Friday, February 6, 2009

Core Issues in Adoption

Class #2 was more of the same stuff we pretty much already knew, but it's good to have it drilled in. So much of the focus seems to be on convincing people who are adopting infants and/or toddlers that their kids can grieve for the loss of their bio parents. I have to confess, I think it's weird that a newborn can identify mom - and even weirder dad - by smell. Wasn't aware that nasal passages work very well in utero. Once they get the first meal, I can see identifying the mom smell, but minus that, how would baby differentiate mom from nurse from adopted mom? Heart rhythm?

The instructor had a list for us:
  • Loss
  • Rejection
  • Guilt/Shame
  • Grief
  • Identity
  • Intimacy
  • Control
And let us know that whatever one of those we felt vulnerable about, the kid would find it and push that button. I'm not scared, and that makes me worried. The thing is, I'm not uncomfortable with any of these, I am fully aware of how self-defeating it is to get into power struggles, I'm not afraid of getting close to this kid and I'm not afraid of her pushing back (mostly because I'm not fooling myself into thinking that she won't or that she'll really have any option other than to push away frequently). I want her to have a strong sense of identity that is all about her, and I'd be honored if she wanted it to be partly about me too, but my feelings of self-worth aren't tuned in to her wanting to be like me or wanting to be with me all the time or any of that - my feelings of self-worth as a parent center around knowing I did the best I reasonably could to give her the best chance of having a happy life she can have. My me is really about me, not about her. I really just don't see how a kid could get at any of the vulnerable spots I know about. At least, not until/unless the kiddo's career in either computer programming or Eng Lit really starts to take off.

In other news, when we got home, B volunteered that he had some issues he wanted to work out before we get the kid. This thing just keeps getting better and better. I've looked up AlAnon meetings for him. Thank you child, you do good things for B by needing him, even though you don't know yet that it's him you need.

Tonight, sitting on the couch with the doggus, watching Waitress.


  1. I think Alanon would be helpful for just about anyone. If you have ever had relationships with those who drink or use too much it could be beneficial for you as well.

  2. Thanks Martha. The closest I have to a relative with an addiction is that my dad says that my mother was addicted to Dristan nasal spray in the late 70s, but I think it's equally as likely that she was just severely allergic to the cat. She can bring the crazy sober though, so I don't doubt that I'll benefit from it.