October 19, 2015

The Adoption-Reconstruction Phase Theory:
Where I'm At With It Today

I know some people take great offense to this theory. Not to the graphics, (thank you Amanda Woolston/TDA for a great job in creating the graphic) but the content. I write this post not to hurt anyone at all, simply sharing how my thoughts have evolved about the theory over time.

I didn’t know what I used to think or feel about it and have mulled it over a lot. Here is what I have come to believe, and of course it's my observation and opinion, and well – it’s just that – what one person thinks.

I realize this graphic shows a very brief summary of what is a large body of  work. There’s so much more to it. But I want to speak in general today of what I think/feel when I look at this today versus many months ago.

There are times I have bounced around and fluctuated between all of the phases. I think that happens because of triggers, and from what I understand, that is normal.  A huge trigger can put me in phase 3 pretty quick, and thankfully I now have tools to help guide me out of that and into a peaceful place.

I also believe that working through and finding peace doesn’t necessarily mean acceptance that what happened was right, fair, etc.  Acceptance can be a place of peace that this is what happened that you can do nothing about – BUT – you can be at peaceful and successful, and not be stuck in life.

Observing many in the adoptee and first parent community, what I notice – and this should be no shock – is simply that those who get real help fare better  than those who do not. And my observation is also that most don't get real help, which is sad.

With all that said, I’m glad I insisted upon getting help. It took courage because so many people think we don’t need it and even ridicule us for getting it. In their minds, it would be like winning the lottery and going to counseling over it.

They. Have. No. Idea.

It takes fortitude to press beyond the jeers of, “Explain to me again what you’re upset about or why you’re getting counseling..?”

Maybe that’s why so many people don’t pursue help. They may have to wade past a lot of emotional abuse to get it. I understand that and have faced my share of it.

To add insult to injury some people show up and have a therapist tell them they don’t understand why they are there. It’s devastating. Thankfully times are changing in that regard.

To summarize my thought today – getting the right help is so important for adoptees. And my observation is that those who have had the most help, move forward the most. That should be a no brainer except for the fact that so many people are still doing it on their own, all the while emotionally bleeding. And some don't even realize the trail they leave behind, why it exists and how it's affecting others.