My first Q & A…

A lovely follower on Twitter , a prospective adopter, recently asked if they could pick my brains…Realising my perspective came from two directions as both adoptee and adopter I guess I can offer some insight fairly unique to the process of adoption. It really is a mine-field  so I was more than happy to be asked and obliged…. Here goes…

Big one first should I read The Primal Wound, I mentioned it to our SW & she said it was very heavy & directed me more towards Dan Hughes books.

primal wound

The Primal Wound – Understanding the Adopted Child

Ok I haven’t read The Primal wound but I’ve spent the last few days studying reviews and reading exerts prior to replying to you..
My first instinct is that it is a fairly emotive and a adopter discouraging read …
I also believe it is actually aimed more towards the Adoptee than the adopter.
That said be careful with some of these books as they are often simply one person’s experience and if in this case that is a negative one the book gives only one side of the process.
I do think reading as much as you can is a good idea and will list some books I read..
Not to brag but I am told in good faith that my own book is a good reference for  both adopter and adoptee…mainly due to my honest detail about the emotional impact of adoption on the whole family…
My own journey may help you understand what’s to come and prepare for it.

Black Sheep Sweet Dreams – Adoption Journal

One review on The Primal wound was by a relinquishing Birth Mother.She wrote that she felt punished by the book. That review alone stopped me from grabbing a copy on audible.No one needs to read that….it’s unfair and disparaging of this and other BM who really have no choice, including my own and let’s face it are providing us with a special gift.It is true that as adopters you are giving that child a loving home and that’s the only thing the SW and workshop bumf bangs on about.One of my blog posts details exactly how much the child is bringing to the party and I think this should be more of a focus during the assessment process..however back to that particular book ….don’t. Dan Hughes books are good.but there are others..It is possible that local authorities are lazy and find one author ,share it and spread word he’s the best..don’t buy his books..find his videos on Utube,that’s what we did ,saves fortunes

.but be sure to read what is relevant to your don’t read a book on attachment for traumatized children of 6+ if adopting a baby for example..we sat through a whole afternoon talking about autism knowing it was at that point irrelevant.The assessment paints a very negative and bleak picture of adoption without any respite..It is also very rewarding lol…I like this book
Hope link works
It’s more neutral ..Dan’s books are mainly about dealing with trauma which you have to weigh up how much traima that is for the child you get.For example…our boy was removed at birth and had one interaction in 10 months with BM..she had no interest and he was unaffected .WE were his first and hopefully last traumatic experience..we removed him the the other end of the country ,first time on long journey etc and he was a trouper…since he’s flown long haul,loved it, been dragged around the country on trips and met oodles of new people in a year…happiest boy u could wish for.Proof positive that the trauma we caused was soon forgotten and never triggered again…that is because of his age.An older child will carry trauma unseen for years before a trigger kicks off reaction.I could also tell you my own trigger unbeknown until recently…but you have to subscribe to my blog and wait lol…
I make no apology for long answers to your questions…I figure you will benefit or you wouldn’t have asked me  right?😊
I bought many books during assessment ,read very few to be fair but had them on the coffee table when SW came over lol…the ones I did read were my choice and not theirs…I’m awkward like that…I read An Adoption Diary by Maria James….we both did and he commented how badly written it was..i found it bitty and negative but was personal to  the author so hard to review before..The Adoption by Anne Berry,I read this before we decided to adopt and only cos my mum had it in her book club…good read..and I liked the fact it wasn’t a predictable ending….I bought Related by Adoption…suggest good for prospective Gran parents …unless they are like my mother in law who tried everything in her power to stop us adopting.
Books on attachment will be good ….if you have other kids get books introducing them to adoption…like Toddler Adoption..
Depends on the age again so let me know and I will find ones age related for you and yours…
Spend little ….go library as you will never read them again I promise you …the one book they insist you fork out for is about amphibian brain etc but I can’t recall title…when I can I’ll hunt it out and let u know…suffice to say I read enough to answer questions if quizzed in workshop…
Your individual circumstances will differ but we also gave our daughter How I Became a Big Sister
As a way of telling her her wish had come true
big sister
Other books I sourced for my own interest: Split at the Root: A Memoir of Love and Lost Identity
philomenaAnd for my baby boy….
i love you book

Do think that nature & nurture can have equal footing for children who are adopted? I am not adopted, however my cousin is & her & my Aunt are two peas in a pod, I guessing that’s maybe unusual? 

