Thursday, May 19, 2005

Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness

I very recently purchased _Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness _ by Betty Jean Lifton and it is making for some very interesting reading. (And costing me some very much needed sleep, .)

Her comments about adoptees give me a whole lot more insight into my own children, and much of what she says fits what I have observed in their lives. It does explain the intense feelings an adoptee on a triad list had here earlier when she felt I should not pull away from my estranged daughter. From what I have read, even if an adoptee is acting poorly, they take withdrawal of anyone as another rejection.

The author does a fairly good job of giving multiple perspectives. Though her main emphasis is on the feelings and thoughts of the adoptee, she weaves stories and perspectives from birth and adoptive parents in many areas.

I have found that all the adoptee-written books I have read have a perspective of children not adopted at birth. This book seems no different and I could not find any stories of children adopted older than 3 to 6 months.

I will be looking for more input on children in those situations, especially those from the foster care/CPS system. While I am sure they face many of the same issues, I think looking only at those adopted at or near birth ignores some significant factors in their background. For example, is searching, especially as a minor, really as good when the birth family had abuse or neglect?

Still, I found the book to be quite worthwhile. I diligently read the first 3 chapters, but after skimming parts of the later book I suspect I will not read the rest cover to cover, since I have so many other things in my "to read" pile. I do recommend it for adoptees, and I hope my own oldest daughter (now 18) will get hooked up with it and other books to help her clear up some of her internal struggle before that struggle ruins more of her life.

If you are interested in the book, try this link to Journey of the Adopted Self


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