#7 – Support, don’t mold

March 30, 2011 at 12:01 am | Posted in Adoptive parenting do's, Identity issues | Leave a comment
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Many adoptive parents try very hard to make their family cohesive.  They feel that because their adopted child comes from outside of their own gene pool, he or she may need  ‘extra help’  in conforming to their family.  This is a natural and understandable way of thinking, but first of all, it isn’t fair to the child, and secondly, it rarely works.

We all arrive on this earth with talents and gifts unique to us.  Adopted children are no different in this aspect.  Actually, the exciting thing about adopted children is we get to help them find their uniqueness and use it to fulfill their lives.  The adopted child has no biological road map to follow.  He’s on his own as to whether his niche is in music, writing, athletics, or something else.  He doesn’t inherit any tendencies from Mom, Dad, or Uncle Billy.

He arrives with his own set of potentials, but he doesn’t know what they are.  He may have to try many things, thinking they are of interest to him.  If he finds he doesn’t want to continue to pursue an interest, we as parents should not look upon this as quitting, he is just exploring where he might feel comfortable and skilled.  We should expose him to many activities and encourage him in any endeavor that he thinks he might like.  It may be short lived, but we exposed him to the potential.

It’s very important that our adopted children know fully and deeply that it’s okay for them to pursue their own interests and not interests the rest of the family happen to like.  The message here is that we are all a loving family, and we don’t need to share common interests to remain a strong and caring and forever family.


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