The Characteristics of Adoption - Rejection
It's a Long Journey...
The lifelong aspects of adoption will either continue in a direction that will manifest in outward displays of pain, or as they are recognized and acknowledge, the individuals can proactively change a negative course. By embracing each aspect of the adoption grid, whether the person is part of the birth family, the adoptive family, or the adoptee, the ability to confront and gain mastery over any negative impact is possible.
...Full of Pain and Joy
Adoption has the ability to create intense pain and equally intense joy. All parties involved in adoption experience the emotional journey, albeit from different perspectives. There is a commonality in each aspect of the characteristics of adoption for everyone concerned. It is this commonality that opens the door to dialogue between participants and it makes room for professional counselors to interact and intervene in ways that are both proactive and helpful. All of the characteristics of adoption evolve from the nature of adoption and how it impacts individuals and families.
The Power of Emotional Loss
The initial emotion that affects all of those involved in the adoption is loss. The birth parent(s) experience the loss of the biological child with whom they have a genetic connection. The adopting parents have already experienced the loss of a dream child, whether through failed fertility efforts, death or miscarriage. The adoptee, even if there is no awareness or recognition of the fact, experiences the loss of birth parents. All of these losses for all of these people extend throughout their lifetimes, gradually building one on top of the other. They are never forgotten completely and will have an effect upon their lives.
The sense of loss is made more acute by the intense feelings of rejection. In order to cope, personalizing the rejection makes it more palatable. Questions like, "What did I do wrong to deserve this?" can cause serious self-degradation. There is, as a result, a heightened sensitivity to rejection and any interaction that can be construed as rejection usually is. The individuals will avoid situations wherein they think they may be rejected, or they will do things to prove the point, causing situations where rejection is displayed, validating the negative belief.