#69 “I need a hug”

November 21, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Posted in Adoption differences, adoption issues, Adoptive parenting do's | Leave a comment
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Recently, I was in a group of adults who were dealing with adoption issues, and one adoptee in his 30’s dejectedly  said, “All I want is to be is normal.  I just want to be like everyone else.  I don’t want to be adopted.”


Mother and Daughter Hugging on a ChairMost kids grow up wanting to be like their friends.  Many of us have seen this in many ways; in what our kids want to wear, the language they use that we may not use in our homes, activities we may or may not approve of, etc.  The pressure to be like everyone else, to be one of the group, is strong when our kids are in school.


Adopted children know they will never be like biological children.  From a logical point of view, this should make no difference as to how they live their lives, BUT to them it can be a huge stone in their path.  We must deal with their thinking, not our logic.  Dismissing it as not important (to us) doesn’t help the adoptee.  Actually, it only distances them more from ‘other’ people who don’t understand them.


When a parent senses their child is upset and about to act out, approaching the child and hugging him may bring him back to a calm place. Being physically close to him can help.  Traditionally, parents isolate the misbehaving child by sending him to his room or having him sit in a chair for a time out.  This is a consequence that distances the child from his family.  Instead, tell your child that you love him and always will.  Connect with your child.  He may well be misbehaving because he feels insecure and afraid of being different from his family.


Adopted children can feel others (birth family) have failed them, so may test the love of those around him who profess to love him.  This testing can go on and on and on for years. I had one mother ask me, “My daughter is 15 now, how many more years do I have to reassure her over and over and over that she is ours forever?”  I think many of us have experienced this.


Our homes need to be a place where no one gets hurt – neither child nor adult.  It is a safe place of healing.  Staying physically close to your upset child may reinforce him/her that even when he/she acts out, you are still there for them.  You’re not going anywhere, neither are they.  Hugs are reassuring and reinforcing and speak volumes.  We need to hug more and our children should feel free to approach us as adults and say, “ I need a hug.”





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