Today Julie and I had an adoption training in Denver. Family history, fear of neglect, attachement/disattachment, anger, and questioning family of origin were a few of the topics tagged. There are so many complex issues around this one issue, and we are getting a deeper understanding of some of them. The woman who taught this was adopted and shared her personal thoughts.
Here are a few that really stuck out to me…
“Exploring is normal” ALL adoptive kids want (need?) to know their family history in order to understand their identity. This isn’t an insult to you, it’s simply human.
“Every kid is different” Some settle in great and love their situation and some are haunted by the belief that they weren’t good enough and never will be.
“Different stages will lend to more honesty” From the start they should know they are adopted, but different stages will prompt them to not just ask the “how” of adoption but the “why”.
“Adoptive parents HAVE to be advocates” You must advocate for your kids and for the country they come from. You cannot make them devoid of the culture they arrive from, yet they must feel like they are still American. This can be a hard balance
“When they are angry at you they’re usually not angry at you” Weird, but true. They will often channel anger toward their adoptive parents that is really more about the birth family or their pervious living situation.
It was a great training and we continue to learn and grow through this process. We are still very excited for our kids and we realize it’s never easy raising kids, expecially adopted ones.
For a great resource on how your kids should deal with comments about them not looking like mommy and daddy check this out.