Thursday, October 09, 2014
Adoptees' Attachment Issues & God's Redeeming Love & Restoration
As a psychology student back in my college days, I learned that early successful attachment and bonding in an infant's life sets in motion the emotional groundwork for security, safety, and the ability to regulate ones emotions even when the mother figure is not present. The ongoing and repetitive cycle of the baby having a need and the mother or caregiver lovingly and attentively attending to that need results in the baby's growing ability to learn TRUST. If needs are not met in a timely fashion, the baby may feel unheard, unworthy and may learn that verbalizing their need through crying does not get results. So if there are way too many of these cycles where the baby expresses a need and feels ignored or not comforted and not acknowledged, or put off for long periods- the infant's emotions can shut down and they may learn to mistrust others. ( Deep down inside there may be a sadness that turns to anger that can then move into depression ) The infant may stop expressing their needs and either represses them ( they get buried ) or is hoping and still expecting that others might mind read. ( faulty thinking ) They may tend to learn helplessness and develop a victims mentality. Some may become very clingy or overly dependent on others in their lives, or they may go to the other extreme- they may push others away emotionally- distance themselves as a kind of protective stance, so as to not get hurt again. They may become fiercely independent trusting only themselves. This also may lead to their being controlling in relationships and always insistent on their own way ( The sad reality of this relational pattern is that love is then walled out as well as healthy intimacy ) As adoptees, those orphaned or fostered some of us may have been negatively impacted by these early circumstances beyond our control. And some of us may have had more difficult beginnings or prolonged times of neglect or faulty attachment and bonding. Because of this we may carry these tendencies and mindsets into our adult lives and relationships which may hurt others and ourselves. May we have the courage to address these issues, acknowledge them, and yield them to God for His redeeming work.
Lord Jesus, Our Redeemer, Awaken us today to the realities that may be present in our lives, that we may not have been aware of or possibly denied. We were so young and vulnerable as infants and what happened to us was truly beyond our control. We are grateful to know that you do not judge us and instead have compassion for us. Gently open our eyes to the truth and help us to come out of denial so that we may grieve the past losses and recognize your love and grace to bring us to healing and wholeness. May we encourage one another in community as we heal and grow and change to reflect your loving image. We know that we can trust you fully and can invest our love in you- knowing that you always respond, listen and care. As we spend more time in your sweet presence-drawing close to you as we receive your love, may we grow more and more healthy emotionally. As we securely attach to you- we can heal and grow healthier relationships with others. Gentle Shepherd, guide us in our healing journeys and restore us we pray. Lead us beside still waters and paths of righteousness for our ultimate good and your glory, Amen. ( Copyright Jody Moreen 2014- Permission needed to reprint in any media format- online or print ) jodymoreen ( use the @ sign)gmail.com