Telling your Adoption Story - FamilyEducation
Telling your Adoption Story
09/25/2009 at 14:19 PM

Hey All

I thought it would be great if everyone would share their adoption story here with each other.

The stories are so special and moving and help others so much.

So, please, share your story here!


My husband was adopted form Korea at the age of 6.  Therefore he had a name and a Korean life.  His American parents changed his name and.  My advice is that if you adopt an older child LET THEM KEEP THEIR GIVEN NAME or at least let them have it as a middle name.  THERE IS NO NEED TO CUT THEM OFF FROM THEIR IDENTITY.


Hey melchan,


Welcome to the boards.  I couldn't agree more with you---one of my cousins adopted her husband's neice at about 6 and changed her name--I thought that was just an awful thing to do.  Someone has their identity and you swoop in and change it at that age.  My cousin's adopted daughter had all sorts of adjustment issues and attachment disorder---I thought at the time, well I would have attachment problems too if someone stole my identity when I was 6 years old.




In reading your post and the one before - I have to disagree about your claims that changing names is wrong.  I agree that in some cases it is not a good idea but in others it is the best thing that can happen.  My husband and I have adopted two children - biological siblings at ages 4 and 8.  Our son (8) had been named after his biological father and therefore hated his name - we chose to give him a new middle but to keep his first name because he had already started school and it would have been a hard transition.  BUT we did change our daughter's name.  She also has  attachement issues from her early life but changing her name was great for her.  She was able to "assume" her new identity and leave all the pain and hurt behind with her "old" name.  The hardest thing was her brother learning to call her by her new name but that only took about 4 weeks.  Changing a name can be a good thing.  It allows the child to begin anew and for us it as been a wonderful thing.


I think a name given as a "number" for an orphanage is no name at all.  I chose not to keep my child's name from her orphanage.  I think her Chinese culture can be honored in a much more respectful way as we live and talk about her awesome Chinese self for years to come. 


My almost 7 year old daughter was adopted at 8 months of age from China outside of Shanghai. 

The joy of my life !


Hello, I actually came on another forum here but then I saw adoption.I am adopted.I was fostered from 2 then adopted by the same people at 4.I had neglect as a child from my biological mother (bmum) and I have burns on my chest.I struggle with my self esteem.My relationship with my adopted parents is OK-I would like it to be better.I did go to Uni.I'm happy to talk to anyone.


We have adopted four children. Three of them at infant or toddler age and we did change their names. The names given to them were terrible names. The oldest is 10 years old and he wants to change his name. He feels a new begining deserves a new name. He left the old bad word and wants to enter a new world fresh.


We have two adopted children.  We decided to keep the boy's name but anglicised it a bit for our Eglish speaking friends. No problems.  We changed the girl's name completely as she was given a nickname which meant 'fat one'.  She is very happy with her new name.


I just wanted to tell you other ladies who have adopted what a wonderful gift you are giving your children.  I was adopted when I was just 9 days old through a church and have had the most wonderful adopted life ever.  My adopted parents mean the whole world to me.



I foster adopted my beautiful daughter. I got her when she just turned 3. Now my daughter will be turning 8 in April. I did this as a single person. My daughter was born pre-natally exposed to Meth Amphetamines. As a result, she wears glasses, has a vp shunt, complex partial seizures, and secondary ADHD. Even with all that, my daughter is awesome. I told her that we adopted each other, and that she was born from my heart. I kept a journal and scrap booked our first couple of years together (something that she may cherish in years to come).


we changed our daughter middle name and last name when we adopted her at 5 years of age. It has been a difficult thing for her being, adopted, and I think that having an open relationship with her birth mom has caused some of the difficulties.  Her birth mother is a foster daughter whom spent a couple of years with us and we informally adopted her into our family long before this baby came along. She kept her for the first 3 years, though k. spent a lot of time during those early years with us. The bm finally asked us to adopt her as she was 23 at the time and not at all ready to carry the responsiblity of parenting. We gladly took k. in and she is now the youngest of 6.  Her bm was in and out of her life for years, drinking far to much and in some ways regretting her choices though she knew the truth, this was the right thing to do as she was unable or unwilling to change at the time.  Now bm is in a good solid relationship, k. is 15, and bm has recently had another child. K. is finding this very difficult to accept and feels so rejected though her relationship with bm  is better then it ever has been, as bm is trying to include k. in their lives as much as possible.  Some days I am really not sure that I agree with the idea of open adoptions and struggle because of the strains that it has put on 'our' relationships, but at the same time I am glad that they can have some sort of a relationship.  Has anyone else experienced this sort of thing?



