Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Birth Parent Fantasies


Zoe enjoys a rich fantasy life where her birth parents are concerned. Everything I've read tells me it's perfectly normal. "The adoptee's fantasies begin when he is told that he is adopted and are both positive and negative," says Sherrie Eldridge in Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew. It's a normal part of the grieving process, says Brodzinsky, Schechter & Henig in Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self: "The youngster who was placed as an infant, and who has never known his birth family, cannot grieve for his loss until he develops an internal mental representation of what it is he has lost. This can take the form of thoughts, mental images, and fantasies about his birth parents and his past. . . . the child is not grieving for a known birth parent, but for the representation or fantasy of a birth parent."

Zoe's latest scribblings about her birth parents take the form of lists -- she's big-time into lists these days!

My Birthparents Are:

1. kind

2. caring

3. fun

4. nice

5. precious

p.s. I am the same thing!

Little realism here -- but that's why it's called a fantasy! So far, Zoe is the poster child for why it's important for adopted kids to have a positive view of their birth parents; she's made the connection that "my birth parents are good so I am good." She probably would have readily made the connection between bad birth parents and bad Zoe, too.
My Wish

I wish I could see where I lived.

I Hope

I hope my birthparents can answer my questions.

I Wonder

I wonder if they wonder the same things I do.

I Know

I know they miss me as much as I miss them.

This last list seems to place her fantasy in the context Being Adopted talks about -- part of the grief process, coming to grips with not knowing her birth parents and not knowing anything about them.

And don't you love the picture -- they all have glasses!

1 comment:

Mei-Ling said...

The funny thing is I must have been one of the oddballs growing up who *didn't* think her Chinese parents were rich or famous or beautiful.

I figured that if they were so poor they had had to relinquish me, then from which basis could I assume they lived a standard life?

Crazy thoughts.