Curious about similarities in Adoptive parents.

I have noticed a few odd similarities between my adoptive parents and the adoptive parents of some friends. My adoptive mother was quite sickly with very bad allergies, dry skin and asthma. Her side of the family were involved with the masons and her sister had given up a child for adoption years before my adoption. My adoptive father was a catholic with something against god and the church as well as an alcoholic and smoker. Both adoptive parents smoked when I was very young in the house. I developed all these afflictions as well. I am curious to see if anyone else had any of these type of similarities in the people they were given to or perhaps other things I haven't thought of.


sickly or sick?

My adoptive parents were smokers too, until the early 1980s, although that wasn't really uncommon at the time, I believe.

My adoptive mother wasn't necessarily sickly. In fact she was hardly ever sick until a few months before she died, two years ago, but her fear of sickness was way out of control.

This went to the point where it practically determined the mood at the house for years. During the day, she would probe her body to find something she'd considered abnormal and immediately drew the conclusion she had cancer.

When I came home from school I was asked to check out this abnormality. I usually refused to do this, mostly because I felt really uncomfortable doing so.

My refusal to do a medical examination on my adoptive mother, made her really angry and could easily lead to an hour-long attempt to make me examine the issue du jour. 

Once my father got home from work, he would look into the issue and declare it nothing, which cleared the sky for a day.

Her behaviour taught me never to come home from school early, and to take long detours when school ended early.

Amom Narcissism

I've noticed a common trait in adoptive mothers is narcissism. It's all about their pain of infertility. It's about getting the child that they want. Their joy when they get that child. It's about what a wonderful person they are for having "rescued" this child. Her baby is bought and paid for. Only she is the valid mother.

My adoptive mom didn't get the child she wanted or expected. Instead, she got me. I wasn't like her nieces, therefore, I was inadequate. She berated me for not smiling enough; not because she was concerned that I wasn't happy, but that my not smiling reflected poorly on her. Reality and truth was not important. The only thing that mattered was people's perception of us and ultimately her. She was one person in public or around my dad and a totally different person when I was alone with her. I have to bite my tongue when people talk about what a sweet lady she is. They have no clue. To this day she accuses me of hoping she'll die so I can have my dad to myself. He actually spent time with me and cared about me. She couldn't stand it and ruined our relationship by telling me that he was sick of me and was going to leave us. I strived for perfection, but it was never enough. I had many successes, but dreaded when people would say positive things to or about me in front of her because I knew that she'd use it against me at her first opportunity. "So-and-so thinks you're so great! What would they think if they knew how you really are?!" There was no grace in our home. She is a narcissist and I hate her. She is right about one thing. I am waiting for her to die. Not because I want my dad, but so I can piss on her grave. She's a miserable, hateful, depressed person and she spent every day pouring her venom into me. I would give anything to have been raised by my birth mother.

Unfit and unwell

I can identify with much of Jackie's post regarding the importance of public appearance and one's very capable performance, and the sense of disappointment an adoptive parent may feel when "the desired child" does not meet that parent's (unrealistic) expectations.

In my own case, it was always clear my adoptive mother was the one who wanted me. She is the one who had to convince my adoptive father to buy me. If it were up to him, the story goes, he would have been fine with the son they already created together, "naturally". Ironically, it was my adoptive father with whom I was most free to be my true self, and without him, I would never have had any fun.

It was also my adoptive mother who always demanded constant top-performance from the child with great promise: me.

Looking back, I believe, like so many from broken/dysfunctional homes, my adoptive mother was trying to use children, (one boy and one girl), as a way to create a new sense of "normal family" for herself. Through adoption, perhaps she thought she could have turned victimization (a forced hysterectomy and difficult childhood) into a victory. Through adoption, perhaps she thought she could right the many wrongs that went-on throughout her life, without actually addressing any of those topics head-on. With a professional, and not me.