We adopted our little girl at the age of six although she had lived with us since she was 7 months old. We began babysitting her and within a month her mother began leaving her with us for extended periods of time. She was abused, neglected, and starving for affection. Her face was deformed from being left to lie in a playpen for hours upon hours. Until we met her -her mother worked in a carnival and simply left the child in a tractor trailor which had been converted to make "rooms" inside - wide enough to only house a bed and very little standing room. We gained full custody of her when she was 3 years old after which it took 3 years to terminate rights of both parents - the father was in prison - and then to adopt. Her given name was Sabrina Michele. Her middle name Michele is a family name. Her mother and grandmother both carry it and neither one is a fit parent. The grandmother abandoned her children also when they were very young and unfortunately, Sabrina's mother treated her the way she'd been treated. On top of that, her mother also has severe mental and emotional disorders that prohibit her from being a good mother no matter how hard she tried. Sabrina has memories of her mother and they aren't good ones. We gave her the choice as to whether or not to change her name. We told her that we would keep her name Sabrina as it was her identity. Her last name would automatically change because we adopted her. But her middle name we gave her a choice - keep it or change it. She wanted to change it and together we came up with some choices after which time she chose Jaelyn. I was the one who had the hardest time not slipping up and calling her by her old name! She loves it and felt special because most kids don't have a choice and she did. It's been a year now and she still writes her full name every place she can find!  



 I hosted a girl from China ten years ago and this started me on a different path that has been the most fulfilling part of my life. I have since hosted a girl from Bulgaria, and Czech Republic. I also had two boys, one from Brazil and one from Thailand. I then became a local coordinator and have supervised over 60 kids from around the world placing them in homes of neighbors and friends in my community and surrounding small towns. I opened doors and impacted my community by bringing the world to them and teaching tolerance of diffrenet cultures first hand. All these special young people have become a part of my family.

My bulgarian daughter is becoming a doctor of genetics because of her interest in my daughter rare genetic disorder. They are still best friends and plan to meet other this next summer in San Diego for vacation. Our Brazilian boy is coming to meet with us in Rio while we are in Brazil next month at meetings. A german girl my sister hosted was just here in September at my neices wedding as a bridesmaid.

Anyway, I have now become a full time employee of CIEE the non profit organization that specializes in these international exchanges. I can't tell you the rewards I feel each day working with families, coordinators and students. If anyone here is interested in hosting a student for a year, becoming a local coordinator, please contact me and I would be glad to share this great experience with you. m

My best friend adopted a girl from China 12 yrs ago and last year hosted a 16 yr old Chinese girl. She said it made an impact on her daughter  for life to come to know someone from her background and brought them closer together as a family.

I can be reached at and would love to share and introduce you to exchange


Good on you CIEE, and much respect. The world needs more people like you. Not only are you helping these wonderful children but also doing your bit to stop racial prejudice. The world would be a wonderful place if we all thought the same.


If anyone out there would consider hosting or knows a good family... please please contact me. Its so hard to find families to do this. We need as much help as we can get to secure these kids who have been planning to come here for over a year

Its not hard.. I know>> I am a very busy person too as we so often from people we ask..It doesn't take alot to add someone to their lives as this


My husband and I adopted our daughter from birth.  We were fortunate to have been in the delivery room and I was the first one who held and I was able to stay in the hospital with her until she was discharge.  I have continued to send pictures to the birth parent's family, for they all helped fostered this adoption.  What captivated me to your story was the fact that you yourself was adopted.  My daughter is now 4.5 who turned more that I could have ever dreamt.  She is talented and has is the sweetest person I know.  She is so wonderful that words just cannot expressed.  My husband and I love her to death.  She is also loved by all our family and most important she is sho happy.  My problem is, she is now coming to an age I'm not sure when to tell her about her adoption.  We have always said to her that she is our special gift from God.  We have tried to instill in her a sense of unconditional love and believe she gives it right back to us.  Words just cannot expressed the joy that she is to all of our friends and families.  However, we have book that we read that talk about of different way of being mommy but she doesn't look interested.  I have tried saying to her that mommy can come in different ways but she just doesn't seem interested or her angelic face looks so confusing and she will start hugging me and say "mommy I love you'' which she does everyday.  I know I have to tell her but she is not ready.  We are going to buy more direct books on that issue to read to her to see her responses.  She went to see the movie meet the Robinson and I'm sure know that movie is about adoption.  I'm so happy to hear how happy you are in regard to your adopted parents.  I love to hear about when they told you and what was your reaction.



