Adopted children face issues that others may find hard to understand or even imagine. Aspects of life that are taken for granted by most people can be completely foreign to adoptees. This can lead to low self-esteem and feelings of loss and isolation. It's important to understand why adoptees experience such feelings. In time, these challenges can be overcome.
Sense of Rejection or Abandonment
Some adopted children feel abandoned or rejected by their biological parents. The younger they are, the harder it is for them to understand why their birth parents didn't choose to take care of them. Despite well-meaning efforts by the adopting parents to love and nurture, many young adoptees still find these feelings hard to overcome. For some, the love of their adoptive parents can't replace the love that they wish they had from their birth parents, nor can it dispel the sense of rejection or abandonment they feel.
Because small adoptees find it hard to understand why their birth parents would not take care of them, many youngsters begin to believe that it was because of something wrong that they themselves did. They may also think that there is something intrinsically wrong or bad about them, which caused the birth parents to abandon them. This can be toxic to a young child's self-esteem, and it may worsen if it is not addressed.
Sense of Difference or Exclusion
To the extent that an adopted child appears physically different from her adoptive family members, it is common for her to feel excluded or disconnected from them. This feeling often intensifies as she grows older. She may notice that everyone else in the family can look at each other and see a visual connection that she herself will never be able to make with any of them. This can lead to feelings of profound loneliness.
Feelings of Loss or Grief
Adoptees can sometimes experience a strong sense of loss or grief regarding their birth parents. For children living with their biological families, details about their origins -- how their parents first met, for example -- can be taken for granted, but adoptees typically have no idea about this part of their family history. This part of them is missing. This can translate into a profound sense of loss or grief. Even worse, it can be difficult for young adoptees to articulate these feelings, which makes it harder to identify and address them.
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