The full title of this support is: Knowledge of parenting and child development.
My Birth Mother chose well. She did so intentionally. She chose a Doctor and a Teacher to raise me. Granted big T Trauma was not a thing yet, but who else better to have a good grasp on child development both physically and mentally? On top of that, my younger sister’s needs forced them to keep up with current research and development (It’s O.K. I have permission to talk about my sister’s story). My parents had a great grasp of what kid’s needed at each stage in their lives. However, it needs to be stated that they were not perfect. At all. They too were humans and battled their own imperfections and personal struggles. Many that I did not become aware of until I was an adult.
Adoptive parents. What I am about to tell you is KEY. And it is backed by current research. In order to be a “successful” parent, you only need to get things “right” 30% of the time. I know. That seems low. But it’s true.
Whew. Breath that in. Breath in that release of failure and shame and guilt.
The fact that you are reading this means you are most likely functioning well above that 30% mark.
So. What is “successful” and “right” parenting? It’s less about getting discipline right and more about connection. (THE CONNECTED CHILD *AHEM HINT HINT*)
Successful parenting is when your child feels connected to you even in the hard moments of dysregulation and heck… are just being turds. (Children are turds 95% of the time. That’s not scientific. That’s just a SAHM Mom who is in the middle of a snow day and has done nothing but growl and yell in frustration.)
How does this translate for adoptees? Buckle up.
We all become adults. No matter if our adoptive situation was stable-ish like mine, or whether you’ve been in and out of placements… we all turn into adults and become responsible and…
We all have to take care of our own shit. We just do. Floundering throughout life blaming others and playing the victim and being an “angry adoptee” doesn’t do a thing for you. In fact, it’s damaging to you and to those you love.
I’ve been there. I’ve wanted to wallow. And it is an essential part of healing… wallowing and being angry. But at some point, we have to heal. I know it’s hard work, and it’s dark, and it takes us into the scariest memories including the somatic ones. Educating ourselves on child development and re-walking ourselves through those stages through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, EMDR, and story is essential.
But at some point, we need to educate ourselves on parenting and child development in order to heal. Especially if we are or intend to become parents ourselves. Instead of trauma, we need to pass down healing to our own children. We can only do that by putting our baggage on the table and sorting it into keep and throw away piles.
And let me tell you from personal experience. Deal with your trauma before it deals with you. Before you find yourself passing on trauma to your children. Before you wake up and realize one day that the environment you have created for yourself and those you love is toxic and damaging. Before you find yourself starring into the eyes of your own frightened child or spouse or friend who is afraid of… YOU.
Yes. We may have gotten the short end of the stick without consent. But we, just like everyone else, have to do the work. The “adoptee card” isn’t a get out of jail free card.
But we can heal. And we can do so through understanding child (and adult) development.
If you are an Adoptee or an Adoptive Parent and you are not sure where to go with this… what tools to look for and use, don’t hesitate to DM or look through those I follow in order to connect to other resources, tools, etc.
I am not a therapist… yet… but I can point you to some great places to start.