Hello, Brenda. I, too, went through an open adoption, and, like you, still have a relationship with the birth mom (bm). My son is now eight; we have seen the bm several times and I can see that knowing her is both comforting and difficult for him. I think that some children have no issue at all about being adopted, but for others it has devastating impact. My son fits in the latter group. I found an enormous amount of information and help in a book entitled, "Twenty Things Adopted Children Wish their Adoptive Parents Knew". It was written by an (adopted) adult and she speaks to many mysterious issues with insight and clarity. She maintains that an adopted child wants to know their history, no matter what the facts are, and that if they ask, you should give them age-appropriate facts. She also says that a good percentage of adopted children are grieving for their birth moms and the life that they were deprived of. They can create a fantasy about what life would have been like (always better than what they have no matter how good it is) and that their bm would always give them what they want. The adopted moms have the hardest road since adopted children tend to blame them for their unhappiness. I am facing these problems but have not yet dealt with them entirely. Really, the probable answer is as simple as it gets: love. Let them know they are loved no matter what, and that even if you hate their behavior sometimes, you will always love them. To those of you with adopted children who fall into the other group, the one where the children bond normally with you, consider yourself extremely lucky. Don't be quick to judge families that have this as an issue -- it is very real for a lot of children and is something that needs to be addressed before they can really bond normally. I hope that helps some of you a little.

My husband has been a part of our son's life from age 3. He's 10 now. My son's biological father (BF) was in and out of his life for about 7 years and in that time remarried, had 2 other sons and had asked my husband to adopt my son saying it would be "best for him". My husband would have jumped at the opportunity the first time when our son was 6 but after much discussion, we weren't sure it was the right thing to do. When I say that, I mean we were worried about comments later on in life like, "Why did you take me away from my real dad? and It's your fault I don't see him anymore!" At age 9 when his biological father wanted to give him up again, we jumped at the opportunity. This frees him up from the arguing that always occured between his BF and new wife and his constant adjustment and readjustments when his BF would pop in and out of his life! Our son is happy as ever and is proud to have our last name. We left his name exactly the way it was and just added our last name to the end as to not take away his identity. Our son is also very close to his BF's grandparents, aunt and uncle. I dread the possible questions later on in life though...

We adopted our son at birth five and a half years ago, and we were there when he was born. His birth mom stayed overnight in the hospital with him, then we took him home after he was released to us by the court. His birth mother wanted us to name him because she said that we "would be his parents," and she has never acted as if she regretted her decision--she sends ME Happy Mother's Day cards. She chose us for our shared Swedish heritage and we chose a Swedish name for him so we are all happy with it. We have an open adoption and he has a half sister who just turned eight, she lives with the birth mom. We drove over to their house in the east part of our state for her birthday party a few weeks ago, as we have for the last several years. It is always great to see them and the time goes too quickly. This year the kids played beautifully together and we were sorry we had to head back home so soon. We have told our son that he "grew in Gemma's tummy because I couldn't do it myself," and so far he has not asked for any details. I hope to put together his "how you made us a family" book this fall, so when he really starts asking we can look at it together. I have photos of Gemma pregnant with him and at the hospital, so I can put some detail in it. I don't think he knows what being adopted means yet, so we may have to handle that in the future, and I know she will help all she can. He has recently been diagnosed with some ADD, which we both attribute to his birth dad, so having her to check in with about her family history has been very supportive. We feel blessed, especially now that we have a named framework to use to handle some of the temperament/behavior issues that were keeping us in uproar more than was comfortable. (I read a post about a wild three year old girl and wanted to screech ADHD! Get help!) It was hard to wait a long time to become parents (we are often taken for his grandparents) and he is more of a joy every day now. We feel so lucky to have the set-up with his birth mom and half sister that we do. She and I decided a long time ago that having more people to be loved by and to love in return was a good thing (since now we love her and her daughter, too) and together we will handle what the future brings. I hope our experience so far can be of help to someone, thank you for asking about it, Marti.

