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This blog explores how Adoption-attunement (AQ) and intentionality provide a clear approach to follow, one that helps adoptive families to flourish. It is firmly rooted in a belief that adoption is complex and therefore recognizes the hard truths of loss and pain in which our families began. We Speak truth aloud: adoption is not all rainbows and roses. A family built on the separation of a child from his birth family is by definition rooted in grief and loss. We must not only speak truth, we must follow our words with action.
As families who are committed to Adoption-attunement (AQ)℠, we choose to Be honest and acknowledge this difficult truth. We do not deny or minimize these losses; we have deep empathy for our children’s grief and loss. We create a safe, nurturing space where our children can talk about this reality and rely on us for the reassurance and support they need.
We gather up our courage and Talk about the tough stuff because our children need our wisdom, support, and love. They depend on us for strength and comfort as they work through the Seven Core Issues of Adoption: Loss, Rejection, Guilt and Shame, Identity, Intimacy, Mastery and control, Grief. If we avoid the hard discussions, the challenges of these difficult issues do not go away. The challenges remain whether discussed or not and our children will have to cope with them alone.
Stuffing and suppressing difficult issues is like trying to hold a beachball underwater. Initially, we can keep it submerged. But eventually, it erupts with a huge surge of force. This year has provided a surplus of challenges and difficult issues that we have had to face --within our families and beyond. We have needed to muster courage, determination, and discipline.
The times have also presented us with a chance to Be kind — to ourselves, our families, co-workers, and neighbors. We have a chance to set an example for our children and to respond with patience, empathy, generosity, and kindness. We are all in this storm together yet we are not all in the same boat. Some of us have many more resources than others.
During this month, in what ways will you choose to embody kindness, honesty, and truth-telling? What Difficult Conversations will you choose to explore with family and friends?