Compassion is one of the most important core values in the Adoption & Pregnancy Counseling Programs. We are compassionate about the place adoptive parents come from when choosing adoption. We are compassionate about the difficult decisions that birth parents face. But I think what we are most compassionate about is the well-being of the adoptee, after all, it is their best interest that is the central focus of all involved. Recently an 11 year old adoptee wrote this about Adoption:
“Adoption in my Life – Adoption is an amazing thing. Many children around the world have been abandoned. My sister and I were some of the lucky ones to be found on the street and taken to a local police station. Thousands of miles around the world, our parents were doing what seemed to them like miles of paperwork.
Some days I think, ‘Why, LORD, did you have to pick me, and why not some other kid to be put in this family?’ He usually answers, ‘Thousands of years ago, before I created anything, I chose to put you in this family.’ Sometimes I feel annoyed at God (or frankly, my parents and sister) that He chose to put me in this particular family. But I know God chose me to be in this family, I love it, and I am satisfied. Except for when my baby sister screams in my ear. I’m joking…but sometimes love IS painful.”
This adoptee feels safe exploring feelings and sharing them with family. It is likely that at one time or another, everyone has moments of wondering why they are in their particular family, but when you are adopted you have the option of imagining your alternate life – what if you were put in a different home, what if your birth family raised you? These are thoughts that might never cross the mind of someone who wasn’t adopted.
There can be many thoughts and emotions going on in the minds of adoptees, so it’s important for parents to be open to discussing and exploring these feelings with their children, even when they are adults. Begin talking to your children about their adoption when they are young, to build a foundation of openness and honesty. When parents are open and encourage talking with their children about their adoption, or even just listen with a compassionate ear, it can be very comforting and gives the adoptee a sense of belonging. Open discussions can strengthen the parent-child bond.
In the Adoption Program, we are compassionate about helping adoptive parents to learn to understand the emotions their children may experience, and we address these topics in our Adoption Workshops. The next Adoption Education Workshop is January 28th & 29th, 2016. For more information call 605-221-2346.
Submitted by Joyce Twite, Adoption Administrative Support Specialist