International Adoption Book

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Reality Check

In my previous post, I pasted a news report about a little boy who was adopted and "returned (as if he were a dress that didn't fit properly) from/to Russia this past September. I felt that there is an important topic that rarely gets attention burried within the piece...

It is a sad reality that the children we adopt will come home to us with psycological issues. These are children who have experienced things that no child should be required to endure... Abandoment by or death of a parent, abuse, neglect, molestion, just to name a few! And we, as adoptive parents, cannot get past the ideals that we envision, no matter how much education is presented to us.

I can remember the course we took (PRIDE) when we adopted our first child. We adopted through Foster Care, so we were given this idea that any child we brought home would need extra patience due to the extremely difficult life the child had lived to that point (and boy did M put us to the test).

Truth be told, we listened to the instructor but we didn't "Hear" her. I mean we didn't truly hear what we were being taught. We thought "That won't happen to us" or we believed that we could deal easily with whatever was thrown our way because we wanted kids so badly. But we didn't have a true sense of what we would truly be dealing with...

How bad are withdrawls in a 2 or 3 months old? How desperate can one get to have some semblance of normalcy with your new child? How hard could it be to adjust? And, if I were to be brutally honest, we thought that the child who was "given" to us would actually have to adjust to us. How stupid could 2 adults be?

Ignorance is not an excuse, though. Adoptive parents can get true joy from their children. But it's not an easy road to traverse. These children are precious and they deserve to be loved and taught how to love. They need to be given a chance. And 3 months, 6 months or even 24 months may not be long enough to teach the child trust... Because that's where an adoptive parent needs to start... Teaching trust! Until your new child learns to trust you then you will not be able to bond with that child and that child will not be able to bond with you.

That's another difficulty that adoptive parents don't understand: When you adopt a child, you, as the adult, must teach your child how to love you... And you should be prepared that it could take years! There is no syrum that will instantly make your child love you. And there are some occassions where you must learn how to like or love your new child. It's not easy! It takes time and a lot of hard work by all parties.

Needless to say, I feel terrible for the little boy who was sent back to Russia. The route that was taken was awful. I trust WACAP (the agency that is involved) would have done all that they could to resolve this issue had they been made aware. But, as the grandmother states, the boy did not start showing signs of behavior issues until this past January... How sad that the mother couldn't work with her son longer than a couple of months. And how sad that she chose to dissolve her son's adoption in this horrific manner. I do not judge others for dissolving their adoptions because, again, adoption is difficult in the best of times, and we can never know what is happening behind closed doors. Besides, I also believe that a child should be placed elsewhere if the placement is not working out... He/She has teh right to have a loving and solid home and family. But I DO have a problem with the manner in which she "returned" the boy. It was almost as if she sent him back with a request for a refund because it was not what she had purchased. This child is not a commodity (no matter how many entities recieve money during an adoption). He is a human being with the right to have a loving family that he can enjoy and depend on. I only wish this mother would have taken the time to call WACAP and request help! Hell... I would have taken the boy!!!

Wll, my point in writing this post was to make people (who are interested) aware of the difficulties one WILL face during an adoption. It's not just the lengthy waits or the massive amounts of money that get doled out or the constant hoops one must jump through at, what seems, someone else's whim... But rather, it's the teaching of a child and the durress one must endure when trying to help your child understand all that has happened to him/her and the never-ending reassurance you must give to your child that they are truly loved and the facts that you learn over time about the time your child has spent in the orphanage that can be wearing.... BUT OH SO JOYOUS!

Sending prayers to this child in the hopes that he will, inevitably, be loved and cherrished by a family and he will grow up to be an amazing and well-adjusted adult!

1 comment:

Amelia said...

Another blogger I read just posted something on dissolving adoptions. All facets of adopting have got to be so hard, beyond my comprehension for sure, but there are ways to do what is needed with as little harm to child as possible. Especially when all they've known so far is pain. I'm sure it is still heart wrenching for all involved, but it has to be better then the choices these people made. In case you're intrested.

Wow, I really don't have linking skills, just copy and paste ones. :)