Your child is upset and your not sure how to handle it.
Your daughter has questions and your not sure what to say. She wants to know about her birth mother and about whether she has biological brothers or sisters. You catch her staring in the mirror analyzing her face for the answers you don’t have. When she gets in trouble she lashes out at you screaming “You don’t really want me anyway! Maybe you should just send me back!” and you feel each of her words like a dagger in your heart.
Adoption is complicated.
Everyone loves to talk about the joy adoption brings as a new family is created but the reality is that adoption can also bring up difficult emotions. There may be the pain of infertility, child loss and biological parent loss. I specialize in development of the adopted child, and I help parents tease out which behaviors are specifically related to adoption and which are typical phases that most children go through. I understand that these issues are tough to talk about and I create a supportive space where family members can open up.
I get it and I can help.
On a personal note, I was internationally adopted as an infant from South America and I was raised in a family and community where my skin color made me unique. As a therapist, I have extensive experience working with children in the foster care system who were in the process of reunification or adoption. I have helped children process their stories with life books and through play therapy. I have supported teens as they explore what it means to be separated from everyone who is biologically related to them. I have also worked with couples who have struggled with infertility and have chosen to grow their family through adoption. I have built expertise in adoption because I care deeply for the families who go through this process. I feel strongly that every parent and child deserves a chance to feel connected by unconditional love and it is my goal to provide a space for healing so that this can be your family’s reality.