There’s no rule book when it comes to welcoming an adopted child into the family, but one grandmother has stirred debate after admitting she fears she won’t be able to love her adopted grandchild as much as she loves those related to her by blood.
Posting in online forum Gransnet, the concerned grandmother said her daughter and son-in-law had decided to adopt after struggling to conceive. They already have a four-year-old daughter, who was conceived via IVF, but after struggling to fall pregnant again they chose to adopt a little boy who will be joining the family soon.
However, while the rest of the family is overjoyed with the decision, the grandmother fears she won’t have the same connection with a “strange child” who isn’t related by blood.
“My problem is that I don’t know how to handle this,” she wrote. “I’ve been very supportive throughout all the adoption process, for my daughter’s sake, but really, I don’t know how I feel about this. I’m worried that I won’t be able to bond with this new child (I really want to say ‘strange’ child!).
“I’m not the sort of person who adores children. I don’t drool over babies. I love my own. And that’s it! Of course, I will treat him just the same as my other grandchildren. But I’m really worried that I won’t be able to love him (And poor little soul has been through so much rejection, I would hate to add to it!).”
It seems many grandparents have been through a similar experience with their own adopted grandchildren, with many admitting it’s tricky at first.
“I understand how you feel, because I felt that too at first,” one commentator wrote. “But now I can honestly say that I love my adopted grandchildren just as much as my blood grandchildren. In time, it just doesn’t make any difference. Adoption can be a wonderful thing.”
Another wrote: “Don’t forget the child will soon pick up on any negative vibes. I was rejected by my adoptive maternal grandparents obviously many years ago now, but we both lost out because of it. Don’t let this happen to you, your family needs your support.”
A third reader advised the grandmother to take a “fake it till you make it” approach and let the relationship develop over time.
Other grandparents admitted it wasn’t always adopted grandkids who caused conflicts of the heart, with many confessing it took them years to feel a deep sense of love and devotion towards their now-beloved grandkids.