What If Adoptees and Foster Kids Discover They’re Royalty?

What If I'm a Queen

Is it possible that adoptees and foster kids could search for birth family and discover they’re royalty?

Maybe our DNA from Ancestry.com would reveal royalty that’s disappeared with the sands of time.

Would that change our view of ourselves?

In regard to this, I wonder how Queen Esther from Bible times felt when she became queen.

With that beautiful crown resting on her coiffed hair, she must have thought back in her life path.

Did you know that:

  • She was an orphan?
  • Her Uncle Mordaeci adopted her?
  • She didn’t come from a high social order?
  • A whole book in the Bible is written about her?
  • That she won the favor of the King with her beauty?
  • That she spoke for her people in front of the King?

Just put yourself in her place, fellow adoptees and foster kids!

What do you think her secret was?

Maybe it was a deep trust in the goodness of God and his purpose for her life, even though she had suffered the loss of her parents?

Maybe it was that she knew a God who redeems pain and turns it often into one’s life purpose?

Maybe it was her everyday faith and trust in a God who orders everything in life?

Surely, she must have marveled when her Uncle said: “Perhaps you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this.”

So, fellow adoptees and foster kids, what can we glean from this story?

Here are a few things:

  • God controls all things.
  • God works all things together for our good…especially the really hard things.
  • God has a purpose for our lives.
  • In God’s eyes, we ARE royalty.
  • We are princesses and princes in God’s royal kingdom.

So, friends…let’s support one another…and go on with this knowledge.

And, look in the mirror.

Do you see royalty?

Put your imaginary crown on for the day on in faith, confident that God has a bright future for you.

I love you!

Why Adopted and Foster Kids Believe They Don’t Belong Anywhere

How Adoptees React to Others Trying to Help Them Belong

Adopted and foster kids would prefer hiding under pillows than believing they “don’t belong” in the family, school group, university, or place of worship.

They might describe “feelings of not belonging” like this:

  • Uncomfortable: A square peg being pushed into a round hole.
  • Judged: A tattoo on my forehead that says: “Weird.”
  • Unknown: An alien who was dropped into my parent’s home.”
  • Mixed Up: Fingernails over-the-blackboard feeling.
  • Confused: Spontaneous sense of belonging with bio relatives but not with mom and dad.

Of course, adoptive and foster parents cringe at these beliefs. They will do anything to comfort their children and convince them that they belong. Here are a few parental attempts:

  • Clanging Bell Approach: Mention as often as possible to the child that they belong, with an affectionate tap on the head.
  • Silent Approach: Just ignore anyone talking about the fact that child may suffer with this. It will go away in time.
  • Quivering-Lip Approach: If I cry, maybe my child will know how much he/she means to me.
  • Educational Approach: Find a book on Amazon called “You Belong.”
  • Gift Approach: Buy a necklace that says, “You belong.”

None of these approaches work.

In fact, they hurt rather than heal.

The Roots of “Not Belonging”

The root cause not belonging is genealogical bewilderment, which is articulated by the late Dr. Betty Jean Lifton in her best-selling book, LOST AND FOUND. Order here: https://tinyurl.com/y8wn87n6

Lifton says genealogical bewilderment comes from the fact that adoptees are confused about their origins.

In other words, “Who am I?”

She then adds another component: technical bewilderment, which means that adoptees are not able to cope with the confusion arising from the genealogical bewilderment.

What Parents Can Do

I know that the material above might be upsetting to parents. You never want to wound your children.

So, what is a parent to do with this information?

These are a few suggestions:

  1. Open an intentional conversation about common adoptee issues.  Your child will probably resist…but keep on…through prayer and time. We adoptees and foster kids don’t want to do anything to hurt or disappoint you, so we will clam up.
  2. Explain adoption dynamics in child-friendly terms. “Adoptees often struggle with things like ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Where did I come from?'”
  3.   Use visuals to facilitate teaching: I have an illustration…the Braid of Adoption that would be sufficient. With this, you can explain everyone’s place in the adoption triad.  –
    1. Red=adoptee or foster child (an amazing creation of nature and nurture …with incredible potential, rolled into one awesome person.
    2. Green ribbon= represents the first family, who provides first home (womb) for child and all the DNA gifts.
    3. Purple=adoptive/foster parents who nurture that gift of the bio parents.
    4. Gold=God’s power in and through all of us…for our good.
  4. *Braid for blog
  5. Clarify the two sources of identity: Bio family and adoptive/foster family
  6. Assure that you understand child’s confusion…who do I belong to? Who am I?
  7. Affirm love and respect for first family, thus giving him/her permission to talk with you about them in the future.
  8. Challenge: recognize feeling, remember not alone, choose to celebrate uniqueness of life.

For more in-depth information about the adoptee mindset, consider my third book: TWENTY LIFE-TRANSFORMING CHOICES ADOPTEES NEED TO MAKEhttps://tinyurl.com/ydx4ypn9

 

 

 

 

 

How Can Adopted and Foster Kids Grow In Spite of Parental Rejection?

I Wish My Adoptive Mom Wouldn't Blab About My Adoption Without Asking Me

News flash: Adoptees and Foster Can Grow in Self-Esteem in the Midst of Parental Rejection

My heart breaks for fellow adoptees and foster kids who are being rejected. It doesn’t have to a monumental, in-your-face rejection, but it is rejection nonetheless.

