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  #1  
Old 02-09-2008, 04:49 PM
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Need Suggestions: Still feel older and "different" than other families

I'm being honest...

At 46 years old with a 9 year old boy, an only child adopted from Colombia, I still feel frustrated hearing stories about pregnancy and the endless talk about so and so looks like mom, dad, etc. I thought that at this age, after this much time, infertility issues would be over. Instead it still hurts, of course not as much, that now my nieces and nephews are having babies and my sister-in-laws are saying, when I was pregnant I remember...

It also bothers me, that I feel I'm being deceptive when I say my son was born in Colombia and that if I don't offer that he is adopted in the conversation, I feel like I'm lying. However, I've come to the conclusion its none of people's business how we became a family, but does that mean I have to always be careful what I say? I think the answer is yes.

I'm mostly concerned about how these feelings will be felt by my son who is a wonderful little guy and is very sensitive. I want to find other Mom's who are older and who've adopted in my area but it just seems there is no one out there. "Everyone" is 10 years younger and hasn't gone through any of our experiences (wanting a kid in my twenties, trying for years to get pregnant, than my husband and I adopting when I'm 38 years old and he's 40.)

Who do you talk to? I'm tired of being "the only one" who is "different." In Minneapolis we knew several people who had adopted, but down here in a much smaller community in SE Florida its such a "strange" thing, that I feel very isolated.

People have said the strangest things to us, and I hope Lucas doesn't hear it, but he's bound to eventually (such as I "knew" he was adopted because you're both blonde and hazel/blue eyes and he's got brown eyes and brown hair.) When he was an infant he looked like us and does still a lot but as he gets older, he is no longer blonde and I feel guilty that I even am saying this.

Thankfully L has tons of friends and we're so proud that he told his closest buddies up the street he was adopted from Colombia. They didn't believe him so he asked us to confirm it to them and they thought it was cool.

Any thoughts or experiences? I feel I can't be the only one that has gone through this.
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2008, 11:04 AM
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I was 38 (hubby was 34) when my daughters were born and, yes, there are times I feel much older than all the other moms. Believe it or not, I've kept track of the number of times I've been asked if I'm the grandmother...21 and counting! Our daughters were adopted domestically and are Caucasian. In fact, even their birthmom comments about how much they resemble my husband. I kid him all the time about "what were you doing in the fall of 2000?"

I don't offer the information that they were adopted in casual conversation. People who know us know and occasionally I'll comment on it if the information seems relevant to the conversation. I don't feel like I'm lying - it's just not everyone's business. The girls' adoption story is their story to tell if they choose. (Now if I could just get my Dad to quit telling everyone and their brother on first meeting that the girls were adopted!)

If the people in your life who are making comments you find disturbing are close to you, maybe you could talk to them privately and let them know that Lucas's story is HIS. I had to write a very long, involved letter to my FIL instructing him to not ask questions about the girls' adoption in their presence. Told him I'm more than willing to talk to him about it (if it's information I feel comfortable sharing) but that talking about it in front of the girls is disrespectful to them. He took it surprisingly well, considering he and I don't see eye to eye on very many things.

Not sure if I've given you anything helpful. But you're not alone!!!
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  #3  
Old 02-11-2008, 11:21 AM
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I turned 36 just 2 days after my daughter was born -- but I didn't get her until she was 21 months. She was adopted from Ethiopia and I am white. I have never tried to hide that she was adopted but there is no way I could have even if I tried. I had one person look at me questioningly when she called me mom and ask if I was really her mom and I just responded, "What, you don't think she looks like me?" and walked away. My daughter is very dark and so I was also surprised when one person asked me if my daughter was bi-racial. I guess it made since -- I mean they didn't question that she was my daughter and I am white so that would make her bi-racial if she was born to me. It just surprised me. I always planned to adopt -- it just turned out that I also have fertility issues. And I am so glad that I waited until I was older to make it all happen. I think that I would have been a very different mom if I had started this at a much younger age. I guess the age thing is also something that I am use to. My parents (adoptive) are 17 and 20 years older then me so I always had parents that weren't the same age as my peers parents. And I now have a brother and sister who are 18 and 21 years younger then me so I have been questioned about that a lot too. But nobody has asked me if I am grandma yet -- I guess that might get to me since I don't think I look old enough to be a grandma yet.

