Our daughters are growing up knowing they’re adopted. Our eldest has known for a few years that she didn’t grow in my tummy. She knows she has two mummies and that she grew in her tummy mummy’s tummy and in my heart. We started her life story work when she was about two and a half and I’ve written three blogs about how it went. You can read them here Life story book; Part Two and this third one which I wrote earlier this year.
My hope for our children is that they grow up understanding and embracing their history. I want them to feel safe and secure with us but also to have a relationship with their birth family. Helping them to feel they can talk to us about everything will definitely help.
Growing up knowing about their birth history isn’t going to mean it’s plain sailing. It’s going to be a difficult process. I can’t imagine how they’ll feel when they learn about their birth mum and her circumstances. Will they think the court made the right decision saying they couldn’t live with her?
I hope as they get older and understand more, they’ll let us help them work through their feelings. And that they’ll let us support them if they feel they need more specialist help.
Adoptee support is something that our children may feel they need as they get older. I therefore want to highlight some of the resources that are available as I certainly wasn’t aware of what’s out there. Again, a good place to start is PAC-UK. This article last week highlighted the services they provide to birth parents.
PAC-UK offers a wide range of services for adoptees in London and Leeds. They provide an advice line, face to face and telephone counselling. They also provide help to find adoption records and act as intermediaries to contact birth families. I think this is the part that worries me the most. We live in an age of social media and I know that in a few clicks, my children will be able to find some if not all of their birth family. My hope is that we can do it in a managed and supported way so that it has the best chance of succeeding.
Full details of all of the services PAC-UK provide for adults adopted as children can be found here. If you live in Yorkshire and Humber, Adopteens is a brilliant resource for anyone with adopted children aged 11 to 18. I’m hoping there’s something like this available in our area.
Another great resource for adopters is reading adoptee stories. They are an excellent way for us to learn and understand what our children need from us. How to be adopted has a lot of thought provoking posts and is an excellent place to start. Claire’s interview in Grazia Magazine is a must read for adoptive parents. It brought home to me the complexities of emotions our children are going to have to deal with, particularly if they decide to become parents.
If you’re an adoptee and have used an excellent support service or resource, let me know about it so I can share it with everyone.