As I have been reading the book “The Primal Wound, Understanding the Adopted Child” there are several things that I agree with, and then there are several things that make me question whether the actions of my children are the direct result of being adopted or just normal actions of children growing up and finding out who they are. I tend to side with the latter. I took the book (The Primal Wound) back to the library yesterday, I couldn’t read anymore right now – the following is the last quote I typed from the book:
“Adoption, considered by many as merely a concept, is, in fact, a traumatic experience for the adoptee. It begins with the separation from his biological mother and ends with his living with strangers. Most of his life he may have denied or repressed his feelings about his experience, having had no sense that they would be acknowledged or validated. He may, instead, have been made to feel as if he should be grateful for this monumental manipulation of his destiny. Somewhere within him however, he does have feelings about this traumatic experience, and having these feelings does not mean that he is abnormal, sick, or crazy. It means that he is wounded as a result of having suffered a devastating loss and that his feelings about this are legitimate and need to be acknowledged, rather than ignore or challenged.”
Bryan is my oldest son. He was originally placed with our family when he was 2 ½ years old, a few months later his birth mother wanted to parent him so he went back to be with his mother and grandmother and then returned to our family 14 months later when he was almost four.
I don’t know everything about Bryan during his first four years of life but I know that his mother and grandmother took very good care of him. He is the oldest grandchild so I know he was given a lot of attention and love.
Bryan has always been exceptional… exceptionally smart, exceptionally obedient, and an all around exceptionally successful person. Bryan has a phenomenal memory and amazing recall of past events. He is always willing to help me, usually without being asked. (Is this because he is so depressed and deprived from being adopted, as the author of the Primal Wound would have me believe?) I don't think so!
Bryan receiving his Eagle Scout Award last year.
I often wonder, is Bryan's behavior “normal” or is he an exceptional over achiever due to some "unseen wound" that lies within him due to being adopted? Bryan knows he is adopted; we talk about it openly whenever he has a question. He can e-mail his birth mother at any time, call her on the phone, or talk to her on Facebook, if he chooses to do so. A few years ago when Ruth moved he even came with me and helped Ruth move into her new apartment.
When I asked Bryan what he thought about me keeping my blog “open” he responded that he wanted to keep it open. He said talking about adoption with his friends gives him an opportunity to meet new people and share his beliefs. He was very adamant about keeping my blog available for anyone to read.
(Thus it is still open right now).
I just got back from an awards assembly at his junior high school. Bryan was given the “Soaring Eagle” award (his school mascot is the Eagle) – and he had to be nominated by a teacher, I would like to share what his teacher wrote on his nomination form (the words in CAPS were like that on the nomination) – Bryan gave me his permission to share on my blog:
Camille (me) with Bryan holding his awards
“Bryan is an amazing student. It is not easy to skip a grade, but he did. He was too advanced in 7th grade so he became a 9th grader this year when he should have been in 8th grade normally. I LOVE having him in my computer tech class because he desires to learn all he can from me. I ALWAYS have his full attention when I teach – his eyes are always on me and he listens intently, soaking in all the information.
I LOVE the fact that he wants to learn all he can. He chose to sit front and center in the classroom. Whenever I am teaching and his classmates start talking, he is the first one to speak up and tell them to be quiet. Like I said, he wants to learn all he can, not to be held back by his classmates.
Bryan is a top notch student. The sky is the limit with him, nothing holds him back from achieving. He plows through to be a high achiever… can we clone him???
He is kind, helpful, and friendly with his new 9th grade friends, he fits right in with his fellow high value/high achieving students. He does choose his friends wisely. I am so impressed with Bryan.”
My children are as “normal” as any other teenagers I know with similar questions and concerns with regards to growing up. I decided to just keep focusing on the positive – it far outweighs the negative in my life, especially with regards to my children and our family. I believe my children know they are loved; inevitably they will still have questions with regards to their placement with our family, but we will continue to be open and honest as the questions arise.
We have been blessed beyond measure and I acknowledge my Father in Heaven for blessing me so abundantly!