be.
    I know it won't answer everything and we will always do our best with our kids to help them understand, but first and foremost I want them to see that God has a hand in EVERYTHING.

  6. Camille, I have enjoyed reading your blog sooo much this afternoon. As an adoptive mother (to two sets of twin girls), a former Ogden resident, a WSU graduate, as someone with endometriosis, and as someone that feels her children were ABSOLUTELY meant to come to her in the way they did & wouldn't change a thing--I feel such a bond with you. Thank you for this blog, and congrats on your beautiful family. Your adoption stories are AMAZING--thank you so much for sharing them. =)