By Greg Eubanks, WACAP CEO
A few days ago, I was reminiscing about these transitions while sitting in on a WACAP training about grief and loss in the world of adoption. One of the points the trainer made sure to emphasize was the struggles that can occur when children who’ve been adopted make the transition to adulthood.
Think of it: they leave home. If you were a child of adoption who has known multiple caregivers and living situations, what memories & fears might this normal rite of passage spark in you? As an adoptive parent, are you prepared for this?
Regardless of the kind of parent you’ve been, and considering your successes and failures, I think we all wish we could go back in time and be allowed some “do-overs.” If you could, what are some of the messages you would plant in your child’s psyche (or re-plant, fertilize and water)?
Here are mine:
1. You are wonderful. Every last bit of you. Really, awesome. Well done!
2. We aren’t wired the same, you and I – and that is just fine. It’s one of the many things I love about knowing you.
3. Your path to adulthood doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s.
4. Our home is your home. Always.
5. No matter what, we are a family (and our family sticks together, no matter what).
Was your child’s “emancipation” a part of your adoption training? Are you ready? “Grief and Loss in Adoption” is just one of many webinar trainings that WACAP offers. Visit the WACAP website to learn more about the variety of classes available to pre- and post-adoptive families.
For you wise parents who have walked this road, what lessons would you share?
Greg Eubanks joined WACAP as CEO in December. He is a 20-year veteran in nonprofit executive leadership, foster care, and adoption. He asked and received permission from his children for this post. Follow him on twitter @gregeubanks, and WACAP @adopt_an_orphan