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

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

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.


Why Do Adopted and Foster Kids Grieve Loss?

How Adopted Kids Want Their Parents To Handle Their Pre-Adoption Loss

As an adoptive parent, you may feel uncomfortable, protective, or defensive about the reality of your child’s pre-adoption loss of the first family.  What is an adoptive or foster parent to do about it?

I know this is a difficult subject for many of you. You are not alone. Hopefully, you’ll gain some insights here about how you can help rather than hinder his/her grieving process.

Adoption professional and prolific author, Jayne Schooler, says, “The moment the subject of the adoptee’s woundedness and loss comes up, it’s like a shield goes up and they can’t hear a word you say.” 

Adoptive mother, Ellen Dunaway, says that hearing about adoptee loss just breaks her heart. She can’t bear to think about the fact that her child was and is hurting.

It’s painful to enter into your child’s suffering.  It’s so much easier to assume that all is well inside your child, especially if she hasn’t manifested any obvious problems.

I Am A Grieving Child

The first thing your child wants you to know is this: I am a grieving child.  I came to you because of loss—one that was not your fault and that you can’t erase.

When I was twelve years old, my best friend’s mother died of cancer. I can still remember watching her grieving family follow the casket up the aisle of the church. As the congregation stood, my body began to shake uncontrollably as unwelcome sobs burst forth like an erupting volcano. It was embarrassing, to say the least. After all, it wasn’t my mother who died . . . or was it?

My parents did the best they could to comfort me, but they had no knowledge of how present circumstances can trigger unresolved loss for an adopted child. More than likely they attributed my out-of-proportion sadness to emotionalism and adolescence. Little did they know that I was mourning the mother who carried me for nine months, whose face I never saw, and whose heartbeat was my original source of security.

Granted, my loss was different than that of my friend’s. There was no dead body, no funeral service, and no empty place at the dinner table.

But the loss was just as real nonetheless. 

I Hurt When You Romanticize or Deny My Loss

My parents’ response to my grief was to shield me in the future from anything that would prove upsetting. Therefore, when my grandmother died a few months later, they kept me home from the funeral while the rest of the family attended. I’m sure they believed they were doing the best thing, but just the opposite was true.

My adoption wounds were buried even further beneath a layer of overprotectiveness, which would make me even more determined than ever to keep the grieving part of myself hidden from others. 

My story is not unusual. Most adoptive parents, instead of helping their child to grieve the loss and find closure, deny his past losses and romanticize his adoption.

Instead of  bouquets of flowers and accolades of sympathy, there are romantic clichés that feel like salt in a gaping wound:

  • “You are a chosen child!” 
  • “Be thankful you were picked.
  • Think of all the others who weren’t.”

  What a shame, for denying loss and failing to grieve can keep parents and children at arms’ length instead of in a healthy, invested relationship.

Webster’s defines romanticism as “imbued with or dominated by idealism; fanciful; impractical; unrealistic; starry-eyed, dreamy; head-in-the-clouds; out of touch with reality.” 

Could it be that you have unknowingly been an adoption romanticist all these years? If so, it’s time to pull out the pruning shears and seek truth about adoption on every level. 

I Can Tell When You Are Emotionally Absent

Looking back, I believe my parents were frightened by my emotional vulnerability. Perhaps it triggered their own unresolved issues of grief and loss and feelings of extreme helplessness.

The best thing you can do to help your child is to grieve your own losses which may have occurred prior to adoption—losses such as infertility, miscarriage, stillbirth, or death—and to let yourself feel sad for your child’s losses and your inability to protect him from whatever happened to him prior to joining your family. 

Only then can your adopted child’s losses be validated and then grieved together in an atmosphere of openness and honesty. 

You will be able to say, “We’re sorry too, that you didn’t grow in Mommy’s tummy.”  Or, “We feel sad that we couldn’t be with you in the past to make your world safe and secure.”

Grieving your own losses and facing your child’s opens the door for you to be emotionally in tune with your child, to know his unspoken needs, and to partner with him as he works through his own grief issues. It is the open door to parent-child intimacy.

Once you have successfully grieved the losses in your own life, you will be a “safe person” to your child—one to whom she is free to express any emotion without condemnation or judgment.  You will provide a place brimming with welcoming acceptance, one that encourages conversation about your child’s feelings surrounding adoption. It is within this seedbed of acceptance and grace where healing from unresolved adoption loss occurs and bonding begins. 

