Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What Adoptees Want Their Parents to Know

Thinking about adoption makes me thankful for God choosing a loving and wonderful family for me. And it also makes me think of things I saw and felt growing up, or that I've heard from other adoptees. And even though it doesn't dive into some of the special needs of abused or neglected children(I don't pretend to be enough of an expert for that!), I couldn't help coming up with my list of

Top Three Things Adoptees Want Their Parents to Know

1.We're your children - period. Sounds basic, doesn't it? However, if you really think about it, the way we respond to an adoption shows the children in a family what adoption means. When we read of adoption in the Bible, are we adopted children separated from the rest of the family? No, God has taken us in as His chosen sons and daughters.

My parents didn't do this, but I have been around several situations where parents constantly differentiate between their biological children and their adoptive children. I knew one woman who would talk about "my son Bill" or "my daughter Jen", but always spoke of one of her daughters by calling her, "Mary,my adopted daughter." The poor child never got to be simply, "my daughter Mary" or even "Mary." She was always marked out as different in this woman's speech and I couldn't help but wonder how that might play out in other parts of her life.

2.We do get curious about where we came from. I remember as a child, even though I knew I belonged with my family and I loved them, I still wondered about my biological family. I didn't love my family any less; I was just curious. And I know from my own experience that it helps to know that it's okay to talk about it with our parents or to ask questions about being adopted.

3. I need to know you'll be there. In my case, I was adopted as an infant, so the dynamic was a little different. However, there comes a point when a child gets old enough to realize that in order for there to be an adoption, a child was either orphaned or given up by someone. Not surprisingly, this made me slightly clingier than some of my peers. I needed to know that when Mom dropped me off at school, she really was going to pick me up at 2 just like she did every day. And later on, as I got to know other adoptees, I learned that I wasn't the only one. However, in the end, dealing with this fear of abandonment helped my relationship with God. After testing them time and again, I knew my earthly parents would be there and so when the topic of trusting in God's presence came up, I just knew that I could trust my Father.

I have been blessed by getting to know more and more families who have followed God's leading to adopt and I'm so thankful to see adoption becoming more common. It's an issue that's very much on my heart, but I am also conscious that adoption is not for everyone and God does not call every family down this path. However, for everyone He calls to adopt, I'm starting to notice that He calls some of us to encourage, to pray and to love our friends, our brothers and sisters in Christ and their families. I hope this information blesses and encourages you whether you are an adoptive family or simply walking with one along the journey!

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  1. Oh Amy, this is a truly beautiful post! Well done! I rejoice that God placed you within the loving arms of your family and that through your life He used your family to teach you about His love...and in turn you are doing the same now for others!



  2. awesome past Amy...thanks for this :D

  3. Thankyou so much for sharing this, I don't know anyone adopted so it is good to hear what is important to a person who has been adopted.

    It is very sad for those children who's adopted parents do set them apart, I wonder why they do it. Would they like it done to them selves I wonder.

  4. This is a great, informative post! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm going to spread the word to my Facebook friends.

    Thanks for stopping by More to Be, too. I love your encouraging words!



  5. Amy...this post is so meaningful to me. I want to be THIS kind of parent for our kiddos (adopted & biological).
    I'm saving a box of info-for-someday for Lydi...because I know she will have questions.
    Can't tell you how much this means to my mama's heart...to see you down-the-adoption-road and read all this.
    I love our kiddos (ALL of them--adopted and biological) so much...and this perspective means tons to me.

  6. This is a great reminder...my family has grown through adoption and it's important we never make our children feel excluded. It's something I'm not always perfect at but striving to do.