This is a series of posts discussing what a lot of hopeful adoptive parents don’t consider, at least not at first…The Emotions of Adoption.
Any post with the icon I’ve made means that this is a continuation, and of course, the title will mention this as well.
I am taking a lot of the discussion ideas from a book that you should be reading, if you have not already, called “Growing Up Adopted” by Maxine B. Rosenberg.
This book is a collection of stories that are made of the thoughts and feelings of adoptees of all different age ranges and of all different adoption “walks of life”.
Tonight, I am covering Josh, age 10, whose parents chose international adoption from Colombia, South America.
From Growing Up Adopted, by Maxine B. Rosenberg:
In the future, Josh plans to meet his birth parents. “Mainly, I’d like to find out how they’re doing and if they’re all right. I am also curious to see if there is a resemblance between them and me.”
One of the most difficult thoughts of a hopeful adoptive parent deals with their child wanting to meet their birth parents.
Because of the negative, false, and un-necessary stereotypes of birth mothers being pot smoking, gutter trash whores, hopeful adoptive parents can sometimes get the idea that an adoptee that searches for their family is ungrateful.
How a birth family SHOULD be viewed is a loving person(s) that cared enough about their child to place them with someone that WILL take care of them in ways they could not.
Adopting from foster care? As hard as it is to not have negative views of the birth family, you MUST, for the sake of your child, present a positive attitude toward discussions regarding them.
The child is part bio mom, part bio dad. If you cannot stand their bio parents, and obviously, they’re part of them, then they may very well feel you can’t stand them, either.
The concept that your child now wants to search or meet their birth parents, especially from a closed adoption, brings out feelings of fear, loss, and worthlessness.
As a hopeful adoptive parent you need to prepare yourself in advance for these possibilities and emotions.
An adoptee does have an instinctive curiosity to know who their birth parents are. I know a LOT more that want to know than do not care to know. You, as an adoptive parent, need to realize they may want to search out their birth family.
Are you willing to let them do this? It’s NOT that they are ungrateful toward your rearing them. How would you like to have not known YOUR mother or father? What if you had a medical condition that was genetic and you need to find biological family?
As hard as it is to hear this, especially if you have sought this path because of infertility…you have given NOTHING to the adopted child, except your unconditional love, helping them discern right from wrong, and a quality upbringing.
Their hair, eyes, way they clench their fist, walk, etc, are all genetic, from their biological family. I do not mention this to be argumentative. It was a statement that took me VERY much by surprise when I was in my adoption classes. No matter what I do, or how good of a parent I am to my child(ren), nothing erases the fact that their birth family, “good or bad”, will ALWAYS be a part of them.
Be sure to keep watching during the week, as the series continues. I hope to cover the emotions of adoptive parents, as well as adoptees, and eventually, I will move on to the birth family and their thoughts and concerns.