“Happiness is affected by life circumstances and situations, but the majority of happiness is subject to self-control—the product of character, temperament, personality and disposition.” ―Judith Land
The greatest lesson for adoptees to learn is that happiness depends on attitudes, outlook and human nature, and less upon events and circumstances. Children who are orphaned, fostered and adopted may perceive themselves as “victims of circumstances” because they have no control over the pivotal events that radically altered their life’s trajectory. The unnatural separation from birth parents may cause them to subliminally exhibit classic psychological effects of the primal wound, post traumatic stress disorder, and display other character traits sometimes referred to as adoption syndrome. In some cases, separation from biological antecedents, native language, geographic region, social group, and cultural heritage evokes a nefarious sense of genealogical bewilderment that may be a contributing cause of selective mutism, anti-social behavior, and produce an inherent need for a more comprehensive self-identity.
“Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happiness can be elicited by seeing a significant other, when basking in the acceptance of others, and encountering unexpected positive events. The pursuit of happiness is a universal belief and the right of all free people.” Judith Land
Adoptees seeking a positive outcome in life must learn to avoid blaming their state of affairs on past events, lifestyles, conditions, relationships, and the environment. This is the lesson we learn from the most endearing adoption stories of all time. That is why Little Orphan Annie, Anne of Green Gables, Oliver Twist, and Heidi have remained universally popular with people of all ages for many generations. What the main characters all have in common is an optimistic personality with a positive outlook. They have the ability to transcend adverse circumstances, overcome misery, and avoid the trapdoor of despondency. Their happiness is defined by their own free will, based on a desire to improve their state of affairs through hard work, a positive attitude, diligence, and a desire to help others; in the end they all succeed. Comparing the adventures of others to our own lives benefits us by increasing our awareness and understanding of what it means to be adopted. Good stories expand our thinking, create extraordinary experiences, stimulate opportunities for profound moments of love, and help us learn that happiness is ultimately a product of our own temperament.
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