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“I DON’T FEEL LIKE I BELONG ANYWHERE”-Online Adoptee Bible Study

Sometimes I Like Being Alone Because I Don't Belong Anywhere

I don’t feel like I belong anywhere is a common belief for adopted kids of all ages. It is more than possible for them to hear the stories of other adoptees who have the same message imbedded deep in their hearts.

I DON’T FEEL LIKE I BELONG ANYWHERE”

The Scripture Base for Moses’ Life

Exodus 2:10

10 When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.” 

The Story of Moses 

When Pharaoh’s daughter, Hatshepsut, heard the baby’s cry, an adoptive mother’s heart was born. This was an Israelite baby. A baby her father, Pharoah, wanted dead. What would he say if he learned that she had rescued a baby that he declared must die? 

“What great lengths this baby’s mother must have gone to in order to save his life,” Hatshepsut might have said to herself. The little ark was so carefully sealed that not even a drop of water reached the baby. “What loving hands must have prepared this for him.”

 Jochebed’s daughter, Miriam, watched the events unfold from behind the tall grasses surrounding the Nile. When she saw Hatshepsut’s concern about the baby’s need for nursing, she approached her saying, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you? (v. 7)

“Yes, go!” she replied. Miriam rushed to her mother with Hatshepsut close behind. Hatshepsut said to Jochebed, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you” (v. 6-10). Can you imagine the excitement Miriam experienced? She may have been serious on the outside, but smiling on the inside!

Thus, in an incredible turn of events, Jochebed once again held the child she cherished. How good it felt to put his little head on her shoulder and cuddle him! How soft was his skin, how familiar his cry. That Pharoah’s daughter, the  Pharoah who wanted the baby killed, was the one who snatched him from the jaws of death. 

 When Moses was old enough to be weaned (around three years of age), his parents prepared to take him to Hatshepsut as the promised. As Jochebed dressed her little boy for the last time, uncontrollable tears flowed. Amram, Moses’ father, was in the other room silently rehearsing a child-like explanation of the upcoming event for his son. That night, Amram prayed aloud. Where should I begin, Father God? How can a three year-old child possibly understand that we are doing this to save his life? What if my son wonders if we are giving him to Hatshepsut because something is wrong with him or because we don’t love him? 

The next morning, Amram explained the dreaded event to his son. Moses buried his tear- drenched face in Amram’s lap. “No, papa! Me stay here with you and mama!” 

In silence, the little family gathered his belongings and walked the dusty road together, hand-in-hand, away from the huts of Israel toward Pharaoh’s magnificent palace. The boy clung to Jochebed as they approached the palace doors. Jochebed lifted him up and carried him inside as he tucked his head beneath her chin. Could it be that our son is really three? 

A servant opened the huge gold-plated palace door and ushered them in. Hatshepsut, dressed in Egyptian finery, met them with arms outstretched. Moses clung to Jochebed, tears streaming down his cheeks,

After a few minutes of exchanging pleasantries, Amram and Jochebed their rehearsed words with quivering lips. We have to go now, son. You will be staying here with this nice lady. We love you and will never forget you. 

Mama, papa, don’t go! Miriam? Aaron?

 Even though Jochebed’s and Amram’s hearts were breaking, they were confident that God had saved their son for a specific role in history—he was adopted for a purpose. And so they left in tears, putting their trust in God. 

Moses threw himself on the palace floor, kicking and screaming. Whenever Hatesphut approached, he ran to another place on the floor and repeated the kicking and screaming.

The first thing Hatshepsut did was to give her new son a name. I named him Moses because I drew him out of the water (v. 10). 

What name did he have in his birth family’s home? Surely it must have been a Hebrew name. But now he was to be called by another name–an Egyptian name. Little Moses felt all mixed up inside. If he were able to put his feelings into words he might have said, I don’t feel like I belong to anyone. I don’t belong to my adoptive mother or my birth parents. If you were Moses, how would you have felt when your parents, brother and sister disappear, never to return, behind that huge palace door? 

Give specific words that would describe his emotions as well as behavior. Please refer to a feelings chart on Google.

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How Moses Saw God 

Parents model the character of God for their children. Moses had learned to trust his parents to meet every one of his needs. But then they seemingly “gave him” to a person that was a stranger to him. Even though his parents knew this was God’s will for their son, he was too young to understand. He felt so terribly alone and would learn later in life that the invisible God was there with him.

Perhaps Moses transferred his this perceived abandonment to God? He had yet to come to know God as El Shaddai. “El” means God. “Shaddai” comes from the word “breast” and means the All-Sufficient One, the Pourer or Shedder forth of blessings. El Shaddai was invisibly there with Moses, providing a spiritual breast for Moses’ spirit. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (II Corinthians 12:9). 

How You See God

Please refer to the list of Names for Jesus in Scripture in Appendix B and list three to five names for God that stand out to you. It will be encouraging to look back when finished with the workbook and see how your perception has grown!

You can record your words here:

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How Other Adoptees Feel 

Check the bulleted statements with which you identify: 

  • Even though I knew both my birth and adoptive parents, I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. 
  • There was a different role in the family for me as an adoptee. 
  • After my reunion with my birth family, I still didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. 
  • I felt like a square peg in a round hole in my adoptive family. 
  • I have always felt different. 
  • I go from group to group, trying to find a place where I fit in, and then when I realize I don’t, I conform to the behavior and identity of the group. 
  • I used to lay awake at night and wonder why my birth mother didn’t keep me. 
  • I am afraid of new situations. I need to verbalize the unspeakable feelings I have toward my birth parents for giving me up. Feelings like rage, hate and confusion. 
  • I need to be able to share these feelings with my adoptive parents. 
  • I need a “safe,” non-judgmental person or group with whom I can share my pain.

Betrayal curls through my soul like a sunken steel mesh that buttresses skyscrapers. I can’t quite see it, but it’s what I’m built on. It wrinkles my life, and bristles in me in inappropriate ways. All future betrayals found an anchor in that first foundational trauma, and reverberated off the walls of the gaping wound in my soul. What took its place was the stand-in-for-me, the one which would conform and smile and not hurt, who would fit in nicely with the life my adoptive parents constructed for me. And thus, the betrayal continued—my needs were always obscured by their own—but I didn’t feel it any more, consciously. I didn’t feel much at all. Except that, paradoxically, I felt betrayal everywhere, projected it onto well-meaning but forgetful friends, or bosses just doing their jobs, or lovers simply being human.

–Essay entitled, “Betrayal” by Marcy Wineman Axness, Ph.D., 

adoptee and founder of Quantam Parenting 

Learning about Adoption 

Adoptees in particular have many conflicting elements in their lives…an adoptee’s amended birth certificate says he was born to one set of parents, and his own parents tell him he was born to another. He was told he was relinquished because his birth mother loved him, yet he knows from experience that he never wants to be far from the people he loves. He hears from some people that he is a chosen child, yet he hears from others that being adopted is not as good as living with your ‘real’ parents. The search, then, is an attempt to reconcile cognitive dissonance, to bring order out of a sense of chaos.

