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Reflections a month in with birth baby

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Hi all,


Our tiny tot landed a month ago. It's been a hugely steep learning curve, one that's been much harder than we expected! Adopted kids are 7 and 8, been home 5 1/2 years.


It's been really insightful, having a birth baby. Really sad too, as we realise just how much our children missed out on when they were tiny. It's made us think a lot about our relationship with our big two. How, tiny one has landed brand new. We're all she's ever known. She's had good 'care' pre natally. She gets cuddles upon cuddles upon cuddles. Her needs are met consistently. As she is brand new, there is no 'behaviour' to deal with, no conflict.


The big ones came as toddlers. Two gorgeous, but full on, challenging toddlers. We've never had this level of eye contact/cuddles etc from our two. There was 'conflict' (in terms of necessary dealing with behaviours etc) from day 1. They came with all their baggage.


This makes me sad Sad


They've missed out on all this with us.

We've missed out on all this with them.


And I think they can see the contrast too. Little Lady this morning started kicking off pretty badly with daddy. Turned out it was after he told the baby how lovely she is. Lots of reassurance about how lovely she is too, but, still, it's tricky.


So, how do we ever fill in the gaps? I guess it's what we've been doing all along, but it seems so stark now we have a birth baby. I guess we can't rewrite their past, but we can go some way to repair it. I really didn't want it to feel any 'different' with a birth child, but it does. It's not that we love the big ones any less, not at all, but it does feel 'different', and that feels uncomfortable.


People's thoughts/experiences appreciated!


Thanks,


TML


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Congratulations! Yes I can imagen how this gives a whole new insight into neglect. Try not to feel guilty about loving this new born differently or maybe deeper/more, that's absolutely fine and quite natural I would think.


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We had our birth children first so the early times weren't that clear (memory not so good). They were 12 and 20 when we adopted 2 toddlers - which sound much as yours were - full on! (to put it mildly!) Rest assured we love them exactly the same - there is absolutely no difference - it is something I have thought about a lot and people have asked. Yes - we have to parent them differently - and they have so many issues that it is a very different experience - but there is no difference in the love we feel. I am reminded though through my grandchildren - much as you are now - of how much they missed as babies and young toddlers - and when for exmple one of the grandchildren was say x months old when I was looking after them I used to think about how it was for our 2 at that age and the glaring differences in care and experience. I think it just illustrates once again the major impact of poor care / abuse and neglect and is so so sad.


Do not worry about how much you love them all - I'm sure there is no difference though the parenting will be different inevitably - and enjoy your baby and the lovely times as a new family unit. x


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And congratulations!


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But what when there is a difference in love? Not something anyone can help. Is that not perfectly alright? As long as you don't tell the children obviously.

I think saying there is no difference can make people feel very guilty if they feel it differently.

Yes the parenting might be different but also what you get back (in adopted children often negativity, nothing can just be done, always messing into the relationship, often rejection, creating chaos etc, etc).


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There may be a difference - I don't know obviously - and it is early days - my experience is that there is not.


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Congratulations!!

I had a birth child and then adopted, it is different in my experience I wouldn't like to try and analyse if one love is stronger than the other.....much guilt lies in that direction...just different!


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Again, huge congrats!


Our DS was placed at just under 2 but has huge problems from early neglect and trauma. He has a rag bag of related diagnoses and is very challenging to parent. He was massively improved, and we felt we'd cracked it! So when BM got pregnant again and we were offered 'unborn' in a Fostering to Adopt placement we jumped at the chance. She came to us straight from hospital and, as you say, toomuchlaundry, it is a heart rending experience - you can't but see what your older child missed out on. And you are reminded, daily.


Our DS reacted massively to having his baby sister placed. It resurfaced all his trauma and attachment issues, big time, and we've spent the last 3 years plus unpicking the issues and trying to help him heal.


We do feel differently about our 2. Our DD is a joyful little bundle of fun, curiosity, and self-will. She delights in other people and is confident that the world is full of good things and that only good things will happen to her. Her sense of fun and joy is infectious. We have an easy reciprocal relationship with her. Our DS is very troubled and complex. He can be funny and sweet, but the dominant feeling around him is anxiety, as we wait for the next thing. He is highly oppositional, often violent and constantly demanding because he can't trust that his needs will be met. I love him fiercely and go to great lengths to ensure he is getting the best possible chances BUT the feelings for him and his sister aren't the same. I have to brace myself when he gets up in the morning and when I pick him up from school. Parenting him has come close to breaking me at times, whereas my daughter is a simple source of joy (mind out for her tantrums, mind you!)


I think the important thing is my commitment to both of them - to parent them to the best of my ability, to stretch and stimulate them, to guide them and teach them. And for my son, to get the best possible treatment and commit ourselves to the process.


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I have 3 x bc 1x ltfc and 1x adopted.

I feel slightly differently with each one as a lot depends on personality etc.

I also think the early feelings can be v strong. Natures way of getting you to bond completely with your dependant little bundle i guess.

However like most people i am completely committed to them all and would die for them in a heartbeat. I am sure you feel the same too much .