My mom's 1st or 2nd cousin adopted a girl while teaching in poor parts of Africa. It took certain family members time to adjust to a non white person in the family (I thought she was cute, I didn't care that she was very dark), but everyone loves her now. My mom is the middle child of three adopted girls (grandma couldn't have kids after her only miscarriage). She was a very sick baby, but they took her anyway at I believe 15 months old (she had 2-3 foster families before that). :) I wouldn't trade her for the world! I hope to adopt some day to! And to whoever my biological grandma is, thanks for giving my mom a second chance at life, because now I'm going to help thousands of teens in my life by becoming a math high school teacher. I don't care why you had to give her away, just thanks for going through the whole pregnancy with her. :)

I have adopted 4 children. My daughter is a family adoption. My 3 sons are all through foster care. They were ages 2, 2 and 4 on their arrival to my home. We had an incredible homelife! Our family loved to travel and my kids saw all the states and several countries before they were grown. They finished high school and the 3 boys finished at least some college. Two weeks ago my middle son and his wife completed their foster parenting classes. He is now a foster parent. His exact words, "I just want to help someone like I was helped." I was blessed. My 4 adopted children have provided me with 9 grandchildren!!!! I think adoption is a wonderful thing.

Aww,i'm kinda planning mine on adopting a special needs child from India or South Korea. I hate to see kids suffer starving or don't have any shelter. Its sad to see. Here in America, we got all the goods. People who are poor here, don't even have it poor! People in India or South Korea, they have it really poor! It's horrible! I see it all the time when I go to those places to design buidlings. I also build houses to shelter them. I'm at least planning to adopt a child from each place. God Bless those people.

when i was newly born i was adopted by my new parents at the age of 12 days! my original parents who didnt wanted me as i was an unwanted child threw me away from their lives. when i was 11 i came to know this truth through one of my relatives which came up to me as a shock. i asked my father about the same. he then confessed the truth. i even called my biological mom and dad at the point to tell me truth why they did so. but nothing could help my distress.

Im 17yrs old now...I was adopted at the age of 2 days old. it was an open adoption so my parents im living with now,they got to meet my birth mom Erika, but not my dad. I do know what my dad looks like.All i know is that he is in jail right now for stupid shit. I met my birth mom about 7 years ago. Then when I was about 15 or 16, I found out that I have an older brother Scott, who is 19.(who I sat next to in school)My sister told me about him.MY other 2 sisters are 5 and 14 years old. Im not sure wen im going to meet my dad if I ever do.

Just remember, being a Dad is about teaching and loving, not about genes.

I too, want to thank each and every individual who takes in a child whose life has turned appallingly ugly! I spent my early years in foster homes and dedicated several chapters in my book to those who share their homes, their lives, and their love with children who have so little. Please see my profile for details on this book, and I sincerely hope you'll give it a chance to relate how a child percieves his/her place in your life. I salute those who give of your-selves to bring something positive into the lives of those who struggle with the negativity of a childhood gone horribly wrong! God Bless Each and Every One! "From a Child's Perception" by Anna Fowler

Trust me when I tell you this .Dont tell Your kids there addopted untell there older It will save you a lot of heart ache .I know.

I disagree with littlebit5. I think you find a way to present adoption as just another normal way for a child to come into a family. Perhaps have an anniversary celebration (with gifts and cake and candles) for the adoption date, and a birthday card for the birthdate. For bio-kids, the big birthday celebration would include a birthday card. If a kid always knew he/she was adopted, it would be normal.

My daughter was taken away from me by her birth mother, she gave her up for adoption without my consent. I took her to court to try to get my daughter, but the courts terminated my rights as a father. I took a DNA test and it came back 99.99999% but due to the laws in Jacksonville Fl, whom ever sign the birth certificate is the legal parent. I am so sad about not having my child and as a father who is fighting to get his child I am all out of ideas or resources on getting her back. I have filed and appeal and that was denied now I'm waiting to file with the Supreme Courts. It has been a long and painful process because my daughter is being raised by someone else when she should be with me and her family. If anyone know of anything or anyone in Jacksonville Fl that can help me or assist me in this matter please respond to my post.