Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Adoption is viewed as a single event........and yes , 'gottcha day' or the day that you adopted your child is a time to celebrate and honour each year. However, adoption is an on-going event that is part of the fabric of each day for both child, siblings and parents. In small and indisriminate ways and in large obvious ways, not necessarily a good or bad thing, it just is.

Such as looking at your parent's face in the morning; remembering her birth parents on her Birthday each year - or when you discover your child has been hoarding food in his bedroom, and you are trying to understand the meaning of this behavior so he will just finally stop doing it. Differentiating between what is an adoption issue and what is a 'kid issue' is not always easy for parents. However, as parents, our own capacity and practice at managing the good, the bad and the ugly in life can be part of the way to guide our children through these more tumultous times. We are the anchor through the calm and the storms.

Losing and loving is part of life for all of us and it takes practice and a life time to manage both well. So it should be of no surprise that many adopted children who often experience loss early on without the cognitive ability to understand its meaning act out when subsequent losses occur in their lives. As consequence, they develop a sensitivity to transitions and separations and changes in structure or routine. Loss - small or large - can cause temporary disorientation or it may cause internal distress that is acted out in disruptive behavior. At these times , your child needs the guidance of a patient parent well versed in managing loss and love, ready to listen and willing to understand.

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