Adoption has been talked about a lot in the media lately, but it typically focuses on young children.
Have you ever wondered what adoption is like for older children?
Adoption is bound to be a different experience for someone who is old enough to remember and participate in the process in their own way.
A person who already has an established personality, fears, quirks, anxieties, etc... is surely going to experience the adoption process differently than an infant or very young child would.
But what does that look like?
"People who were adopted when they were old enough to remember it, how long did it take for your adopted family to feel like your family?"
Read on for the details Reddit users were willing to share about their adoptions.
About 2 months, that's when I asked if I could call her mum, she cried and I felt bad because I didn't know happy tears were a thing when I was 5.
I'd been meeting them for about 6 months before that and the odd weekend sleepover to get to know them before I moved in, so by the time I actually lived there I was quite comfortable with them and looking forward to staying for good.
I'd lived with a foster family for a year but always knew it was temporary so never got too attached.
Permission For Food
About a week in when they told me I didn't have to ask permission every time I wanted food. I was like "Well, this is family."
My bio mom rarely had food in the house and when we did have food we had to ask for it before we were allowed to eat. Most of the time she said no. My next two foster homes were the same exact way so I thought that's just how they were. Wicked people.Giphy
The last and final home (mentioned above) was my maternal uncle and his wife. I didn't really know them up until I moved in. They were so confused as to why I asked for food first and barely ate when I did get it. I remember watching food network with them and saying something looked good. The next day all the ingredients were there and my uncle taught me to cook. After that I was the family chef and would whip up anything I could. They did a lot of good for me. And I'm still the best cook in the family.
I was about 9 years old when I was adopted. My sisters and my brother came with. At the time, I didn't realize just how crazy my new parents were for deciding to adopt all four of us at once. (Now that I'm older, I can safely say that we've given both of them absolute HELL all throughout our teenage years.) Honestly, not being separated from my siblings made the transition kind of seamless. We'd been in the foster care system for only about 8 months and were more or less oblivious to what was going on.
Then we were introduced to some people who wanted to be our new parents.
One week we were visiting these two nice people, the next we were living with them and visiting all our new relatives. I know that it might sound kind of bland, but there was maybe only a period of a couple weeks where I had to get comfortable with thinking of these strangers as family. Maybe it helped that I was a relatively dumb kid, or maybe my new family being so closely knit with each other helped. Hell, my new grandparents lived next door to us until we moved to a bigger house!
I was adopted at 11 and technically this happened just before. It's important to note I have trouble showing affection.
The day I realized I was really wanted was when my adoptive Dad got on a plane with me and flew over 2 states so I could confront my bio Dad. I wanted answers. In the end I asked him to give up parental rights as I could clearly see I had found a better family.
When you have one Dad standing back (but still close enough to protect you showing love) and another slumped, half drunk on a picnic table it's clear what the best option is.
After that I felt more relaxed as I knew I couldn't be sent back to my bio Dad (he was holding out his rights to stop the adoption) I didn't become affectionate per se, but I did start being more comfortable and sharing my dreams in life which often resulted in my Dad in the back yard doing dumb stuff with me like learning hoola hoop tricks because I wanted to join the circus.
So I guess the answer is from the start once I was adopted.
I was adopted by my foster family when I was five years old. I had been with them since I was a baby but I fully understood there was a difference between being a foster kid who called them mom and dad and being "their" kid. A lot of kids came in and out of the doors that called them mom and dad but I knew that if I was adopted it meant I got to stay.
This may sound harsh, but I sincerely appreciated it. When my parents were waiting to hear about the adoption my mom sat me down and we had a very tough conversation. I obviously don't remember the details but I do remember one thing. A yes to the adoption meant I could stay with them forever. A no meant that I would likely be moved to a new foster home. I remember hiding in my room when any new cars pulled up out front of our house because I so badly wanted to stay. My mom said she told me because she wanted me to have no doubt in my mind that, no matter if the court decided yes or no, they wanted and loved me.
