Parenting

My husband fathered a child eight years ago. I don’t plan on going into how that hurts me, because I can’t give that to him. What I do plan on talking about is how that will affect our adoption plans and raising that child.

As I said a few days ago, I have a biological father who is missing in action. I grew up in a very happy home. I love both my parents. You get the idea.

So, you see…in essence my husband is “playing” the role of biological father, and I am the adoptive daughter. We have gained immense insight from this situation. I have taught him how it feels to not know your biological father. He has taught me how it feels to be estranged from his biolgical daughter, have somebody else raise his child, and how it feels to reunite with that child. My explanations of how it feels to not know your biolgical father is what promted him to reunite with his own daughter.

What Happened to Me:
I was told not to tell people that my dad isn’t my biological father. This really made me feel as if it was a shameful thing. In reality, I have nothing to be ashamed of. I was a little girl. I did nothing wrong. I would fantasize about what my biological father is like. Most of the time I imagined him as a real dead beat. Largely due to the fact of what I have been told about him. My new information doesn’t lead to that conclusion. I fought my entire life to not be like him. My entire life I have created a hierarchy of those who get to know and those who don’t. Who gets to know the big bad secret? A little honesty can go a long way. However, I was blanketed in secrecy for what my mother believes was for my protection. I have no information about his health history. Let’s face it in 25 years, one’s health can change a whole lot.

How It Will Affect My Parenting:
Keeping such a massive secret about being adopted won’t be possible given that we are adopting through foster care. However, even if I could keep the secret, I wouldn’t. I don’t want my child to form opinions about their biolgical parents through my eyes. I can give them any information I know at age appropriate times in an unbiased way. I don’t want them to fantasize about their biolgical parents unrealistically. I want them to know them. I don’t want my child to stare at the medical information chart with bewilderment. They have a right to know.

If I don’t tell the truth, then I won’t develop trust with my children. I don’t want them to divide their loyalty. They don’t have to choose. Their heart has enough love to go around. I don’t want my child to see any uneasiness I may feel regarding their adoption or emotions regarding their parents, because if it shows, they won’t feel comfortable enough to ask me questions about it. I plan to bring it up on my own, because I know how it felt to not be able to talk about it as a child.

I don’t want my child to feel rejected by his birth parents. I’m still working on how to help them with this.

I don’t want my child to feel like a fraud, and lie about his family tree. We all know how that assignment always show up in school. Rather I want them to understand and feal proud and confident in their unique story.

I understand the loss the child experiences. I also understand the loss as an infertile woman adopting. My husband understands the loss as a biological father. That’s a whole lot of loss!

As an infertile woman, I can understand feeling defective. As an adopted child, I can understand feeling unworthy. As a biological father (whose daughter is being raised by her mother and second dad) and being the husband of an infertile wife, he can understand the loss felt by all of us.

I’m sure there is more I can come up with, but that’s all I have examined thus far.

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Published in: on January 29, 2007 at 4:30 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow! You’re gonna to be an awesome foster/adoptive parent! Just be honest with your worker at the homestudy and you will do great.

  2. That’s really a lot to process. But it sounds like you guys have all of the information necessary to make the right decisions for your children!

  3. The idea that stood out the most was the fact that the secret created a hierarchy in your life–those you told and those you didn’t. And how that weighed on you. This is a beautiful post and so eye-opening.

  4. I don’t think your husband’s experience is the same as losing a child to adoption. He has contact again with his eight year old daughter? That’s not the same as a reunion after a closed adoption. I am happy for him that he can be in her life and that he won’t miss out on her childhood too.

    I am so very happy that you had a wonderful connection to your grandparents, I hope very much things will go well with your father too. And congratulations on finding out you have a cute little sister.

  5. I hope that getting it from all angles helps you bring your child home sooner.


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