Having so many losses in a child’s life naturally alters their teenage years into adulthood. The need for love is so traumatic that it doesn’t matter the cost involved in getting that love even if it means deceiving themselves. Teens will crave attention, find themselves involved in addictive patterns, and create problems that can become a danger to their welfare. It doesn’t matter if they are adoptees, fostered or biological.
Before you know it, you are in the midst of a crisis. Is your teen having sex to have a child so that they can retrieve the love that they didn’t get when they were younger? Is your teen gravitating to older men or women for a relationship? Are they constantly on the internet finding and connecting with people to fill that hole of abandonment that they have struggled with for years? Do they show addictive behavior in order to achieve the goal of feeling loved? Or worse yet, crave attention so badly that they would hurt someone else to get it.
Such was the case of 12-year-old Jamarion of Michigan, who stabbed a friend and told a witness ‘I want to die. I don’t want to be on this earth anymore.’ He says Jamarion told him that he lashed out because he had ‘taken many pills’ and nobody loved him. The witness further said the first emergency personnel went to the playground to help the victim. This upset the boy. ‘Hello. I’m right here. You’re going the wrong way,’ Jamarion shouted as officers arrived. Continue reading
Many teens that are adopted or fostered have a huge sense of loss. This loss is a springboard to many other complex issues such as an identity crisis.
Not knowing where they originated from, as in cases where a child was left abandoned, leaves a teen with emotions and thoughts of being outcast and unwanted. Whether you are an adoptive or foster parent, you can give all the love in the world and they would still feel empty and lost and rejected. Those emotions are multiplied when that teen compares themselves to their family and other cultures and comes to the conclusion that they don’t belong with anyone.
Such was the case for my daughter who has dark hair, tan skin, and appearing as a mix of Arab, Asian, European, and Polynesian. Now add the fact that she has parents who are Irish/Swiss and white. Talk about standing out in a crowd.
With those very obvious differences, it came with some very strong feelings of being outside of the family instead of within. So what does a teen do? They go on an identity hunt looking for a place where they do fit in. Continue reading
“I will find a way to leave. You are not my mom and dad!” she said. Listening and not responding, we let her continue. “You didn’t birth me. You don’t know how I feel. If you did, you would let me go.”
My heart broke for her that day. All I did was correct her in something she did. That is what all parents do. They correct their children and teens for many different reasons, all for the good. But this wasn’t a normal situation, and for many who have adopted or cared for foster children, they understand this.
Sitting around a table of other women at a conference last year, a parent was sharing how she had to buckle down on her daughter and really let her have it for something she did wrong. I was thinking to myself as she was talking that I could never respond to my child in the same manner. But before I even finished my thought, the woman across from her stated my exact words and she began to tell her own story.
On June 3rd of 2013, an angry little 6 yr. old boy from Idaho took off his belt, tied it around the handle of the freezer and hung himself. This was not his first attempt at suicide. Sad to say, this time it was his last because he succeeded. Although he might not have understood the ramifications of his act, he was deliberate in his actions.
The history of this little boy showed major anger issues stemming from the divorce of his parents. Although it is a rare occurrence in children this young, what are not so rare are the many pre-teens and teens that are in similar cases of crisis today. Continue reading
Realizing that she was gone, I sped to my car throwing the keys into the ignition and raced down the street at full speed.
Dressed in black, my car lights were still able to track her down. Slamming the brakes once she was in sight, I threw the car into PARK and swung open the door.
I nearly fell onto the ground as I tried to run after her. Picking up speed I grabbed her arm and pull her towards me. Trying to fight me off, I held more tightly until I was in a deep bear hug.
“I love you! Please, this isn’t the answer. I’m not letting go because you are that important to us. Let’s get through this together.” I said. She broke down crying as I lifted her up and carried her back to the car.
It was going to be another sleepless night as I hid the keys to the house doors. Again I was praying that this would come to an end. Continue reading