What’s anadoptee to do when they are pressed on every side to fulfill the dreams of other people or play out the script handed to them?
Who does an adoptee live to serve?
I speak about this in my new book, Worthy To Be Found
, released December 1 by Entourage Publishing.
“For the most part, my adoptee job description was unwritten or unspoken, but there were times when some individuals shared my apparent job description. An aunt once scolded me, saying, “Your job is to bring your mother happiness!” It appeared that some believed my mother had needs and desires I was sent by God to fulfill. Evidently, I was failing at a job I never signed up for.
Because of comments like this, as well as things sensed but unspoken, I felt pressured at times. It is a tremendous weight to be responsible for the happiness of another person, and furthermore, it is not a God-given assignment. Therefore it causes such strain.
Adoptive parents sometimes have unrealistic expectations for a child to fill a void in their lives or bring healing — particularly those who cannot conceive or bear children. Even when an infertile couple adopts, they still grieve infertility, as well they should. Infertility is a traumatic ordeal and one I have great compassion for, as any painful human experience. But an adoptee shouldn’t pay the price for this loss. There’s a difference between possession and love. I do understand why a couple is paying upwards of $50,000 in many cases for an infant, would want exclusive rights to him or her. But the reality is that anytime you try to own or possess a human being, rather than love him or her, there’s bound to be trouble.
Was my adoption about finding a home for me? Or was it about finding a child for a needy couple?
Until I was in my forties, I never dared to ask these questions out loud.
When I did have the courage to ask them, it was painful, yet freeing.”
As a Christian adoptee, I long to follow God’s path for my life but have often felt the pull of the expectations of others, and the guilt trips that follow when I do not follow suit. How does an adoptee navigate the difficult waters of wanting to follow their heart, when pressed to fulfill the dreams and expectations placed upon them by other people?
This is not an easy road to walk being that many times great numbers of people in society admonish the adoptee that responding with obedience in living out the script they are given is the only proper response. Surely no grateful adoptee would choose otherwise. After all, they have been rescued, saved from the clutches of abortion and more. (Never mind that this wasn’t the story at all for many of us…) We are expected to readily agree to do whatever is asked of us, out of sheer thankfulness if nothing else. Christian adoptees are reminded that our adoptive parents did what Christ did for us – redeeming and adopting us, saving us.
But wait. Is this true? And is giving up what we desire to follow the expectations of others what God expects?
This yoke of expectations, this script was given to adoptees does not come from God. It is not only unreasonable; it’s ungodly. Forcing your own dreams and expectations upon a child or an adult, leaving them no choice but to follow your script or face turmoil is wrong. A child is not a cure for a medical condition. A child is not the answer for what ails you. A child is a human being, with their own God-given destiny and dreams.
There are those who say, “But I have a dream to help a child.”
Helping a child means doing what is best for them – keeping their best interest in mind.
A lot of people are clamoring for their dreams to be fulfilled through adoption.
Meanwhile, there’s a child in the middle of it all, wondering if anybody will go to bat for their dreams. They are the person adoption supposed to be about, but often gets lost in the shuffle of dream chasers.
People are convinced they are the fulfillment of a child’s dream too if only they can get the papers signed and take them home. But what if the dream in a child’s heart looks entirely different? Whose dreams matter in adoption, anyway?
Order your copy today; I am confident this book will touch your life in many ways.
Get the Kindle edition of Worthy To Be Found here.
Get the paperback edition of Worthy To Be Found here.
Deanna Doss Shrodes
is a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God and has served as a pastor for 27 years, along with her pastor-husband, Larry whom she met at Valley Forge Christian College where they were both preparing for pastoral ministry. Currently she serves as Women’s Ministries Director
of the Pen-Florida District of the Assemblies of God
. Deanna and her husband have been married for 27 years, have three children and live in the Tampa Bay area where they serve as lead pastor of Celebration Church of Tampa
. Deanna speaks at churches and conferences internationally and is also an accomplished musician, worship leader, songwriter, and certified coach. An award winning writer, she is also a contributing author to Chocolate For a Woman’s Courage
, published by Simon & Schuster, a contributing author to Lost Daughters: Writing Adoption from a Place of Empowerment and Peace
published by CQT Media and Publishing, Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age
published by Entourage Publishing, and the author of the book Juggle:Manage Your Time, Change Your Life.
