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.
- Our love will be enough; it will be returned and appreciated (I don’t deserve love and care; I am damaged goods)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- Our biological children will embrace this child as a sibling (Your other kids don’t like me and they get me in trouble)
- Our child will fit well into our family and be welcomed (Relatives don’t like me as much as the other kids)
- Our friends will validate and support us as adoptive parents (We don’t go places like we used to and everyone blames me)
- Our child will see us as parents and forget about birth family (I need to talk about my birth family and my losses)
- 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)
- 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.