I invite you into a conversation about adoption and coaching, both powerful and both contribute to our world in a very positive way. I am the adoptive Mom of two twenty something young men. While I am here to tell you that adoption is powerful, I am also here to broaden that view and bring coaching into partnership to ensure parents and children build the strong, long term relationships both desire. Parenting is wonderful and not for the faint of heart. Raising adopted children can take that a level deeper.
Why the interest in adoption?
Like many couples, infertility was a reality for my former husband and I. When we realized that giving birth ourselves was not imperative, adoption became a real possibility.
The interesting thing is that while I always knew I wanted to be a Mom, I never pictured myself pregnant or caring for an infant like many young girls do. I always pictured myself holding the hands of these two dark haired, dark eyed young boys. That was quite a vision for a young blond haired, blue eyed girl.
As an adult considering adoption, I stated thinking about those boys again. Turns out they did exist and little did I know I would travel twice to Bulgaria to find them and bring them to our home in the US. Dreams and visions do come true.
What I learned early on is that raising adopted children is different from raising biological children and very few people get that. The most common reaction from friends and family is, “Come on. Raising kids is raising kids. They all go through stuff growing up. It’s all the same.” I am here to tell you that it is not. As adoptive parents we love and guide our kids, as other parents do, and we also:
- work to build healthy bonds following relinquishment, abandonment possibly even abuse
- help our kids understand adoption and talk about it with people who sometimes ask bold or hurtful questions
- help them cope with the real sadness that loss brings when they often can’t explain it or talk about it themselves
- accept that their future search for self is not a rejection of us as parents or a pushing away from the love they have for us. It is their instinct to follow a biological need
Adoptive parents do what all parents do but with an added layer of complexity. It is about both love and courage.
As I faced times of challenge and complexity myself, I sought resources who truly understood adoption, deeper than the textbook descriptions. Finding few, I decided to take on the extensive training and certification needed to be a certified coach. I did something about the lack of resources and Kaye O’Neal Coaching came to life.
Coaching is client focused and client driven. Everyone at different points in their lives wants something better or stronger than what they experience in the present. People often want more clarity, more peace, more confidence or less worry, less guilt, less frustration. We feel emotionally stuck and unable to get moving in a direction we want to go. We seek knowledge and self understanding, actions we can get behind and effective energy to fuel achievement. We want to be coached. Parents want to be coached too.
Coaching is not counseling or therapy. These modalities are powerful and on target when a client seeks greater mental health and the stability needed to function well in life. Coaching is something different. Coaching serves emotionally capable people who seek help in sorting things out, getting unstuck and drawing from effective energy to get started.
I love it when clients discover how to get unstuck and move forward in a positive way. Clients step into a course of action that they create. Their momentum is underway.
Love and Courage
Parenting is a wonderful and challenge gift. It comes with mountain top highs and deep valley lows. It pushes us to learn, evolve and grow. Parenting biological, fostered and adopted children is love and courage in action.