Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The tough side of adoption

Look at that adorable child!!!
He is not perfect, he is human.
He's been through starvation, illness,
abandonment and early life in an orphanage.

No one talks about it openly. But you get a group of adoptive moms together and you hear it. Usually more than one mom has a story to tell. Stories that will scare anyone into thinking twice.

Tales of sexual abuse, violence, homicidal or suicidal tendencies.
Lack of resources, counseling services and therapy programs.
DSHS, neighbors, police and church involved.
Respite, rehoming, disruption, hospitalization, residential treatment.

Many people do not like to discuss these ugly issues. Adoption is supposed to be about love, selflessness, sacrifice and obedience. But sometimes it can be so. dang. hard. It can cause severe depression, marriage complications, hurt to other children, stress and damage to material possessions.

I wonder how many families delve into adoption without first becoming educated? Yes, reading a few books is great, but really talked to people who have adopted and are open and honest? Or spoke to a professional or went through training? It seems like more and more I hear of families going through international adoption and bring a cute orphan home from a foreign country without counting the costs. I recently learned of a family who had adopted internationally and had never even heard of RAD before! Seriously. Adorable brown babies are not an accessory.

Yes, adoption has been wonderful and life changing for our family. It has been joyous. It has also been so difficult. I sometimes thing about what life would have been like for J., me and my three kids before adoption. Simpler, easier, less issues. Would I do it again? Yes. But it truly is not for everyone. And I do believe there are mis-matches. How does one choose a child that is right for their family when they are across the world? The information they get about that child is missing pieces, inaccurate or untruthful. Many kids' ages are even wrong simply for the ease of finding an adoptive family. Some adoptions are finalized before the adoptive parents even meet the child!

Please don't think I am writing to discourage adoptive families. I just want more people to get educated and keep learning through the process. I know for us, doing independent adoption, no one was there to be sure we were. We had to be self motivated and thankfully I met some wonderful people who pointed us in the right direction and helped form a small support group.

If you are in the position of going through some hard things with your kids, know that you are not alone. There are so many people walking that path with you, but remain silent. Don't be afraid to seek help. Talk to other adoptive parents and I bet you will find some support and love. We are all in this together.


Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Thanks for the honesty and transparency.

We adopted internationally. We had no idea what RAD was until it reared its ugly head after bringing the children home.

Sexual Abuse? This can happen not only in the remote African village ... but it can happen in the Christian Orphanage ... and it can happen in your nice American home. It is devastating ... for the children .. for the family.

Sometimes, when you do speak up ... when you do tell the truth about the devastation/destruction that adoption can bring into your home ... you are quickly pushed away from the local adoption community ... you are shunned because you just might "scare off another adoptive family".

I don't want to scare anyone off. But, I want others to know of the difficulties that they might face after bringing their children home.

Do we regret adopting our children? Absolutely not. Do we wish that we would have been embraced by the adoption community when we faced unbelievable challenges. Oh. My. Yes.

Keep taking Kim. Keep sharing.

Kathy C. said...

When we started our first adoption 18 years ago there weren't the books and there wasn't internet. The attachments tips available now would have been so helpful back then. Back then it was, "If you just love them and give them a home everything will be okay."

Melissa said...

I am so thankful for open-ness and honesty when people share it regarding their adoption stories. We are just in the beginning phase of the journey, and we have already been blessed with some no-nonsense people who are straightforward and encouraging as well....