Sunday, October 10, 2010

Follow Up on Adoption Disruption/Dissolution

I've had comments left here, messaged on facebook and e-mailed to me. I thought I'd share parts of the comments, and also toss out the questions to see if some of you can answer them.

I think most people don't really know what to expect. I sure enough didn't with my first two adoptions. I thought the kids would be appreciative of a better home. But they were happy where they were and didn't realize it wasn't a good situation at all. It was all they knew.

I think this is a problem. Whether it's foster kids or adopted kids, we expect them to be thankful for a better situation/new home. But really, most of them want to stay with what's familiar even if it's not in their best interest.

I really think adoption agencies and placement workers should tell perspective parents the truth and not keep secrets that could affect the adoption or the safety of the new family.

Definitely! It might make it harder to place some children, but there may be families willing to deal with the severe issues if they knew what to expect ahead. And there are families with young children who should not adopt children who have suffered some kinds of abuse. It puts everyone in a tough spot when a child is placed in a family not appropriate for that child.

Maybe the adoption agencies and advocates need to just be more blunt with adoptive parents and say "forget the rainbows and butterflies, this is REAL LIFE, these are hurting kids, they will bring joy, fun, but also burdens and sadness to your family... they come with a HISTORY, some parts of it may be good, but more often than not it will contain a lot of hurt... can you deal with that? can you deal with the hurt? the pain? the sorrow?... if not... then adoption is not for you"

Exactly. Prospective parents need to go in with their eyes wide open. But like above, agencies/orphanages need to give the parents the true history. I've never had the problem of not being told the truth, but I know many families who have. And if they haven't met the child or have only interacted with the child with the nannies/caregivers present, they may not pick up on problems.

...then you get to deal with "friends" and family judging you and gossiping to the world.

It's sad when it's the very people who should be supporting you are making things harder. Perhaps families and friends should step up and offer some respite care or help in getting therapy etc. for the child.

Turning for help can be just as risky as trying to go it alone.. turning to them can easily make matters worse when the child is skilled enough in manipulation.

People tend to believe children because they assume children won't lie. I've had people think we are the worst parents in the world for the boundaries we've set because they've fallen for phony charm and manipulation. People who only see the child in certain settings really don't know the child well enough to judge.

Kids are tough sometimes ...add in issues...and it can throw your whole life in the toilet.

Unfortunately so.

Obviously the most "blame" goes to the circumstances that created a horrific childhood for a child, one where they learned to distrust rather than love, to protect self rather than be protected.

Right. Most of the kids are reacting out of their own hurt, abuse or grief over being displaced or having lost their parents. Even though you know that, sometimes it's hard to think about it when all the hate is hitting you right in the face. Sometimes it's just a bad match too.

But I know this for sure if not for Jesus and the leading of the Holy Spirit I could not do what I need to do or parent the way that they need to be parented. I think that my adoption walk is just as much about my walk with Jesus as it is their walk in being adopted.

That's a unique way to look at it. And after all, God adopts any of us into his family through Jesus who just ask.

Nobody knows the entire story of the adoptive family. There are many things adoptive parents choose not to share.

Yes! And that's why blogs and facebook are good and bad. Good because you can get support and suggestions or at least not feel alone. But bad because people feel like they know everything about your life and make judgments based just on what's posted. Obviously none of us post the really personal stuff. I would have loved to have internet during my early adoption experiences. I would have realized that what I was going through was pretty common. No one around us understood and we felt really alone.

I have to say that even though our agency sent us a box full of books to read, no one (i.e. social worker, agency, etc.) every truly explained the reality of adoption. In some ways it has been way easier than i thought and in other ways, much harder.

I had foster care training after our first two adoptions. It would have been good to have had something like that first. But really, I probably would have thought I knew everything anyway. And of course, just like birth children, when you think you have it all figured out, along comes a whole different personality.

...sometimes you just get to a place where there are NO good options, only ones that are slightly less crappy than the others.

Sometimes that really is the truth!!

So, let me list some of the questions for those of you who might have more experience in these matters.

What alternatives are there to disruption/dissolutions? What can a family do who feels there is no hope of keeping the child in home?

Is there anywhere a family can get help that is covered by insurance or based on pay or anything other than the thousands a month treatment facilities?

How do you find an attachment specialist?

What do you do if you want to find a new home for a child? Do you get a lawyer? Contact the state to put the child in foster care or try to find a home yourself?

How do you get past the grief/anger/guilt of letting a child go?

Where can you go if you think you could successfully parent a child who has been disrupted?


Annie said...

I am always amazed when people say they expected their adopted children to be thankful or grateful. Our bio children don't feel that way. But, most of all WE don't feel that way! I feel like I am really a pretty grateful person, but Oh! I take so much for granted. Most of my prayers are pleas for more! not thanks for blessings.

I think you are right about the education piece. I think it would tend to scare people off, when they ought not to be scared off. If my husband had read anything at all about adoption, we wouldn't have four wonderful children. But, apart from some people being given ammunition for their doubts, I think most people - those most enthusiastic and determined to adopt - would not be in a state of mind to listen, anyway. It reminds me of the pathetic efforts churches make to "educate" the newly engaged about marriage. "Pathetic" only because - could there ever be a set of people less likely to listen, or a worse time to try and get them to do so?

I think after-the-fact education is best. And some of it is SO good! But mostly you have to find it in books, or on-line. I'd love to see those same adoption agencies put efforts into post-adoption support, and churches put effort into marriage enrichment and support. Grab people when they are longing for help, not when they don't want it, or are too excited to listen.

My favorite support and mentor is Dr. Karyn Purvis. Heather Forbes a close second.

There are some yahoo groups that specialize in respite care and disruption information. I was able to help two families find homes for their children that way - and in both cases, while the initial family really felt the need to disrupt, the children do not seem to have much in the way of problems (before or after disruption). It was primarily a mis-match. And everyone in both situations is so much happier.

Who Asked You? said...

I've seem people disrupt several times for reasons that seemed trivial to me like Annie said but if they don't like the kid, it's really better in the long run. Let them have a family that appreciates them. And of course we don't know everything. I understand when you just can't parent them or there are safety issues but I don't understand when they just disrupt your perfect home.

SQ said...

Kathy I was awaken this morning around I think 5:20- 6AM and I heard very loudly and clearly CASSEL CREW so I began to intercede for you family. I pray the Lord touched you at that very moment. :)
I prayed for protection, strength and you older son especially.

fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
—Isaiah 41:10

Praying you are doing well.

I just update my blog on my DISSOLUTION here :)emma