But I'm not fully embracing all that she is if I don't acknowledge that sometimes she is sad. Lately she seems to be grieving the siblings she doesn't get to see. She hasn't wanted to talk about it much yet, but I know. I see that she has hung the sister's letters on her bedroom wall. I see that her eyes are red as she slips her family photo album into her desk drawer. She has two brothers and a sister, biological siblings, who were a part of her life when she was younger. She hasn't seen them in years, and because of circumstances that are currently beyond our control, she doesn't know when she will see them again. Think about that for a moment. Put yourself in her shoes. Imagine that kind of loss.
Copyright (c) 123RF Stock PhotosAdoption is complicated and hard. It almost always involves pain and loss and trauma. Yes, there is a joyful side of it too, but the joy is not the whole story. As an adoptive parent, my tendency is to want to focus on the positive, but it is my job to make space for the mourning. My daughter is sad because she has a reason to be. Yes, she gained an adoptive family, and in so many ways she is thriving and doing well. And yes, because of our commitment to openness, she has been able to maintain a relationship with her biological mother and to form a new one with her youngest brother. But she still lost so much.
She is grieving because she needs to grieve. This can be a hard thing for adoptive parents to accept, but it is part of loving a child who has come to you by way of loss.