Samantha
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placed in adoptive home 7/14/76 (7 years old)
adoption finalized 10/21/77

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REFERRAL 6/29/06 (18 months old)
Court date 7/26/06
Meet daughter for first time 8/29/06
Re-adoption finalized 5/16/07

I LOVE being a single mom!!
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  #4  
Old 02-11-2008, 02:26 PM
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Thanks for your comments. I really appreciate your stories. Thankfully nobody has called me a Grandma yet, but if we'd had kids at the same time as my husband's sisters, we would be.

I'm glad I found this forum.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2008, 12:18 PM
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CaddoRose CaddoRose is offline
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I just ran across this post and wanted to chime in. I'm 44 and was 34 when my (bio)daughter was born. My husband is 49 now and we didn't get married until I was 31. We are so far behind others in our area. Most get married young and have several kids, so their youngest child is somewhere around the age of our only child. Most are grandparents at our age.

I understand the feeling strange part. Some kids our daughter's age have parents who are so much younger that we have nothing in common including the way we raise our child. We're older and wiser. Now,we're soon to be foster/adopt parents who are hoping to take children 1-7 yrs old. We really get some strange responses from people about it. Don't you want to retire? Aren't you too old to have a baby? Can you really deal with getting up every three hours to feed a baby? etc, etc, etc..

We tried for years to get pregnant again and I completely understand how you feel about the pain of not being able to. I'm so blessed that I was preg once and had an incredible child. I said when she was born and still believe it now, that if she were the only one, she would be worth it all. It still hurts to see people who get preg at the drop of a hat and don't want to, or forget to take their pills and end up preg. You know what I mean.

On the subject of having adopted children: I can't believe the things that people will ask about children. I know a grandmother who is raising her grandchildren.She is CC and they are CC/AA. She still gets people asking what race they are and if they are hers. How stupid is that? International adoption has been going on for years, people can buy sperm, thankfully it doesn't matter what "race" you are, you can adopt any child and so on, but there are still so many ignorant people who still think that a Mother must bear children that look like her or the Dad and if they don't, they must have an affair with the milkman! It's ridiculous.

Your son should be proud of his heritage and it's ok for you to not answer their questions. It's none of their business. I don't think anyone should expect a person to explain personal details of their lives in casual conversation. I would say that if someone asks in a caring way, then it would be ok to offer that info. Perhaps they too are interested in adoption. Explain to your son that some people have no manners and that he might encounter those who think it is their right to know such personal info.

Blood does not make family.(on soap box now!) That idea should be long dead. It is what keeps abused children going back to abusive parents in the system. That reunification is the primary goal instead of what is best for the child. It is why children get sent back to drug addict parents and the like. Until the blood makes family ideal is crushed once and for all, we will continue to have stupid people who think it's their right to ask about the race, family, or relation of a child instead of focusing on the actual child instead. Does it really ever matter where that child came from? (stepping off of soap box)

I think the best thing you can do is what you've been doing- seeking out like age and like minded people to have meaningful conversation with.


oracoke- I love your response about your daughter to the nosybody wondering if she was yours!
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  #6  
Old 03-03-2008, 07:05 PM
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Oh, yeah, we're 'behind', too. We didn't marry until my Dh was 32, and while I'm several years younger we are still 'behind' our contemporaries with regard to children. Our children are 15, 9, 6, 3, and 2. I was 38 when our youngest was born (adopted at one year), and Dh was 47. Most of our friends have older children (teens and twenties) and most of them have grand kids who are the same age as our youngest kids. Going to high school reunions is interesting as we have been in the midst of diapers and rearing our very YOUNG children, while Dh's friends all have kids in college and are welcoming grandbabies.

We also get some curious looks since our kids have various racial heritages. We have every hair and eye color, and there are several of us, so we get noticed when we go out and about. Mostly I think people just assume that we are a 'blended' family with step kids, etc. We live in a small community and most people who know us even just as acquaintences know that we've adopted some of our children.

It isn't lying to not mention how someone came into your family. Adoption, birth, marriage, whatever, they're still part of the family. If someone really needs to know you can explain, but in casual conversation it doesn't need to be expanded upon. I mean, do step families always list out who 'belongs' to whom?

