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Why Children Need to Know Their Adoption Story

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Four compelling reasons to tell your children the story of their adoption

Experts cite four compelling reasons why children need to know their adoption story.

To Know the Truth, Not Fantasy

When children join their families through adoption and do not hear their story, they sometimes fill the vacuum with fantasy. Jonathan, age 10, imagined that his birthmother lived in a beautiful home near the ocean and when he was older, he would visit her. The problem? Jonathan’s mother was in prison and would be for a long time. Jonathan walked on the quicksand created by fantasy instead of truth.

To Build a Connection From the Past to Present and to the Future

Whether children enter adoptive homes as infants or older children, they bring a past with them. Having little or no information about the people in the past and the circumstances that led to adoption can leave those who are adopted with deep and pervasive feelings of being disconnected. A child’s story is the bridge that connects the past to the present and beyond.

To Build Trust in Parents and Other Important People

One of the most important issues for those who are adopted is trust. A major task for adoptive parents is to create an environment where adoption can be discussed freely, openly, and honestly.

A longtime expert in the field of adoption, Dr. Randolph Severson, commented that when adopted persons find out the secret(s), they state that they have suspected it, but have never admitted that. Severson explains, “There were probably subtle hints along the way, such as lack of pictures during pregnancy or coming home from the hospital. There were probably no stories unless they were fabricated. Some have resurrected memories of whispers at family gatherings. As the truth emerges, there is a rhythm of shock, anger and relief.”Jayne E. Schooler and Betsie L. Norris, Journeys After Adoption, (Westport, CT: Begin and Garvey Publishers, 2002), 51.

To Have the Need to Know Validated and Affirmed

When adopted children grow up in an environment where no one talks of the past or mentions their birth family, they receive a message: Do not ask. Dr. Severson illustrates the subtlety of this message. “Think back to growing up. Did you have a pet that died? Did you have a pet that disappeared? Which one was more difficult to get over? The pet that died or the one that disappeared? The answer is the pet that disappeared. With death comes closure. With disappearance, one is sentenced to a lifetime of wondering.”Ibid.

For adopted children, having no ability to know what happened to the significant people in their lives sentences them to a lifetime of wondering. One adopted teen commented, “I know I have a birth family out there somewhere. Some days I actually look into crowds hoping maybe to see someone that looks like me.”

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Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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