Feeling worthy of being loved…

04 Nov

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I ran across this quote and others by Stephen Chbosky and they spoke to me about adoption feelings, despite not having anything to do with adoption.

For me, my family made me feel lovable and wholly loved by them.  But I also felt like there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t worthy of being kept, and that, has colored my other relationships throughout my life, it’s not if, but when they’ll leave.

There will be some adoptees who don’t feel the way I did (and often still do), and others who do.  You may never know where your child sits on that spectrum, but you can affirm at points throughout their life that they are worthy of being loved by all, it’s important that they know that.

Watch this TED talk The Power of Vulnerability from Brené Brown, she talks about how this plays out.  A snippet from the start of the talk: “So very quickly — really about six weeks into this research — I ran into this unnamed thing that absolutely unraveled connection in a way that I didn’t understand or had never seen. And so I pulled back out of the research and thought, I need to figure out what this is. And it turned out to be shame. And shame is really easily understood as the fear of disconnection: Is there something about me that, if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection?”



Posted by on November 4, 2017 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , ,

17 responses to “Feeling worthy of being loved…

  1. Laksh

    November 4, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    It was just this morning I sat with all three of my daughters and talked about how Appa and I are there for them no matter what. That we are for life. We love them all and even if we are sometimes mad at what they do, it is the action and not the person. We have their backs. It was one of those things I felt like I had to say often and enough and your post is very validating. Thank you for sharing these insights.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lara/Trace

    November 4, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Once I compose myself and stop crying… I have many people I want to see this.


    • TAO

      November 4, 2017 at 3:50 pm

      The talk is very good.


  3. pj

    November 5, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Tao ! I think it had lots to do with adoption. ” Connection gives purpose and meaning to our life. Neuro-biologically it’s how we’re wired .” That says it all…


  4. Tiffany

    November 6, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    This is something my daughter is clearly already struggling with… it really breaks my heart into a million pieces because I don’t think it’s something you can just make go away by trying to use logic. There is no sufficient answer to “If they loved me, why did they leave me?” If you are 5 or 50, I’m not sure there is any way to really answer that sufficiently to heal a heart that hurts from being left at infancy when they were most vulnerable. Even all the good reasons in the world don’t heal that hurt.

    Along those lines, when I heard Kodaline’s song All I Want, it immediately hit adoption feelings triggers for me (and I’m an AP, not an adoptee, so that’s just my perspective). I actually prefer Kurt Hugo Schneider’s version of the song if you want to youtube it. One line is exactly what my daughter has asked me so many times that I put above: “But if you loved me / Why’d you leave me”.


    • TAO

      November 6, 2017 at 11:27 pm

      Hugs to both you and the little one – it is really hard and I don’t have any words of wisdom to tell her other than her mom gets it on a level few do and to take heart she can go to you for a hug. Perhaps if she ever needs more – that there are adoptees who get what she’s feeling so not alone.

      I’ll google the you tube song tomorrow, today, I’m done.


    • TAO

      November 7, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      Tiffany – I was thinking about you this morning, specifically your ability to accept your daughter’s feelings that cause insecurities in other mom’s who’ve adopted. How you seem to be able to separate her adopted feelings from your relationship. I wondered if you would like to pen some advice on how to get where you are now and anything else you want to include on a post here. Think about it and if you want to, let me know an I’ll put you on moderation and then post your thoughts as a post on the blog. Hopefully that made sense.


      • Tiffany

        November 7, 2017 at 5:56 pm

        If you thought that would be valuable, I would be happy to do so. As you know, I try very hard to be respectful of spaces for adoptees, and I don’t fancy myself an expert. But I’m happy to share my thoughts on how to be a more open adoptive parent. It begins and ends with listening to people like you, though. 😉


        • TAO

          November 7, 2017 at 6:37 pm

          I would love it and it would be valuable because you are one of the most authentic people I’ve ever talked to. I’m going to put you on moderation now so I’m the only one to see what you write and then will post it as a blog post. You are the best.


        • TAO

          November 7, 2017 at 6:40 pm

          Any new comments should show waiting moderation…do a test first when you are ready. 🙂 and no rush…


          • Tiffany

            November 8, 2017 at 10:40 pm

            I started, and it’s getting so wordy and long! I felt like I needed to include my backstory on how we came into adoption as well, so it’s very long. I don’t know if maybe a two-parter post would make more sense. But I am working on it and will send it along to you soon.


            • TAO

              November 8, 2017 at 11:26 pm

              Your call – I still have you on moderation, sorry for the delay – feel free to post…


            • TAO

              November 8, 2017 at 11:27 pm

              You rock by the way.


    • Stephanie (Tia)

      November 8, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      It is such a relief as an adoptee to read the words of an adoptive parent who can sit with their child with this in their heart: “i don’t have an answer and I won’t make one up, but I won’t leave you alone in this or pretend it doesn’t exist.” For me, the worst harm was not the unanswerable “why?” but in the loneliness of dealing with “why?” by myself. Erasure of our experience is hard to overcome, especially given how many people in our circles negate it altogether and insist on the singular feeling of gratitude.

      For me, the healing would not have been an answer to the unknowable or a parent who could fix the unfixable. It would have been companionship through it. I’m not your daughter and I don’t pretend to speak for her healing, but I love that you don’t try to fix this for her.

      My father is dead and my mother is 85. I was adopted in a time when they were told the wrong stuff. No blame here so many decades later. I’m just relieved when I see it changing.


      • TAO

        November 8, 2017 at 2:31 pm

        Welcome Stephanie.


      • Tiffany

        November 8, 2017 at 10:52 pm

        Hi Stephanie, I can’t possibly pretend to know exactly how my daughter feels, but I try to treat her adoption feelings the same way I do any feelings- we all just want to be heard and acknowledged. So often, there isn’t a “fix” to what we are feeling: when someone you love dies, or when you have a horrible day at school or work, or when you are upset at something someone did to you. There aren’t fixes or solutions to those things. There are no words to make it better. But we still feel sad or hurt or angry or alone. What we want is for someone to sit with us in our feelings and wrap their arms around us and say they are there. So that’s what I try to do. It’s gratifying to hear from another adoptee that this is a good path because I am just a parent trying to feel my way through this whole thing. 🙂 No kid comes with an instruction manual! But I think empathy can go a long way in parenting. I agree with you that our society cannot bear to hear any narrative aside from the gratitude and “adoption is so beautiful” ones. I hope with continued effort, we can change that.

        I hope that you have found the opportunity to be listened to, even as an adult, about your experiences. This blog is a wonderful source for adoptees to be heard and share.


  5. carafromafrica

    December 15, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    I really love that quote yet in some cases we learn that we are worthy of being loved for the love that we receive.



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