notes on loss #write31days

I'm sharing more notes today, this time from the chapter on loss in our training binder from last year.

Meeting Developmental Needs: Loss

  • Loss - central to core issues in adoption
    • Entitlement - adoptive parents and adoptive kids, questioning "rights" to one another, legally and emotionally
    • Claiming - process of adoptive parents accept the adopted child as their own, full member of family
    • Unmatched expectations - 'magical thinking', fantasies about the perfect family, the perfect child
    • Family integration - all members must compromise and negotiate new family system (values, experiences)
    • Separation, Loss and Grief - loss of control due to any involvement with an agency, legal system. Child loses ability to grow up within birth family system. **explore
    • Bonding and Attachment - attachment encouraged through optimal parenting, responding to arousal-relaxation cycle (**explore), initiating positive interactions, claiming behaviours
    • Identity Formation - child's struggle to form identity can be supported by helping build self-esteem
    • Mastery/Control - adoptive families' sense of mastery is challenged, adoptee - many critical life decisions made on their behalf
  • **grief
  • Steps in the Effective Resolution of Grief
    • Acknowledge the reality of the loss
    • Acknowledge the anger and the pain that the loss generates
    • Discover that these strong feelings will not destroy self or others
    • Allow self to feel instead of act out
    • Take active steps towards reducing rage
    • Clarify and rationalize life events
    • Find an appropriate place for the lost person in one's emotional life
    • Adjust to life without the intrusion of grief impacting on daily functioning
    • No prescribed timeline
    • Support and reassure that all stages are part of normal human journey