How to Use This Blog

A Wayfarer is a person who is traveling, a particular place, a circumstance, a stage of life, etc. Let's walk the road of adoption together. The journey is so much better with company!
Much of this information is useful for any adoption, but this blog is designed to be a
I hope this blog will be helpful to you in your adoption whether you are considering, waiting or home. I started this blog when we were adopting and found there was next to nothing on the web in any orderly manner. I set about to collect information for myself and then for others. Now, there are more sites for resources, but still not much that brings it all together. I hope this blog will serve as a sort of clearing house for Ethiopian Adoption Information. Please feel free to contribute your knowledge through commenting.
You can search by topic in three ways. 1. Go to the "key word" tabs on top and open pages of links in those topics. 2. Use the "labels list" in the side bar or 3. use the "search bar" above the labels list. You can also browse the blog by month and year in the Posts section or in any of the above as well. The sidebar links are to sites outside of this blog. While I feel they provide good information, I can not vouch for each site with an approval rating. Use your own discernment for each. If you have more to add to the topic, please add it in the comment section of that page or post.
And, please link to The Wayfarer Adoption Blog by putting my button on
your blog so others can use this resource too. Please link to this blog when ever you can and whenever you re-post things (or images) you have found here. Thanks!
The solid tabs are links to my other blogs for books and family. Check them out if you are interested.
Welcome to the journey!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

End of school = feelings of abandonment ?

The end of a school session, whether for a short break or summer vacation, can bring a load of feelings to the surface for any child. Some kids are just so glad that school is out they give little thought to what they will miss about it. Summer or any break is the best! Other kids love school and are sad to go for a variety of reasons, missing friends, a good teacher, fear of the unknown of next year, slow adjusters to change, etc. These are all very normal for any child. For an adopted child there may be one added reason to be sad school is over, abandonment. What? Oh, it may not be the case for every kid, nor even the majority, but for some, this is as real as school itself.
I recently had the opportunity to sort this out with one of my own, trying to put myself in his shoes for a while. Imagine that you once lived with a loving family who (for whatever reason is apt to your child) sent them to a facility with a lot of children and a few grown ups (orphanage but also school), you now have grief which translates into fear of going to school at all, anxiety and nervous energy with no real good outlet. Oh, no you say, my child asked to go to school, he loves it. Yep, so did mine, sometimes it works, other times, not so well. That desire came from the hopes and dreams painted for them by those adults in Ethiopia. When you go to America you will go to school, lucky child! Or maybe from seeing older kids go and the natural desire to be like older siblings. This often translates into some anxiety that seems to stem from no where. Abandonment. Ok, so we get to the end of the year, our child understands his permanence in our family, no longer worried about school. Just in time, school is out and he crashes in a heap of tears and sadness. What? Is this attachment? Does he love is teacher more than mom? Is he just overly sensitive to change, etc? Well, maybe yes, but more likely no. Abandonment. Yep, remember he once lived at a place full of kids and a few grown ups. Then it was his turn to go with his forever family, leaving what he had finally somewhat adjusted to and he never saw any of them again.............. subconscious abandonment, will this happen this time too? No, not this time. But, what if you move? This child could relive his trauma again and will need you to explain that it is ok to grieve, ok to feel sad, to cry and say what he is afraid of. You can remind him that in the midst of change that is every so hard, good still comes. Look for it and be glad when it comes. Love lives in your heart forever even when you are not with those who you love.
Ok, so your child has been home a year or two and this has not come up. So, we are all good, home free, right? Maybe. Maybe not. This happened for our little one, for the first time, after four years home. You never know when those old feelings and scars will pop back up to stir things up. You never know, be prepared, eyes wide open. Talk openly when/if they come up and  things settle a lot faster. No, I don't think it is feeding them ideas, I think it is giving words to feelings that are buried so deep they are like a big cloud of confusion. Name it, talk about it, it becomes manageable.

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The content on The Wayfarer:Ethiopian Adoption Resource Blog is for informational purposes only. We are adoptive parents, but we are not professionals. The opinions and suggestions expressed here are not intended to replace professional evaluation or therapy, or to supersede your agency. We assume no responsibility in the decisions that families make for their children and families. There are many links on this blog. We believe these other sites have valuable information, but we do not necessarily share all of the opinions or positions represented by each site, nor have we fully researched every aspect of each link. Please keep this in mind when visiting the links from this page.
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