The holidays. To some they are a time of celebration, family and fun. To others they are a time of sadness and a reminder of what has been lost. Even in the best circumstances, emotions can run high and personalities clash.
Adoptive families have an added challenge to this. We are parenting children and teens with great loss. Trauma doesn’t respect holidays and in fact the holidays can bring many feelings and losses right to the forefront.
For those that have recently adopted, cocooning is in full swing possibly and sweet Aunt Susie may not understand why she can’t hold or feed that darling baby just like she did with the others. It can be awkward telling her she can’t hold your baby or your two year old right now and explaining why. Family may not understand why it’s not healthy for your affectionate 6 yr old little girl to be hopping from lap to lap and hugging and kissing everyone along with the way. Family members may not have ever even heard of indiscriminate affection or RAD and how it manifests. But we have and may know more about it than we ever planned.
Dear family—It’s not that we don’t want your support and help. We do. Desperately. Our emotions may be running high themselves. We may be tired. Mentally exhausted. Drained. We need your love and support to parent our children the way we know best. It may look different than how you parent or even different than how we parented some of our other children—because children from hard places need different parenting.
We asked some adoptive parents what they wished you knew. Below are their candid responses.
My kids can easily get over stimulated by all the “stuff.” It can be […]