The Good Adoptee

I have a question for you and would appreciate any insight. Is there such a thing as an adoptee being too good? 

What I mean by that is, is it normal for an adoptee who was recently adopted behaving too good? A child who never complains, never asks for anything and is always polite. I came across this description in an article I was reading about a couple who adopted 8 kids. What jumped out at me whilst reading was how pleased they were that all the kids were happy, well behaved and polite and that none of the children made demands, infact they were all rather quiet.

I could not help but reflect on my own adopted cildren and noticed that the ones that were adopted older fit that same description, but the ones I raised since birth...did not. Infact, the children adopted as newborns (who are older now) make their feelings and wishes known very loudly to everyone around them.

I would appreciate any insight any one has as to what emotionally and psychologically is really at play here or the rationale behind this. Thank you in advance for the replies.

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Age and onset

It's an interesting observation you make, regarding age of adoptee and the willingness to be well-behaved, polite, and without many demands.

Like many adopted children, (I was told) I was unwilling to eat and was unable to do many of the things "healthy" children my age were expected to do. But after time, I quickly caught-up, and became the perfectly thriving child for my adoptive mother. [This delay in task-development is consistent with the effects loss and grief have on child development. See: http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/5343 ]

Over the years, I have had many discussions with adoptees and it seems there are those who took on the attitude that no matter what they did, it was going to be seen as bad and wrong, so.... to hell with what anyone thought. And there were those like me: terrified to be seen as bad or difficult (unwanted), and as a result, sent someplace else, no matter what I thought or did not like about my adoptive family/home.

Whether my need to please (and not cause any waves or more trouble) was the result of living with an emotionally fragile and unstable adoptive mother, or a personality trait I was born-with, I don't know. I do know, later in life, when I was still very young and small, "joking" threats from my grandmother did not help; when I annoyed her, she'd tell me she was going to sell me to the Indians. I remember being terrified I'd go from my Aparents house of moods to a tee-pee, where I'd have to sleep on the ground. The image of such a move made me very aware of my own behaviors, around her, especially.

I was in-care the first year of my life, with no contact with my first mother. I was neither infant nor older child when I was adopted and sent to live in the USA, but I was, without doubt, neglected by my first (Catholic church-affiliated) care-providers.

Pound Pup Legacy