Being Adopted…The Lifelong Search for Self

  David M. Brodzinsky, Ph.D. and Marshall D. Schechter, M.D.

Many adoptees have told me that they find it difficult to believe in a God who allows babies to be separated from their mothers. It violates their sense of order in the universe, replacing order and meaning with chaos and terror. There is a sense of being a mistake, of having no right to exist in the world. There is no sense of belonging in the family into which they were placed, that into which they were born, or in the universal schema.

The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child 

  Nancy Verrier

Putting My Feelings and Needs into Words 

  1. Do you ever feel like you don’t belong in your adoptive family? Do you feel like a square peg in a round hole? If so, when and where? 

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  1. Can you identify situations that trigger those feelings of not belonging? Be specific. 

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  1. What do you do when you feel this way? Isolate yourself? Conform to the expectations of others? Describe situations and behaviors. 

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  1. Do you think feeling different is the same as feeling like you don’t belong? If so, explain. 

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  1. Do you feel betrayed by your birth mother because she placed you for adoption? Explain. 

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  1. Many adoptive parents explain the birth mother’s decision to place the baby for adoption by saying, “She did it because she loved you.” How does this statement make you feel?”

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  1. Give your reaction to this statement: “Adoption is the loving option.” 

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  1. Have you ever felt betrayed by God because he allowed your life to be touched by adoption? Explain why or why not. 

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Writing Letters TO and FROM My Birth Mother 

  1. Write a letter TO your birth mother, expressing feelings of abandonment, not belonging, or betrayal. What do you want her to know about your feelings, thoughts, and beliefs?
  2. Write a letter FROM your birth mother, imagining what she may say in response to your letter. 

 Letters TO and FROM

My Birth Mother

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Digging Deep for Answers to my Adoption Questions 

  1. Read Psalm 27:10…“Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” What does God promise when our birth parents abandon us?

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  1. A man in the Bible named Job lost all his family. What impact did this have on his perception of God? Read Job 23:8-9…“But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.”

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  1. How did Job calm himself? See Job 23:10…”But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”

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  1. What is the “take away” for you from this chapter? How will your life change? 

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Thoughts, Insights, Goals and Prayers

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Feeling different in a bad kind of way is nothing more than shame. When you finish this workbook, you will embrace your differences and be able to celebrate who God made you to be. First comes hard work and you’re doing great.

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CAPITULO UNO

“Sienta Que Algo Me Falta” Éxodo 2

La Historia de Moisés

La madre de Moisés, Jochebed, siente sus primeros dolores de parto una tarde. Al llegar el atardecer nació un hermoso niño.

Era una experiencia dulce y amarga al mismo tiempo para ella, porque la muerte estaba asediando en su puerta.

El Faraón, el malvado rey de Egipto, desesperado para no dejar a los israelitas florecer y al final quitarle su trono, emitió un edicto. Ordeno a las parteras israelitas matar a todos los niños varones israelitas recién nacidos.

Sin embargo, las parteras por respeto y amor a Dios, hicieron lo contrario. Ellas dieron la bienvenida al mundo a los niños y los pusieron tiernamente en los pechos de sus madres.

Cuando el Faraón supo que las parteras estaban dejando vivir a los niños israelitas, se enfureció y ordeno que todos los bebes varones deberían ser ahogados en el Rió Nilo.

En el momento en que Jochebed empezó a amamantar al bebé su corazón empezó a latir fuertemente, porque ella escucho a los soldados egipcios pasar frente de su casa. ¿Qué debía hacer para que el bebe no llorara? Si los soldados lo escuchaban romperían la puerta y matarían al bebé inmediatamente.

Si solamente Amran estuviera en casa. El sabría que hacer. Pero él fue sometido a la esclavitud en el palacio de El Faraón trabajando como albañil. Que tristeza para él no estar presente en el nacimiento de su hijo.
Sabiendo que los soldados acechando afuera podían robar su bebe en cualquier momento, Jachebed rezó: Dios, por favor enséñame como voy a salvar la vida de mi bebe.”

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Mientras que rezo, la idea vino a su mente de ponerlo adentro de una cesta protegido. “!SI!” ella dijo a Dios con sus brazos extendidos. “Esto es que voy hacer cuando llegue el momento.”

“Cuando ya no pudo seguir ocultándolo, preparó una cesta de papiro, sellándola con brea y alquitrán, colocó adentro al niño y fue a dejar la cesta entre los juncos que había a la orilla del Nilo” (3-4).

La hermana de Moisés, Miriam, quedó a cierta distancia para ver qué pasaría con él.

Al mismo tiempo, la hija de El Faraón, Hatshepsut fue al Rió Nilo para bañase y escuchó el llanto frenético de un bebe. “De pronto la hija del faraón vio la cesta entre los juncos, y ordenó a una de sus esclavas que fuera por ella. Cuando la hija del faraón abrió la cesta y vio allí adentro un niño que lloraba, le tuvo compasión” (v. 3-4).

  1. La raíz de la palabra “llorar” (v. 6) es verter lágrimas, hacer duelo o sentimiento por alguna cosa, lamentar mucho y amargamente. ¿Porque piensas que Moisés estaba llorando? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  2. ¿Piensas que un bebe tan chico puede recordar algo? ¿Porque si o porque no?______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. ¿Como piensas que Moisés se sintió dentro de la canasta? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  4. ¿Porqué piensas qué la hija de El Faraón sintió compasión por Moisés? ¿Crees que por eso lo adopto? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  5. ¿Cómo piensas que Jochebed se sintió cuando puso a su amado bebe en el Río Nilo infestado de cocodrilos? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

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Como Moisés Vio a Dios

Con seguridad, a las pocas semanas de edad, cuando Moisés fue puesto en la cesta en el Nilo, el no tenia ninguna concepto de Dios. Probablemente todo que el tenia era memorias sensoriales (la vista, el tacto, etc.) los que era familiar a el – el sonido de la voz de su mama, el hogar donde nació, los pechos de donde tomo su alimento. Todo lo que era familiar para el desapareció cuando fue puesto en la cesta. El lloro desconsoladamente porque perdió a la persona con quien estuvo unido íntimamente por nueve meses. Por primera vez en su vida, era un huérfano. El no tenia idea de Jehová – el Ser quien es auto-existente, el Único quien en El mismo posee la vida esencial y existencia permanente. Aunque su madre no estaba con Moisés cuando flotaba sobre el Nilo, Jehová si estuvo. Los manos de Jehová lo mantuvieron flotando y a salvo. El Salmo 63: 7-8 dice: “A la sombra de tus alas cantaré, porque tú eres mi ayuda. Mi alma se aferra a ti; tu mano derecha me sostiene.”

Como Sienten Otros Hijos Adoptivos

• El Dr. Richard Gilbert escribió un artículo para el Joya Entre las Joyas de Noticias Sobre Adopción una revista sobre adopción. “! Soy hijo adoptivo! Alguien no me quiere. Esta era mi historia, mi cicatriz y mi lucha. Cuando supe que yo era un hijo adoptivo, y agregando la dinámica de mi familia, yo solamente escuchaba que alguien NO me quería… Yo fui rechazado en algún lugar y de alguna manera, y ahora soy diferente. Esta era la fuerza de la energía que me mantenía, que me motivo, y frecuentemente me controló en una vida llena de enojó, debate, buscando con terquedad y determinación probar a “todos”, que quienes fueron mis padres biológicos se equivocaron al dejarme.”

