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Me and my boundaries

Newimprvmodel's picture

Long story short. Several months ago we found my adopted daughter's bio family. Unfortunately her parents passed away years ago. They live in another country and when my x and I adopted her we were given a social history with one pic of bio mom and the names and ages of the several older children. That was 20 plus yrs ago and my x and I even hired a searcher to find them.  Not successful. 
So fast forward to this year. Turns out the kids are now in their 20's like my daughter and she was only child adopted out. In the middle. My daughter and I were shocked after all these years. I contacted the brother thru social media. He responded as did 2 sisters. My daughter cried seeing their pics but says she has no interest in any of them NOW. I told them and the brother is very disappointed. There is a language barrier. I am FB friends with him and a sister. But that means nothing because I never post anything in yrs. Aside from some initial messages asking about each other I have no contact with them. For me, it is so wild to finally have found them after thinking about these kids for over 20 Yrs!  They came from utter proverty and still are poor. But they are all kind hard working people.  
My daughter has always become very close with the kids of the women her father has dated over the yrs. Not many, but he is engaged and she is extremely close with her sons and nephews.  Her father doesn't want her to have any contact with her bios. He has told her to wary that they will want money and that "your mother will push you into a relationship with them."  I have to laugh because I think that his fiancée's relatives are around so much because my x has tons of money and lovely homes in lovely locations.  
My daughter says her first reaction was feeling guilty but now she has no interest in them. Honestly I find her superficial and  I am disappointed in her lack of empathy and kindness. She said NOT NOW.  I said that they might not be waiting for years. End of discussion. That was several months ago and we don't discuss it. But I think about the situation. my daughter was so young when we got divorced. She has no contact with my husband's daughters. This year she was rejected by her only gm, my mother, in vicious ways. 
Only thing to do is stay out of this. But I feel bad. I see the pics of her little nieces who look so much like my daughter at that age. Thanks for listening.  

2Tired4Drama's picture

I know you have a different desire for an outcome here, but it really is up to your daughter as to how she wants to proceed.  You are right to drop the subject.  Who knows ... she may take a year or two to process it and she may change her mind.  I know you want to help her to "build" a family, but only she can do that.  She may be very happy with the friends and others she has in her life right now.

I think we've all heard stories about reunions of adoptees with biological family members. Some are good, some are bad. Some start out good, become drama-filled and wind up crashing. 

My SD has an adopted child and the biological parents are fully integrated into the family, as are all the grandparents.  They are all at the house frequently. They are upper middle class families, no drug use, no mental health issues. The father's family said they would have been happy to raise the child. But the couple chose adoption. According to SD, everyone gets along wonderfully and there are no problems. I also know that SD is a chronic liar who always wants to be in the princess seat, so I am doubtful as to that claim. 

There are no real long-term studies on open adoptions nor on adoptees finding biological families through DNA tests. I wonder how it will be for SD's child when getting to an age to realize that bio parents were able to raise child but chose not to. When they go on to have more biological children what are they going to say to child?

I also wonder how these complex relationships will affect SD's biological children. It's easy when they are little but when they get older and start asking questions, "Why is that sibling's mom and dad/grandparents but not mine?" or "Why did mom and dad give me up to you SD, and then they had other children?"

It's going to get tougher.  I am SO thankful I chose disengagement as my modus operandi with SD.   



Newimprvmodel's picture

It is not my story.  I do worry about the effect of all the complex issues for her. Adopted from another country and then parents divorced when she was young. Then this year being terribly rejected by my family of origin. 
She always appears superficial. Not phased by anything.  She never wants to discuss deep issues ever.  Adoption. Divorce.  Stepfamilies.  Everything is fine.  
She cried seeing their pictures. She keeps all her emotions to herself. 
And yes what I want is not what she wants. I need to respect that. 

CajunMom's picture

I am not adopted; rather abandoned by my biological father. His 7th wife (you read that right...number 7 and he ended up with an 8th one) was instrumental in getting us to meet. I was 21. He was a functional alcoholic, who's first words meeting me was telling me how my "mom stole his money in the Army." Ummmm....nope. that was Child Support, deal ole dad and you paid CS for those 2 years and that was it. Never mind I grew up in poverty and had to fight my way to a decent life. Still...I tried to intergrate into the family...or rather, strangers. There was a lot of history I did not know about and the dynamics were so off and odd...just unsettling.  Then my sperm donor thought it was okay to ignore my precious babies at a family gathering. I was done. Didn't look back. 

Fast forward to today. Both of my parents are dead. I have a cousin locally who found me a few years ago. We do Facebook together, and while she would love to meet me, I have yet to take that step. Lots of drama from that past of which I had zero to do with but I could possibly be impacted by it and I refuse to have any additional drama in my life.

