"Knowing is not enough; we must apply!" – Goethe
I agree so strongly, I had to share.
Recommendations to Adoptive Parents from an Adoptee:
- Educate yourself, read every book you can find on adoptees and on
being an adoptive parent. (If you need any recommendations, ask me)
- Decide now, if you are doing this for a child, or for yourself. (Is
it about image or love? Is it about your own needs, to be a parent, to
be needed, to fit in society?)
- Mourn what you may not have. (As in blood children of their own.)
- Never say, “We love you as our own.” The adoptee will be your child and that’s a mixed message if there ever was one.
- Don’t overdo the “you are so special/lucky” thing. They aren’t going to feel that, so actions will speak louder than words.
- Always be there for them, they may have anxiety when you leave them
at daycare, or anywhere else. This is normal for most kids, but often
worse for an adoptee.
- Join a support group, somewhere they can play with other adopted kids and you can talk about your life with your child.
- Love them unconditionally. Even when they shout you are not my family. Even more so then.
- Find out everything you can about your child’s heritage and family
and try to incorporate some of it into your own. Allow them to freedom
to explore their history as well as yours.
- Don’t take it personal if they decide to search for their blood.
It’s not about you or something you did wrong, it’s about wanting to
know where you came from. After all, you probably know where you came
- Be honest in all things. Don’t LIE to your adopted chid about their origins.
- Love them, UNCONDITIONALLY.
- If a member of the birthfamily comes around searching, be honest
and truthful with the adoptee about it. Let them make the decision or
if still very young, ask their opinion. Don’t hold it against them and
don’t think you need to “defend” your child from these people. After
all, from a biological stand point, your child is theirs as well.
- If the adoptee is reunited, try to not hold animosity toward the
birth family. Also understand that the adoptee may spend more time with
them for a while. He or she hasn’t forgotten you, they are just
reveling in something new, like looking at someone who looks like them.
(Want to know what I mean? If you are ever around a bunch of adoptees
and one of them just reunited and is showing pictures, the first
comment is probably going to be “Wow, you look just like them.” It’s
one of the first things we notice, because we don’t see it in
- Encourage them to talk about adoption and their birth family. Never
give them any sense that it is not okay to talk about it -by a look,
tone of voice, etc.
- Do not expect that if you “love them enough” that will solve magically solve all adoption issues that they might have.
- Never say anything negative about the birth family. Part of their
identity comes from their birth family. Insulting the birth family is
like insulting the child.
- Never “make up” anything about the birth family. If you do, it may come back to bite you later.
- Encourage contact with the birth family. Never withhold any letters, pictures, etc. unless it is necessary for safety concerns.
- Do not wait to “tell” a child they are adopted. Make it something that they have always known.
- Never say “I understand how you feel or I know what you are going
through.” Unless you have been adopted yourself, and even then, you
have no way of truly understanding the pain and hurt that an adoptee
may be feeling.
- LOVE THEM, UNCONDITIONALLY.
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