Adults adopted as children can find such a place through adoption support groups and trusted therapists.

Listen to the words of one adoptive mother in Naomi Ruth Lowinsky’s book, Stories from the Motherline: Reclaiming the Mother-Daughter Bond. The mother remembers how grieving losses together brought intimacy with her daughter:

  I ached for her, for my beautiful youngest who had never been inside me, never been nursed by me, whose face I did not see when she entered this world. I felt grief for the pregnancy I had not experienced with her, grief for her birth and early months. I felt grief for the empty place in her, left by the birth mother who could not keep her. I understood that my daughter and I needed to feel these things together.

During the next few years, I often spoke to her about these feelings of grief and loss. She would climb onto my lap and her wiry little body would relax in my arms. We spent many hours like this, mourning together, creating a bond out of our feelings of loss.

Without a doubt, this mother and daughter successfully bonded to one another. Their close relationship is similar to what happens when a graft takes hold.  When a graft succeeds in nature, it takes with a vengeance, producing a union at least as strong and often stronger than the rest of the tree.

I Need You To Validate My Pain and Purpose

I believe that one reason many parents don’t validate their adopted children’s pain is because of the pain-avoiding society we all live in.  Just the sound of the word “pain” activates our flight-or-flight response.  After all, doesn’t pain imply an injustice or a failure?  A barrier to our guaranteed right to happiness?

Dr. Paul Brand, a world-renowned surgeon and leprosy specialist, says in his book, The Gift Nobody Wants, that there needs to be education about the origins of pain and its purpose.  “In the modern view pain is the enemy, a sinister invader that must be expelled.  And if Product X removes the pain thirty seconds faster, all the better.  This approach has a crucial, dangerous flaw: once regarded as an enemy, not a warning signal, pain loses its power to instruct.  Silencing pain without considering its message is like disconnecting a ringing fire alarm to avoid receiving bad news.” 

What is needed is an honoring attitude toward pain—an attitude that sees pain as a beloved enemy that beautifies rather than destroys.  Just as an irritating grain of sand can be the catalyst for producing a beautiful pearl within an oyster, so the pain of adoption can become the catalyst for producing a pearl of intimacy between adoptive parents and children.  

Highly respected adoption educator, Marcy Wineman Axness quoted Annette Baran and Wendy McCord in her eloquent booklet, What Is Written On the Heart…Primal Issues in Adoption. “Parents whose children express sadness usually feel that they need to reassure them, rather than feel the sadness along with them.  But having lost an original set of parents is something to feel sad about, and the best any parent can do for a child is to allow them to share those feelings of loss with them. 

While it may seem easier—especially in the beginning—to avoid these uncomfortable feelings, glossing over them with cheerful slogans isn’t the loving choice, for ultimately it deprives both parents and children of genuine intimacy.” 

I Need You To Validate the Depth of My Wound

Keep in mind that my knowledge and research is based mainly on adult adoptees who were damaged by the closed adoption system. Nonetheless, I believe that their experiences teach us that what the majority of adopted children need is validation of their wounding loss. 

A parent might whisper to her adopted infant, “You must miss your birth mommy.  We are sad, too, that you had to lose her.”  “It really hurts, doesn’t it?” is a phrase that can be used by parents in every phase of the adoptee’s life, for it demonstrates empathy and compassion.

Adoptees need to learn to accept their wound as part of their life history—an  unchangeable fact over which they have no control, but which need not cripple them in the future. This is one of the challenges of being adopted which, if accepted, can bring tremendous growth and maturity. 

Dr. Connie Dawson, adoptee,  attachment therapist, and adoption educator says, “When someone told me that I have suffered an irreparable wound, a burden lifted from my shoulders. In all my therapy, no one had ever told me that I couldn’t wrap this one up neat and tidy…couldn’t fix it. Oh yes, I could lay gangplanks over the deepest parts so I wouldn’t be swallowed up in its recesses. I could cauterize the edges to heal the rawness. But I couldn’t fix it, if fixing means I take care of it and it goes away. It doesn’t go away, neither does it have to be the ball and chain around my ankle. It doesn’t have to make me feel I should apologize for who I am. It only means I’ll take care of my own. And I will accept that this wound will continue to instruct me the rest of my life.