1. ¿Alguna vez has siento como el Dr. Gilbert? ¿Cuándo? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________page15image54398464

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  1. ¿En algún momento te diste cuenta que alguien no te quería…que ser un “niño escogido” quiere decir que primero alguien te dejó (puesto en adopción)? ¿Si es así, cuantos años tenias cuando te diste cuenta? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  2. ¿Cuáles de los siguientes comentarios suenan verdaderos para ti?
    • No se porque me despierto en la noche y lloro.
    • Algo dentro de mí no se siente bien.
    • Adentro de mí estoy llorando pero no salen las lágrimas.
    • Necesito que mis padres entiendan que tengo una herida invisible.
    • Necesito la libertad para llorar.
    • Necesito ser consolado…
    • Si yo fuera diabético, me darían insulina. Si estuviera sordo, me daríanaparatos auditivos. ¿Porque no me dan nada para mi herida por la adopción?

Aprendiendo Sobre la Adopción

“Lo que descubrí es a lo que llamo la Herida Más Importante, una herida que es física, emocional, psicológica y espiritual; Una herida que provoca un dolor tan profundo que ha sido descrita como desde las células por hijos adoptivos que se han permitido ellos mismos profundizar tan adentro de su dolor. Empecé a entender esta herida causado por la separación del niño de su madre biológica, la conexión para quienes parece místico, misterioso, espiritual y eterno.” (Nancy Verrier en su libro La Herida Más Importante: Entendiendo al Hijo Adoptivo)

David M. Brodzinsky, doctor de filosofía y Dr. Marshall D. Schecter co-autores del libro Siendo Adoptado: La Eterna Búsqueda de Uno Mismo, describen la perdía que provoca la herida: “La perdida adquirida en la adopción no es como otros perdidas que

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esperamos en nuestra vida, tales como la muerte o divorcio. La adopción es mas penetrante, menos reconocida socialmente y mas profunda.”

La psicoanalista de niños, Selma Frailberg, dice en su libro Derechos de Nacimiento de Cada Niño: “¿Puede un bebe de menos de un año “recordar” esta separación traumática de sus padres originales?” No, probamente no recuerda estos eventos como una serie de fotos que se pueden recordar. Lo que se recuerda o preserva, es ansiedad, un tipo de terror primitivo, que regresa en oleadas a través de su vida. La pérdida o el peligro de perder el amor vuelven a ser un tema o patrón de vida recurrente. Lo que se conserva puede ser una melancolía o depresión que surge más tarde en la vida. La memoria corporal de la primera pérdida, que regresa del pasado, se puede dar irónicamente en momentos de placer o éxito. Lo que se conserva es una violación a la confianza, en el mundo ordenado de la infancia, donde el amor, protección y continuidad de experiencia son la investidura. El destino arbitrario que rompió los primeros lazos humanos puede dañar o quebrar esta confianza, de forma tal que cuando el amor se da otra vez no es fácil corresponder libremente. Y al final, lo que se conserva es probablemente una herida en la personalidad embriónica durante el primer año, que puede tener efectos profundos en el desarrollo futuro en la vida.”page17image54472400

Poniendo Mis Sentimientos y Necesidades en Palabras

1. ¿Cómo te sientes al empezar esta jornada y hablar profundamente sobre adopción? Dibuja un círculo alrededor de las palabras que aplican y después explica porque los seleccionaste.

Realmente no quiero hacer esto. Para mi la adopción no es gran cosa. Estoy espantado. Estoy nervioso. Dudo que este libro me ayude. Temo que mis padres adoptivos se van a sentir lastimados. Siento una lealtad a mis padres adoptivos y nunca haría algo para poner en peligro nuestra relación. Genial……me gusta hablar sobre la adopción. Me interesa mucho porque tengo necesidad de estar con otros hijos adoptivos y escuchar sus experiencias. Estoy emocionado sobre esto…nunca he tenido una oportunidad como esta.

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2. ¿Con que frecuencia se habla sobre adopción en tu casa? __________________________________________________________________

  1. ¿Cuándo supiste que eres un hijo adoptivo? __________________________________________________________________
  2. ¿Si pudieras poner tu experiencia adoptiva en una palabra, cuál sería esta palabra? __________________________________________________________________
  3. Describe tu percepción de adopción. (padres llevándome adentro de su casa; un bebe en una cesta, bebe adentro de un basurero, bebe sobre las escaleras de una iglesia, padres escogiendo al bebe, padres muy felices cuando te vieron por la primera vez, el día en que perdiste a tu madre de nacimiento, etc.). __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  4. Has un dibujo que exprese tu percepción a la pregunta número 1 (¿como te sientes al empezar esta jornada?) Solamente puedes usar tu mano izquierda (o si eres zurdo usa tu mano derecha)
  5. ¿Cómo pienses que se sintió tu madre cuando naciste? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  6. ¿Conoces las circunstancias que la impulsaron a ponerte en adopción? ¿Si no, o si las conoces, como te hacen sentir? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  7. ¿Cómo piensas que se sintieron tus padres adoptivos cuando te vieron la primera vez?____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

10. ¿Algunas veces sientes adentro que algo no esta bien? ¿Sientes que estas confundido pero no lo puedes explicar? ¿Si es así cuando, donde? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

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11. ¿Algunas veces sientes que estas llorando por dentro pero no llegan las lágrimas? ¿Si es así, cuanto tiempo dura este sentimiento? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

12. ¿Qué es lo que mas necesitas cuando te sientes confundido? Has una lista específica de lo que necesitas para satisfacer esta necesidad. __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

Escribiendo Una Carta a Mi Madre de Nacimiento

  1. Escribe una carta PARA tu madre de nacimiento sobre la posibilidad que te lastimó profundamente cuando despereció de tu vida. __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  2. Escribe una carta a ti mismo DE tu madre de nacimiento, expresando pensamientos y sentimientos que piensas que ella quisiera que tu supieras acerca de sus razones para ponerte en adopción y que siente ella sobre lo que escribiste en la carta que tú le dirigiste. __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

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Profundizando a Fondo para las Respuestas a mis Preguntas Sobre Adopción.

