“When emotions rise to the surface, do you have difficulty putting your feelings and intimate thoughts into words? Try using the “Emotion Wheel” to get in touch with your inner feelings, find clarity, and improve your emotional literacy. Good communication increases engagement and improves our ability to collaborate and build relationships and stronger friendships. Communication is the best way for others to truly understand your authentic voice in a way that helps adoptees feel valued.” Judith Land
Adoption is a form of trauma—a deeply emotional process. Even newborns can sense that something is wrong and be difficult to sooth as a result. This effect has the potential to grow over time, even in the most loving and supportive adoptive homes. Adoptees have significantly more issues to deal with and things to think about. They often struggle with identity issues of not knowing for certain how they “fit in” and as they move forward in life, they may have difficulty forming emotional attachments and display low self-esteem. Separation from parents evokes strong emotions that are long-lasting and difficult to assess. Children often have difficulty openly communicating their inner feelings about topics they know very little about because it takes a mature mind and a bundle of life experiences to comprehend cause and effect, family dynamics, and abstract concepts they don’t always fully comprehend.
Truth, honesty, openness, and respect are important to every child. Adoption is a personal journey, each story is unique because the early life of adopted children is special. It’s important to know what to say and do and how to react when asked questions about adoption and hearing comments from others, and whether to engage or walk away.
Adoptees expect their adoptive parents and friends to be sensitive to their concerns and prefer to talk about adoption when they choose. One of the most sincere forms of respect is listening to what another person has to say, especially if an adoptee feels hurt, sad or disappointed. Communication is important. Using the Emotional Wheel System can be helpful for facilitating finding the right words when an adoptee is looking to engage with others.