# 21 – Comparison with other families

June 25, 2011 at 9:38 am | Posted in Adoption differences | Leave a comment
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I think it’s safe to say every parent wants the best for their child.  If our own parents did a good job of parenting, we usually tend to parent the same way they did.  After all, we turned out pretty well under their system.

Along with this logic is the expectation that our children will turn out the same way we did.  This can work, but often it’s more complicated than that.  For most of us, our parents were dealing with their own reproduced gene pool when it comes to temperament, personality, talents, health issues, etc.  We as adoptive parents are working with a different set of genes.  We are familiar with our own qualities because we were surrounded by them as children growing up, not only within our immediate families, but in all probability we saw similarities in our cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

Sometimes adoptive families have a child who is way “outside their own family box”.  The mental capacity can be different, physical capabilities can be varied, temperaments can be quite different, etc.  This can be a good thing.  In one family where the parents had bachelor degrees, their son got a Ph.D. in philosophy.  When he was introduced to friends of his parents, they stated, “Oh, you’re the one with the Ph.D.”  With a huge grin on his face, the young man answered, “Yes, obviously, I’m adopted.”  This was appreciated by all.  A healthy situation.

Adoptive parents face potentially many more issues than their friends and neighbors who have biological children.  Adoptive parents learn not to discuss this fact because biological families are quick to enumerate all their issues as well.  We have all their issues – and then some.

Many of those issues are talked about on this blog, so I won’t enumerate them.  The point is we are not bound by family limitations nor can we expect our child to be a child prodigy on the piano ‘because it runs in the family’.  Our children’s world is more unknown which makes our world more unknown.  With an open mind, this can be very exciting.

It’s tempting to look next door and see what appears to be a homogeneous family with life running smoothly.  In adoptive families there can be more stumbling blocks with identity and other issues.  If we are alert and loving, we can take these in stride knowing at the end of the day, in looking back, we realize we had a tougher job than our friends, but we did it well.  To love and guide and nurture a child who is not biologically the same as we are, can be more of a challenge than we bargained for.  I’ve met many adoptive parents who say “We had no idea what we were going to go through, but you know, we did it well, and no one could have loved our children more than we did.  I’m glad they are ours.”  What a great place to be!  We all can get there if we are just realistic.


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