Luckily for me (and I have to say this because I can feel the stares of my whole family if I don't: luckily for them too) the answer was yes.
I think when it clicked for me, really fully clicked, was when I was about 10-13 and I found an old VHS tape with my name on it. I put it in and it was my family. My mom, dad, brother and sister. They were all standing in front of the camera and they were talking about me. My older brother said something I'll never forget. "I have a little sister, her name is Ellyendra. I guess she isn't ours yet but we want to keep her. I really hope we get to cause I love her a lot."
That. Did. It. Knowing that this awkward 14 year old kid loved me so much he was willing to say that into a camera for a tape my parents planned to send with me if I couldn't be theirs. I was a mess. I still can barely watch it now without bursting into tears. My brother and I are about 12 years apart and we are the best of friends.
It definitely helped that all of my extended family felt the same too. Anytime anyone would say something or make a comment or even mention adoption -- my aunts were like vultures. It's the most amazing feeling ever. "Well that doesn't matter she is ours! Always has been!" Followed by crushing hugs from at least five people.
4th Time Is A Charm
I was 6, my sister 11. She took to them right away but it took me about 6 months, this is abnormally long but because they were the 4th family to try and adopt us I thought I was going back into foster care, so I had an irrational hatred of them for several months.
1st family was deemd "too religious" after the adoption agency found out they locked our toys in the garage because they were 'possessed by satan'. We were only allowed to listen to instrumental Christian music in the house and when the 'dad' found out my sister was interested in Egypt he made her sit at the dinner table and forced her to write 10 reasons why "Her Egyptian gods were better than his".
She was 10.
The system was going to let them adopt us til our foster mom locked the agents in a room and told them they weren't allowed to leave until they wrote 10 reasons why we should be adopted by them... got the point across real well! I remember the house smelling like that incense they use to 'ward off demons' too.
2nd family They ended up not liking us because I had too many trauma triggers and they couldn't figure out how to deal with our PTSD and gave us back.
3rd try, The family got caught with several types of drugs. (This was a biological family member who offered to take us in.)
Then, of course, the people who actually adopted us. I did attempt to sabotage that adoption during my 1st week there by telling my foster mom they hit me and I hated them. My sister told her I was lying - which I am now grateful for.14 years later I am very glad they adopted my sister and I.
It took about a year for me. I didn't really feel like they were my family until I was 13 (I had met them at 12), and I asked my step sister for advice on how to ask a girl out. I know it sounds stupid but that was when it really clicked that they were family and I could trust them.
It never did, sadly. It was just incompatibility even though I was very very young (a toddler less than two) and honestly we just never fit.
I don't love them and I never did. I wanted to so badly. They felt the same way, I am sure. I always wondered if I was broken until I had my own family and found my bio siblings. I felt it then. I didn't actually know I was adopted until 18.
We just had really different personalities. My adoptive family were loud sports people. Mother wanted a girly girl pageant queen like the rest of the women in her family line. I am a quiet reader who is super interested in frogs.
I left home at 17 and we haven't spoken to each other in years since I was 30-ish.
I wish them well.
I feel a very strong connection to my bio family that I found when I was 18. Not my bio parents (they're useless) but I found siblings with my same sense of humour and my niece is so much like me it is scary. I had adopted siblings, but they were always like strangers even though we grew up together.
A Horrific Attempt
I was adopted at 6. My adopted family took me to Walmart and a guy tried grabbing/kidnapping me. My older brothers beat the crap out of him; one grabbed a skateboard and hit the guy over the head then they kicked him and stomped on him while he was on the ground. That's when I knew my family cared about me.
I was adopted from foster care at 14. I definitely didn't feel like a real member of the family until I had my own child. I guess that seems odd. Getting gifts and things really made me feel awkward when I was younger but having them drop everything when I had a baby and step in as fantastic grandparents sealed the deal.
My adoptive mother always thought of me as her own. She says the stork left me on the wrong doorstep and it took her a while to find me. Although she raised my with her husband, they got divorced when I was in my early 20's. He was a wonderful grandpa to my firstborn but he met someone else and dropped out of our lives because it made his new wife uncomfortable.
