“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?”