"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, â€œWe love you as our own.â€ The adoptee will be your child and thatâ€™s a mixed message if there ever was one.
- Donâ€™t overdo the â€œyou are so special/luckyâ€ thing. They arenâ€™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 childâ€™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.
- Donâ€™t take it personal if they decide to search for their blood.
Itâ€™s not about you or something you did wrong, itâ€™s about wanting to
know where you came from. After all, you probably know where you came
- Be honest in all things. Donâ€™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. Donâ€™t hold it against them and
donâ€™t think you need to â€œdefendâ€ 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 hasnâ€™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 â€œWow, you look just like them.â€ Itâ€™s
one of the first things we notice, because we donâ€™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 â€œlove them enoughâ€ 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 â€œmake upâ€ 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 â€œtellâ€ a child they are adopted. Make it something that they have always known.
- Never say â€œI understand how you feel or I know what you are going
through.â€ 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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