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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Monday Mottoes – #113

Happy business group demonstrating partnership

Happy business group demonstrating partnership

My e-mails are flooded with adoptive parents needing help. Not that everyone has a rough time when new kids come into the family, but many do. Our oldest son was so smooth a transition, coming home at almost age 8, that other a-parents thought we were not telling the truth about our situation.

Is a rocky road normal in adoptive families? I’ll give you a scientific response: sometimes yes, sometimes no. There are those who adopt infants, believing that they will not experience the same feelings of rejection as those adopted at older ages. Statistically, it’s not so. The parents often learn that age has little to do with attachment, and resiliency, and hopefulness.

The stereotype goes something like this: adoptive children possess genes or life happy-teenage-boyexperiences so lacking and depraved that they will never develop into thoughtful, caring, normal human beings. In a fraction of the cases, this may be true, often stemming from fetal brain damage, usually due to alcohol or from severe neglect which causes similar outcomes. Yet, I would venture to guesstimate that the majority of adopted children realistically fall somewhere on the spectrum between angels and demons, similar to homegrown kids who run the gamut, as well.

Happy girl laughing

I have noticed that adoptees often need reassurance in an extent and measure more than biological children. Some have likened it to a black hole: no matter how much you try to fill their love tank, it fills to about the same measure as a leaky sieve. They pick up on the tiniest negative and run with it, reinforcing that nobody loves them and that they are worthless and undeserving. Trying to carry on in a normal manner, giving encouragement or compliments on a regular basis, never works. They need more, more, more.

It can be exhausting.

Personally, to keep my sanity, I liken it to a person who is bruised. If you say hello and happytap them on the arm in passing, all is well with most people.

Unless they are bruised. Then, even friendly gestures can hurt and be misinterpreted.

Which leads us to today’s motto: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~Anonymous

And that’s a very tricky dance when it comes to adoptive parenting, because we need to correct and instruct when things go awry. How to do this in a positive way? How to take action when there are possibly already so many deficits in terms of love and stable behavior? Can an a-parent ever tell an a-child to stop lying, or to sit up straight, or to do their chores without them claiming you never wanted them in the first place?

FRIENDSGod only knows. But we can try. Today, instead of negatives, may we all see the possibilities and positives all around us. May we focus on these things and speak uplifting words.

Change is possible even when conditions and people are not perfect, when we don’t have the support of others, and when we feel that we’re surrounded by negativity and hanging on by a thread. A miracle is a miracle and you can believe for the best. Today, hold your head up high and keep moving forward. It matters what you see.

Happy Monday, everyone!

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