  1. Lee el Salmo 91:4. ¿Dónde debemos buscar la seguridad cuando tememos pensamientos conflictivos o los que producen ansiedad sobre nuestra separación de nuestras madres de nacimiento? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  2. Lee el Salmo 139:13 ¿Qué dice sobre quien te creó? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  3. Lee el Salmo 139:15 ¿Estabas alguna vez solo? __________________________________________________________________
  4. Lee el Salmo 139:16a. ¿Quién vio tu cuerpo en gestación? __________________________________________________________________
  5. Lee el Salmo 139:16b. ¿Quién planeó cada día de tu vida? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  6. ¿De acuerdo a éste Salmo a qué conclusiones puedes llegar acerca de ti mismo? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  7. ¿Qué quieren decir en términos prácticos los Salmos 61:3-4 y 91:4? ¿Cómo se aplican a la situación de vida actual? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

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  1. ¿Si no estas seguro que esta “herida” resulta de la separación tu madre de nacimiento, que es lo que deberás buscar mas que nada? Ver Juan 8:32. __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________
  2. ¿Qué es lo que te llevas al completar esta capitulo? ¿Cómo va a cambiar tu vida como resultado de este estudio? __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________

Pensamientos, Percepciones, Metas y

Oraciones

¿Deseas pedir a Dios que se Presente ante ti y esté contigo al empezar este estudio? Si es así, escribe tu petición. Si no, probablemente puedes pedir a Dios que te ayude abriendo tu corazón.________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________

Ahora que hemos identificado los “temas fundamentales” (la separación de tu Madre de Nacimiento), y los sentimientos que frecuentemente los acompañan, vamos a examinar otro sentimiento que impacta la relación con tu familia adoptiva – sentimientos como que no perteneces ahí.

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CAPITULO DOS

“Frecuentemente Siento que No Pertenezco Aquí”

Éxodo 2
La Historia de Moisés

Cuando la hija del Faraón, Hatshepsut, escuchó el llanto del bebé, el corazón de una madre adoptiva nació. Este era un bebe Israelita. Un bebé a quien el Faraón quería matar. ¿Que diría el Faraón si supiera que su propia hija había rescatado a un bebé que él había declarado que debería morir?

“Que gran esfuerzo hizo la madre de éste bebe para salvar su vida,” pensaría Hatshepsut. Esta arca tan pequeña fue tan cuidadosamente sellada que no ni una sola gota de agua mojó al bebe. “Que manos tan llenas de amor prepararon esta cesta para él.”

La hija de Jocabed, María, vio de lejos lo que estaba pasando. Cuando ella vio la preocupación de Hatshepsut acerca de que el bebe necesitaba tomar alimento, ella se acerco diciendo, “¿Quiere usted que vaya y llame a una nodriza Hebrea, para que críe al niño por usted?” (v.7)

“! Si, vete!”, respondió ella. María corrió con su madre con Hatshepsut atrás de ella. Hatshepsut dijo a Jocabed, “Llévate a este niño y críamelo. Yo te pagaré por hacerlo.” (v. 9).

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Entonces, en un cambio increíble, Jocabed tomó en sus brazos al niño que tanto amó. ¡Oh, que hermoso apoyar la cabecita del bebé sobre su hombro y acariciarlo! Su piel es tan suave y su llanto tan conocido.

Es difícil creer que la hija del Faraón que quería matar a éste bebé sería la persona quien lo salvaría de la muerte.

Cuando el bebé se había desarrollado lo suficiente para ser separado del pecho materno (alrededor de los tres años de edad) los papás de Moisés lo entregaron en adopción a Hatshepsut, tal y como lo habían prometido.

Cuando Jocabed vistió su hijito por última vez, las lágrimas salieron sin control. Amran estaba en el otro cuarto ensayando silenciosamente una explicación propia para su hijo sobre lo que estaba por suceder. “¿Donde debo empezar?” debió haber pensado. “¿Como es posible que un niño de tres años entienda que lo que hacemos es para salvar su vida? ¿Prensará que lo estamos dando a Hatshepsut porque hay algo mal con el o porque no lo amamos?”

El niño puso su cara en las piernas de su papa mientras que Amran lo abrazaba contando lo que iba a pasar. “! No, papa! Yo me quedo aquí, contigo y con mi mamá!”
En silencio, la familia juntó sus pertenecías y caminaron al palacio del Faraón.

Hatshepsut estaba esperando ansiosamente la llegada.

El niño se aferraba a Jocabed al tiempo que llegaban a las puertas del palacio. Jocabed lo cargó y lo llevó adentro con la cara del bebé debajo de la barbilla d su madre. Era difícil creer que su hijo ya tenía tres años de edad.

Toc, Toc, Toc.

Una sirvienta abrió la puerta del palacio y los dejó entrar. Hatshepsut los recibió con los brazos extendidos. Vestía ropa egipcia muy fina, un fuerte contraste al tipo de ropa Israelita que el niño estaba acostumbrado.

Después de algunos minutos de intercambiar saludos, Amran y Jocabed dijeron, “Necesitamos irnos ya, hijo. Te vas a quedar con esta amable dama. Te amamos y nunca te vamos a olvidar.”

Cuando Jacobed puso su hijo en los brazos de Hatsheput, él gritó, “Mamá, papá, no se vayan. ¡María! ¡Aarón!”

Los abrazaron por última vez “! Mamá, papá, por favor no se vayan!”, dijo el niño.

Aunque los corazones de Jocobed y Amran estaban rotos, ellos tenían la confianza que Dios lo había salvado para una misión específica en la historia – el fue adoptado por una razón. Entonces se fueron, dejando su fe en Dios.

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La primera cosa que hizo Hatsheput fue a dar su hijo un nuevo nombre. “le puso por nombre Moisés, pues dijo: ¡Yo lo saqué del río!” (v.10)

¿Que nombre tuvo por los primeros tres años de su vida? Seguro que era un nombre Hebreo. Pero ahora el sería llamado por otro nombre – un nombre Egipcio.

El pequeño Moisés se sintió confundido. Si él hubiera podido poner sus sentimientos en palabras, diría, “No siento que pertenezco a nadie. No pertenezco a mi madre adoptiva ni a mis padres naturales.”

1. ¿Si tu fueras Moisés, como te sentirías cuando tus padres, tu hermano y tu hermana te dieron la espalda y te dejaron atrás? Escribe palabras específicas que describan sus emociones tanto como su comportamiento. ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________page24image54387344

Como Moisés Vio a Dios

Los padres son los modelos de Dios para sus hijos. Moisés aprendió a tener confianza en sus padres para proveer cada una de sus necesidades. Pero ellos lo habían dado a un extraño tan pronto como dejó el pecho materno. El no solamente perdió la relación natal con su madre pero también su hogar y la relación con su padre, hermana y hermano. Quizás Moisés transfirió su interpretación infantil de esta traición a Dios, viendo a Dios como quien lo traicionó. El todavía no concia a Dios como El Shaddai. “El” quiere decir Dios. “Shaddai” provine de la palabra “pecho” y quiere decir “El quien es Auto- suficiente. Él que llena a todos de Bendiciones El Shaddai, de manera invisible, estuvo con Moisés, dándole su pecho espiritual. “Te basta con mi gracia, pues mi poder se perfecciona en la debilidad” 2 Cor. 12:9).