For example:

  • Teen waits for birth parent to pick up for movie date but parent doesn’t show.
  • Child fantasizes on birthday that first mom will come to party but she doesn’t show up.
  • Adult reunites with birth siblings who only want to meet once and then ignores any desires to meet again.
  • Birth parent can’t deal with own loss and grief and outwardly disses her child.
  • Adopted child not told  truth about birth family (Life begins at adoption approach).
  • Adopted adult learns that sibling thinks her weird and blasts opinion on social media
  • Teen or adult gets “unfriended” on social media

You may not even want to read on…but you must, for something really positive can come from such an experience if God allows it to happen to your child.

KNOW THAT GOD HAS ALLOWED THIS FOR YOUR GOOD

Rejection from my birth mother years ago was devastating, but it was also life-defining. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, for God has used it to enable me to reach others who are experiencing similar rejection.

EMBRACE  YOUR WORTH IN SPITE OF PARENTAL REJECTION

Reverend Ron Nydam, author of WISE ADOPTIVE PARENTING ( https://www.amazon.com/Wise-Adoptive-Parenting-Struggle-Parents/dp/1387748475/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535052902&sr=1-1&keywords=wise+parenting+by+ron+nydam,) specified how to do rejection well from a Jewel Among Jewels Adoption News article (Winter 1999): “Doing rejection successfully means opening the door to a full life as an adult who can do self-acceptance and intimacy in spite of a parent’s negative opinion. Our self-esteem can never be something that someone else is in charge of.”

REMEMBER THAT GOD CAME TO YOU IN YOUR HARD PLACE

“On the day you were born, you were thrown out into an field, unwanted. But I came by and saw you lying there, and I said, “Live, thrive, like a plant in the field. And you did! You became a jewel among jewels.” (Ezekiel 16:4-7 LB)

 

RECALL THE HARD PLACE AND AFFIRM THE PRESENT

What adoptee or foster kid doesn’t love recalling the past and then affirming the present. Affirming that yes, the past was incredibly painful, but I’m not there anymore. I’m living in the present with an awesome future ahead of me.

Our painful past does not define our future…but it does make us stronger and wiser.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parents Can Bypass Shame When Explaining Adoption Relinquishment

What are we adoptees to do when we are told that we are “given away because our birth moms loved us?”

Please assure us that it wasn’t about us.

Here’s how:

Your Desire to Connect: Parents don’t want child to feel rejected. Often, they counter their overwhelming fear and anxiety by  shedding a positive light on first (second, or third, or fourth) mom.  Parents might say….

Well-Intentioned Statement: “Your birth mom loved you so much that she gave you to us.”

My adoptee heart is crying out….ohhhhh, no!

Adoptee and Foster Kid Translation: “Love is what got rid of me. Why would I want YOUR love?”

What to Say…The Heart Language of Adopted and Fostered Kids: “Your first parents weren’t able to parent ANY baby, child, or teen at that time.”

So, parents, your fear is understandable, but don’t let it sidetrack you from communicating your child’s heart language.

 

The Beautiful Braid of Adoption

Navigating the Waters of Adoption Is Complex

I can already hear boos coming about this post. Many people believe adoption is a bad thing that should be avoided at all costs.

Even though I am a huge fan of family preservation (doing whatever to keep a child with his mama), I know from personal experience that staying in a family that is wrought with evil and dysfunction is not in the child’s best interest.

In my case, in my 72nd chapter of life, I am so thankful that I was adopted and that God, in his infinite wisdom, removed me from both birth parental influence so that I could be safe and loved.

I believe this metaphor is about adoption through God’s eyes. We need to remember we live in a fallen, broken world, however. Our ribbon in the braid may tattered, torn, and seemingly beyond repair.

We need to work together…all in the adoption triad…to find healing and wholeness.

So, with those things in mind, consider this piece.

Long, long ago, before anyone in the whole world was born, God thought about you, and He smiled.

He envisioned the incredible the person you would become and the Life He wanted to give.

Would you believe….he knew about every single day of your life before any one of them ever came to be.

Then, He made a beautiful braid of shining ribbons and named it adoption.

There were three colors in His braid: green, purple, and red.

The green ribbon is your birth family. They gave you many gifts– your first home was your birth mother’s womb. DNA was from both your birth mother and father.

You weren’t in her womb by yourself. God was there with you all the time, taking the wonderful things about your birth mother and father and weaving them together to make you.

The things you like to eat, like ketchup on scrambled eggs or big, sour pickles may have come from your birth parents. The things you are good at—playing sports or painting pictures—they may be gifts that were passed on to you from your birth  parents.

You may never get to meet your birth parents, but even if you don’t, they will always be a very important part of you.

Your mom and dad are the purple ribbon. God knew that you needed your mom and dad to become the person He wanted you to be, so He lifted you from your birth parents and plunked you into their arms. They gave you a home, a family, and love. Most of all, they told you how Jesus died on the Cross to forgive you for all the times you are naughty.

YOU are the red ribbon—a unique weaving together of nature and nurture into one marvelous human being, with awesome potential. God planned your adoption and who planned who your birth parents and mom and dad would be.

Even though God created the braid, He wants you work with Him as you grow up to make the braid longer and stronger.

How do you work with Him?

Every time you learn something about your adoption, whether you feel happy, sad, glad, or mad, talk to Him. That’s called prayer. You don’t have to use fancy words. Just say, ” I need You,” and you’ll see He’s the Kindest Friend you could ever have.

Every time you talk with Him, your braid will grow stronger and longer.

There’s a super thing you’ll discover about the braid every time talk to God in prayer. Look real close and you’ll see a shiny gold cord woven around all the ribbons– in and out, round and about.

The golden cord is there to remind you that God made the braid and you never have to be afraid that He will leave you.

He promises to be with you always!