Don’t underestimate how important your relationship is with your adopted teen. They notice everything. They see when you don’t uphold a limit. They know when you’re overwhelmed, and at a loss. They care because they want to know whether or not you’ll still be there for them. Unfortunately, using words to reassure them that you’ll never abandon them doesn’t help. Actions speak louder than words. At times, it can seem like you’re being tested, over and over. Adoptees don’t want to be blindsided again, or to be the last to know. They are vigilant and often have developed into savvy readers of people.
Your adopted teen has questions about you.
Have you changed your mind about parenting them? How much wear and tear have you sustained over the years? Are you starting to unravel? No? What about next year when they’ve dropped out of high school? What about when they’re still depressed despite years of many therapists and countless trials of medications? What about when you’ve told them again and again how beautiful they are, and they still hate themselves when they look in the mirror? What about when you don’t know what to do, again? What is your breaking point? Are you strong enough to say “no” to them? Will you do what’s best for them in the long run, even if it means that they hate you for a while? Do you know what’s best for them?