Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Parents Love For Adopted Child Not More Or Less Than For Biological Child

Dear Tazi:

I am the proud mother a beautiful six-year-old girl who I adopted as a baby. Her father (my husband) and I love her more than words could possibly express; I may not have borne her inside of me, but "Lucy" is my child, and I will have words with anyone who tries to convince me otherwise. My husband feels the same, and actually has told off well-meaning people who oafishly suggested that he would feel differently if she was "really his".

I suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome and always thought I was infertile, so I was quite shocked to discover that I was pregnant when I went tot he doctor a few months ago because I was experiencing flu-like symptoms! My husband and I are very happy that we are going to be parents again, and have been preparing Lucy to become a big sister. Up until recently, she has been very excited about the baby, but I am afraid someone might have said something to her about the fact that she is adopted (which she already knows).

Finally, after three weeks of making comments about how we will love the baby more than we love her, I sat my daughter down to talk with her and explain that we will not love the baby more than her, that love is not like a box of cookies that will run out if shared among too many people. Lucy got very upset and said that I was lying, that we would love the baby more than her because she is adopted and the baby is not. She said you can't love someone else's child as much as you love your own, and that she came from "a different Mommy's belly".

Tazi, my head stated to spin as my little girl confided in me! Obviously, she overheard such vile words from an adult - no child would think to say something like that! Holding back tears, a hugged my daughter until she squirmed and told her that my words were not lies, that Mommy would never lie to her and that she should not listen to those mean words because they were not true.

I do not know who my daughter is protecting, but she will not tell me who said such cruel things to her. She says she doesn't remember who said it, but I have a few ideas; some of my relatives do not believe in the beauty of adoption. If I find out who spoke this way to my daughter or in her presence I will handle it. Right now, I am wondering how to handle my daughter's crushed spirit? I am not certain her father and I have been able to convince her completely that we love her more than life itself, and always will.

Mom and Mom-To-Be

Dear Mom and Mom-To-Be:

First, let me congratulate you on your newly expected family member!

It's not you; the bear really is moving!

A new baby can be a cause for angst among young children regardless of their birth status. Whatever clod decided to fan those flames deserves a Paw Slap Of Disgust. Feel free to print one out to carry with you to serve once you find out who it is.

You say that your little girl knows that she is adopted, and that she came from "a different Mommy's belly". I suggest you tell Lucy that she may have come from a different Mommy's belly, but that she is yours now, and  that nothing will ever change that - not even a new baby.

I like your analogy about love not being like a box of cookies that will not out if shared with too many people. This is something that a child can understand - to an extent. While a child understands how cookies work, love is a little more complicated than that. I suggest you try explaining the many types of love, and how you can love someone the same amount but in a way that is unique to that person.

When you get the chance, sit Lucy down and tell her that you love her in her own special way - not more than the new baby, not less than the new baby; just differently. In terms a child can understand, the love you feel for someone is like a snowflake - different from any other, which is why it is so special. Explain to Lucy some of the qualities that make her a unique person and therefore your love for her unique. Make her feel special by telling her that you could not possibly love someone else exactly the same way as you love her – that she is far too special – but that you most certainly could - and do and always will - love her the same amount, which is more than words can say and why you show her you love her with the things you do to make sure she is happy and healthy and safe and loved. Do not allow others to jump in and suggest that you and her father could have chosen a different child to adopt but you chose her - adopting a child is not like adopting a pet from the shelter, so make certain that Lucy understands that.

Once the new baby is born, try to include Lucy as much as possible in the ever-adjusting schedules and events that will be occurring around the house. Once she realizes that the new baby has not replaced her and that she is still very much an important and valued member of your family, her tensions about being loved less should ease. If they do not, talk to her pediatrician about a few possible solutions.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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