Where Expectations meet Beliefs

A few weeks ago we heard Jayne Schooler author of Wounded Children, Healing Homes speak at a conference. She discussed parent’s expectations and foster/adoptive children’s beliefs around the same issues. Very helpful and eye opening.

Parent’s thoughts are first, kids responses are in parenthesis and italicized.

  1. Our love will be enough; it will be returned and appreciated (I don’t deserve love and care; I am damaged goods)
  2. We will feel love and connection to this child quickly (I’m not sure I’m safe here or can trust you; adults cause pain)
  3. This child will step into our family system and easily learn how to function within our rules, goals, and ambitions (I don’t understand your rules; I’ll never fit in here)
  4. This child’s needs will be just like those of our biological children (I’m not like your other kids and it’s not fair to compare)
  5. Our biological children will embrace this child as a sibling (Your other kids don’t like me and they get me in trouble)
  6. Our child will fit well into our family and be welcomed (Relatives don’t like me as much as the other kids)
  7. Our friends will validate and support us as adoptive parents (We don’t go places like we used to and everyone blames me)
  8. Our child will see us as parents and forget about birth family (I need to talk about my birth family and my losses)
  9. We can do for this child what was not done for us. We will not do to this child what was done to us (If I can’t be what you want me to be, you will abandon me)
  10. I’ll never feel regrets or ambivalence about this adoption (I never wanted to be adopted anyway)

Jayne’s Power Point is available by clicking here.

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