Connecting with Your Incredible Adopted Child

Dear friends,

We adoptees look through glasses that are cracked by trauma and loss and oftentimes, it’s so hard to see. We need you as our journey mate. Here are some tips about entering the delicate world of your adopted kids:

HOW TO ENTER THE WORLD OF THE ADOPTED CHILD

  1. Acknowledge the reality of adoption from day one (with newborns, foster kids, adoptees). Talk realities!
  2. Initiate conversations about the child’s pre-adoption perceptions.
  3. Validate the adoptee’s identity by never speaking ill of the birth family. Show respect to the role of the parent but not the performance.
  4. Create a safe, non-judgmental place where the adoptee can freely express any thought or emotion. “I hate her.”
  5. Celebrate the differences between the adoptive and birth families that you see in your child.
  6. Be sensitive to the child’s unspoken need for a sense of connection to his past. A photo?
  7. Respect the adoptee’s ned to consider searching for birth relatives, or in an open adoption, for a “date” with birth mom or dad.
  8. Be emotionally present.
  9. Become an expert in helping your child learn how to regulate emotions. Tell her you want to stay and connect with her when she’s hurting.
  10. Learn how to play!

HOW TO MISS ENTRANCE INTO YOUR CHILD’S WORLD

  1. Avoid the topic of adoption as long as possible. Hope that the child never asks about his/her past.
  2. Deny any differences between the adoptee and adoptive family. Tell child she fits right in because she looks like you.
  3. Correct any expression of uncomfortable emotions about adoption by “accentuating the positive.” Count your blessings. Be thankful.
  4. Pretend the adoptee’s life began on adoption day. Don’t mention the child’s birth or birth family.
  5. Enforce the unspoken “no talk rule” through various expressions of body language. A quivering lip or a shaky voice speak volumes. Staring with head down also effective.
  6. Take offense if the child uses words like “real parents.” Interpret them as a slam.
  7. Foster silent shame about the adoptee’s need to consider searching for the birth family. Sarcasm works great. Why not let sleeping dogs lie? Let bygones be bygones.
  8. Just pretend you’re really listening to child. “Lights on, but nobody home.”
  9. Avoid “doing your own emotional and spiritual healing work.” Don’t worry…it’s not about you. Really?
  10. Send your child away to room during temper tantrums.

Love to all as you parent those incredible kids!

Contact me anytime through this post.

 

 

Excerpt from Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew: Purchase here: Http://SherrieEldridge.com/shop 

 

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