"Adoption loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful." - Reverend Keith C. Griffith
Our second pre-adoption education meeting yesterday encompassed topics such as grief in adoption, trauma, separation anxiety, possibility of drug and alcohol exposure, and additional information on transracial adoption.
When discussing trauma involved in adoption we were presented with the enlightening quote above. Society really does expect adoptees to be wholly grateful, when what most adoptees feel is a grateful heart mixed with trauma from loss, identity crisis, worthlessness, and shame. If we look at this from the beginning, we see one of the most beautiful relationships God created, the relationship between a mother and her child, and this begins from conception. That embryo begins to build a bond with mother immediately. He learns and knows her voice early on in his very young life.
Then that bond is torn from him. He is born and he is torn away from the one person in this world with whom he had a connection.
Holy Moly!! We step in after that? We pick up the pieces from a traumatized newborn?
Now we are traumatized. Just kidding (maybe). In all seriousness, we know this is a very real possibility, and we do not take our role as adoptive parents lightly. It's a good reminder to provide our sweet newborn with an immediate sense of love, safety, security, and bonding. Most newborns get "chest to chest" time with their mothers; so, maybe that's what an immediate bonding experience might look like. Maybe an immediate bonding experience might look like providing nourishment. Provision of security and bonding will be a lifelong experience with our sweet child as he is going to have a lifetime of processing his identity over and over...when he graduates high school, when he goes to college, when he gets married, when he has a baby. This sense of trauma from loss is going to be very real, and we are going to have to do our very best to help him process this information and to help him understand "his story."
There is already so much in this post that we think we would lose you if we went into much more detail about our thoughts, feelings, what we are learning, what we are frightened of..."all the things." So until another time...
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." - 1 John 4:18