Adopted teens are oftentimes hard to reach! They don’t like talking about adoption. However, if they can hear the story of a fellow adoptee, the walls come crumbling down. This is a sample chapter of a workbook I’ve written that may provide that tool for your adopted teen. Every chapter is broken down by sections, in bold capital letters. Feel free to use this with a group or whatever.
SOMEONE’S A LOT LIKE YOU!
Long ago, there was an adoptee by the name of Moses. You probably would have really liked him because he was a lot like you! He was born into a family that lived in Egypt and they were slaves of a wicked king named Pharaoh (it sounds like fay-row). This king was so incredibly mean that he decided to have all boy babies from Israel drowned in the Nile River after birth.
When Moses was born, his mother was upset because her baby was a boy and she knew that the king was going to kill him. She prayed for a way to save her baby’s life.
One day, an idea came to mind. She thought, “Why don’t I find a special basket with a cover on it and then seal it with thick mud so no water can get in? Then I can put my baby in the basket and float him in the river. That will save his life.”
Thus, she carefully made the basket so that it was watertight. When the time was right she wrapped her baby in a blanket, put him in the basket, closed the lid, tiptoed down to the river, and gently floated it near the place that Pharaoh’s daughter would soon come to bathe. Moses’ sister, Miriam, went with her mother and hid behind the reeds. Her mother told her to watch for Pharaoh’s daughter because when she took the baby out of the river, she would be able to tell her that she knows someone who will nurse the baby for her—Moses’ mother!
Just imagine what it must have been like for baby Moses! He was used to being held close to his mother’s body and now he was in a dark, stuffy basket that was floating on a river. He cried, and cried, and cried.
If he could have talked he might have said, “Something inside just doesn’t feel right. I feel all mixed up inside. Where is my mommy? Where did she go?”
1.If baby Moses could put his feelings into words, what do YOU think he would say?
Circle which words apply from the following list:
• It’s dark in here.
• I can’t move.
• Where is my family?
• I can’t see anyone.
• I am so scared.
• I want my mommy.
WHAT’S REALLY HAPPENING INSIDE YOU?
Whenever you lose someone you love, it’s called “loss.” It means that there is a hole in your heart where that person used to be. If you lose someone you love when you are a baby, like Moses, it is very hard for you to put into words how you feel. You may feel all mixed up inside, very sad and depressed, or that you don’t want to be with your family and friends. Even though you may have a loving family, you may feel sad and think about what it would have been like if you hadn’t been adopted. Those thoughts are normal! When adoptees become teenagers, they may try to tell others that they are hurting by doing hurtful things to themselves and others. For example, they may quit eating, eat too much, steal clothes from friends or stores, do drugs, have sex, get drunk, or try to commit suicide.
WHY IT HELPS TO PUT FEELINGS INTO WORDS
Have you ever tried to hold a beach ball under water for a long time? It doesn’t work, does it? Eventually the ball pops out of the water and goes way up in the air. That’s the way it is with hurt feelings if we try to keep them deep down inside and put on a strong front. It works for a while but eventually, the feelings surface in ways we never expected. Please complete the following:
1.Has anyone ever told you that you were hurt deep inside when you were
separated from your birth mother?
2.When you think about being separated from your birth mother, what picture comes to
3. Write a letter TO and FROM your birth mother about how you feel about being separated from her.