Congrats and enjoy your new baby. V special time x


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We are the other way around too. Birth child first then adopted our second. It is different in my opinion, and don't beat yourself up about that. Every Child is different too regardless of how you get them and I think you have different relationships with them. And you cannot make up for ac past but you can do your best for them now as I am sure you are. I still find it hard reading about my ad start and thinking about what life must have been like for her, as I like you, compare it to how my bd had a much better start in life.


We are 3.5 years in to adoption and when I look at my two sleeping I love them both to pieces, in different ways and for different things. But I love them and would protect them above all else.


Another thought, parenting a tiny baby is exhausting and your hormones may well still be raging! Look after yourself, take it easy and be kind to yourself.


Congratulations on your new arrival.


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Hi TML and congratulations


I remember being very struck on how much our older two had missed and the very easy thing attachment actually is with a child. I was worried to get the attachment bit right especially with Pip but was surprised at how naturally all that unfolds.

Advice wise I think to give yourself time. It was all a bit of a shock for us and so that takes time to clear. I felt numb to begin with, TBH I felt quite similarly with the AC arrival.

I would try and involve the older ones with simple routines. They really liked the smells of baby bath etc. We got blossom a baby anabel to do the baby things on in tandem and partridge helped me. They liked the white noise things that tiny babies like too.

If you can set aside say 30mins on a sat evening for you and the AC to do a wii sports game or dominos? Could they go to a friends / family/ club for a time so you get time, special bonding time for you hubby and baby

Partridge, STILL goes to my parents most Fridays for dinner aged 22. It's been a lovely thing to do.

The book baby talk by dr Sally ward is a good one. It's got simple communication games in there and ideas for toy box at different ages. Not an adoption bk but v good for all my 3.

Finally I felt out of my depth really. People looked at me as an experienced parent and I was but having a BC was very different as I'd never had a baby before! Take lots of care xx


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Congratulations on your new little addition its wonderful news for your family .

Like many above we were the other way 2BC then AD and please dont feel worried that you feel different its perfectly ok to feel how you feel just enjoy your little new blessing.

There will be lots of emotional juggling and that will take time to adjust for all and getting used to a new family dynamic will be exhausting.

I think people get scared to say they feel different for fear of judgement but I do believe however our children come to us, the care commitment and love is enough to express how much they all mean and that`s the important thing.

Get lots of rest and cuddles when your older ones are at school and so you are fresh for the eve so they all have a little mummy time.

That has always been the big thing in our house making sure each child (big age gaps here) has a bit of alone time to do something special.

Take it easy and don`t worry at all just enjoy your family.


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Huge congratulations TML!


It makes me very sad too sometimes too, when I see friends with their 18 month olds (our AD's age when she came to us), and I can see and feel how much love, care and consistency their children have received by that age. I don't have birth children, so I can't make any distinction in that sense - I love my daughter with an intensity that doesn't seem to be rooted in how she came to me. But yes, I do think there's a sadness there - for me it's how I wasn't there to nurture and protect her - and if that makes it different in some way for you, then that's just being very honest to the situation. I'd hope you become less uncomfortable with it over time as that's just life....it may never be a set of feelings that you 'resolve', but hopefully can acknowledge, accept and go with. Wishing you all well.


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After having four birth children and then adopting one, at times I've questioned whether I love adopted daughter more than the birth children!


I know with my birthkids all the memories and history of when they were little and so dependent and the smell and feel of them where they are just so completely relaxed and part of me almost seals that love for the future storms. I think when they grow inside you they feel like an extension of you when they are born and it's as if there is no option but to love them. What you get back makes it relatively easy.


However, when a child comes at the age of six, lacking trust , pushing boundaries, with a totally alien experience of family love for that child feels like blood sweat and tears. The blissful "knowing " of each other just isn't there. It's an uphill battle when your child hates her birth mum and therefore hates you. Is it a greater love when you keep giving the hugs, keep trying to find the answers, keep making the sacrifices despite getting nothing back?


Whilst I didn't go into adoption to get something back my experience with my birthkids shows me how difficult it is for a damaged child to be able to bond.


I love all of my children but even among the birth children love gets expressed in different ways depending on their personalities.


Daughter used to get very gushing letters from her birth dad, yet his ability to be able to provide for her and put her needs first was compromised. I regard love as being an action primarily that sometimes has positive emotions attached to it.


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Yes, and congratulations on your new baby. Hope you are getting some sleep


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I think this is an old thread and baby is now about one year old. So happy birthday baby tml!

Hope all is still going well! And you are surviving the madness and mayhem !

I would put a smiley face but as previously discussed i am v old and untechnological ! Ha ha x


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I think this is an old thread and baby is now about one year old. So happy birthday baby tml!

Hope all is still going well! And you are surviving the madness and mayhem !

I would put a smiley face but as previously discussed i am v old and untechnological ! Ha ha x


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Thanks all, yes baby about to turn 1! 'Blood sweat and tears' is exactly right! Life is full on. We're so glad she's here. We're SO glad they're ALL here. We love them x


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