In older articles posted on Ansa Nest, I have briefly talked about the experience we had as a family during the adoption of 3 African girls. And when reading something like this, or listening to a similar story, it sometimes seems extremely fascinating. Keep in mind that my mother decided to adopt because of an article she read on a family magazine.
Is it all that good and charming as it looks? How do you work out the “abnormality” of adding complete strangers into an already growing family? Does it get better with time?
These are very common questions and very good questions. What I’m hoping to achieve with this article, is to give you some insights on what you should be expecting when in a similar situation.
When my mother reached out to the lady that had adopted some children (the one who also wrote the article), one of the things she was told was “never expect from yourself to feel your adopted children to be like your own children.” This was something my mother held in her head for some time, but didn’t really pay attention to as she was determined to make this work.
Now if you ask my mother about her opinion on the same statement, you will find her agreeing with that. It may sound bizarre and maybe even “harsh.” However, when you add new children (especially when they arrive at a grown age), you should be expecting a change in the dynamic of your family.
As a parent, you will always be “comparing” your natural born children, to your adopted children. It’s not out of bad intentions. You may have the best intentions in the world. It’s simply nature. You tend to “love more” your own children than the adopted ones. And when the children arrive at a grown age and have already gained some very important experiences they may even not feel so strongly the “parent” connection. It’s not that you don’t have a parent-child relationship. It’s simply an acknowledgment of reality. Both parties, know that this isn’t the “natural thing” and as hard as you may try to make it normal, there will always be something missing.
I am obviously not saying all this to discourage you. Just the fact that you are saving children’s lives is very important and that by itself should be a very strong reason for you to want to proceed with such a process. But keep in mind that everyone before is kind of settled in their own ways. So “demanding” from yourself to give up a few things or change certain behaviors may sound easy at first. But when you add on to that a few years, then “tention” builds up. Being a part of an adoption process, I can now say that it’s really a blessing. You learn to live with people of completely different cultures, and quite frankly, it’s a very unique experience for the children.
By all means, you should give it your best and the more love you give, the more love you will receive. But just try to fit into your mind the fact that it’s something “strange” for both parties. And both of you will need to work on that while the years go on.
Personal advice I would give you (based on some negative experience I received): Never allow within your family “group separations.” In other words, never allow individual parties within the family (if that makes any sense.) You will be in a constant effort to stabilize situations. And the last thing you need in your family, are “parties” that differ your natural born children, with your adopted children. Even if your children tell you “it’s fine, we are okay” etc, make sure you don’t allow such behavior. It’s going to turn into a large problem, and very soon the tension that has been built will burst that bubble.
So, hopefully you found this post to be interesting and informative. Since I have gained some experience on these matters, I will be sharing them periodically. Hopefully you can benefit from them. If you want to get an idea (or background update) on my family experience, check out this article.
See you in the next post.