Saturday, December 11, 2010

Adoptees and identity( part one)

I have been reading all sorts of blogs recently, specifically those by adult adoptees. The feelings and opinions are extremely intense for these adoptees and it is important to recognize that their experiences and stories are very subjective and specific to each one of them. Under their anger and righteous words is a profound sense of saddness. Their writing is clearly, an important mouthpiece for them to vocalize and organize their own integration of Self and assert who they have become. However, each of these adult adoptees emphasize in different ways, how essential it is to have knowledge and contact with their past and their Birth families and their Birth culture to be able to feel more whole and integrated. Some of them returned to live in their Birth culture when adults, while others sought out their birth family for a one time visit; others have had brief contact during the years to maintain contact no matter how infrequent. These are the voices of adoptees who have become adults.

Recently, I have been talking about how important it is for a child adoptee to have some kind of gradual integration of past,present and future to have a cohesive sense of Self going forward into life. And, how important it is for the adopt/foster parent to be aware of and sensitive to this integration. Behaviorally, this can look like a pushing away or a strong criticism of the foster/adopt parent or a denial of the birth parent/family. In the face of such behavior , the most important stance for the foster/adopt parent is to stay confident in your job as a parent and guardian of this child and clear in your love and compassion. Not so easy to do at times, but when the boat is rocking you need to take the wheel, to maintain a steady course during the storms.

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