Have you heard from parents with adopted children that the love they have for their biological child is the same for their adopted one? I did. I overheard others saying there's no difference as they do feel that the child they adopted also came from them.
How I wish the same is true for all adoptive parents. Although it may be challenging for those with difficult children, adoptive parents should care more about where each adopted child is coming from.
Americans for Open Records (AmFor) explains, "Adoption, whether legal or illegal, is a dysfunction of kinship, and that the adoptee perceives many people in his world as 'strangers'." No wonder I felt a deep seated loneliness when I was growing up as an adopted child myself. I was one of those difficult children since my adoption story was rather complicated.
Even with legal adoption, I sensed the same feeling of loneliness in my adopted 8-year-old niece. She has a wholesome family that is able to provide for her needs and wants. I was just so taken aback one day when she said, "I don't have a family." I replied by saying, "Of course, you have. There's your mom, your dad and your big brother." But she countered, "They're not my family. I want my own family."
A bit worried, I tried to relay our conversation to the girl's dad. My brother-in-law, however, did not feel bothered. He said it's normal for a child who has a so-called defiant behavior syndrome to say anything out of the blue, even if it doesn't mean anything to her. I did comment then, "Oh, I see."
As an adoptee myself, though, I should know that my niece didn't just babble those words. I guessed she was being expressive. Belonging to an adoptive family doesn't seem to compensate that sense of loss and being abandoned.
Maybe not all adoptees have emotional hang-ups that manifest into loneliness and behavioral problems. Unfortunately, a number of us have to live with the pain. As AmFor confirms it, "There may be a reaction experienced by the adoptee in childhood that is the most primitive wound to the psyche -- a theory shared by many adoption researchers -- and that this wound is re-experienced at the very essence of his/her humanity even in adult history."
Only a family that fosters love and acceptance, instead of judgment and discrimination, will help in the healing process. Do you have what it takes to be this kind of adoptive family?