I Hope You Put Away False Guilt

Another thing adoptees need is for their adoptive parents to put aside their own false guilt.  Parents who feel guilty are incapable of dropping their defenses and entering into their child’s unresolved pain around the losses that neither parent nor child could prevent. 

It is natural for adoptive parents to struggle with guilt when they hear about their child’s wounds.  Parents tend to search for the ways they could have prevented their child’s trauma, often using the phrase, “If only . . .”

  • If only I had been there at the birth of my child.
  • If only I had known the birth mother earlier and been able to nurture her.
  • If only I had known more about adoption issues and how to handle them.

Any explanation, even at the cost of suffering guilt, may help adoptive parents cope with the desperate sense of helplessness they feel over their child’s suffering.

Cynthia Mohanon, in Children and Trauma, says, “If a parent can find some way in which the trauma was her own fault, it becomes possible to believe that further trauma can be avoided. Guilt offers a kind of power, however illusory, over helplessness.”

Erroneous thinking like this is the seedbed of false guilt and will interfere with the parent/child bond if not recognized and dealt with. 

The most important thing adoptees need is the freedom to express their conflicting emotions without fear of judgment. This is the final step toward healing, the one that brings release and freedom. Psychologist and author Dr. Arthur Janov says in The New Primal Scream, “As children, we need to express our real feelings to our parents.  We hurt if our parents are indifferent.  If they force back our resentment and our rage, we hurt.  We can no longer be ourselves and be natural.  Our nature, therefore, is warped, and that causes pain.  If you don’t let an arm move naturally, if you bind it with tape, it is going to hurt.  If you don’t let emotions move naturally, you get the same result.  The need to express feelings is just as physiological as hunger.”

I Need to Feel Safe with You

Adoptees need a safe place to share their feelings about adoption, both positive and negative, and to feel protected and loved unconditionally regardless of what comes out of their mouths.  As a parent, you can learn how to create this safe environment within your home so that your child is free to express grief and conflicting emotions about being adopted.

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Copyright, 1999, Penguin Random House, Chapter 3: Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew, by Sherrie Eldridge


How Can I Keep My Adopted Child Safe From Mean People?

How To Advocate for Your Adopted Child Amidst Insensitive Remarks

The following chart may come in handy over the holidays, as you will be attending family and public gatherings, where well-intentioned individuals might know your child is adopted, but are nervous about what to say to connect with your family or child.

We all get nervous in different situations, but when nervousness concerns the topic of adoption and your child, hurtful remarks are often made, not necessarily out of a desire to hurt, but a desire to connect.

Sometimes, People Are Downright Mean

On the other hand, sometimes mean people intend to hurt. I’ve heard such comments to adoptees as:

  • Why don’t you go back to where they grow bananas?
  • Where are your real parents?
  • Your first mom didn’t love you.
  • Look at your chink eyes.
  • Why is your skin different than your parents?
  • You don’t really belong anywhere.
  • Bastard!
  • You’re an illegitimate child.

You can not only advocate for your child by giving adoption-sensitive answers after the comment is made, but you can also educate the uneducated.

Your child will not only love you for your advocacy, but will trust you increasingly in tough times.

Explanation of the Heart Language Chart

I’m sharing a list here of:

  • The core desire to connect with the child (why the person wants to connect)
  • The well-intentioned that often follows the desire
  • How many adopted and foster kids may translate the well-intentioned statement
  • What is the heart language of the adoptee (what really connects with him/her).

This chart is drawn from my book, 20 THINGS ADOPTIVE PARENTS NEED TO SUCCEED (Available on this site).

Remember that I’m speaking from my own adoptee voice, not for every adoptee or foster child.

THE HEART LANGUAGE OF ADOPTED AND FOSTER CHILDREN

Desire to Connect with Child Well-Intentioned But Insensitive Statement How Many Adopted & Foster Kids Might Translate HEART language–Words that Connect with Adoptee
Child will not feel rejected; cast good light on first mother. Your birth mother loved you SO much that she gave you to us! “Love is what got rid of me. Why would I want your love?” Your birth parents weren’t able/ready to parent ANY child at that time.
Create a sense of being wanted. You are a chosen child!

