One of the biggest mistakes that I ever made as a pre-adoptive parent was to believe that my children were going to be grateful for what we were doing for them. Coming out of poverty, some living in cars, not always enough food -- I figured the things we were providing them were going to be enough that they would be grateful. It didn't happen.
Recently I started thinking about how ungrateful we all are. Some of us have reached a plateau where we feel content with our lives and don't complain, but most of us mutter some. We might have a good job that pays fairly well, but there are things we don't like about the job and we voice them to someone. We're smart enough not to voice them too often to the one who pays us, but we mutter. We complain about many things.
Kids have complaints too, but where do they go with their compliants? They come to us and we become frustrated. I just bought you three new shirts and you're complaining that one of them isn't quite the right color? I just made you a huge meal and you complain about the green beans -- maybe you'd like to cook sometime. I take time to give you a ride and all you can do is complain because I won't let you turn the radio to the rap station? There are a million examples.
I wonder if maybe God might have a similar reaction. I give you a rainbow, but you complain about the rain that came before. I provide usnshine and it's too hot, moisture via snow and it's too cold. I provide you with many blessings, and yet you complain.
I believe that many children appear ungrateful because they cannot, especially at their maturity level, view the big picture.
In addition, I believe that there are other groups of kids who truly are grateful, but then cannot tell their parents how they really feel because they are afraid of sounding ungrateful. Kids adopted transracially usually have many inner struggles that don't get shared with parents becuase they don't want to hurt our feelings.
So, are children adopted out of foster care ungrateful? Yes, they probably are. But maybe not much more so than we were when we were their age, but our parents didn't expect us to be.