That was hard to lose a family again, but my mom remarried a wonderful man and he is awesome to my kids. At this point after 32 years, we just don't think about it. Occasionally something funny will happen, we will talk about something she has and we might talk about it being hereditary before we remember and laugh. No one would ever guess, people always see similarities. My kids don't know. I am not hiding it but it just doesn't come up.Giphy
The next question is usually about my bio parents. I talk to my father a few times a year. He had the option to keep me out of foster care but it just didn't work for him. My mom is a life long drug addict with a lengthy prison record for assault, terrorism, stalking, soliciting etc.
The first 12 years of my.life was horrific. I had no childhood. I visited her when I was 18, I thought maybe not having her child for the last 6 years would trigger something. She at first didn't remember having a child and then blamed me for her addictions. I walked away and have never looked back except to check in with her local pd every few years. She has a shopping cart that she parks near the station and they are all familiar with her.
I got very lucky to be adopted but I was a jerk at first. I had a lot of issues and truly belonging was hard.
Out Of State College
My aunt and uncle adopted me when I was 3 years old. What followed was years of emotional breakdowns, therapy, and social anxiety. For the longest time it never felt like I ever had or deserved a family, I eventually came to terms with me just in another living space. I did learn to love the family I was adopted into though. Around the time I was transferring colleges out of the state, my family was genuinely sad to see me leave and it kinda just hit me that these people actually loved me.
My late adoption caused long term self esteem issues, and this was the first time in my life I knew people could love and care about me. Everything my family did to accommodate me into our new home; therapy, letting me visit my birth parents, putting MY last name on the mailbox, and more was done out of complete love.
I'm 22 now and I'm going to be moving out in two months. I am very bad at expressing gratitude and I don't like hugging or talking to people but I'm doing literally all I can to try to convey that I love them. I've been looking bad at these last 19 years now and I feel horrible that I didn't believe they cared about me. I don't think they believe me when I tell them I love them. This is emotionally tolling on me but I'm gonna keep trying until I know they know.
The stories aren't all heartwarming and happy, but they are all admirably vulnerable, honest, and eye opening.
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Accepting reality is never fun.
Once the allure of childhood wears off, all we have is a hard smack of concrete reality.
Redditor Shutup_Iamtalking wanted all of us to take sometime and prepare for life's harsh realities. They asked:
"[Serious] What is a disturbing truth, every adult has to face eventually?"
In order to get through the day we have to deal with the menial facts. Good luck.
Farewell...Good Bye GIFGiphy
"Unexpected family deaths."
"Every single person you know will die. It’s just a matter of who between you dies first."
"Life maintenance. You are gonna have to wash those dishes, Do your hair. All your hygiene and house cleaning. It never ends"
"Same for my mom - she went from being a SAHM to getting 2 part-time jobs (maybe 3 now?) she loves, makes just enough to hire a maid/masseuse/gets crap delivered instead of going to pick it up. She prefers the community and routine her jobs provide and would rather come home to a clean house than do chores and run errands herself."
When We Were Young
"Damn, this thread made me not wanna grow up anymore lmao."
"Hold on to your youth, take too many pictures, forgive quickly, tell your friends and family how much they mean to you, aim to make other peoples day."
"In a lot of ways, succeeding as an adult means constantly challenging yourself to be in situations that are really uncomfortable. This applies to work, school, social life, and even just the day to day life of getting stuff done."
"Wow... so much truth in this one. Whenever you open a new door, the rest of the world doesn't move out of your way or even try to make it easier."
NOOOO!!overdue relapse records GIF by Red FangGiphy
"The mail your parents got that you wanted as a kid?? Yeah... it's just bills."
I hate truth. But here we are listening.
TissueUnravelling Toilet Paper GIFGiphy
"Like toilet paper, closer to the end, faster it goes."
"This is a wonderful analogy."
As Time Goes By...
"Caring for your parents as they weaken and die. If you are lucky they keep their wits until the end."