(Every other parent is stuck with kid…we picked you out.”)

I might have been chosen, but first I was given away.” You have 2 sets of parents, one who gave you birth and another that gave you home(s) and love.
Instill attitude  of thanksgiving for being adopted. Accentuate the Positive!(Count your blessings…. count them one by one…) “Only say nice things about adoption.” Everything in life is filled with pain and pleasure. That includes being adopted.
Describe parentage Illegitimate “I am a mistake.” You are God’s idea.
Create self-esteem You are special! “That makes me feel different in a yucky way.” You were born special—a unique weaving together of nature and nurture with incredible potential. PS…It is fine to tell child he/she is special…just not in the context of being adopted or fostered.
Foster sense of belonging We love you JUST LIKE our own! “If I’m not your own, then whose am I?” What would our family be without you?
Desire for child to not talk about first family. Dead silence! “Why don’t you ever talk about my birth parents? They must be really bad…and I must be, too, because I came from them.” We love your birth parents and are so grateful for their contribution to your life.
Religious lady’s discomfort with child’s adoption. Well, we’re ALL adopted.  “Why do you say everyone’s adopted? Everyone isn’t adopted.” I would love to hear your adoption story.

I highly recommend this workbook for training your children how to respond in a healthy way to unhealthy remarks by setting boundaries: W.I.S.E. Up Powerbook. Order here: .  Wise Up! Powerbook: Marilyn Schoettle: 9780971173200: Amazon.com: Books

There is also a book for children in foster care: Order here: https://adoptionsupport.org/store

In closing, I hope you’ll sign up for weekly blog posts below.

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Adopted and Foster Kids Are A Gift to One Another

A Gift Only Adopted and Foster Kids Can Give

It’s a gift adoptive parents can’t give, birth parents can’t give, or adoption professionals can’t give. Only other adoptees can give it to one another.

I’ll never forget sitting next to an adoptive mom at an adoption carnival where I was speaking. At the end of the day the time came for the children and teens to come on stage and show the parents an adoption art project they had been working on.

When all the kids were in place one of the therapists yelled, “Who’s adopted here?” Everyone’s hands flew up and squeals of delight burst forth from the little ones.

“Me!” they yelled in unison.

The mom leaned over and said, “I’ve never seen that expression on my daughter’s face. Look at her! When she said ‘me,’ her face absolutely glowed!”

Something unique happened to her daughter that day. What was it? Was it the excitement of being with kids the same age? Was it a sense of pride about her artwork or love of the spotlight? I don’t believe so. I believe it was because she had been given a gift that was brand new to her—the gift of fellow adoptee friendships.

The psychological drive that makes this gift so special is that it involves our basic need for connection. Drs. Brodzinsky and Schechter, adoption specialists with 30 years of combined experience, say that connection to an adoptee is like food to a starving man.

For those adopted at infancy or a young age, any connection to our heritage helps satisfy that need. Ancestry.com has helped make those connections. Original birth certificates. A name or photo of our parents. An adoption story that included our birth parents. A reunion with our birth parents.

If we were foster kids and adopted at an older age because of troubled parents, that need for connection may manifest in an unexplainable loyalty based on vestiges of fantasy of what life might have been like had we had nurturing parents and remained in their home.

Many times this connection with our birth families is not an option. International adoptions often make it impossible. Sealed records keep vital information irretrievable.

Nonetheless, our friendships with one another are simply amazing!

 The Amazing Gift

By being in the presence of fellow adoptees, we discover:

  • We Are Like Family. Linda says that knowing adoptees has created a wonderful bond because there is a kind of “sisterhood” and “brotherhood” amongst us that has filled some of the void of not knowing her heritage.
  • We Are Drawn to One Another. Gary said that his young daughter seemed to gravitate to other adoptees in her preschool class. Of course she didn’t know they were adoptees, but there was that pull.
  • We Have a Unique Emotional Language. Sherry says that adoptees can “read” each other from just a few words or their body language, which she says makes adoptees feel like they belong to each other.
  • We are like Triple-Chocolate Cake. I never had an adoptee friend until I was forty-five. Her name is Jody Moreen. We spent hours in our favorite little tea room sipping spiced tea and “talking adoption.” Life doesn’t get much better than that!

