Susanna Jones is a parenting coach who survived a traumatic childhood after the death of a brother and a disrupted adoption which resulted in her being returned to foster care when she was 16 after living with her adopted family since she was a newborn. Susanna now coaches prospective adoptive and adoptive parents on how best to meet the needs of their adopted child. She recently shared on Your Tango an article titled “21 of the Most Inspiring Quotes for Parents Raising Adopted Kids.” Here are some of my favorites.
I heard Dr. Gabor Maté for the first time last November, and it was life-changing. He is a leading child development and trauma expert. His quote “Love felt by the parent does not automatically translate into love experienced by the child” is incredibly pertinent to many adopted and foster care children. As parents, we need to make sure we are loving our children how they need to be loved and meeting them where they are.
Nancy Verrier is a psychotherapist and author who specializes in children and adoption. She has been quoted multiple times in the article. This one is important for adopted parents: “Parents who experience difficulty with the child’s feelings, as symbolized in his creative endeavors, need to seek therapy or a support group to work out their own feelings of rejection or betrayal.”
D.W. Winnicott, the English pediatrician’s quote, reminds us of the importance of being present for our children emotionally. We may make sacrifices to be present for all aspect of our children’s lives physically, but if we are not emotionally present, our children will suffer. We must practice self-care to ensure that our stress is handled so we can be there fully for our children physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Dr. Bruce Lipton does a beautiful job describing the dangers of passing our own unhealed traumas to our children: “We all have negative programming from our past buried in our subconscious mind. Traumas are stored in our nervous system. Left unhealed, you will pass them down to your children because it is from those programs you will parent. This can be devastating to an adopted child, who will begin their new life with trauma.”
Life is what it is. This quote holds true for all of us, prospective parents, parents, or those who are childless. Accepting the present moment and circumstance and learning to cope with it is what makes the difference. As it is said, anxiety is the gap between reality and expectations.