This past week, the show This Is Us tackled more issues. Randall talked about being adopted, about people expecting him to be grateful for being adopted.
I remember family members telling me that they were surprised that my girls were struggling. “They should feel lucky they are a part of your family.” “Don’t they feel grateful that you adopted them?” At that time, my girls did not feel grateful. They felt the pain of losing their family. They felt unworthy, unlovable, abandoned, and at times, angry. Definitely not grateful, definitely not lucky.
Our kiddos should not be expected to feel grateful. The reality is they were adopted because they had been abandoned. They suffered a deep, terrible loss. And that is definitely not something to be grateful for. So let’s be clear about where are children are at, what they have gone through. Let’s eliminate those expectations.
Many kids may certainly feel grateful, may feel blessed. But we, as their parents or as society, should not ever place that expectation on them. We need to honor their stories, even the hard, painful parts. We should not gloss over that, should not ignore that. It IS part their story. And we need to respect THEIR feelings about all the parts of their story. Give them a voice. Listen to their voice. Respect their voice. They most definitely deserve that.
We're In This Together!
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