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Como Sienten Otros Hijos Adoptivos

Dibuja

un círculo alrededor de las siguientes frases con las que más te identificas:

  • Aunque conocí a mis padres naturales y a mis padres adoptivos, no sentí que pertenecía a ninguno de ellos.
  • Tuve un papel diferente en la familia por ser hijo adoptivo.
  • Después de mi reunión con mi familia de nacimiento, todavía no sentí quepertenecía a ninguna parte.
  • Me sentí como un objeto cuadrado tratando de entrar en un hoyo redondo con mifamilia adoptiva.
  • Siempre me he sentido diferente.
  • Voy de grupo en grupo, tratando de encontrar un lugar a mi medida, pero cuandoveo que no lo encuentro, me conformo con el comportamiento y con la identidaddel grupo.
  • Antes me quedaba despierto en la noche y con curiosidad de saber porque ella nose quedó conmigo.
  • Tengo miedo a situaciones nuevas.
  • Necesito verbalizar los sentimientos inexplicables que tengo hacia mis padresnaturales por dejarme. Sentimientos como la ira, odio y confusión.
  • Necesito ser capaz de compartir estos sentamientos con mis padres adoptivos.
  • Necesito un lugar “seguro”, una persona o grupo sin prejuicios con quien puedacompartir mi dolor.Una respetada educadora, Marcy Wineman Axness, habla sobre sentimientos de traición en esta metáfora.Traición:La traición se enrosca en mi alma como una malla de acero que se aprieta en los rascacielos. No la puedo ver, pero es mi cimiento. Hace mi vida áspera y me punza como alambre de púas.Todas las traiciones posteriores encontraron un ancla en ese primer trauma y retumbaron en las paredes de la herida abierta en mi alma.Sustituí la herida siendo “otro yo”. Un yo que puede ceder y sonreir y no se lastima, y que puede adaptarse fácilmente a la vida que mis padres adoptivos planearon para mí.Y aún cuando la traición continuó – mis necesidades siempre fueron opacadas por las de ellos – pero ya no lo sentí de una manera consciente. No sentía casi nada. Excepto que

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paradójicamente, yo sentía la traición en todas partes, proyectándola en amigos bien intencionados pero olvidadizos o con jefes que estaban cumpliendo con su trabajo o amantes siendo simplemente humanos.page26image54297584

Aprendiendo Sobre la Adopción

David M. Brodzinsky, doctor de filosofía y Dr. Marshall D. Schecter en su libro Siendo Adoptado: La Eterna Búsqueda de Uno Mismo, “Los hijos adoptivos, en particular tienen muchos elementos conflictivos en sus vidas…Su acta de nacimiento dice que nació de una pareja de padres y sus propios padres le dicen que nació de otra pareja. Le dijeron que fue entregado a otra pareja porque su Madre de Nacimiento lo amaba. Sin embargo el sabe por su propia experiencia que el nunca quiere estar lejos de la gente que ama. El escucha de algunas personas que el es un hijo elegido, pero escucha de otros que siendo un hijo adoptivo no es tan bueno como vivir con sus padres “reales”. La búsqueda, entonces, es tratar de conciliar la disonancia cognoscitiva, para poner orden en su sentido de caos.”

Nancy Terrier, reconocida autora del libro La Herida Más Importante: Entendiendo al Hijo Adoptivo dice: “Muchos hijos adoptivos me han dicho que se les hace difícil creer en un Dios que permite la separación de los bebés de su madres. Esto viola su sentido del orden en el universo, reemplazando el orden y sentido con caos y terror. Hay un sentido de ser un error, de no tener derecho de existir en el mundo. No hay sentido de pertenecer a la familia a la que fueron dados en adopción, o en la que nacieron o en el esquema universal.”

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Poniendo Mis Sentimientos y Necesidades en Palabras

1. ¿Algunas veces sientes que no perteneces a tu familia adoptiva? ¿Te sientes como un objeto cuadrado en un hoyo redondo?

¿Si es así, donde y cuando? _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

  1. ¡Puedes identificar situaciones que disparan estos sentamientos de no pertenecer? Da una respuesta específica.. ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________
  2. ¿Qué haces cuando te sientes así? ¿Te aíslas de los demás? ¿Cedes a las expectativas de otros? Describe las situaciones y comportamientos. ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________
  3. ¿Piensas que sintiendo diferente es lo misma que sentir que no perteneces? Si es así, explícalo. ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________
  4. ¿Sientes que tu madre de nacimiento te traicionó porque ella te dio en adopción? Explícalo.________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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  1. Muchos de los padres adoptivos explican la decisión una madre de poner a su bebé en adopción diciendo “Ella lo hico porque te amo.” ¿Como te hace sentir esta frase?________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________
  2. Escribe tu reacción a esta frase. “La adopción es un opción de amor.” ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________
  3. ¿Te has sentido traicionado por Dios porque el permitió que tu vida se relacionara con la adopción? Explica porqué si o porqué no. ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

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Escribiendo Una Carta a Mi Madre de Nacimiento

1. Escribe una carta PARA tu madre de nacimiento, expresando sentimientos de no pertenecer, de traición o de tu deseo profundo de pertenecer. ¿Cuál fue su papel en esto? ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

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2. Escribe una carta DE tu madre de nacimiento, imaginando lo que ella puede decir en respuesta a tu carta. ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________page29image54263808

Profundizando a Fondo por Respuestas a mis Preguntas Sobre Adopción.

1. Lee el Salmo 27:10 ¿Qué promete Dios cuando nuestros padres nos abandonan? ________________________________________________________________

  1. Un hombre llamado Job perdió a toda su familia. ¿Qué impacto tuvo esto sobre Tu percepción de Dios? Lee Job 23:8-9 ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________
  2. ¿Cómo encontró Job serenidad? Ver Job 23:10 ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

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4. ¿Qué es lo que te llevas al completar esta capitulo? ¿Cómo va a cambiar tu vida?

________________________________________________________________

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Pensamientos, Percepciones, Metas y

Oraciones

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Sentimientos como “que tú no perteneces” se profundizan tanto que aún las buenas relaciones tanto con la familia adoptiva como con la familia de nacimiento no borran el dolor completamente. Sin embargo, es posible que la herida disminuya. Antes que se pueda aminorar, necesitamos examinar la costra en la herida que se formó por la separación de tu madre de nacimiento, la cual es el enojo. Vamos hablar sobre esto en el próxima capitulo.

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Adoptees Can Grow Amidst COVID-19-Bible Study 1

How Can COVID Have Anything Good About It for Adoptees and Foster Kids

Because this COVID-19 quarantine gives us more time to think in-depth about life and relationships, many of us may be having disturbing thoughts we believe we can’t share with anyone.

As an adopted person, I have felt all these things and a friend of mine has definitely experienced them. His name is Moses and he lived in Biblical times. You may wondering what he has to do with quarantine and hard things in life.

When we study his life, you’ll see that even though he lived in Biblical times, his struggles were much akin to ours today. All these struggles indicate that we need to be healed from our painful past….and present-day quarantine.

In order to study Moses and what we can learn from him, we must remember that his struggles were evidence of something deeper that must be dealt with. We’re going to look at the first part of his life prior to adoption and discover that his painful past doesn’t surface as memories of the past, but reactions to current life events.

Usually, the reactions are OVER-REACTIONS to current day events. As a friend of mine says, “Adoptees have an exclamation point after every sentence.” For me, I have a huge startle response. If anyone just touches me, I jump. If I sleuth that behavior, I know that as a baby, I was placed in an incubator for ten days after birth and likely didn’t receive much human touch.

