13
   

So Mo is going to meet his father....

 
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 10:28 am
@ossobuco,
Thanks, osso. I need all the support I can get!

It IS about all of us. It WILL change things for all of us.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 10:36 am
@ehBeth,
When Oregon first opened all of their adoption records a friend of mine and her sister contacted their first moms. For one it was great, she said "I've been waiting for you to call!", for the other it was awful, a "you're the shame I've had to live my life hiding and I won't see you ever".

So, yeah, it really can go either way. I think we're lucky in that there has always been some contact with the birth families and nothing was ever a secret from Mo.

Your name change story reminds me so much of when our adoption was finalized -- Mo changed his name and changed his name again -- about once a month for several months, until he landed on one that stuck. He uses that almost exclusively now even though it has never been legally changed. We kept his father's surname as his middle name.

I think adopted kids really struggle with identity. The judge in your friend's case was a wise wo/man.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 10:48 am
@dlowan,
What we have always told Mo, and I have shared this with Aunt, is that his parents were young and they didn't have any real family support and they were having a hard time taking care of themselves so that made it hard for them to take care of you. They loved him and they knew we loved him so they thought it best if he stayed with us.

My biggest concern, re: his intentions, is to not make promises that he might not be able to keep. Really, just don't promise anything. Ever.

I imagine the emotional impact on him will be huge. He's gone on a built a life in another (nearby) town and most people probably don't know he ever had a kid. He doesn't strike me as the type that would have ever divulged that information. He has a lot to deal with and I need to be sympathetic to that, I think.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 10:57 am
@Linkat,
Mo really wears his heart on his sleeve and this worries me. He thinks he's strong enough to deal with this but I'm not so sure he's ready for all the feelings that might come up (I'm not sure Mr. B and I are either, to be honest, and we're both fully grown).

Aunt told Mo it would probably be this summer before they could meet -- which is what I asked for, so Mo wouldn't have this drama play out at school. I think his school friends are egging this on, and that worries me too.
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 05:03 pm
@boomerang,
Sounds like dad is ready. I would add what ehBeth suggested. You meet dad first to survey his frame of mind. Good for you for taking in what sounds like a good son.Congratulations. As you and I know, kids aren't easy. But they are worth it.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 05:57 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
He's a fabulous monster! I marvel at him every day. He really is a great kid. We are so lucky that he fell into our lives.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 08:21 pm
@boomerang,
I think he is pretty damn lucky he did, too!
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  4  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 09:47 pm
Since this is not the birth father's idea, I agree. You and hubby meet with him first to get a sense of how he feels about meeting a child he thought was not going to be in his life, nor did he bother to make that happen. This man may want nothing to do with this whole thing. He may want to. Who knows? But first, you and husband find out.

One recommendation I would have is to agree what to call him. Ask him what he wants to be called - certainly not Dad, since he has not been one. How about his first name?

You need to know that adopted children have this fantasy of reuniting with their real parents. A kind of closure thing.

I don't want to see Mo hurt in all this. That's why a pre-screening would help. If he does not want to see Mo, you will need to help him deal with that, too.


hawkeye10
 
  4  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 11:07 pm
@dlowan,
Quote:
I'd also be wanting to get some idea of what his intentions are.....does he imagine regular contact with Mo, for instance/


Yes, and there should be ground rules agreed to, for instance that all contact stops if it is negatively impacting MO, until he gets to be a certain age (16?). You are his parents, you are responsible for his best interests, even when that runs counter to what he wants, at least for a little while longer. Bio dad should know up front where he stands.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 11:18 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
. I think his school friends are egging this on, and that worries me too.
Maybe some fantasy that this is going to net Mo a spare dad....Ya, that would concern me, both because he is likely to be disappointed and because you dont need the trauma that this would likely cause in your family if it did happen. Lose-lose.
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Wed 9 Apr, 2014 11:32 pm
@boomerang,
And Mo is so lucky he fell into yours, Boomer. I wish every kid could have parents like you two seem to be.

Sounds like Punkey ain't no sluff either.
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2014 10:07 am
@PUNKEY,
You're right. We don't know.

But from my reading (and I read a lot), many birth parents desperately want to make contact but don't out of respect for the adoptive parents, concerns about how the child will react, and fear of rejection. I don't think it's as simple as "he didn't make this happen".

What to call him.... That is a concern. We've always called him "other dad" but Mo said something the other day about his "real dad" and we had a long talk about what makes a dad real. Mr. B is his real dad. The "real dad" think is one of the reasons I think this is coming up at school. Mo has never used that term before.

I do know that adopted kids have fantasies about reuniting. Luckily, Mo has always been in contact with several members of his birth family and I think that puts him in a little better place for all of this. There is curiosity, but no big mystery.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2014 10:18 am
@hawkeye10,
Mr. B calls those spare parents, the ones that don't do the dirty, daily work of parenting, "glamour parents". He's had some experience with this himself. They certainly can be problematic. Mr. B still has issues about this but I think he can be a real asset in helping Mo deal with it, just because he knows how it feels.

