Monday, November 12, 2012

Talking with our Children About Adoption

Talking with our kids about adoption can be challenging, particularly as they grow older and the questions become more complex.  For most of us, we just don't have many answers to give our inquiring children.

From the time we brought Jacob home from Russia, we have tried to be very open, honest, and matter of fact about adoption.  Obviously due to the way our family looks, our adoption is noticeable.  I don't think a day goes by that we don't talk about adoption in some form or fashion.  

We want our children to be proud of their heritage and be proud of how they joined our family.  While we realize that adoption has much pain and loss, we will never deny that, adoption also has great joy.  For reasons we may never understand this side of heaven, God placed them in our family.  It is what it is.  Adoption can either be a source of heartache and frustration, a roadblock for success, or it can be a challenge to grow from and a uniqueness to embrace.

Being in therapy allows us to talk about the nitty gritty of adoption, all the uncomfortable feelings that often stay hidden and manifest themselves in other behaviors.   Our children are hopefully learning at a young age that feelings come and go and don't need to rule or dictate their lives.

We want our children to feel comfortable talking about any of their feelings.  This is about helping our children heal, not about whether or not our feelings get hurt.  I want them to feel confident telling me they miss their mom and wish they were still with her.  Just like nothing can replace the daily care and experiences we have shared throughout their lives, nothing can replace that biological connection.

I love picture books and find that books are a great way of addressing so many topics.  We have a wide range of adoption books that we have read over the years.  Some of our favorite are listed here:  Adoption Books for Kids

Adoption is messy and complicated.  We don't have all the answers.  What we can do is talk about their adoption stories and the emotions that come along with them, and help them feel safe, secure, and loved. 

Please visit these ladies to read more:

Grace in my Heart: Talking About Adoption with Children

Reasons for Chocolate: Adoption Talks with our Son

My Little Flower: Talking with our Children about Adoption


renee said...

Such a good reminder to be unafraid and open in discussing with our children, in age appropriate ways, of course. For me, sometimes a desire to protect my child from hurt/pain can make we want to be quieter on this...but I know that the best "protection" from the hurt and pain of life is an open, loving you write: forever, for always, no matter what. :) Thanks, Jen, for taking time to share your journey and encourage me on the way.

Jen4Ever4Always said...

Thanks Renee, I really appreciate your comment. I know, we never want our children to hurt and it can be hard to talk about difficult things. I believe it will pay off in the long run as they know that they can trust us with all of the "hard" things. God Bless!!

Patty said...

Renee is spot on. It is a fine line to walk when we don't want to push into talking or when we hesitate in hopes of not hurting. But truly, by the grace of God, we learn along the way. And isn't it amazing how much they teach us along the way?

Gardenia said...

great informative post, Jen. Thanks for hosting this adoption series. I posted today too.

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