July 1, 2013

3 More Things SOME Adoptive Parents Do That Drive Me Crazy!

It's back by popular demand! The things that SOME (not all!) adoptive parents (AP'S) do that drive me crazy.  

Photo Credit: www.petsadvisor.com, Flickr

Even the cats are screaming for change...

Now, if you are one of my many AP friends, don't get your panties in a bunch. If you don't do these three things, why do you even care? And if you do them...well, maybe, you want to reconsider doing them. Don't shoot the messenger -- consider the message.

After I shared the first 3 things SOME (not all!) Adoptive Parents do that drive me crazy, I heard reader's cries for more. So, here you go -- the latest portion of reality served up on a plate of truth. 

They believe their child has no issues because they don't say anything.

Some AP's say things like, "I've asked her if it bothers her that she is adopted, and she says no. She loves it!" and point to this as evidence.  Many adult adoptees are  aware through personal experience of why this may not be indicative of a child's true feelings. Adoptees' feelings can change as we become adults and have greater understanding of the complex issues surrounding adoption.

A criticism I  hear of adult adoptees who finally share their feelings: “Why are they sharing this at 42 years old? Why now? Why did they say nothing when they were growing up? It never bothered them, and then all of a sudden, something that happened when they were a baby is a big deal...” 

How do you know it never bothered them?

Consider that children often can't identify what they are feeling, to verbalize it to adults.  Please do not assume that your child has no issues or has overcome all issues now and forevermore. Significant milestones and various occasions in life can be particularly triggering. Pride and self preservation can prevent you from being open to listen as well as prepared for what your son or daughter really needs from you in the way of support.

They go on and on about how hard it is/the sacrifice

Welcome to parenthood!

This isn't karaoke night.

What did you expect? 

Any parent, whether adoptive or non-adoptive is going to have their lives totally turned upside down when you become a parent.

Parenthood isn't about what your child is going to do for you.  It will take giving far more and stretching beyond what you have ever had to do in your life to be a parent. That's what being a mom or dad is. Total sacrifice.

Yes, adopted children have special needs. If your agency or social worker didn't tell you that, I'm sorry. But the fact is, parenthood takes everything... and being the parent of an adopted child who will have post-adoption issues?  It is going to take every ounce of energy you have ever had to do this right.

And all that you had to go through?
It's not your kid's fault. 
Not one bit of it. 
They never asked for any of this.

They ask for the truth, then can't handle it.

Adoptive parents visit adoptee blogs and many say they want "an education" or they're "looking for insight" and then as soon as adoptees tell them straight up, they get offended, take their bat and ball and go home. 

Whaaaa  Whaaaa Whaaaaa... Somebody get me the whammmmbulance! 

Welcome to a classic case study in why adoptees most often stay quiet and don't tell their adoptive parents what they really think. Because many of them can't handle it!

"Even if there is some truth to this, did you have to say it that way?" they respond. "Wow....that really hurts to hear..."

Sensitive much?

Right now I can hear Mary Poppins..."A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down, the medicine go down..."

The favorite technique to block out painful truth seems to be responding with something like, "The tone you just used when you wrote that is completely inappropriate! I'm sorry, I can't converse with those who speak in such disrespectful tones..."

Tone? You are worried about TONE? 

Ma'am, Sir...I humbly tell you that someone's tone online who you have probably never met in person, is the least of your worries. Really.

Tone or no tone, did you just hear the words that were said??? 

Can you look beyond someone's possible "tone" to hear the heart of the matter...something that may actually save your child's very life?

Adoptees are greatly over-represented in treatment centers and have a higher rate of suicide.  Yet some of you want to argue about "tone?" 

A piece of advice from Deanna's heart to yours: forget for a second about whether somebody's tone hurts you, and focus on how what they are saying might actually help your child. 

"You have just hurt me terribly by saying our family Gotcha Day may be harming my child!!!!! How dare you speak against this day I look forward to every year???!!! This is very important to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" 

[Reader promptly unsubscribes from blog or Facebook page. Leaves in a full blown adult temper tantrum.] 

Okayyyyyyyy.......what is more important? Your agenda, or your child's well being?

"I don't understand, " they say. 


  "I just don't get it..." they say.