September 27, 2017 at 8:20 am | Posted in adoption books, Adoption differences, adoption information, adoption insight, adoption issues, Adoptive parenting do's, Differences - adoptive parenting and biological parenting, Differences -adopted child and biological child, Identity issues, parenting help, Raising the adopted child | Leave a comment


Who is this child under my roof?

What do I expect of him?


Parents’ expectations are perhaps one

of the greatest areas of variance between biological families

and adopted families. Although adoptive parenting is for the

most part more challenging, this is one area where it can be

easier than biological parenting.


Many adoptive families don’t see this as a gift. They

have a child without the perimeters their biological child

would have had. Even when some facts are known about the

background and gene pool their adopted child came from,

there are always areas that they don’t know about. An adopted

child comes into a family with a much cleaner slate than our

own flesh and blood.


When a biological child is born, the family immediately

sees someone’s nose, hands, eyes, etc. If a little boy has his

baseball-playing uncle’s physique, we often assume he will

take after that uncle. After all, if his uncle was a success,

there is no reason for the boy to quit just because he doesn’t

like baseball.


Parents have a natural tendency to push their biological

offspring into roles that they already see within their family

tree. They put physical and mental limits and expectations on

their child who might try to be something or do something

that has never been done in their family. Parents may feel it

is not in the genes and therefore, discourage their child from

wasting his time in a futile effort (in the parent’s mind).


Now imagine you have a child and you don’t know his

limitations. What a gift! If that little boy doesn’t like baseball,

you think okay, let’s explore something else he may like and

be good at. Adoptive parents have sketchy ideas about the

biological and mental limits, but there is always the unknown

factor. Maybe there is some musical or artistic or athletic

talent in their child’s background that was not mentioned at

the time of adoption. It is worth exploring, always a possibility.


The tragedy occurs when an adoptive family tries to

mold their adopted child into the person they believe their

biological child would have been. Sometimes this may work,

but often there is a lot of frustration on the part of the parents

and the child. The parents are disappointed in their child, and

the child knows it. Even though the child may have strong

talents in other areas, he may pursue the areas chosen by his

parents so as not to let them down.


Conversely, if the adoptive parents look upon their child

as a gift, as all children are, they can embrace the opportunity

to work with nature in exploring and developing their child’s

potential. They have values and standards of course, but the

child can be viewed as a blank slate.


It is so important for adoptive parents to question again

and again just what their expectations are for their child. Are

they selfish expectations?  Are they adopting a child for their own fulfillment?

If parents can get themselves and their egos out of the way,

it enables them to work freely with their child in exploring

his potential.


Before an adoption ever takes place, adoptive parents should do some soul searching

to determine if they can willingly and eagerly accept differences.


In all fairness to the child, he should be appreciated for

who he is, not for what they plan for him to be. Unconditional

love comes to mind at this point.


Excerpt from “Insight Into Adoption” 3rd edition


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