Adoptee Identity

If you’re an adoptee or foster kid, chances are that identity is a huge issue for you.
After all, how can you figure out who you are when you’ve got two sets of parents–biological and adoptive?
Are you supposed to be like one pair or the other? Or, should you just rebel and act out? Many of us have tried that to no avail.
Personally, I believe identity is a travel companion of self-esteem, and many times, self-esteem may be non-existent. The lack of it is incredibly painful and so social skills and relationships are avoided.
Many adoptees believe:
  • If I could only find and meet my birth mother, I won’t feel adopted anymore, or like a foster kid anymore.
  • The painful trauma I endured in losing my first family (or multiple placements) will totally heal when I have forever parents.
  • The trauma of wondering if my life is a mistake will dissipate when I am adopted.

The Value of Psychology

There is a place for psychology in an adoptee’s search for identity. I love the book called BEING ADOPTED: THE LIFELONG SEARCH FOR SELF.  Through psychological research we learn from Drs. Brodzinsky and Schechter that adoption loss for the adoptee is deeper than death or divorce.

That helps! At least, we know we’re not crazy.

We could name hundreds of wonderful books with great research and it is all part and parcel of our healing and finding our identity. We can know tons of psychological research, but the emptiness and hole in our hearts is still there, beckoning to be filled.

The Need to Look Up

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God sets eternity in the hearts of man.  That’s you and me and eternity describes the hole in our hearts. It is God-shaped and can’t be filled by anyone or anything but God Himself.

God will show any adoptee or foster kid his worth if there is an open, seeking heart. And, it is usually in the midst of pain that we can hear what He thinks about us.  For me, it was after my birth mother rejected me after reunion. He showed me in an unmistakable way that I am his “jewel Among jewels.”

Hearing what He thinks about me was life-defining. I rarely, if ever, struggle with self-esteem since that revelation of who I am.

I love this poem from a book called PRINCE OF EGYPT:

A single thread in a tapestry

Though its color brightly shine

Can never see its purpose

In the pattern of the grand design

And the stone that sits on the very top of the mountain’s mighty face

Does it think it’s more important

Than the stones that form the base?

So how can you see what your life is worth

Or where your value lies?

You can never see through the eyes of man

You must look at your life

Look at your life through heaven’s eyes.

 

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