404: Guilt, Shame, and Boundaries in Adoption

Adoption shame and guilt

One thing we know is that adoption comes out of a broken attachment, that the baby or child we parent has already lost something primal, that biological connection to the first mother, as well as the genetic connection to her and to the baby’s first father. So right out of the gate, it’s helpful if adoptive parents have at least a curiosity about attachment, what that means for them and what that means for the adoptee.

When a baby was placed in my arms years ago, I thought attachment meant baby-wearing, having lots of face time, and responding promptly when the baby indicated they had a need. I desperately tried to be perfect at all that, and of course, could not meet such perfectionist standards I’d set for myself. Eventually, the baby days passed and I filled in with other kinds of connection: play, music, reflective listening, and even knowing when not to have eye contact (hello, car-ride conversations).

Often, I resorted to parenting tools I’d inherited from my parents, and they from their parents, tools I thought everyone used. I turned out OK, so it must be good, right, to use a little bit of guilt and shame to get a child to do the right things and not do the wrong things. Things said with a tone, like You said what to your teacher? Or What were you thinking?? -- statements that show my shock and displeasure in hopes that the child would try harder to stay in my good graces in the future.

With this episode, I talk with Dr. Brad Reedy of Evoke Therapy Programs. Dr. Reedy hosts a weekly broadcast, and after more than a year of one-way listening to him, I am thrilled to be having a two-way conversation with Dr Brad Reedy about guilt, shame, and boundaries.

Show Notes

YouTube: @BradReedy

YouTube: @EvokeTherapyPrograms

Website DrBradReedy.com

Amazon Author Page

Instagram and Twitter: @drbradreedy

Twitter: @EvokeTherapy

Facebook: Brad Reedy Enlightening Relationships

Blog: Brad Reedy’s blog

Site: Evoke Therapy Programs

Podcast: Finding You: An Evoke Therapy Podcast

Is It Compassion or Is It Guilt? Episode mentioned


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About this Podcast

Lori Holden (The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole) brings to you an array of articulate and thought-provoking guests with lived experience in adoption, each with valuable insights to share about the all-encompassing journey of parenting an adopted person from babyhood to toddlerhood to school age to teenage -- and ultimately to adulthood. Join us as we explore Adoption: The Long View.

Named a Top 25 Adoption Podcast

Lori Holden