Your comparision of her connecting with her dad's GF's kids is completely different from connecting with biological family that one either knows nothing of or have limited info. I am an extreme extrovert, love people and don't meet a stranger. But that biological family about an hour away??? Nah...I'm not there. And it probably won't happen unless God orchestrates it. Do I have any regrets? One. That I didn't stay in touch with one of the aunts. She truly accepted me and loved me. She's since passed away so that door is closed. But I can live with that regret.

As 2tired said...this is really your daughter's decision. And I clearly see you understand that and are venting. My mom probably felt like you and even mentioned it to me a couple of times (to be more receptive) but she finally respected my decision and stopped nudging. Your daughter has had a lot of trauma in her life. My chest tightens every time I read your post saying where she was a middle child adopted out. That has to sting and bring questions to her heart. While the siblings had nothing to do with that (just as I had no part in the family drama with my parents), it will still impact and trigger your daughter.  At this point, I'd look at it her protecting her mental health and when she is ready (if she ever is), she'll take the step to connect. Other than that, continue as you are. 

You are a good mom. Please don't think your daughter is not kind or doesn't have empathy. She's been dealt one heck of a hand in life and I think she's doing what's best for her right now. Big hugs.

Rags's picture

She has relationships with her father's partners' children. She has zero in common with her never met bio-sibs and has had zero relationship with them. 

I can't see exposing myself to the emotional upheaval, risk of manipulation, and life long potential drama of engaging with poverty stricken people who I do not know from another country. Even if they were my bio sibs.

Stay out of this. You will drive tension into your relationship with your DD.  If she wanted to know them, she would have made the effort or asked to find them.

IMHO of course.


justmakingthebest's picture

Adoption is complicated. My mom was adopted from foster care as an infant. There were attempts at connecting with her Biomom when she was alive, but those were denied. Then after a deathbed confession, we were able to connect with her 1/2 brother and have had a great relationship with him the last 25 years. 

We were met with brick walls a few years ago when we finally found out her father and that side of the family. 

My uncle, who was also adopted has never wanted to find his bio family. He figures if they gave him up, they don't deserve him. Of course, as a teenager, I would understand that though process, but in a 65 yr old father.... Life is harder than that. He doesn't know the circumstances. 

I was also adopted by my stepdad. I haven't seen my bio since I was 3. I found out about some 1/2 brothers and my bio dad in my early 20's. I have no desire to speak to my BD again, he is the worst kind of human. I have made contact with one brother, things are just bad on that and I keep him at an arms length. The other brother is apparently just like our BD and I have been too scared to reach out to him. He also has a tight relationship with our BD and I don't want BD to ever know anything about me. 

In all of that, all I am trying to say is there are a lot of emotions when reconnecting after adoption. She knows how to reach people, just let her do it on her terms in her time.

Notthedoormat's picture

From my dad's 1st marriage was adopted by her stepfather and raised in another state.  Her mom's family had money and attorneys and my dad couldn't afford to fight with them. She's 7 years older than me. I grew up as an only child and when I found my sister I was 17. My dad was over the moon and bent over backwards to make up for lost time.  I'm in my mid 40s now and our relationship is superficial at best now,  after starting off pretty close. At least I know,  but she has a whole other family, set of parents and other siblings,  so it may be best for her to let it be.  She'll decide if and when she's ready.

Rags's picture

My DW's BioDad was killed two days before my MIL found out hat she was pregnant with my DW.  My MIL married her 2nd DH when my DW was 2mos old.  MIL and FIL had been raised together and their families were close friends.  FIL was there when DW was born.   

We renewed our vows on our 20th anniversary and part of that celebration was DW giving her dad adoption papers.  DW knew her BioDad's family.  But her daddy was her daddy.

FIL signed DW's adoption papers when DW was 38.  Not under the same circumtances, my SS-30 asked me to adopt him when he was 22.  We made that happen.

My college BFF is adopted.  Interestingly his adopted father is also his BioDad. My BFF has no idea.  He and his mom (adoptive) are extremely close.  His dad passed when he was about 12yo.  Every adult male on that side of his family had died by suicide. My BFF found his dad.

My BFF has no interest in finding his bio mom or maternal family. Apparently his bio mom has half a dozen or more children and my BFF was an affair baby for her, and apparently for his Bio/Adoptive dad as well. 

Anyway, his mom, aunt, and cousins pulled me aside after my BFF's wedding reception after he and his bride left for their honeymoon.  They gave me the story on his Bio/adoptive dad and charged me to keep an eye on him and to never tell him.  I haven' told him.  Yet.  I struggle with that secret.  

Adoption in blended family situations can throw a whole lot more compelexity into what is inherrently complicated to begin with.

As my blended family experience has been the unicorn of SParenting experiences, so is my adoption of my SS experience.  He was an adult, it was solely his choice, and he had already moved far beyond his SpermClan as a viable honorable successful adult.  Defianlty one of my proudest days was the day the Judge signed those papers making official what had always been the case. i am his dad.