Is this about adoption?

It’s an important question.  After all, It’s difficult to move forward when you don’t understand why your adopted child or teen is struggling.  When adoptive parents ask me whether a situation is “normal,” what they mean is, “Is this really about adoption or is it garden-variety teen growing pains?”

Often, there are differences of opinion between parents about whether it’s a problem, or how big of a problem it is.  Much of the time, the adopted teen’s opinion also differs from their parents, but not always.  Often, it’s the teen who insists that their parents are overreacting, but the opposite can also be true go to the website. Teens express frustration that their parents didn’t recognize sooner that they needed help.  The sense of urgency can get lost in translation, sometimes.

Of course, the differing views include, not just with family, but, with friends, doctors, therapists and teachers.  With the views ranging from minimizing to maximizing and everywhere in between,  it’s no wonder that you second guess yourself or feel that you’ve completely lost your parental intuition.  You may even start to wonder whether you’ll ever get the answers you need.  Perhaps you vacillate between one answer to the other, or maybe you feel compelled to include both sides when it comes up in conversation.

Is this about adoption, or not?

In a nutshell, the definitive answer to this all-important question is, yes, it’s absolutely about adoption.  The experience of being adopted is “live,” which means that once you’re adopted, it becomes an ongoing part of your identity, similar to one’s gender and sexual orientation.  The experience of being adopted continually changes.  It is inextricably linked to other areas of one’s identity.  so, yes, it’s about adoption, but, no, it’s not all about adoption.

So, where does that leave you?  Yes, it’s about adoption, but no, it’s not all about adoption.  The answer is simple but these issues are complex and messy.

How is this about adoption?”  

This is a better place to start.