Adopted in 1966 in a closed domestic adoption, she searched and found her original mother, sister and brother and reunited with them in 1993. Deanna blogs about adoption issues at her personal blog, Adoptee Restoration
, and also serves as the spiritual columnist at Lost Daughters.
She leads a support group, Adoptee Restoration Tampa Bay
, for adoptees in the Tampa Bay area.
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I've been waiting for your book to come out and just bought it on Amazon dot com for my Kindle. I will let you know what I think after reading it. One thing I know for sure – the more books there are out in the world that let others try to understand us – the better. Good luck on book sales, not just for money; but for helping people.
Thank you for supporting Deanna. I have been waiting on her book as well. I am thrilled that so many adoptees are letting their voices be heard and are sharing their truth. It is how we bring change and educate people on what it means to be the most important person that is often ignored in adoption. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here.
Adoption, for adoption sake is not in the best interest of child. Infant adoption is better than abortion? Who makes this stuff up? Why does anyone want to feel joy and hope for creating an orphan to save? Amazing the need to twist the outlook to get the desired results. Give our children back to us, stop separating mothers from their children. This father did not need to loose his child to adoption. What disgust I feel for the machine adoption, and all this secular nonsense that goes with it.
After reading all these articles and the trauma people seem to suffer from adoption, I would advise any biological mother thinking of adoption who cannot/will not keep the baby, to abort. It spares an adoptee a lifetime of pain and an adoptive family from adopting an infant who did not want to be adopted. Birth control sometimes fails, and apparently adoption is not the answer.
Even before some of us were born we were expected to be a "savior" of an adults and their unfulfilled dreams or desires. Only one baby was and is a true savior…and it wasn't me
Hi Julie, thank you for sharing your comment. You are right, in many adoptions children are expected to be the cure-all to problems in relationships and marriages from infertility to search of ones purpose. It isn't right. Those that choose to adopt children that NEED homes (foster care), should be healed from their infertility and have a healthy relationship with self and with their significant other/family before adopting.
Non-adopted children are often seen the same way. You need to understand its not only adopted people whose parents have hopes and dreams for them, that they themselves may have left unfulfilled and parents who think a baby will cure their marital woes. All you can see is every problem stems from your adoption. It doesn't. It comes from having parents.
Great blog piece. Adoption/transracial adoption is unique in that it possibly the only circumstance where a child is expected and subconsciously forced into change. The child is expected to fit into the new family, the new community, the new country and culture. If the child is transracially adopted how many families parents actually become proficient in their adoptive child's native language?
When these adopted children have difficulties fitting in, then they are often labelled as troubled, difficult children with probably mental health issues
Thoughts from another adoptee…I am an adopted child. Although my parents have passed away, I knew that I was loved and wanted for every minute of my life. I ended up becoming a college professor, and now I'm a dean at the college. Who knows what kind of life I might have had (or death!) if I had not been fortunate enough to have been adopted by two loving, wonderful parents. Please, please, please–if you cannot raise your own children for whatever reason, give some childless couple the opportunity to raise your children in love.
You outline a situation that just makes my blood boil. Its the constant bombardment by the media, by 'experts' and by anyone who thinks they know better than parents as to how a child will react to this type revelation.
I am sick to death of hearing young people, upon discovering they are adopted, the product of in-vetro, the product of surrogacy, etc. spouting off the absurd notion that suddenly, the two loving people who raised them, aren't their 'real parents'. What a crock! Biology takes minutes, raising a child takes a lifetime and, for me, the origin of the sperm and egg that created a child have little to do with actual parenting.
I am an adopted child and I cannot remember a time when I didn't have this knowledge. In the 50's it was commonplace for 'experts' to advise parents to use the word adoption from day one. I was always told how badly my parents wanted a child and how they 'chose' me. I grew up with a mental vision of my mother and father standing at a window and pointing to a baby and saying 'we'll take that one'. I, and my sister who is also adopted, were raised to believe that we were special, the chosen ones.
This irrational notion that 'real' parents are better than parents who went to great lengths to simply have a child is counter-productive and when I see these television shows, talk shows, reality shows that try to convince children otherwise, I want to scream.