Hang in there. Don't 'over think' the whole thing and be willing to just be at mental peace with who you are, and where you are in life. (HA! Remind me I said this...it isn't always easy to live this one out!)
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  #7  
Old 04-18-2008, 08:40 AM
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I am 45 and my DD is 3 ( adopted from Guatemala). I look older and get the Gma question but don't "act" older :-) ...My Dd is the life of the party too so we get included in all kinds of playdates, b-day parties etc. for her! I hang out w/ my 19 yr old niece some and she acts older than me. So I am too "childish" to pick up on the fact I am older than my counterparts w/ children DD's age. Teehee.

But there was one thing you said that clicks with me... you "moved." I have moved 15 times since out of college ( 4 b4 that)...and each time gets harder for me to re-establish friends and this takes time.

I actually moved since bringing DD home to be near family. So I have lots of family around to support us but we have been here 2.5 yrs and I have yet to establish a "friend" network for myself. So I have days when it gets to me but I sign us up for something fun like swimming, the Y, gymnastics, ballet and hope that in the process we will collect friends to enjoy. Since we only moved 2 hrs away from where we used to live we still travel back occasionally to enjoy our other friends too and maintain contact. It probably took me 3-4 yrs to establish a friend network in Atlanta so I figure it will take me longer than that here ( esp since I have family close to fill that void)

Hang in there and keep doing things to meet new people.

As for comments about DD being adopted. She knows she is adopted and from Guatemala. She does not seem the least bit bothered by the questions and neither am I. Sometimes she answers the questions.... which I MUCH PREFER since it is her story. I guess we have been lucky because DD is so adorable and has an infectious laugh most people approach and ask questions just to talk to her. We have not had anyone say anything ugly. Maybe slightly inappropriate but I usually just re-phrase it to more acceptable adoption language for them and then answer.

I have Ms Sunshine Social butterfly for a daughter so she attracts attention
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  #8  
Old 07-25-2008, 10:56 AM
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I just have to chime in here as after reading this thread and all the responses, I feel a bit wrong in how I am handling DD's adoption story. I don't hide it even when not asked by those I know (whether close friends or just acquaintances). For some reason, being in an OA and having contact with DD's Bmom, visits once a year, emails regularly, etc., I feel that as DD gets older and understands the conversation, she might feel I am negating BMom's part in her. Am I wrong? I will, as she gets older talk to her and ask her how she feels her story should be told or if it should be told. I want her to feel that it is up to her. But I don't want her feeling like her BMom is part of not our triad family.

I am a step mother as well and for so many years my DH and I were referred to as my son's mom and dad. For a while, he corrected them. Eventually, he just ignored it knowing that we were a a family and it wasn't worth the entire story to straighten people out. DD may eventually get to this but I want it to be her choice without my influence. Am I over thinking this?
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  #9  
Old 07-27-2008, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finallyamom0310
I just have to chime in here as after reading this thread and all the responses, I feel a bit wrong in how I am handling DD's adoption story. I don't hide it even when not asked by those I know (whether close friends or just acquaintances).

You have to do what works and is comfortable for you. Since we adotped our kids at 6 and 10, they are very much aware of the fact that they are adopted. The three kids all look enough alike, and enough like dh and I that nobody would ever suspect that they are not biological sibs. In fact, other than the tricky fact that our bio son and adopted daughter are only 5 months apart, it would be very easy to "pass" as a biological family.
But why? They are not ashamed to be adopted. I am not ashamed of adopting them. We are completely open and honest with everyone about our adoptions. We don't necessarily go into details about the circumstances that lead to their being adopted, but my kids love to tell people that they are chosen.
We have an open relationship with my daughters birth family, and her mother, grandmother and sister have attended events at our church and dance recitals. T is proud to introduce them to her friends.
Keep on doing what you are doing. I think it is healthy to acknowledge adoption.
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T, adopted daughter: born July '96, adoption finalized Dec '06
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:50 PM
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Great thread...I am 46 and have a 4 yr old son adopted through FC but he has been with us since he was days old.

I have 5 adult children ages 24-30 yrs old. I also have 12 grandchildren, most of them older than my son.

