One of the biggest obstacles to overcome on any side of the adoption triad is letting go of expectations. When an adoption is new, everyone expects their expectations to be met. But life happens and when it does, expectations can be unmet. Expectations as an adoptee come later in adoption journey which tends to involve dealing with many layers of unmet expectations of the adoptive parents and birth parents.
There is much history that happens in an adoption journey before an adoptee becomes aware of their own expectations as an adoptee. What an adoptee wants to do with those expectations and how they want to communicate how they feel about unmet expectations is another thing entirely. Adoption comes with lots and lots of expectations at every stop in the adoption journey. A lot of times, it is about realizing you have expectations as an adoptee and figuring out for yourself if they are realistic or not.
Staff writer an adoptee, Victoria Tucker, writes about her views on expectations as an adoptee. She focuses particularly about how to free oneself from unhealthy expectations.
Expectations As An Adoptee Start With Self Evaluation
Expectations are something we put upon others, but also some we put upon ourselves. When I was a little a girl, I had so many expectations for where I wanted to be in life. I wanted to be a published author at 12, a mom at 21, and own a horse. That certainly didn’t work out. Even as an adult, I’ve had expectations that I would be somewhere different in life, but that wasn’t in God’s plan.
Expectations by themselves aren’t always bad. We should expect that we will behave politely at an event. We expect that an event will start on time. We can expect that we will be shown good customer service at a restaurant. However, we have to expect that our expectations will be wrong. To coin a phrase, “we have to expect the unexpected.” Ultimately, when we expect something we believe there is some matter of predictability and control of that thing, and life can’t always go as planned or as we can control.
Freeing ourselves from expectations involves showing mercy to ourselves. We can do our best, but we’re not perfect beings. We’re going to have shortcomings. There are things in life that will throw our desired expectations out of our control. A big part of trusting in God is trusting Him with the things we can’t control. The only expectations that should matter to us are the ones given to us by the Father, even then He knows and even expects we’re fall short due to our sinful nature.
As adoptees, our lives might not go how we expect. We may not have the perfect relationship with our birth family or even with our adopted family. We may not have the perfect life with our adopted family, but we have to surrender those expectations to the Lord and put our faith in His plan for our lives.
Letting Go Of Expectations As An Adoptee Can Be Hard
What we do with new information can be a tricky next step in healing. Realizing that it is time to evaluate our own expectations in our adoption journey can be unmooring and even angry-making. If you are an adoptee who needs help and guidance with letting go of expectations in your adoption journey as an adoptee, reach out to us today to find out more about our adoptee mentoring program.