20 THINGS ADOPTION PODCAST with Sherrie Eldridge

The Trauma Wound of Adoptive and Foster Moms

September 08, 2022 Sherrie Eldridge Season 2 Episode 7
20 THINGS ADOPTION PODCAST with Sherrie Eldridge
The Trauma Wound of Adoptive and Foster Moms
Show Notes Transcript

Not only must adoptive and foster moms understand the depth of their child’s pre-adoption pain, but also their own trauma wound. “What wound?” they may say. “My child is the one with the deep wound, not me. Don’t be ridiculous.” 

Adoptive moms may be offended or defensive when told they have a trauma wound. Adoptive mom says—I think many people can experience defensiveness or protectiveness about our woundedness. To be comfortable disclosing ourselves authentically requires safety. Safe people are hard to find. Additionally, we may be conscious of the adoption “label” that can be put on our kids, in that adoption can sometimes erroneously be viewed as the root of the problem, when in reality, it may be something far different. Disclosing our wound requires some level of risk and discernment before taking that risk. Otherwise, there is a chance of being hurt more by insensitive comments, judgment, and/or blame. It’s not easy to navigate the path of transparency, especially if you’re already limping along. Who needs to have their good leg shot out from underneath?” 

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Not only must you understand the depth of your child’s wound, but also your own. “What wound?” you may say. “My child is the one with the deep wound, not me. Don’t be ridiculous.” 

Adoptive moms may be offended or defensive about this topic:

Adoptive mom, Barb Butz,says,
“I think many people can experience defensiveness or protectiveness about our woundedness. To be comfortable disclosing ourselves authentically requires safety. Safe people are hard to find. Additionally, we may be conscious of the adoption “label” that can be put on our kids, in that adoption can sometimes erroneously be viewed as the root of the problem, when in reality, it may be something far different. Disclosing our wound requires some level of risk and discernment before taking that risk. Otherwise, there is a chance of being hurt more by insensitive comments, judgment, and/or blame. It’s not easy to navigate the path of transparency, especially if you’re already limping along. Who needs to have their good leg shot out from underneath?”

Pam Mittenberger adds,“I believe I was defensive. Trying to defend my job as a mom. Not many understand the dynamics within adoption...especially with moms, so it was hard for them to understand. Some did, but not all. I tried to explain what was going on but it’s not enough unless someone has been there or seen it before. I so often tried to explain and defend myself hoping others would understand me and know how hard I was trying. I was given books on parenting. Parenting biological, well-adjusted kids was not the same as what I was going through. A lot of family and friends didn’t understand how they were manipulated by my kids. They didn’t understand that you can love and not blame the children but still not attack the parenting. I found a lot of people wanted to swoop in and save our situation. I know they cared but it was often motivated by a need to make themselves feel more important, or a better parent. I never figured out how to stop this and seek out people that supported our whole family unit. When you’re living under so much stress, it’s hard to see clearly and understand yourself--let alone help others understand.”

Yes, your child is wounded, but you are also, no matter how strong, no matter how hard you’re trying to be a great mom. This needs to be validated and grieved.