I always believe nature and nurture are not exactly on an equal footing and can be identified as two distinct processes in raising a child. For example , if a child has trauma from a early life experience it is less likely to be as receptive to nurture in the first instance as a child from no trauma. My understanding of nurture is that it is about supporting a child’s needs surrounding it with love and ensuring protection from rejection and more trauma. Nature is not necessarily exclusively down to genetics but to upbringing through shared dynamics , only partly due to biology. For example;. My mother is often told how much I am like her , based on mannerisms and foibles and sense of humour etc yet this would be seen as a nature trait but it cant be as my genetics are opposite. Therefore we are alike due to habits I’ve learned via Nurture but differ due to ingrained genetic traits I came with from my BM. It might make more sense reading the chapter Nurture V Nature in my book.
Shared interests and knowledge will become common ground and hence your cousin is so alike her mother. My little man has been with us a year and is so like all of us humour, temperament etc and its adapting to environment that does that..cheeky as you like and even laughs at his own farts, exactly like his Daddy!!

A lot of the adoptees who I follow have felt their differences very keenly between themselves&their adoptive family & it’s been very upsetting for them. I wonder if it’s possible to help a child to feel those differences less somehow? Looking from both sides could you see a way to help do this or do you think the differences too great between the child/ren & the adoptive parent? 
OK firstly I want to warn you that many of the adoptees you and I follow  on Twitter have not opened their accounts to spread joy and cheer…they use the forums to vent and blame their lives decisions and outcomes on being adopted. I’m not saying everyone adopted does this but there are many and actually they do piss me off .
They don’t even accept a balanced view from adoptees who have had positive experiences because they don’t want to consider they were just unlucky!? I’m not belittling I am just saying be sure to seek out the opposing view for balance.
I have demons , issues whatever you wanna call them but none of them are at the blame of my adopters.
So who do you blame??
They blame adoption itself as if it is some voodoo type thing that has blighted so many lives.
That is , and I say this with respect, Bullshit!
In fact I will tell you a story…I was adopted in the late 60s , an era steeped in racism and bigotry. So very unconventionally I was adopted by a white family with two natural boys ..I had the best upbringing my parents could give me, great education and as much love as I needed to become the person I am now. I differ 99% from all of them.( the 1% is our name!LOL). I am confident (on the surface, of course I have wobbles underneath) a doer and a risk taker. They are all introvert, reluctant to take a risk and lack confidence. Going back to the question above, this is my NATURE as it is pretty much 80% same as BM.
However a half sister on my BM side, again adopted by a white family is arrogant, aggressive, secretive and blames adoption for every grown up cock up in her life. She  would shout how hard done by she’s been if anyone would listen.
Again, great upbringing , lots of love, good education yet something stops her from accepting her adoption. NO clue what that is but means we are as different as we could possibly be..
Agreed we don’t share BF DNA but I am close to my BM as we are so alike..she wont have anything to do with her for her own reasons, but mostly I believe its because shes bitter and takes the rejection as the first of a lifetime of rejections…therefore her difference to me is tangible and I suspect same with her adoptive parents…
How can anyone know if the child will be like the parent even in natural childbirth?
Basically You cant!! I do know I am like both my AM and my BM in different ways for both…I’m unlike my siblings of course but that’s life, love them nevertheless as know nothing else.
I love a half sister already after a couple of months on my BF side simply because its already clear we are so alike..the other half sister was a bonkers mess yet we share BM DNA . That’s where our connection ends.
My point is your child will be your child, like my boy is as much mine as my natural girl, they are like sponges…soak up every last thing they see…hes potty trained in a week! hes mimicked his sister from day one and takes direct instruction from us all like hes twice his age…a very advanced toddler…
Hes not biologically of my DNA but to anyone looking at our family he’s quickly morphed into all  of us.
Wearing the Smile
Adoptees who say how different they feel from their families?
I do agree with this statement BUT its no bad thing if that makes sense. Its true we differ in many ways but are very alike in others and that’s normal. I know natural children who differ so much from their families too and again it rarely matters..
Thankfully my own husband differs almost 100% from his and that is good as we wouldn’t stay together if this were not the case 🙂
Don’t let the Twitter Twats make you feel you are doing anything other than an amazing thing. I am proud to know you and we’ve never met! As an adoptee I try to focus on what I had/have and not what I might have had , mainly as it would have been shit and my BM would be inclined to agree .Read between the lines when you see negative on there ..had they been naturally raised by birth family they may still have negative shit to say then too..its the GIG effect (Grass is Greener effect) and not fair on people who don’t know where or what they came from..Paints a picture that’s one sided you know? I have admired many posters then they jump on a positive adoptee (like me) without knowing anything about their background or where they may have been raised had they not been adopted.
Am a believer that adoption itself isn’t the problem, how the person accepts it is….
Hope that helps…..
Lots of love
Black Sheep  xx
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