As we begin November, National Adoption Awareness month, I’d like to take a moment to point out something that may not be obvious to everyone.
Yes, adoption is a wonderful thing when it creates a family where there wasn’t one before. A childless couple can share their love with a baby, toddler, or older child who might have otherwise been homeless.
A child gets a loving family. People to take care of them and meet all their needs, physical and emotional.
I also want to point out that this is the ideal situation. As every family has its own issues, so does an adoptive family. A teen in rebellion may yell, “I did not ask to be born.” An adoptive child might yell, “I did not ask to be adopted.”
This doesn’t mean the adoption failed, or the adoptive parents are bad. This is a normal part of growing up.
Adoptive parents must learn to accept the adoptee as an individual. An individual with a different heritage. This child won’t be a “mini me”. This child will have their own unique characteristics which must be embraced, cherished.
Also, the adoptive parent needs to know that the adoptee has a unique history. A history that is different than your own. They might ask about their ethnicity, as well they should. Their heritage and their medical background are very important. Please, answer their questions as best as you can. If you don’t know an answer, try to find one. Learn about your adopted child. Cherish them for the unique individual they are.
Remember, this child also has a first family. A birth mother/father who might or might not want to know about their child. Who might someday want to be a part of their life. The child might want to know about their birthparents. That’s normal. Let the child ask these questions. Help them find answers. If your adopted child is brought up in a loving environment, there should be nothing to fear. Every child wants to know who they are. Where they came from. Let them ask the questions. Answer their questions with respect for the child and for the child’s first family.
What else should we remember during National Adoption Awareness Month and during the rest of the year?