Top 5 Myths about International Adoption

Our society (America) has a very positive view of adoption—positive to a fault. Few people recognize that with every new beginning there must have been an ending. Each Wednesday during the next month I’ll blog about what I think are the top five myths about international adoption. Some of these beliefs are held by the general public, some by adoptive parents, and some by both. But no matter who holds the belief, I’ve found them to be not only wrong but detrimental to our kids.

5. Adoption is a win-win, joy-filled, one time event in the lives it touches. This one is linked to No. 1, but I felt it deserved it’s own place in the list. I remember when we were waiting for our son to come home. I didn’t put much thought into everything he’d be losing–I could just hardly wait to get him in my arms. We would have the son we’d dreamed of and he would have a family. Others, too, weren’t thinking realistically about the situation. He’d be 9 months old so he’d be sleeping through the night. How, lucky we were to be skipping all those newborn night wakings. (Ha!)

Then while we were in Korea to pick him up, it all hit me. Seeing him play games with his foster mom and social worker; understanding that while he was only 9 months old, he knew his name and understood some of the Korean language; and getting a feeling for what it’s like to look different from the majority of the people around you.

That experience, as well as continuing to educate ourselves about adoption, has led us to a better understanding and more compassion to the fact that adoption will be something that will always be a part of our family now.

As adoptive parents we need to realize that our child’s adoption experience will likely be very different from our own. We need to understand that when our children miss their birth parents, struggle with how they feel about their adoption, and other such feelings aren’t directed at us. And we need to know that there will be times throughout our children’s lives that they will experience those early losses again and again.

Our job isn’t to tell our kids how to feel–trying to force them to see their adoption as a happy thing if they don’t, for example–but to have an understanding of their feelings and be there to support them.

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My Korean Culture Blog

Just a reminder that if you want to learn more about Korean culture (both traditional and pop culture), language resources, and cooking, check out my other blog: thekoreanway.wordpress.com It's filled with resources for adoptive families or anyone interested in Korean culture.

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Be Strong, Geum-Soon
Please Teach Me English
Spy Girl
Tae Gu Ki
2009 Lost Memories

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