I challenge you to be a sleuth as you read each chapter. Ask yourself: 1. What is the present-day event, the over-reaction? And, 2. What pain from the past could be triggering this?

Now, let’s put on our sleuth hats and go hunting for overreactions to present day events. Underline them. High light. Make a 3-ring binder to hold all your insights. I will highlight in this first chapter to show what I mean..

What the Bible Says About MosesBirth and Adoption: Exodus 2: 1-9

1 Now a man of the tribe of Levi married a Levite woman, 2 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. 3 But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. 4 His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

 5 Then Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the riverbank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her female slave to get it. 6 She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said.

 7 Then his sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”  8 “Yes, go,” she answered. So the girl went and got the baby’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you.” So the woman took the baby and nursed him.

Sleuthing for Pain from Moses’ Past

CRYING (V.6)

FEELS=bashful, guilty, ashamed, inferior, bored, inadequate, miserable, totally overwhelmed, sad, inadequate

Do you think Moses’ hurt from when he was screaming would be buried, or surface someday? Perhaps, with the feeling of “something’s not right inside?” Perhaps with crazy anxiety he couldn’t calm?

Do you ever feel so overwhelmed that you can’t stop crying? Does it ever feel like you’re crying on the inside only? Do you ever feel anxious for seemingly no reason?

SHE PLACED THE CHILD (V.3)

FEELS=fear of abandonment, unexplainable anxiety, rejection

As he was placed in the basket, all that was familiar disappeared. For the first time in his life, he might have felt like an orphan. He had no awareness of Jehovah–the Being who is absolutely Self-Existent, the One who in himself possesses essential life and permanent existence. Even though his mother wasn’t there with Moses when he was floating on the Nile, Jehovah was. Jehovah’s strong hands were holding him up and keeping him safe.

What disappeared from your life when you were placed in foster care/adopted? Do you ever feel afraid of going to new places? New school, new friend’s house, new activity at school?

Sleuthing for Moses’ Overreactions Later in Life

Exodus 5: 29-30 where God asked Moses to go to Pharaoh with a message, but Moses said he couldn’t because he stuttered? This, and many other passages in Exodus show overreactions.

Remember to look for the exclamation point in present-day life.

Do you ever lack in self worth? Do you feel inadequate and inferior to others?

(copyright, Sherrie Eldridge, 2020)

How Other Adoptees See Life

I am adopted! Someone didn’t want me. This became my story, my scar and my struggle. When I learned of my adoption, compounded by dynamics in my family life, I ‘heard’ only that someone DIDN’T want me. I was rejected somewhere and somehow, I was now different. All of this became the energy force that kept me, motivated me and often controlled me on a lifetime course of anger, debate, searching and stubborn determination to prove that ‘they,’ whoever the natural parents were, were wrong to give me up. 

-Dr. Richard Gilbert

What I discovered  is what I call the primal wound, a wound which is physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual; a wound which causes pain so profound as to have been described as cellular by those adoptees who allowed themselves to go that deeply into their pain. I began to understand this wound as having been caused by the separation of the child from his biological mother, the connection to whom seems mystical, mysterious, spiritual and everlasting.

Nancy Verrier, THE PRIMAL WOUND: Understanding the Adopted Child

The loss inherent in adoption is unlike other losses we have come to expect in a lifetime, such as death or divorce. Adoption is more pervasive, less socially recognized and more profound.

BEING ADOPTED, The Lifelong Search for Self, by David M. Brodzinsky, Ph.D. and Marshall D. Schechter, M.D.

Can a baby under one year ‘remember’ this traumatic separation from his original parents? No, he will probably not remember these events as a series of pictures which can be recalled. What is remembered, or preserved, is anxiety, a primitive kind of terror, which returns in waves in later life. Loss and danger of loss of love become recurrent themes or life patterns. What is preserved may be a profound moodiness or depression later in life, the somatic memory of the first tragic loss, which returns from the unremembered past even, ironically, at moments of pleasure and success. What is preserved is the violation of trust, of the ordered world of infancy in which love, protection and continuity of experience are invested in people. The arbitrary fate that broke the first human bonds may damage or shatter that trust, so that when love is given again it may not be freely returned. And finally, what is preserved is likely to be a wound to the embryonic personality in the first year which may have profound effects upon later development.

EVERY CHILD’S BIRTHRIGHT, by Selma Fraiberg

Wrapping Words Around Unspoken Feelings 

  1. Can you put your feelings into words after reading this chapter? Any new thoughts? Strange thoughts? Scary thoughts?
  2. How do you feel as you embark on this journey of talking about adoption in-depth? Check the statements with which you agree and explain why you checked them on the lines that follow: 
  • I really don’t want to be doing this. 
  • Adoption is no big deal to me. 
  • I am terrified. 
  • I am nervous. 
  • I doubt this book is going to help me. 
  • I am afraid my adoptive parents will be hurt. 
  • I feel a fierce loyalty to my adoptive parents and would never do anything to jeopardize our relationship. 
  • I look forward to this because I have a need to be with other adoptees and hear their experiences. 

3. Can you identify any personal over-reactions amidst this quarantine? Record them here. Congratulations. Now, dig into your life story and see if it ties to a past hurt, or loss.

Write Letters TO and FROM Your First (2nd, 3rd) Mother 

  • Write a letter TO your birth mother.
  • Write a letter to yourself FROM your birth mother, expressing thoughts and feelings you think she would want you to know about her reasons for placing you for adoption and how she feels about what you have just said in your letter to her. 

Friends, share this with whoever might benefit. Just give credit and the link to buy the workbook at https://sherrieeldridgeadoption.blog/shop.

Let’s chew on these truths for the week? Please share your thoughts and insights here vs on FB or social media? We need to hear one another’s voices.

Be sure and sign up here for next week’s study.

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Love to all of you!

This photo of three young people illustrates three adoptees living through COVID-19. They are having strange thoughts and emotions. What they don't know is that they can grow in self-awareness through the quarantine. Eldridge uses the life of Moses as a springboard.
SherrieEldridgeadoption.blog
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Announcing New Online Bible Study for Adoptive, Foster Parents, and Kids

What Adoptive and Foster Parents Can Do To Connect with Kids Amidst COVID-19

This week, I’ll be launching a new, online Bible study for adoptive, foster parents, and adopted kids.

The study was first published in 1999 and has been available on amazon.com for many years. Today, I’m dusting it off and offering it to an audience that is desperate for connection, truth, and wisdom.

The blog will provide a space for you to read the chapter and to dialogue with others who are also following.

BTW: My workbook has been translated in Spanish. If that would better meet your needs, please let me know.

You can order the workbook, whether in English or Spanish, on amazon.com.

Sign up for the online study through my blog here:

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Helping Adopted Kids With Overwhelming Feelings Amidst COVID-19

It's Not Okay To Act Out In Covid19

Adopted children need to be given the freedom to express “obnoxious” feelings, like anger, hate, rage, loneliness, hostility. However, they also need to learn that while unpleasant feelings are permissible, obnoxious behavior is not.