I get called Gram all the time but so far nobody has referred to me as my sons Grandma. lol.

It is hard to find friends with kids my sons age that are still in my age range as well. I run a licensed home daycare so have been fortunate enough to meet other moms this way. Everyday is a playdate at our house and we love it.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:26 AM
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Well ladies, I have to thank you all. I'm so glad I stopped on this thread. I've been hemming and hawing and worrying about being a mom for the second time at 31 and possible again at 35.
Thank you all for putting it in perspective. I feel a tad red-faced for being worried about it now.
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Old 08-04-2008, 02:39 PM
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I feel like the oddball at times. All the folks we know with kids our kids' ages are like 10 years younger than us and all of our friends who are our age have older kids. It is hard sometimes. But, children are a very artificial connector between friends. You have to be friends with people because you like them, not just because you can have a good playdate. Easier said than done, I know. My best friend is a single lady with no children. She loves my kids, but the best thing is that I know our friendship is not connected to Gymboree classes or a sale at babyGap

For what it's worth: I am 35 and DH is 38, our kids are 9, 4, 21 months and we are expecting another from Kyrgyzstan this fall.
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  #13  
Old 08-15-2008, 02:45 PM
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Great thread! I am 43, DH is 45 and DS is 1. We live in a very progressive area, just outside NYC with lots of older parents, IA and third party repro. My problem is these women WORK!

I'm a sahm and who do I meet at the park but the young ones and the nannies. I had a career until about 2 years ago and probably have much more in common with the ones who work but I find myself at the park having mindless conversations with women who are so different than I it's not even funny! I can't even say they are conversations...that's why I'm in here so much!

So yeah, I too feel like I can't connect and make friends because of my age and just who I am. I don't really want to hang out with a child's nanny it just doesn't feel comfortable though one did ask for my number once at Gymboree. I've given my number to at least four women who haven't called! They all seem so busy and the ones with babies seem to have more than one and are just too busy for me!

BTW Finally I hear where you are coming from but I think it's kind of personal info. I would never lie and I would correct someone if they asked oh yeah where did you give birth (in front of him) but I have finally learned that not everyone needs to know how he came into our family unless it is relevant. I really respect you (as you know) for not wanting to disregard your daughter's birth mother (esp. in front of her) but it is kind of personal info depending on the situation. We walk a fine line! I just have total boundary issues and finally learned to keep my mouth shut and feels right.

DS looks different from us (blonde blue) but he's caucasian so we don't get any questions about adoption. My issues are more age/friendship and feeling different related.

Ohhhhh that was a nice vent. I feel cleansed LOL!!!!!
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:26 PM
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Ladies...

This thread was just what I needed today! As you know I have an almost 1 month old son and twin girls who will be 17 November 12th. I had to drive the girls over to the school today to pick up schedules and the Drivers Ed. certificates for the summer program they took. (another story..d/h is taking them car shopping tomorrow) One of the girls grabbed my son from his car seat and carried him inside; as soon as one of her former teachers saw us she gushes "Alexa, did you go and make Mom a Grandma this summer?" I wanted to >>> her! My daughter stammered and said No, she actually made us Big Sisters this summer!

It was not a fuzzy moment. Tracy
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:02 PM
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i'm a birthmother of a 23 year old who is finally ready to consider being a parent myself, at age 40. when i worry about being too old, i simply have to look to my bdaughter and her aparents for reassurance.

when i chose parents for my bdaughter i chose a 38yr old woman and 45 yr old man. i chose them because i wanted people who were stable, mature and had their priorities straight in life, who had lived fully before parenting, and who really wanted a baby of their own. and having recently been in reunion with both daughter and aparents, i have to say, i wouldn't change a thing about any of them. they are a young, healthy 61 and 69 now, and to be honest, i am sure she has helped to keep them young as both of them look and seem far younger than their ages.

i live in san francisco, where you commonly see woman in their 40's with newborns -- no one even thinks about it. i'm not knocking young parents, but i believe as we age we are wiser and stronger, and we have a lot to offer children that perhaps we wouldn't have in our 20s.
(please please don't take this in any way offensively if you are a younger parent - i not always good at finding the best way to phrase things)

i'm all for older parenting!
glad to hear you are feeling better about all this!
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