Feeling Abandoned

Recognize behaviors and teach children to deal with their emotions.

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I often wonder if my kids will eventually feel abandoned. Many books and professionals have led us to believe that some adopted children will feel a sense of abandonment throughout their lifetimes. Some may question, “Why didn’t my birth mother want me?” Others may ask, “What was wrong with me, that my mother gave me up?”

I wonder if some of my son’s insecurities have to do with him being adopted. When he was a baby he did not like being left alone at any time. I know children can have similar behaviors even if they are not adopted, but does being adopted intensify these feelings?

My son is five now and he still does not like to be in a different room than me. Occasionally, I would have to go in the bathroom with him. Leaving my son at the church nursery was traumatic for both of us. He does better now, but it took several years before he stopped crying when we dropped him off. Even leaving him with my parents for the night was hard on all of us. He would cry the whole time. It didn’t dawn on me at the time, but it could have had something to do with him being adopted and the way he came into this world.

My son was born in an apartment without any medical assistance. The paramedics did not make it in time for his birth. We are still unsure how long it was before the paramedics arrived. When they did arrive at the hospital, his birth mom left. The nurses did love and cuddle him, but it was two days before we were able to meet him. After a day of us being there, the doctor mentioned to us that he seemed less agitated. He was also sleeping and eating better. His doctor told us it was amazing what consistent love and care could do for a baby.

My daughter is sixteen-months-old now and she is completely different. She is independent and confident. When I leave her in the church nursery, she does not cry. She is a great sleeper and loves to play by herself. For now, I have not seen any signs of her feeling abandoned. Her adoption was a smoother process than my son’s. I was there when she was born; her birth mother lovingly placed her in my arms.

Does it make a difference on the child if the placement goes smoothly? Does it make a difference on the child if the birth mom is with them until placement? Is this normal behavior or is this behavior stemmed from being adopted? These questions go back and forth through my mind all the time. Regardless of the answer, as parents we have to recognize these behaviors and teach our children to deal with their emotions. Our children need to know that we love them unconditionally, and their birth parents love them as well. I want my children to always know that even though their birth family chose to place them for adoption, they were never abandoned.