Don't 'Feel Bad' For Your Adopted Child Because They Suffer Loss


Adopted children actually suffer silently, many things. Loss is one, but don't feel bad for them.

Adopted children come into the relationship with inherent traumas and loss is one of them. Don't feel bad for your adopted child because they suffer loss.

Adopted children don't need sympathy. They need understanding. Feeling bad for them hurts them. It hinders their growth and perpetuates the cycle of unease they feel at any given moment.

You cannot pretend to know what they are feeling, even if you have experienced great loss. Maybe you lost someone you love to a death. It hurts and hurts bad.

It's not the same thing. Not even close.

Unless you were adopted, don't pretend you know what they are feeling.

The primal wound of loss that an adopted child face is (for most) equivalent to losing a limb. The lost limb is always gone and is a constant reminder of that loss. You can't replace the arm with a prosthetic and have the 'reality' suddenly disappear. Sure, you can begin to do things you once did, but it does not replace the initial connection the limb once had. Literally and figuratively.

No amount of feeling sorry for anyone does any good, in fact, it is harmful. To 'feel sorry for' allows someone to stay apathetic and become a victim. In other words, it can enable some really bad behavior.

No one wants to be felt sorry for (ok, some do ;)). We all want to be understood. Even though you may have no idea what they may be feeling, to involve in open, honest conversation will do wonders. Of course, that begins with listening.

Hear your child. You may not be able to walk in their shoes, but if they sense you truly care, and they perceive you genuinely listening, the feelings of loss become minimized.

When the child knows their feelings matter, their feelings become manageable.

I'm sure you've been in a situation in your life where you have been emotionally out of control. Perhaps something was going on for you that you couldn't express and you reacted negatively?

And did someone tell you to 'calm down, you're overreacting?' Or maybe the opposite and they fed into your reactivity agreeing with you only to make you even angrier than you were.

Neither situation is ideal. The first shuts you down and minimizes your feelings. The second enables and justifies the reaction. All you really wanted was to know your feelings mattered. Not that someone agreed or disagreed, or that you were right or wrong. Simply that you were feeling a certain way and they cared enough to listen.

Adopted children as with any other child, don't need enabling nor do they need pity. They need a strong back to ride on so they feel safe in what they unknowingly perceive as an unsafe world.

If you don't have the ability to be that strong back, then I suggest you hold off on the kids until you do.

Having or adopting children when you're unable to meet your own needs causes collateral damage.

Can you imagine learning to drive for the first time by getting into a brand new car and taking straight to the streets? What do you think would happen? Right. Collateral damage. Every car in your path would be scathed, dented or severely damaged.

And what about the pedestrians? Is there a possibility someone including yourself may get hurt? There sure it. And that is why we learn to drive on farms, and in empty parking lots, because the cost of the damage is too great to bear.

Having children and learning to parent as we go is wrong on so many levels. And that is why our society has ramped drug use, increasing suicides, gangs, overcrowded jails and upwards of 1 million children living on the streets. And that's just in the USA!

Starting a family is a lifelong journey. Adopting is as well, with a few more challenges thrown in. All of these challenges are surmountable and nothing needs to be as bad as they appear at times.

The only thing you need to do is get right with you.

That's it.

Suzanne works with prospective adoptive couples who have unresolved issues surrounding their childhood that will cloud their ability to parent. She helps them to be confident, loving parents to their child, and provide an environment where the child thrives. Reach out to her here for a free 'Confident Loving Parent' breakthrough session. You can also check out her free E-book, 9 (Little Known) Factors That Could Affect Your Adopted Babies Mental Health And What You Can Do To Prevent It.

This article was originally published at SuzieQ Solutions. Reprinted with permission from the author.