#109 –  I’ll Prove to You I’m Bad.

September 29, 2017 at 10:02 am | Posted in adoption books, Adoption differences, adoption information, adoption insight, adoption issues, adoption loss, Adoptive parenting do's, Differences - adoptive parenting and biological parenting, Differences -adopted child and biological child | Leave a comment


Parents normally try to raise their children

to be good children and good citizens. Most people were

raised this way and can remember the feeling of wanting to

please their parents. For one thing, life was simpler at home

if there was a minimum of problems. It’s hard, therefore,

when adoptive parents are dealing with a child who seems

determined to be as bad as he can. This can be baffling.

Again, we must understand the adopted child’s thinking.

Fortunately, only a small percentage of adopted children

fall into this behavior category. However, if parents have to

deal with this syndrome for years, it is extremely taxing and



A child may test his parents for a long time. The child

may do something bad and find his parents deal with it, but

don’t throw him out. He feels he has passed that level and

will then move onto the next. The child’s behavior can get

incrementally worse as if he is testing on one level and then

another and another.


When this happens, parents must focus on loving the

child and hating the behavior. The child wants to know, “How

bad does my behavior need to be before my adoptive parents

give me away?” As exasperating as this is, unconditional love

will eventually bring the child home again. The child is always

lovable although the behavior can be detestable. It seems it

can take forever for some adopted children to believe this.


If the child actually does leave home, he often ends up in a much

lower socioeconomic situation than he had at home. He lives with

people who may not  have the education or advantages he has been given.

Soon, he may realize he doesn’t fit in the new environment because he

is accustomed to more than what he sees around him. The child

may take on a part-time job, or take a class to improve himself.

He will continue to advance himself to a point where he does

feel comfortable, where he does feel he belongs. This may be

right back on the level he was when he was living at home.

However, he discovered it himself. His present place

in the world was not decided by an adoption worker or a

lawyer. At this point, he has gained confidence in himself. He

finally has some self-determination. Many adopted children

feel powerless because when they were young and helpless,

adults were making decisions for them. This difficult exercise

of climbing up the socioeconomic ladder all by oneself

overcomes some of this helplessness.


If all goes well, the child will eventually outgrow the

unwholesome world he has chosen to embrace. He rises to

the top of it and gets back into the main stream of society.

There can be many bad experiences along the way and these

can take a toll.


Having an accepting, loving home waiting surely helps

the child to accelerate his journey. Even though he has made

some bad decisions and used bad judgment resulting in his

temporarily becoming “that bad person he always thought he

was,” if he is later accepted back at home, this proves to him

that he is lovable after all. Hopefully, he will realize he was

not given away because he was bad. After all, his adoptive

parents still love and accept him. If he can see this, then he

can start to work on finding the good and positive that his

adoptive parents have seen all along.


One mother who went through this experience used to

express it as, “It’s like Todd is a tall shiny metal cylinder. All

the good things we taught him are inside where we can’t see

them. All we can see now is the garbage he is displaying on

the top. We know all that goodness is still there. He can’t

destroy it. He just needs to work through his garbage in order

to find himself.” Indeed, Todd eventually did.


Excerpt from “Insight Into Adoption”, 3rd edition

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