"He used to be an excellent skier. This time he could barely see the counters of the slope, wanted to stick to the bunny slope, and even then came close to seriously injuring himself multiple times. He put on a happy face, but we both tacitly understood that this was the last time he would ever go skiing. It's hard not to get sad at that realization."
"With the exception of your minor kids, all of your relationships are based on continuous mutual renewal, cancellation at any time for any reason. This includes your parents, your spouse/partner and your siblings. Consequences for behavior can thus be very disproportionate in an absolute scale."
"You will have friends who turn out to not have been friends. Some people aren’t good people."
"You also will outgrow friends and that's ok. I'm nearing 50 and there are people who are no longer in my life simply because I'm not in that part of my life anymore."
"Nothing 'happened' per se, it's just that you move in different directions. I find adult friendships tend to be much more fleeting, if you don't have some commonality holding you together (the office, a volunteer organization, an activity, etc.) the friendships tend to fade."
That's Lifefrank sinatra oscars GIF by The Academy AwardsGiphy
"Life is not fair. It will never be fair. You’re not guaranteed happiness and hard work doesn’t always pay off. You can do the absolute best you can and still not make it in this world. Such as life."
Truth is hard. Life is hard. So if we're gonna live. It's gonna be hard.
When we're little, we're inclined to believe things that seem ridiculous when we get older. Most of us believed in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy at some point. Many of us believed unicorns existed, or that there were monsters hiding under our beds.
When we were 10, my best friend and I convinced our younger brother that we were spies that went to a special spy school in the middle of the night to train. When I was 12, I managed to convince my soccer camp rival that I was pregnant with a carrot. I'm still not sure how that worked!
The point is, when we're children, we tend to believe a lot of silly, or even stupid things. However, some of us carry some of those stupid beliefs into adulthood.
Reddit users shared some of the stupidest things that they or someone they know still believe thanks to Redditor OnionChan_.
"What are the stupidest things that some people believe?"
Live Dangerously Or Not At All
"Had a former co-worker who believed it was safer to cross in the middle of oncoming traffic than at a stop light because they were forced to see you that way. We'd be walking and she'd just cross, horns blaring and swerving around her while we waited for the light to change."
"She also believed our manager was on her side though, and she was the lowest paid in the group - even below the minimum the school allowed. It was amazing she was still alive."
Those Cows Are Talented
"Probably late to the party but I thought that cows rolled up those hay bales until I was like 16."
"As someone who spent the last three days throwing hay bales, I wish cows contributed."
It's Like Rain On Your Wedding Day
"Up until 6th grade I thought ironic meant something was made entirely out of iron. I was only corrected on my misunderstanding when my teacher asked me to explain my logic after I commented on how the hole puncher was the only ironic object in the room. I still remember the look of bewilderment on her face as I said it lol."
And Also, It's Made Of Cheese
"I knew a woman who believed that there are high-end resorts on the moon that rich people are vacationing at. She was shocked and confused when I told her that I didn't also believe this."
Where Do Babies Come From?
"When I was little, I thought children came from your kidneys."
"You're kidding me."
Someone Needs To Look At A Map
"Heard some guy say "Florida doesn't exist, the government made it up". He wasn't joking"
"That's nonsense. Wyoming is the only fictional state."
"Technically the government made up every single state. Like how every word is made up."
One Of The Biggest Conspiracy Theories
"if the earth was flat, cats would have knocked everything off the edge by now."
"I just want to know what is the purpose of the conspiracy? Like if the earth really was flat what would be the purpose of hiding that?"
Nothing To Do But Laugh
"We use only 33% of a traffic light. Imagine how fast traffic would flow if we used 100% instead!"
"I got into this argument with someone once. I ended it with "Let me remove 90% of your brain and let's see how well you function.""
Milk Is Milk Is Milk
"I saw a video of a vegan, drinking strawberry milk the nesquick brand. They said “it’s vegan because it’s strawberry milk. Not like cow milk. You know what I mean?” I get how they can have misunderstood due to almond milk, soy milk etc. but still, I found it very stupid and I feel like it’s very common knowledge that it’s strawberry flavored, like chocolate milk."
