Friday, 15 March 2013

Please don't say this to an adopted child...

A few weeks ago, a couple of well meaning people asked Li Lin virtually the same question within a few days of each days other.  It was a "harmless" question but it really shattered Li Lin's growing feelings of security within our family.

What was it? ... "Would you like to come live with me?"

At the time, I didn't know why, but Li Lin's behaviour tanked.  Ever hear of Denis the Menace?  Ya well, she was acting like a female version of him.  It was a bit exasperating at times.  What I didn't realize was, she was testing me. Testing my love for her out of fear.  Fear that we might allow her to go live with someone else.

I found this out while grocery shopping. I was at my neighbourhood Asian grocery store waiting in line to  pay.  Out of the blue, Li Lin said in a fairly loud voice, "So, are you going to keep me?"

"Of course.  Mommy loves you and adopted you", I quickly stated. 

She has asked me whether I plan to keep her again a few times since.

Unfortunately Li Lin was asked this same troublesome question again last week.  Three times in as many weeks.  Poor little thing.  As long as this question persists, her confidence in us being her 'forever family' is NOT going to improve.

I was not with her this last time.  My mother-in-law was babysitting Little L and her banker thought Li Lin was out of his mouth popped the infamous "harmless" question.  At least Li Lin had a quick cute answer for him.  She shook her head and said, "No.  My mommy and daddy would be sad."

Why am I sharing this tale?  Well, its because I know that the three individuals all thought she was sweet, meant no harm, and would feel badly if they knew the consequences of their words.  So please, if you know an adopted child, refrain from asking questions like these. It creates uneasiness in the child about the permanency of her family.  

Thanks :)


  1. I agree with you Sara and it is very unfortunate that dear LiLin has to go through situations like these. I am afraid that there will be more. Will continue praying for the well being of this dear, loving child.
    Actually, in a way, those words should not be said to any child, let alone an adopted one who already could be insecure by being removed from her only secure environment. Will it happen again? s he probably thinks. I am glad that you reassured her that she will always be with you whether she is good or bad. You two are great parents and are handling every situation in a very loving and kind way.
    With you always, Grand-maman xox

  2. This is good Sara... such an innocent question we might ask because a child has endeared themselves to us... thank you for the heads up!

  3. Wow. That is one question that we have never been asked. We can't control the things others say to our children, but I guess it does open up the opportunity to talk and reassure them in our love for them.