For as long as I can remember, there was always a role and need I had to fulfill, and none of these roles included a normal healthy, happy childhood where I felt understood and accepted... and most of all, protected. For the sake of public appearance, we had to be The Ideal Family; at home, there could not have been more secrets, lies, and misery. Above all, an enormous responsibility was put upon me the moment my adoptive parents brought me "home" from Canada: it was my job, duty and expectation to fix, heal, and correct a deeply wounded and disturbed woman who was in great need of A) an attentive mother B) an attentive husband and/or C) a really good psychiatrist/therapist.

My adoptive family was highly dysfunctional before I was brought into it; it was highly dysfunctional and abusive when I was in it, and now that the pain is gone, I can finally see, the healthiest thing they did for me was to cut me out of it. In this phase of my life, I am grateful for being an orphan.

If I could give one piece of advice to any adoption agency, it would be this: no child put in-care, or "relinquished for adoption" should be placed, "permanently" with a person like my adoptive mother -- one who was, (and remains), too emotionally unfit and unwell to take care of herself, let alone a child. Contrary to what so many would like to think, we adoptees are not normal kids; our emotional needs are too great to be sent to live with someone unable to put the needs of a child before the desires of an adoptive parent close to yet another ("secret") nervous-breakdown.

I'm curious, Flake28, based on your own conversations with other adult adoptees, what sort of "similarities" have you yourself discovered? (FWIW, I think your question is very intriguing and most definitely discussion-worthy!)


Well I watched a program about animals births and why some come out running and walking and others take years to develop their full skill set like humans. I have noticed that some adoptees take on the sicknesses of their new adoptive parents even if their birth family had none of them. Strangely enough later in life I also found that if I spent a lot of time with people I could sometimes absorb their allergies, moods etc. I know it sounds crazy but I had a room mate once who used to wear junk jewelry bracelets and would get a horrible rash from them. She stayed with me for a short time but about a month later I developed a horrible rash on my stomach and thought it was some kind of STD but it turned out to be an allergy to my belt that came out of nowhere. To this day I can't wear stainless steel ever since. Other things that I found odd were how I could almost see a family bond in others very easily and I don't mean just resemblance but a sort of extra perceptory sort of thing. I don't really know where I am going with this but as I grew up i simply found it all too much and often felt I was going a bit crazy. I found alcohol, marijuana, acid, mushrooms and on and on. I drowned it and drugged it as long as I possibly could. I still go into deep and lovely depression here or there. I've come to a lot of different conclusions but at the end of the day it comes down to the ultimate and undeniable feeling that this was all done by design and I'm not talking about a higher power here. I believe that adoptions were propagated for much more malevolent reasons. I think adoptees for the most part are some of the most beautiful people I've ever met. Like lovely angels that have been captured as pets for those not even a higher power will grant a child. Every adoptee I've known personally has had at least one alcoholic parent. Not sure if our substance abuse stems from being removed from our mothers or just monkey see monkey do but I certainly see a trend in my associations. So the question I finally asked myself knowing the stats about our life condition and the odds of us ending up addicts, suicidal, institutionalized, relationship problems etc. Why would the government and the powers that be want to propagate us??? Why create our suffering. I'm not naive enough to think they didn't know these stats anymore. On top of that they bury us when we start to speak about it. It seemed very simple once I simply accepted that they did it on purpose. Money. Not the money from adoption but the money we spend on booze, ciggarettes, drugs, being single, courts, lawyers. I have also thought to myself about the life insurance policies that the APS most likely cashed in on but who knows the heart of liars right? Client creation haha.
Anyways I know it sounds crazy but I have nearly passed through all the other feelings and have met the birth family. There was no happy ending for me and I don't know if that day can ever come. I wrote a poem once called the clan of the eternally sad referring to myself and adoptees. I have great joys in life but there is a pain that never leaves me just under the surface.
I'm sleepy. Sometimes my mind just repeats over and over, "I'm so tired, I'm so tired."


Selfishness turned into selflessness and all for the simple cost of my identity, silence and gratitude.

Pound Pup Legacy