I often wonder if my kids who were adopted feel–or will eventually feel–abandoned.
Many books and professionals have led us to believe that some adopted children will feel a sense of abandonment through their life. These kids will question, “Why did my birth mother not want me?” or “What was wrong with me?”
As my son gets older, I wonder if some of his insecurities have to do with his being adopted. When he was a baby, he did not like being left alone at any time. He did not even like it when we were not in the same room. I know children can have these behaviors even if they are not adopted but does having been adopted intensify these feelings?
My son is 5 now, and he still does not like to be in a different room than me. At one point, 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 just cry the whole time. It didn’t dawn on me that it could have something to do with his adoption 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 after his birth. After they all arrived at the hospital, his birth mom left. The nurses loved on 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 our son seemed less agitated. He was also sleeping and eating better. His doctor told us it is amazing what consistent love and care can do for a baby.
My 16-month-old daughter is completely different from my son. 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, and her birth mother lovingly placed her in my arms.
Does it make a difference for the child if the placement goes smoothly or if the birth mom is with them until placement? Is the insecure behavior of my son normal, or does it stem from his adoption? These questions run 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 that 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.
Do you see signs of your child feeling abandoned? I would love to hear from you and learn how you teach your children to cope with these feelings.