Some adoptees, when they feel overwhelmed by the feelings, choose to act them out in destructive ways. Some set fires to their homes or break their stepfather’s ribs. Others try to commit suicide or kill others. The only way adoptees like this can be reached is through professional intervention. Adoptees who behave in extreme or destructive ways often suffer from serious attachment problems as well as from the conflicting emotions common to many adoptees in general.

Whatever the case, the adoptee needs to know that you will always be there for him–will always love him. It is music to any adoptee’s ears. You can’t say it too much. He will never tire of hearing it. But don’t make the mistake some adoptive parents make. Once they know their child has “special needs” that require a sensitive response, they begin to handle their child with kid gloves. Effective discipline goes out the window; indulgence, pity, or capitulating to the child’s manipulation replaces wise parenting.

For example, Laura’s parents were extremely permissive. There were few boundaries set–little clear teaching of what is right and wrong. Laura rarely had to experience the consequences of her own actions. She wasn’t forced to return the clothes she had stolen or repeat the courses she had failed. Her parents equated this with love. Her dad often bragged that he only spanked his daughter once when she was growing up.

I believe that beneath Laura’s parents’ permissive parenting was pity for her and fear of hurting her. In addition, there may have been a false guilt of sorts–the kind that whispered, Who am I to discipline this child who isn’t biologically mine?  Little did her parents know that lack of discipline can produce a child who feels like an illegitimate son or daughter, not truly belonging.

As the years passed, Laura’s unresolved grief around the separation from her birth mother combined with ineffective parenting produced a kid out of control. When she was seventeen, she made the announcement every parent dreads: “Mom….Dad…I’m pregnant.”

Of course, not every adopted child is “out of control” or difficult to discipline. However, there are some basic skills that adoptive parents should master as they interact with their children from day one.

How to Confront Obnoxious Behavior

Remind your child that it is all right to express overwhelming feelings. It is not only all right, but it is crucial if she is to be healthy and whole. But as you give your child permission to express herself, also teach her that obnoxious behavior for its own sake is futile. Validate her feelings, but don’t let her “run the show” in your home. Rather, be the parent in a loving, strong way. This will help her to keep moving on toward maturity and not get stuck in her conflicting feelings. 

Dr. Foster Cline suggests a general rule of thumb: “Parents should not validate the child’s ‘favorite’ or ‘most used’ unhappy emotion; it usually overused.” A transcript from one of Dr. Cline’s therapy sessions illustrates this principle.

Stephanie is a moody, two-thirds unhappy, one third pouty, fifth grader. She is a very pretty girl who usually goes around with a downturned lower lip. Her parents are divorced and, in therapy, her mother suddenly becomes aware of her reinforcement of Stephanie’s pouts. Both natural parents, along with their new spouses, are present in the session.

T=Therapist

F=Father

S=Stephanie

M=Mother

T:  “In this group, I don’t think you all realize it, but you are entirely overconcerned about this girl. Every time she starts crying, you parents look around and begin to look agonized. Then you reach out and start exploring the problem. The more you explore, the deeper the problem gets. You know what I mean?”

F:  “As you’ve been mentioning these things through the session, I am giving a lot of thought to them and I think I have a good example.” (To Stephanie:) “You know, honey, every time I call up home to talk with you, I first ask you, ‘How’s it going?’ And you always say, ‘Pretty good.’ And then I say, ‘Why only pretty good?’ And then we get into the whole routine. Honey, I think I’m not going to play that game anymore.”

S: “I don’t think it’s a game! (Said with lower lip sticking two-thirds out).”

T: (With an arms around Stephanie and laughing) “No, Stephanie, it’s not a game; with you its a way of life.”

S: (Returning with a half-smile) “It is not.”

T: “Well, I think your dad is getting pretty darn bright about this. I hope you will give it a lot of thought.”

At this point Stephanie looks over at her mother, who, present in the session, is listening with a two-thirds pained expression on her face. Suddenly, now Stephanie tears up.

M:” There’s no reason for you to feel bad, Stephanie. We’re not saying bad things about you. We’re just saying that sometimes the way you act and the way we react is not good for you.”

S:  (Stephanie starts silently crying.)

M: “It’s going to be okay, honey.”

T: “Now, June, what did you just do?”

M: “Well, I am reassuring her…”

T:  “Reassuring her? …. You are reinforcing the whole routine. There’s no reason for this kid to be told that it’s all going to be okay. She ought to know it’s okay. She knows we all love her.” (Turning to Stephanie) “Steph’, old chum, let’s either dry the tears up or leave the room. When you pull yourself together you can come back. What would you prefer?”

S:  “To pull myself together.”

T: (Smiling and again with arm around Stephanie) “Fantastic! Glad to hear it. Happy to see the smile. Boy, do I ever appreciate a lower lip pulled in. Pure delight.”

S: (Grins at Therapist)

M: “I am beginning to see the light.”

What Parents Can Do

  1. Be A Confident Parent. Remember that your child looks to you for clues about who she is, how she fits into the family, how she should behave, and what it means to be your child. Even when she behaves in obnoxious or destructive ways, here are some things she needs from you.

I might test you about your vital role in my life. You’re not my real parents.  Please resolve any unresolved grief issues of your own so you won’t be a pushover when I test you.

2. Be Affectionate with One Another

I want my parents to show affection for one another. Put one another before me. It makes me feel secure. Don’t let me manipulate one of you to give me affection in place of affection for each another.

3. Maintain a United Front

Don’t let me cause disagreements about disciplining techniques. Have your disagreements later in another room. Don’t let me come between you. That gives me too much power over the family system, which only makes me feel vulnerable to chaos and loss.

4. Let Me Make Choices

Teach me to think for myself. Remind me that it is my life and my responsibility for the choices I make. I may be missing some connections to my past, but I am responsible to become a whole person.

5. Give Me Freedom to Learn from Consequences

Don’t make excuses for me when I blow it. I need to learn to take responsibility for my own behavior. Don’t call the neighbors and apologize when I steal clothes from their closets or make excuses for me when I oversleep for school. If I don’t learn that I am accountable for my behavior, I will cling to a victim mindset and act it out forever.

6. Don’t Discipline Me in Anger

Please don’t discipline in anger or ridicule me. Wait until your emotions are under control and then deal with me in a sensitive, compassionate manner. Reassure me after discipline that you love me dearly and will always be there for me. This will alleviate my fear that I will be abandoned again and will demonstrate for me that people can be disappointed in one another but stay committed.

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This post is copyrighted, 1999: TWENTY THINGS ADOPTED KIDS WISH THEIR ADOPTIVE PARENTS KNEW. https://sherrieeldridgeadoption.blog/shop

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Discovering God In the Details

It Is possible to see life with different eyes

I bolted out of bed and threw on yesterday’s clothes. I knew the call would be coming, for my patient was in labor earlier. For the twenty mile drive to the hospital, I couldn’t stop thinking about this patient’s history and desire to place her baby for adoption.