Looking back, I can say that not having a fellow adoptee for a friend was like going through life and having missed triple-chocolate cake!

If your adopted child doesn’t have fellow adoptee friends, start searching!

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 Copyright Sherrie Eldridge, 2006. Based on Sherrie’s second book, Twenty Life-Transforming Choices Adoptees Need to Make (JKP, 2014).


What Are The Special Needs of Adopted Kids?

The Special Needs of Adopted Children

Adopted children have special needs that adoptive, first, and foster parents must learn  in order to become their child’s #1 cheerleader.

Use this list as needed and as age-appropriate for discussing special needs with your child. You might say, “An adopted person wrote a list of her special needs. Would you be interested in seeing it? I’m curious if you identify with any of the needs that are mentioned.”

Remember, with young children, keep it simple-rephrase into kid speak, and stick with the words: SAD, MAD, GLAD ANGRY.

Scripture verses are included for those who want them.

EMOTIONAL NEEDS:

  • I need help in recognizing my adoption loss and grieving it. (Ecclesiastes 1:18)
  • I need to be assured that my birth parents’ decision not to parent me had nothing to do with anything defective in me. (Proverbs 34:5)
  • I need help in learning to deal with my fears of rejection–to learn that absence doesn’t mean abandonment, nor a closed door that I have done something wrong. (Genesis 50:20)
  • I need permission to express all my adoption feelings and fantasies. (Psalm 62.8)

EDUCATIONAL NEEDS:

  • I need to be taught that adoption is both wonderful and painful, presenting lifelong challenges for everyone involved. (Ezekiel 17:10a, Romans 11:24)
  • I need to know my adoption story first, then my birth story and birth family. (Isaiah 43:26)
  • I need to be taught healthy ways for getting my special needs met. (Philippians 4:12)
  • I need to be prepared for hurtful things others may say about adoption and about me as an adoptee. (John 1:11)

VALIDATION NEEDS:

  • I need validation of my dual-heritage (biological and adoptive). (Psalm 139:16b)
  • I need to be assured often that I am welcome and worthy. (Isaiah 43:4, Zephaniah 3:17)
  • I need to be reminded often by my adoptive parents that they delight in my biological differences and appreciate my birth family’s unique contribution to our family through me. (Proverbs 23:10)

PARENTAL NEEDS:

  • I need parents who are skillful at meeting their own emotional needs so that I can grow up with healthy role models and be free to focus on my development, rather than taking care of them. (II Corinthians 12:15)
  • I need parents who are willing to put aside preconceived notions about adoption and be educated about the realities of adoption and the special needs adoptive families face. (Proverbs 23:12, Proverbs 3: 13-14, Proverbs 3:5-6)
  • I need my adoptive and birth parents to have a non-competitive attitude. Without this, I will struggle with loyalty issues. (Psalm 127:3)

RELATIONAL NEEDS:

  • I need friendships with other adoptees. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
  • I need to taught that there is a time to consider searching for my birth family, and a time to give up searching. (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
  • I need to be reminded that if I am rejected by my birth family, the rejection is symptomatic of their dysfunction, not mine. (John 1:11)

SPIRITUAL NEEDS:

  • I need to be taught that my life narrative began before I was born and that my life is not a mistake. (Jeremiah 1:5a, Ephesians 1:11)
  • I need to be taught in this broken, hurting world, loving families are formed through adoption as well as birth. (Psalm 68:6)
  • I need to be taught that I have intrinsic, immutable value as a human being.
  • I need to be taught that any two people can make love but only God can create life. He created my life and I’m not a mistake.  (John 1:3)

Your greatest challenge as a parent is to first identify the special need that has arisen and then to help your child verbalize it. This gives him some sense of mastery and control over something that feels out of his control. Helping your child heal is largely centered on honest, productive dialogue between you and your child.

Once you as a parent gain such a depth of understanding of your child’s special needs, you will be able to give him the support he needs not only now but throughout all of life. His special needs, in turn, will become deep wells of personal strength and empathy within him as he grows older.

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This list may be reproduced, only when credit is given to the author and the book: Copyright, 1999, Sherrie Eldridge, Random House Publishers-TWENTY THINGS ADOPTED KIDS WISH THEIR ADOPTIVE PARENTS KNEW.

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