Have you found out at a late stage in your life that you are an adopted child? Even though most adoption agencies encourage parents seeking to adopt kids to be open about their past, some parents prefer to raise their children as their own, without revealing their birth parents to them. Such a parent may take this measure to protect their child from pain surrounding the circumstances, but end up causing negative effects when they find out later in life.
Statistics state that 2% of the American population is adopted. Late discovery adoptees have a hard time coping with the news since they feel betrayed and disoriented. Whatever the reason was not to inform a child earlier in life about their roots, it is better to reveal this secret earlier than later. Today, we will look at the issues that such children undergo and how they can cope with mixed feelings
What are the common issues surrounding adoption?
Feeling of rejection
Most adopted kids who lack attention from their parents may feel rejected by their birth parents. A child who finds out that their birth parents abandoned them, may grow up with low self-esteem with the mentality that they were neglected right from birth. No matter how much love one may be receiving from the adoptive family, the mindset of lacking something is possible. This reason makes most adoptive parents prefer not to reveal the secret of adoption to a child.
Lacking information about one’s genetic background brings confusion to a child who finds out at a late stage. You may start questioning your identity and feel the urge to look for your birth parents. Disorientation about your childhood brings confusion as some things remain unclear. This makes adoptees who lack support turn to harmful substances such as drug abuse to help deal with an identity crisis.
One may be torn between finding their birth parents and staying loyal to their adoptive parents. Feelings of guilt may affect the current relationship with the adoptive family due to not showing enough gratitude to them for raising you.
Finding out that your birth parents may have passed on without your knowledge causes pain. One may feel regrets and self- blame for things beyond their control. You should find ways to cope with this pain so that you can move on.
Help for adopted child
Express your feelings to your family
Openly communicating with your family about all the confusing emotions that come with the news will help you heal fast. Such news has a significant impact on a person's life and sharing your feelings will bring peace to you and your adoptive parents.
Listen to their side before making conclusions
Enquire the reason they hid such information from you open-mindedly. It may take you time to forgive them for concealing your identity from you, but don't shut them down without listening to their reasons. Avoid being selfish and only thinking about your feelings. Try to understand their perspective before jumping to conclusions.
Find out more information about adoptees
For you to come to terms with the delicate phase, seek information from resourceful books that help you deal with your emotions. These publications and blogs will you help you realize that you are not alone and that many people have learned to deal with a similar situation.
Avoid unhealthy habits to deal with your emotions
It is not easy to deal with mixed emotions at the same time. You may be isolating yourself in your room not able to face your adoptive parents due to the shock that comes with the news. People indulge in alcohol and drug abuse as they try to find their identity, deal with grief and feelings of betrayal. Find help from drug treatment centers near Maine to break tolerance as you talk to a therapist.
Join a support group for adoptees
Both online and physical support groups are there to help you interact with other adoptees. Choose one that has people close to your age since you may be going through the same situations with an adoptive family. From here, you can learn the appropriate steps to take next in your life without feeling pressured to look for your birth parents.
Don't forget the bonds you have formed with your adoptive family
Instead of focusing on the betrayal, think of the good times you have shared with your adoptive parents and siblings. Most parents who adopt children raise and treat them as their own. Teach yourself to show gratitude for the conducive environment at home even when your birth parents may not have been there for you. This will help you forgive so that you can move forward.
Take time to grief
An ambiguous loss is rarely understood by people who may not be in your shoes. You may not know your parents but still, experience grief. It is normal to cry over them even if they passed on at an early age. Visit their resting place in this case and come up with a memorial for them. Lighting a candle every time you visit their tomb or plating a tree as a symbol of paying your respects, can help you deal with grief. You can also write down the emotions no matter how confusing they might be.
Reduce uncertainty by seeking information
Break the curiosity by learning about your identity through your adoption story. For you to reduce low self-esteem, find out the conditions in which you were adopted as well as early childhood with your birth parents. If your adoptive parent have a picture of your birth mother, this can put you at ease. Learn about your cultural backgrounds and history to understand your origin.
Concentrate on your present
Look at the person you have turned out to be. Evaluate your qualities, values, talents, and goals that your adoptive family has helped you cultivate. Encourage yourself that even though you were adopted, it does not change the person you have turned out to be.
How you look at adoption and get past your emotions determines your future. Implement the tips above, and you will be thankful to your adoptive parents for giving you a good life. Don't let the emotions affect your future.