 Yes, her husband was fighting in the African theatre of the war and didn’t know about her pregnancy. And, yes, it wasn’t his baby, for she’d been raped and dared not tell him. 

Out of breath, I pushed the delivery room door open and heard her screams, insisting that she talk with me before the baby came. “I don’t want to see my baby,” she said, in between labor pains. “If I see her, I won’t be able to go through with my plans for adoption. I don’t even want to know the sex of my baby. I just can’t bear it.” 

“Soon, the baby came and my patient was whisked away to her private room. Tears flooded when I saw this little one, so tiny, yet so beautiful.”

-Dr. Wells B. Fillinger

Clinton Memorial Hospital

August 4, 1945

I was that baby.  

Warm tears landed on my five-pound newborn body, like spring rain.  I wanted to feel them forever. 

What was it about those tears? Were they saturated with hope and comfort? Were they bright lights at the end of the traumatic tunnel of living my first nine months of life in the womb of a mother who fantasized abortion? Or, were they seeds of hope, planted in secret to produce a great harvest later in life?

Whatever it was, I wanted more.

But then, nurse Muriel bent close to the doctor’s ear and whispered something.  What did she whisper?

Was there something wrong with me?

Was I ugly?

Was I too little?

Is that why she suddenly whisked me off to a dimly-lit room where pleading and  plaintiff newborn cries hovered over me, like sticky smog in LA?

Then, the nurse shoved me into a box of glass-a new fangled device which we would call an incubator today. 

I kicked and screamed bloody murder.  I cried and cried, but the sounds bounced back, like ping pong balls.

Where was the orphan doctor? Why did he not come? If only I could feel his tears again, I’d survive.

It would be decades later, while searching for birth history, that those tears I once felt would be validated. Dr. Filllinger’s granddaughter, during a phone conversation said, “My grandfather was an orphan himself and wept at the birth of every baby he delivered.”

Quest For Freedom from Abandonment

And so at birth, love mingled with loss, like water and oil. This combination waged war inside me, from birth onward. Avoid abandonment at all costs and seek love no matter whom the giver. Loss sent me on a lifetime quest to find freedom from deeply-embedded fears of abandonment that warred against my ability to receive love.

Even though my mother probably didn’t intend abandonment, newborn me perceived her absence in that manner. Abandonment means:

  • To leave in a troubled state
  • To leave behind
  • To cast away
  • To leave completely and finally
  • Careless disregard for consequences

As a person who was adopted, I create abandonment in relationships by pushing others away…others who love me. It is a well-traveled highway in my brain. The resulting abandonment confirms the lie I’ve believed that I am worthy only of such abandonment. 

The best example is that I hated my adoptive mother and during the teen years did whatever necessary to inflict wounds. It was like we were doing a mother/child dance, and we were constantly at odds with one another. I kept stepping on her toes, for I didn’t want her–I wanted my first mother, Elizabeth.

One time, I was invited to go to Texas for leadership training for becoming a Bible teacher and speaker. I’d never been away from my husband and two daughters, and just that would have been enough to get me fearful. We were required to do homework upon arrival and I couldn’t do it-it felt impossible, like Algebra. As the week progressed, my emotions were fragile, like a thread ready to break. At one meal with other leaders, I appeared confident by asking others probing questions, but then, I broke down in tears in front of everyone.

The person who went with me for training was a super star person, and on the opening evening while we were at the CEO’s home, along with twenty other leaders, we were asked to give our “testimony.”

I didn’t even know what that meant and as I listened to her tell her glowing story of perfect parents and past leadership roles, I wanted to disappear. 

Other candidates for leadership observed my inferiority with her and emphasized that I had no reason for lack of worth. This made me even more fearful–they could see my fear.

The coudegras of the training was that each person would have a personal interview with the CEO and be told whether or not they’d be accepted into the leadership role.

I was convinced of rejection. 

Rejection didn’t happen, but fear remained, like a ball and chain around my ankle, as I returned home to do something I’d never choose–public speaking. 

What I’ve learned over the years is: God is in the details by proving:.  

  1. There’s another way that needs are met that far exceeds the human level.

When looking back at my basic need for connection with a fellow adopted person, who better than Dr. Wells B. Fillinger? This is a need that the majority of adoptees experience. When adoptees are with one another, they feel understood and accepted, oftentimes, without even a word.

  1. Visions are oftentimes validated in everyday life.

Just as I envisioned as an adult that tears fell on my newborn body, I learned through an intricate telling of details that Dr. Fillinger cried at the birth of every baby. I believe those tears were sacred, a gift from God that no one could work up or produce. A gift that made me aware of a God who loves me.

  1. There’s something bigger than fear–love. 

It’s taken me a lifetime to see that other way, but now that I can, in looking back, I can see that my embedded fear of abandonment has disappeared. 

I discovered the presence of someone who is alive and communicative in the littlest of details. He is masterfull–He will make His presence known in a way that only the individual recognizes His presence. He will bend over backward to show His love to His children.

  1. It’s possible to be free from a painful past.

Within the last year, I’ve experienced a myriad of changes inwardly. 

What was going on inside my head and heart? The people in my relationships hadn’t changed, but my attitude and perspective about them definitely had. Where were these warm thoughts coming from? Why was I remembering mom’s best-in-town apple pie, her gentle hands smoothing oil on my asthmatic chest, or her affectionate care for Dinny Dinwit, my tiger kitty?

Maybe I was experiencing a brain change? After all, you hear in adoption circles about how the brain is damaged by trauma, and yet can heal. So I rummaged through all my books about the brain..in vain. 

Then, I wondered if I was cracking up. Maybe I was hallucinating?  I’ve been known to do that when clinically depressed, but the hubs assured me I was fine.

One day I thought about my late mom’s wedding rings. A rather bizarre thought, right? It was bizarre for two reasons. First, mom died nearly 30 years ago and second, we had a tumultuous relationship during the growing-up years. All I remembered over my seven decades of life was negative and painful.

For 53 years, I’d unintentionally carried them from geographical move to geographical move, from California to Canada. To me, they were worthless pieces of junk that should’ve been tossed decades ago. 

Moments later, I rushed to my jewelry drawer, like a gold digger. And, there they were–one prominent band and a delicate eternity band, all lacking the diamonds that originally graced them. 

Then, my mind flooded with new thoughts. What was it like on the evening Mom and Dad were engaged?  Did Dad get down on his knee to propose? And, was she the blushing, soon-to-be bride, dreaming of a house, children, and happiness forever?  I slipped the tarnished rings onto my finger and ran to husband Bob’s office, like a kid.

Just a month ago, while eating at our favorite restaurant, Bob pulled out a small box with the same rings that had been totally refurbished into glistening silver and diamonds.  

This experience with mom’s rings convinced me that healing my painful past is not something that can only happen in heaven, but it can occur also in everyday life on planet earth. I have never felt happier or more whole than I do today, and I’m so thankful.

5. I need magic eyes to see God in the details.

Since then, I’ve discovered the presence of someone who is alive and communicative in the littlest of details. He is masterfull–He will make His presence known in a way that only the individual recognizes His presence. He will bend over backward to show His love to His children.

Just ask him!

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