"Really difficult to milk all those tiny little nipples on the outside of the strawberries. Takes a lot of work"
Double, Double Toil and Trouble
"That crystals have magical powers"
That made me laugh out loud, and not because of its ridiculousness. I admit, for a long time, I believed that too!
People often go on and on about the dark web.
A secret place of scandal and horror.
But what is it really like?
Redditor AceofSpadesYTwanted to hear about the secrets and the salacious tales from the dark side of the internet. They asked:
"People who have accessed the dark web, what was it like?"
I've never visited the dark web, nor do I know how to find it. Thankfully. But tell me some stories.
The RegularSpongebob Squarepants Internet GIFGiphy
"Mostly just like the regular web but with illegal stuff. Drugs, weapons, passports or Kreditcard, apparent hitman service (not sure if that was real though). It is super slow though and the link collections you find for the Tor browser are mostly dead."
"Just like VPN slows down your connection a bit like 5-10% slow if it's a good VPN with it's company spending lots of money on running thousands of servers. Dark web required multiple layers of encryption and proxies just like a using 3 VPNs on top of each other so that alone makes it much slower, moreover the proxies servers are cheap low budget ones run by volunteers (and some by intelligence agencies)."
Ah... simpler times indeed
"I've seen scarier stuff in the untamed age of the internet than I did when going through it."
"We lived in simpler times back then, I loved growing up on the internet. Back when most people didn't even know what social media was, AOL chat rooms, MSN and Yahoo chat rooms."
Not a Browse
"'What it's like.' is just websites. What you find depends on what you look for. There's a bunch of piracy sites, a lot of counter-culture blogs, sites on hacking (not just blackhat stuff, but a lot of whitehat stuff too)."
"You will also find a lot of sites in other languages too, especially ones you don't normally see, as a lot of darkweb stuff is used to circumvent censorship (the most famous Darkweb network, TOR, was developed by the US Naval Research Lab), and most major news orgs will have some sort of presence there, just as a way to get tips they can't get otherwise."
"A lot of what people assume is there, isn't as common as you might think, and a lot of what is there of that, are government-run honeypots. It's not generally a 'browse' thing, you tend to go to the darkweb with a specific topic in mind, and go to that."
Watching YouGlitch Snes GIF by Death OrgoneGiphy
"I think of the darkweb as a honeytrap. Drugs, guns, antisocial groups. There's no way a place with that potential isn't being monitored."
Sounds pretty run of the mill so far. With a few naughties here and there.
Bad Clickscomputer clicking GIF by South Park Giphy
"Turns out the accessing the deep Web doesn't do you any good if you don't have any idea where to go. Like I know of websites that are supposed to be on the dark web but I don't want to go to them. That seems like a short road to a long prison sentence."
"A lot of freaking searching for correct url’s. Idk, I was just window shopping, if you’re not there to shop, and been around for a while, it’s not that interesting."
"This is the best way to describe the deep web imo. I tried using it once out of stupid impulsive curiosity, and it was just rather boring, slow, and overall rather tedious to use. A lot of the websites are poorly designed and dated, and that's if they work at all. Not worth it if you have no business being there and don't know what you're doing."
"Oddly boring. I disconnected and covered up my webcam. Because all of those stories I heard, people accessed your webcam. The first thing I noticed was that it was as slow as hell. Can you imagine running a livestream on this thing? The next thing I found was surprisingly weird."
"It was selling fake magazine paper or fake newspaper paper to print forged coupons on. Not a single person opened a chat window saying 'I SEE YOU! You are x in y!' No red rooms, and any videos of creepy things would probably take days to load. No links to those either. I did find fake accounts to access scientific journals though."
"Awkward and slow to use. It's hard to find what you are looking for, even harder to find a reliable source. The only currencies used are crypto currencies and anonymity is taken extremely seriously. PGP encryption is widely used for direct messaging."