And yes, you're right, once this door is opened it will be very hard to close so ground rules need to be in place. We had to close the door on one set of bio-grandparents before, for years, before we slowly and gradually let it reopen. It was hard, but necessary. I can do that again if I need to but it will be much harder now that Mo is older.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2014 10:20 am
@JTT,
Thank you!

I agree that Punkey knows her stuff.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  10  
Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2014 07:05 pm
@boomerang,
Haven't read any other response.

I'm an adopted parent as well.

My oldest son came to us when he was four months old. In those days you could still adopt through a county agency. The rules though were that you didn't get to know anything about the birth parents.

My son's foster mother did, however, grace us with a number of photos of him from the time of his birth to the time she had to give him up. Among those phtos were a few taken at his birth upon which was written the Birth Mother's last name. So...we figured out who his Birth Mother was,

We decided that rather than ever making it some momentous occassion when we announed he was adopted that we would try and make it a matter of fact.

When my wife became pregnant with our daughter, my son asked if he to had been in Mommy's belly. We explained, as matter of factly as we could, that no he wasn't but we got to pick him to be our child.

It's never been an issue (as far as we know) and my wife asked him a number of times since he was a teenager (he's now 32) if he wanted us to help him find his birth parents. His answer was always no.

Who knows how it has affected him. but if it has it's nothing which one could easily attribute to his birth status. So, I think we had the right idea. Whether or not it would work for everyone is far beyond me.

Your situation is a good bit different, but ultimately the same. Your son has to reconcile the notion of "real" parents with the only parents he has ever known.

This is, obviously, tough for a 13 year old kid who is all about his identity as a person (Thank your lucky stars that Mo isn't a girl though, because they, for whatever reason, have a much tougher times with this).

You can't (reasonably) prevent him from meeting his birth father, but, if you can, it makes all the sense in the world to meet with the guy before Mo does. Having said this, there is no assurance that that he will be on the same page as you. He gave up his kid. Sometimes this is a decision based on what is right for the baby, but often it is not. It wouldn't be unheard of for him to make some stupid move to make Mo his "buddy," and an authority figure who never tells him No.

In the end the value of your love for Mo will rule the day. He's a teenager and all teenagers are crazy and so the next few years may be difficult, but if he was a product of your womb the same could be said.

I recall my son (around age 13) telling my wife that he couldn't tell her what to do because she wasn't his "real" mother. Her reply: "Well I'm the only mother you have and so you have to listen to me."

Kids will try whatever leverage they think they have to get what they want. It really is important that you don't allow any doubt or angst you may have to permit them success. You are his mother and your husband is his father.

Anyone who frequents this forum will recognize how much you love your son. He knows it too. Rely on it, and don't try too hard around this subject.

Don't shrink, for whatever reason, from the fact that you have been there as his mother for all of these years. Let him him see what he doesn't miss and you will be there when he comes back.

Don't, under any circumstances, try to compete with a "do what ever you want" birth-father who wasn't there when Mo needed him.

All the best.



ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2014 07:21 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Well writ, Finn.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Apr, 2014 07:39 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
That is damn good advice, Finn. Well done!
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2014 10:40 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Thanks, Finn, that was very helpful.

My brother in law is adopted and he's never had the desire to search for his family. However, when my sister was pregnant, SHE certainly did. It cause some problems between them. It was a door he wanted closed.

I also have a few women friends who were adopted that have never bothered searching. They just don't care.

I read some adoption forums (more of them lately) and I see a lot of adopted kids who seem to be falling apart because they don't know, or have found out their birth parents are dead, or don't want contact and it makes them kind of crazy.

I wonder what makes the difference in how they react.....

I could prevent him from meeting his father right now but it would just be a matter of years (or sooner, thanks to the internet and family connections) before he sought him out. Same thing with his mother. He could find them on his own. I worry that if we resisted it might cause some resentment towards us and I don't want to add that to the mix during his adolescence.

We do very much worry about his father pulling the "cool dad/good buddy/won't say no" bit. Mr. B is very familiar with that. He knows how seductive that can be for a teenage boy. He knows how many years it can take to work that out of your system. I'm hoping his experience will be a good guide for us.

Quote:
Anyone who frequents this forum will recognize how much you love your son. He knows it too. Rely on it, and don't try too hard around this subject.

Don't shrink, for whatever reason, from the fact that you have been there as his mother for all of these years. Let him him see what he doesn't miss and you will be there when he comes back.


Thank you. I needed to hear that.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Apr, 2014 11:26 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn, I think this is the greatest thing I have ever read from you. No joke, no lie. There's just nothing like the words of someone who's been there.

Boomer, we're all with you.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Apr, 2014 08:45 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
A heart-felt, touching and powerful post Finn.
Kudos to you and your family.
0 Replies
 
 

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