Kristin Jones — Facebook 29 Nov 2018
As an adult adoptee and clinical mental health counsellor, I’d like to share some advice that I hope you will consider with an open heart and mind.
Love is NOT enough. It’s a common belief that if you provide a safe and loving home for a child everything will be OK. But that is just the beginning. EVERY adoption began with a trauma to the child. The developing fetus and mother share a relationship that begins in the womb and is based on our deepest instincts for survival. At birth that infant is neurologically wired to seek his or her biological mother for nourishment, comfort and safety. For children placed with adoptive parents at birth, their very being is still seeking their biological mother. For children adopted from foster care, they have experienced multiple traumas before they come to you. Whether a new infant or an older child, their family was destroyed to create yours.
Please get all the information you can about the needs of adoptees, because EVERY adoptee has special needs. The information and education you receive from the agency will not be enough. Read Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier, read books and blogs written by adult adoptees, seek counselling from adoption competent therapists, learn all you can about neurobiological development in the womb, the brain, the sympathetic nervous system and implicit trauma.
Gather as much information as you can about your child’s first family and support their relationships whenever possible. I promise you it is OK for your child to love them. Initiate frequent conversations with your child about adoption and their first family. Don’t assume if your child is not asking about their first family that they don’t want to know.
Please process your feelings of loss related to infertility. Do not assume adoption is the answer to your pain or longing for children. Adopting a child will not heal that loss. If your grief goes unaddressed it will greatly impact your relationship with your child.
If you are hoping to adopt, please know that you weren’t called to adopt, you aren’t saving a child, God did not place your baby in another person’s womb. If you are truly wanting to help a child, you can help them stay with their first family – you can provide financial and emotional support for a mother to raise her child.
I believe every child deserves a safe and loving home. I am not anti-adoption, but I am for family preservation whenever possible. In the era I was adopted the knowledge that helps us begin to understand the complexities of adoption trauma did not exist, but it does now. As a therapist, I’ve had the opportunity to work with wonderful adoptive parents who are willing to look at the hard truths about adoption because they truly want what is best for their child.
With kind regards,
An adult adoptee
#NAAM18 #adoption #adoptee #hopingtoadopt