"You have access to a reliable site it is just the same as using a website url and clearnet only slower and the interface is much older looking. I won't get into any details on how its accessed for very obvious reasons but the process of purchasing is normally just found a listing on one of the market websites (think eBay only much shadier), make sure the seller is reliable by checking reviews etc and then place an order."
"You message them directly using PGP (encrypted messages only they can decrypt) with your address and pay them using some crypto. After a few days a package shows up with whatever you brought in it. Usually disguised as something else. For example what I bought came disguised as a sim card!! It's all quite similar to the clearnet just with more security steps added in and a bit more risk!"
RaritiesWorking On It GIF by KAT BALLGiphy
"I haven't, but a guy I watch on YouTube used to do a weekly video series where he would look at stuff on the deep/dark web."
"Obviously for video purposes he was showing stuff that was YouTube friendly, but he frequently talked about how the dark web is pretty boring, and 99% of the stuff on it would be perfectly fine on the normal web. Yes, illegal content does exist, but it's actually pretty rare in the grand scheme of things."
Well that is underwhelming but comforting. Maybe there is more good in the world than sleaze.
Going on a first date is nerve-wracking. We've all been there.
"What’s a good first date that doesn’t involve alcohol?"
Being entertained is a great way to experience something together without having to worry about initial small talk.
Catch A Flick
"Movie I think is fine, but if it's around 7 or 8PM and you get out with some time left in the night. I say that because it gives you a shared experience and something to connect and talk about which can be a good icebreaker. Not ideal first date but in a pinch it can work."
Don't Blow Your Cover
"Not a comedy club - if they find out you're on a first date you will get roasted without mercy."
"Source: Been there, done that."
Get Roasted, Not Toasted
"Great first date if your date is already a friend and you know their taste in comedy and tolerance for the obligatory hazing."
Some prefer engaging in an activity, where being anti-social is not an option.
Scaling New Heights
"My SO and I had our first date at a climbing gym."
"My husband took me to a cheese factory on our first date."
T"here were free samples. A tour of the new factory, and a heritage tour of the original wooden building and dairy."
"That was a good first date."
Raising The Bar
"It wasn't our first date, but the first time I brought my girlfriend(now wife) to my hometown I took her on a tour at Saranac in Utica NY. She loved it."
"Downside though, some of the dates after that were kinda boring because that one went so well. It was hard to follow up"
"Mini golf is the best first date ever."
"bowling is really good as long as she's into it. There's a slight friendly competition to see who wins, and you can get food/drinks and talk a ton. great time to not be uptight and just be a lil goofy and friendly."
Excursions are a great option, but it would be wise to consider the following:
"As a woman who loves hiking: absolutely do not go on a hike as a first date, or if you really want to then make it a double date. Unless she already knows you (and even then...) she will be on edge/scared the entire time, more likely than not turn the whole thing down."
Stay In The Public Eye
"Try walking at a beach or some other place where you always be in sight of many other people. I live near a very busy rail trail, but that does NOT meet the standard of ALWAYS visible."
"I live near an upscale strip mall, and my first few dates with my wife we got froyo and walked the mall. Window shopping can help provide interesting items to keep the conversation flowing."
"Something that I've done with first dates off of dating sites/apps is go to a food court in a mall. This accomplishes a few things: 1) You are meeting for the first time in a public place. 2) There's a wide variety of food to choose from, with the added bonus that you can get a clue of where to take her on a second date. 3) After eating you two can walk around the mall, do some window shopping, maybe blow a few bucks at the arcade. etc."
Outdoor Seating Preferred
"Picnic is a great idea. If you go to a crowded park in your area so they’re not on edge that way you can control what you’re eating and drinking."
I went to a Six Flags park as a first date once, and that was a lot of fun.
It's a good mix of gradually getting to know the other person while waiting in line to get on one of the rides and experiencing the thrill of a roller coaster together.
When the adrenaline is pumping and your heart is throbbing, it's a great ice-breaker that could culminate in the greatest thrill of all at the end of the day–That first kiss.