#38 – Acceptance

December 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Adoption differences, Adoptive parenting do's, Raising the adopted child | Leave a comment
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We’ve talked about accepting, and even nurturing, some qualities of our children who because they came from a different gene pool, may be very different than our biological family members.  Often as a person matures, our qualities become a stronger part of our personalities and temperaments.  Some differences may not be all that negative, but they may be more noticeable in a family group that doesn’t share that characteristic.

For instance, if one of your children is quick to anger or doesn’t share the same sense of humor or is defensive or touchy – these traits may almost be show stoppers in a family group.  This is who they are.  Most of the time there can be harmony and similarity, but then their trigger is pulled and there it is – a reaction that startles you even though you’ve seen it hundreds of times.  This can be disturbing because you are reminded your child is different than the rest of you.

What do we do about this?  How can we ever get over the question “Where in the world did that reaction come from?”  A reaction we feel is out of left field is disturbing, not so much for the reaction itself or the words that come out of our child, but it’s disturbing because it reminds us our child is adopted.  Adoptive parents want unity and symmetry.  We spend years trying to unify our family and assimilate all members into a harmonious, loving unit.  Actually, it’s in the smoother running families that the ‘out of left field’ temper or (in our mind) inappropriate reaction startles us more.  We get complacent with the easy pace of our family and when it is disrupted, we can feel hurt and disappointed.

I think the only answer to this lies in our own attitude.  There are some things in life we cannot change and we just must accept.  There is no right or wrong here.  There are just differences.  As our children mature, these differences can show up in political persuasions, religious differences, goals, and standards for success.  It’s not easy to see the proverbial apple fall far from our tree, but then we are reminded that, after all, it was not our tree they came from.  Acceptance and respect are not easily come by when it comes to differences we may not agree with.  However, acceptance and tolerance may be the answers to continued family cohesiveness.

The love is always there and that usually comes easily.  Oddly, it’s the acceptance and understanding we need to work on, but it’s imperative that we do to hold onto our family unity.  In order to maintain harmony we may have to give up trying to have our children conform to our thinking.  Love and respect take on a non-judgmental color.  We have to keep our eye on the big picture – family love, not family conformity.

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