There’s nothing like a harmless joke to set your day off in the wrong direction. Scrolling through Facebook, a friend of a friend was joking about kids not knowing who their father is. I assumed the joke was in reference to the fact that she used a sperm donor to conceive her children.
By the time their long-awaited adopted child is placed in their arms, parents usually--and understandably--just want to put all the heartache behind them and move on into the joyful realms of parenthood. But their very real feelings of loss need to have a place in the story of their new family, or they can cast ever-lengthening shadows on the relationship between parents and child.
I remember the noise the most. Car engines idled noxious gasses into the air; heavy footsteps snapped across well-worn concrete. The delicious yet unfamiliar smells of Asian street food filled my nostrils. I stood close to my parents, at the edge of a street corner. Together, we gazed across the road to a building. Above its doorway was a sign filled with undecipherable Chinese lettering. Despite the language barrier, we all knew it what it said. Hospital.
In the eleventh of our series we present the, until now, secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids. This time, our struggling mom faces her own feelings of loss over the life she had before the second adoption--a loss she feels is often not properly acknowledged.
I feel like such an idiot; I think I'm finally getting what the problem is. Or, should I say, what "my" problem is. You would think that will all the reading I did before the kids came home I would be a little more aware. Apparently not.
Whether it's moving to a new foster home, an adoptive home, back with birth family, or agingin out at 19, it's something all youth in care will experience at one point or another. Sometimes those transitions are smooth and expected; other times they're scary and happen without warning. What was a positive experience for one youth could have been super stressful for another.
Question: How should I handle a child who is polarizing our family? The child has a great deal of influence with his siblings and constantly highlights the fact that they (he and his sibs) are not birth children.
In the fifteen of our series, we present the--until now--secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids. This time, our struggling mom has been given an assignment by a behaviourist, Roz, that has some hard truths.
Well, here's another of those heart-wrenchingly truthful journal assignments from Roz.
- Expect your child to find relationships with birth family difficult and confusing at times. Confusion is a part of life and they will need to handle confusing situations of many kinds.
- Expect relationships to change and evolve.
Claire’s 10-year-old son, Adam, was adopted from a Russian orphanage when he was 19 months old. Her second son, Ethan, joined their family from foster care at age 7. In this 12-part series, Claire shares the “fast and furious learning” she and her family experienced when they adopted an older child. This series ran from 2013 to 2016.
There are few things more life- or soul-destroying than clinging to the feeling that you are a victim of your life experiences, and that the world owes you something for the pain it caused you. And there are even fewer things more life- or soul-destroying than not allowing yourself the space to really feel your loss, fear, and longing.