Boy, do I ever identify with Elf!
I bet most adoptees and foster kids do, too, for you see, Elf was adopted.
Buddy (Will Ferrell) is dropped off at the North Pole as a toddler and raised to adulthood among Santa’s elves. Bob Newhart is his adoptive dad.
Elf just didn’t fit in and felt like a square peg in a round hole. Trying, trying to fit in, but just couldn’t. He was physically huge, loud, awkward, clumsy and couldn’t make toys turn out right.
Convinced that if he found his bio father, he would finally feel a sense of belonging, he shoved off for the big apple (NY).
There, he finds a high-level executive, over-achieving, workaholic father.
And, the feelings of not belonging intensify.
Finding Lost Birth Parents Is Never Enough to Satisfy
Let me stop here…I believe Buddy’s feelings of not belonging are much like real time adopted and foster kids.
Often, we entertain the idea that if we reunite with bio family, the pain and repercussions of adoption will disappear.
Hmmm…that is probably a version of adoptee fantasy.
What Brings A Sense of Belonging
Only knowing where and how their lives began will provide satisfaction beyond belief.
Each was created in the heart of God the Father, in eternity past. Not only are they accepted and loved, but they have a specific life purpose set aside for them, which no one else can fill.
Now, does this mean that adoptees and foster kids shouldn’t or don’t need to search for birth relatives?
We all want truth.
I can’t tell you how many adoptees in the support groups I have led in the past, when anticipating a reunion secretly believed they wouldn’t feel adopted after reunion.
When they return and are asked if they still feel adopted, their faces turn red, with an affirmative nod.
Adoptive and foster parents, please know this reality for your child and that your child will likely sense this “not belonging” during extended family Christmas celebrations.
What Can Parents Do?
- Watch the Elf movie together and talk about the issues.
- Remind your child of two things:
- His/her feelings are normal
- He is not alone…there are 7 million adoptees in the US that feel this way
- Watch my YouTube offering about Christmas: