4 Pieces of Advice from Adoptees to Adoptive Parents

My son by adoption has given me a lot to think about during his short little life. The process of learning these lessons has been mostly painful and difficult, but worthwhile. Here’s his advice to me. Of course, it’s a summary of what we have experienced. And not the ramblings of an intelligent seven-year-old.

  1. I want and need to be loved. Even if I ask for it in unloving ways. I’m sorry my attachment struggles cause me to push you away sometimes. I don’t mean it when I say, “you aren’t my mom.” You are the only mother I have ever known. I love you. I am grateful for the countless ways you have put my needs ahead of your own.     
  2. When you tell me my adoption story I need to hear it in short small doses over a long period of time. There will always be “gaps” in the story that I will fill. I may tell myself stories about what happened, trying to piece things together. I may feel confused and not realize how complicated things can be. It might be helpful for me to visit familiar places to help me understand.   
  3. Speaking in a positive way about my birth family is always best. This makes me feel good about where I came from. It would also be helpful for me to spend time visiting my birth family if it safe to do so. I am not trying to hurt your feelings when I say I miss my birth family. I desperately need your support when it comes to my feelings.
  4. I am doing the best I can. You may feel out of sync with me sometimes. But if you watch, learn, and ask questions, we’ll figure out how to get along. I am learning to cope with my special needs and genetic related issues. I need a lot of patience and compassion to work through things. I may not meet milestones at the same time as other kids my age, but I still have a lot to offer. I have a bright future.