Adoption professionals have reported that adopted children commonly experience fear of being abandoned and insecurity. Especially as an older child being adopted, they have a fear of abandonment and that they may not be with their family for very long. MLJ has resources to assist you and your adopted child with this adjustment.
When adopting an older infant, the child can have stranger anxiety and lament transition into a family that they aren’t aware of, but they are also not old enough to remember the foster family that previously cared for them. Psychologists will advise adoptive parents that using the word forever does not register in young children’s mind, they simply do not have an understanding of this concept at this early age. Therefore, you should use a concept of time that is reasonable to the child and not drawn out. As an example, an adoptive mother who adopted two children as older infants (eight and eleven months of age) shared that she would always reassure her children by saying that she will always be their Mommy. She also would reassure the children by referring to their family as their ‘forever family’.
MLJ Adoptions provides support services that can provide you with resources and assistance to ensure you that you are doing the best you can as parents. MLJ also provides resources on typical behaviors seen in adopted children who are struggling with adjustment. There are also several books that can help you with reinforcing your message to your adopted child that you and their new family are not going anywhere.
Mama, Do You Love Me? Written by Barbara Joose, This book is about a little girl that asks her mother a long list of what-if questions. The mother responds with “Darling, I would be [disappointed, angry, worried, sad, scared], but I would still love you. I will love you always and forever, because you are my Dear One.” There is also a book called Papa, Do You Love Me? applicable to adoptive fathers.
The Runaway Bunny, written by Margaret Brown, This book talks about a bunny threatening to run away, but the mother insists that she will come after him and find him because he is her little bunny.
Will You Take Care of Me? written by Margaret Bridges, This book is about a young kangaroo asking his mother if she would take care of him if he turned into different things and the mother describes how she would take care of him. The most meaningful part is when the young kangaroo asks, “Even when I’m all grown up?” “I’d still give you a hug whenever you needed one.” “But what if I turned back into a baby? Would you take care of me all over again?” “Of course! I’ll always be there to love you and help you grow.”
There are many books available for both adopted children and adoptive parents that you may find helpful, the above list highlights only a few.
MLJ Adoptions is here to support you before, during and after your adoption journey. We are here as a listening ear, to provide resources and to guide you in the right direction with your forever family to ensure a successful placement of a child in need into their new forever family.
If you wish to learn more about international adoption or to be in contact with our support services, please email firstname.lastname@example.org