Sandra Flach, of the Orphans No More Podcast, joins me again this week for the Positive Adoption Podcast series on the book Five Things: A Tiny Handbook for Foster/Adoptive Families. This week, we’re doing an overview of “Five Things Your Adopted/Foster Child Would Like To Tell You,” based on the second chapter of the book. Sandra and I share our successes, failures, and some insights we’ve gained along the way. Read on find out what your adopted/foster child may be trying to tell you. Plus grab a cup of coffee and listen to the podcast. Don’t forget to get your copy of Five Things! You can grab your free copy here.
What your Adopted/Foster Child May Be trying to tell you
We parents are pretty good at telling our kiddos things. If there were an award for lecturing, I probably would have won a gold medal in my early days of parenting. Then I learned some things (not that I didn’t fall into the lecture trap at times). Sometimes, our kiddos are trying to tell US something. Last week we talked about how POOR CHOICES IN BEHAVIOR SPEAK WHAT THE CHILD IS UNABLE TO STATE VERBALLY. This week, let’s we talk about some other things our kiddos may want to tell us.
Non Verbal Communication
I’m standing in line while reading a magazine. It’s swimsuit fitting day for my son’s local swim team. He is standing behind me. I am admiring some beautiful turquoise hardwood floors when I hear a deer snort behind me. It startles me and blows my bobbed hair up. I turn quickly to see the deer who has joined the swim team. No deer. Just my son. He snorts a few more time until we snake our way up to the front of the line.
I was confused. “This wasn’t his first rodeo,” as he likes to say. He has been on the same summer swim team for years. He has done the swimsuit try on for years. Don’t these things get less intimidating and more comfortable the more you do them?
Later that evening at Positive Adoption, the support group, I shared with my friend, a child psychologist, what happened. She said he was in sensory overload. Too many stimuli.
I thought about some of the stimuli and how all added together. It was overload for him. We were under a concrete porch. Check. Little kids making noise and wrestling all over the place. Check. Strange adults talking. Check. The swimsuit vendor who can tell your size just by glancing at you. Check. Being handed a spandex suit and asked to put it on right there over your old suit. Check. (He refused to do this and hightailed it for the bathroom).
I probably would have said things like, “I don’t like trying on suits in front of people!” but he said nothing. He just snorted on my neck.
This got me thinking, how often do we misinterpret communication whether it is verbal or not? I do all the time. Imagine not knowing how to communicate. Imagine feeling overloaded and not knowing how to say, “I hate this, it stinks!” or that you should communicate your anxiety. Many adopted children live in a maze with no exit. In a society that speaks, yet they have no words to express their phobias. What would our adopted children tell us if they could communicate?
Birthed out of that line of thinking, I’m wrote a chapter in the book -Five Things- “Five Things Your Adopted Child Would Like to Tell You.”
• I am in sensory overload. I’m overwhelmed and I am about to blow a gasket.
• I’m not always misbehaving to make you mad. Most of the time it is because I do not have the skill to self-regulate and I maintain my control by keeping you out of control.
• You are not responsible for the trauma that happened to me before I came into your family, but I will act like it. If you let guilt rule the home, we will both be miserable and neither of us will experience any healing.
• If you feel what I feel all the time, we will become codependent and I will rule your emotions like an out-of-control terrorist.
• I do want to be loved and accepted. It is my deepest desire, just like anyone else on the planet, but I don’t know how to get there. Will you help me?
Join Sandra and I for the month of February as we delve into some of these things our kiddos are trying to tell us. Which one do you think your child is trying to tell you today?
Make sure you grab your free copy of Five Things so you can follow along with Sandra and me as we discuss these this month!
Are you an adoptive/foster parent?
Do you often feel alone in your journey? As if NO ONE else knows what’s going on in your home?
Because, which of us stands on the sidelines of the soccer field and says to the neighboring Moms, “How are you coping with the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in your child?” or “Is your child finally attaching or what?” “How are those adoption/foster classes going?” No.The truth is most adoptive parents don’t say a word about what they are dealing with on a regular basis. They just try to blend in and look normal. How do I know? I am one of them.This is a great handbook to encourage you and let you know, you are not alone. Plus, it’s full of tips, real-life stories, and some great resources. Grab your free copy today.