It’s not your fault that your birth mom chose to do drugs when she was pregnant with you.
It’s not your fault she was so high when you were born she couldn’t spell your first name correctly.
It’s not your fault you tested positive for methamphetamine at birth.
It’s not your fault the doctors weren’t sure if you had HIV when you were born, and so your foster mom had to wear gloves when changing your diaper until your test came back negative.
It’s not your fault your birth mom only saw you a few times after you were born.
It’s not your fault she didn’t clean up her life.
It’s not your fault she died before you could reconnect with her.
It’s not your fault you have no idea who your birth father is.
It’s not your fault he hasn’t come looking for you.
The trauma is not your fault, not a single piece.
Psalm 139:14 “…for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
And so are you, every single one of you.
And the trauma you have been through is not your fault, not a single millimeter of it. Let go of the guilt and anger that comes when you question if it is; because it’s NOT YOUR FAULT.
Guilt is a common thing many adoptees struggle with. It’s hard to grapple with the fact that such trauma that was done to us wasn’t our fault, at least a little bit.
I remember growing up just wondering what I did in the first few hours of life to make it so easy for my birth mother to just walk away. But then I remind myself of the facts, the fact that she wasn’t given a choice by the state to take me home, and that she was high on drugs.
And then my mind jumps to the first few years of my life. What did I do during the few visits I had with her to push her away for good? Why wasn’t holding me enough to snap her into sobriety? But again, my brain remembers the facts, the fact that sobriety is often not a switch of a button, and that there is NOTHING I could have done to push her away. And there is NOTHING I could have done to make her turn away from the drugs. I dreamed growing up that she would get it together and come pursue a relationship with me. I didn’t need her to be perfect, I just wanted her to be present.
I pray other adoptees feel like they can share the guilt with someone who will reassure them with compassion and understanding, and not dismiss the guilt as crazy. Because yes it might be crazy, but to us it is a real mountain for us to overcome.
I pray foster and adoptive parents realize how important words of affirmation are to us vulnerable children. Even now, I often feel crazy with how much words of affirmation mean to me, and how it is a crucial part of my life. Just ask my husband, who is an amazing husband and father, but if words of affirmation are missing, he hears about it.
Adoptees have a primal wound, and a lot of aspects of that wound will never go away. But I feel an adopted child can be built up, by constant encouragement and support, and being able to voice his/ her feelings and struggles, and feel heard and cared for in doing so.
And if you are an adoptee that struggles with guilt, with wondering if there is anything you could have done to change your life’s trajectory, anything you could have done to make your bio family more involved, there is not. The trauma is not your fault, your bio family’s actions are not your fault, and holding onto the lie from the enemy that wants to convince you it is, will only prevent your healing. Give the guilt to God, He wants to take that lie and burden from you.