Adoptive mom to many wouldn't do it again - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-14-2009, 05:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
sisteeesmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: colo spgs, co
Posts: 891
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi mamas,
I have not posted on this forum many times before, although I have read on here many times in the past.
I was recently talking to a mom from my church and she has adopted double digits of children including some babies and many older children and I was aking her for advice since DH and I have always considered adoption was in our future.
She said if she had to do it all over again she would not.

This struck me as so sad, but she had many reasons and I could really see her side and I was wondering if that was something any of you adoptive moms have felt/feel/relate to and why?


Thanks so much
sisteeesmama is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-14-2009, 06:13 PM
 
Polliwog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
I think I would fall over from exhaustion if I had double digit numbers of children, whether bio or adopted. I've adopted one child and hope to adopt my foster daughter who has been with me for almost eighteen months. I have no regrets.
Polliwog is offline  
Old 04-14-2009, 08:48 PM
 
tiffani's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
yes, I'm curious what part she wouldn't do over again... surely when you've taken the time to adopt double-digits of children, it would occur to you at some point that it wasn't working for you and you would stop? There seem to be a lot of people in the Christian community who feel it is their duty to adopt, and I think that's a crappy reason to adopt, quite frankly.

everyone I've met (online) with oodles of children (funny how now the families I know IRL with 7,8 kids don't seem so large anymore, and our hopefully soon to be family of 4 feels quite compact, while it used to boggle my mind why anyone would have 4 kids!!) is quite happy with their choices -- I'm sure they have their days where they'd like to crawl under a rock and hide, like anyone with kids does, but I've never heard anyone say they regret their gigantic family...

so did she say what her reasons were? Or if she regretted any specific part of adopting so many kids?

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

tiffani is offline  
Old 04-15-2009, 01:40 PM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I'd be interested to hear some of her reasons for regrets as well, to better understand where she is coming from.

My biggest regret in adopting is that i didnt do it sooner. I really wish i would have organized my life better so that i started adopting when my older son (who is now 12) was much younger, like three or four.

I regret not starting off w/ fostering instead of wasting a few years trying to adopt w/o fostering.

I'm currently fostering a baby the same age as my younger adopted son (1 yr old), and i can see he wasnt really ready, and perhaps i should have waited til he was 2 or 2.5 to add another child to the family...but thats not really a "regret" so much as an observation.

I have seen a few families online who grow their family very quickly, adopting a sib group of three or four and then six months or a year later doing it again, and i can see how a few years down the road you might wish you'd gone slower.


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is online now  
Old 04-15-2009, 07:58 PM
 
curliemama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: westside LA
Posts: 82
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think a lot of older adoptive parents from generations when these issues were supposed to go away with enough love and attention are still hurt from the many issues they and their adopted children faced. Every family I know who adopted between the 1950s and 1980s has at least one adopted child who didn't handle their having been adopted very well. Almost all of these were closed adoptions until the child was an adult; one was a transracial adoption by a family who never really dealt with the cultural issues or issues adoption brings to the table in general and just assumed love would cover everything.

Basically, I think before there was a decent amount of adoption education, adoptive parents went into adoption VERY blindly, and as a result many of them have a bad taste in their mouths because the pain they have felt is real and the pain their adopted (and biological, if there were others in the home; it impacted them too, of course) children felt and feel to this day.

Mama to Peanut (06/03), Pixie (05/05), Beast (09/07), and Baby Girl (11/09)
curliemama is offline  
Old 04-16-2009, 01:51 AM
 
tiffani's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I totally agree, curliemama -- many adoptive families who were formed during the late 60's-early 80's era of "colorblindness" have had tremendous struggles. I have a very close friend whose sister was adopted transracially into a very white community, and their whole family has always been so hurt by anyone mentioning anything in terms of race, adoption, etc -- it was awkward as we went through transracial adoption seminars and read everything we could get our hands on to see that they handled (and continued to handle) the whole thing *exactly* how everyone now says NOT to handle it. This friend's sister is deeply, deeply wounded, and spirals out of control every few years, not to mention my friend and her sister getting deeply offended and wounded by someone at a picnic not believing that they were sisters, and having to have it explained to them that they are adopted sisters -- those little things that are sure to crop up, and just don't need to bother anyone if it's normalized, ykwim? Unfortunately for the kids of that era, adoption and race were/are totally taboo subjects... ah, the idealism of the 70's, eh? I'm sure our generation of adoptive parents (like all parents) will make our share of mistakes, but you really can never go wrong with open, honest communication from the very beginning!!

OP, any more insight into what specifically this mama regrets?

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

tiffani is offline  
Old 04-16-2009, 11:38 AM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I, too, have had experiences with people who have had traumatic adoption experiences. When i first began the process, a couple of people i knew online were sooo negative about me wanting to adopt an older child, basically acting as if i was willing to "ruin" my current child's life without care. They both had grown up with kids added to the family (one had relatives stay for an extended time, the other's parents adopted older kids with issues)...this was during a time when agencies routinely kept the "bad stuff" hidden from families, when there was no recognition of attachment issues or FASD issues. Both felt that their childhoods were compromised by adoption.

I've also met people online who were not told the truth about their children and/or were not given any resources by their agency in helping their children, and their very damaged kids ended up basically destroying their families/marriages/etc. Some of those parents DO regret their adoptions, the cost was too great, though others still are glad they are parenting their children.

Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is online now  
Old 04-16-2009, 11:55 AM
 
AndVeeGeeMakes3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: In the Lovely South, Y'all.
Posts: 1,818
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No regrets here at all.

Now I'll have to be careful here because I'm afraid I might step on toes, so please take this with a grain (or twelve) of salt. I think that so many Christians have this "calling" to adopt (and I think that can be a very real thing - but I do think that it should be questioned), and then they do it in a sort of evangelistic way - as a ministry to save (in every way that that word is used) kids. I don't think that "saving" a kid is necessarily the best motivation, or rather, even a good motivation, for adopting because it can really lead to an unequal relationship between the child and parent in terms of what's "owed." And, if you've got a kiddo with a lot of emotional/psychological or even physical impairments or issues, one who's not going to "live up to their side of the bargain (namely, getting better, being healed or some such thing)," then there's a disappointment that could fester into real regret.

I'm not sure that I think double digit adoptions are a good thing. I mean, I think the heart is a big and generous place, but I do think there must be some limitations, not necessarily to love, but to be able to provide adequate emotional support for each child, particularly if they are an older child, presumably from foster care. I would seriously question anyone's ability to give everything to each and every child when he or she is only one of a dozen.

So, having said that, I wouldn't necessarily think that that woman was the best source of information regarding the value of adoption. I'm sure she could talk us under the table about the how's of it, but I doubt that her experience substantively informs most of ours.

Okay, get out the tomatoes and arrows - I'm waiting!!!

Wendy ~ mom to VeeGee (6/05), who has PRS, Apraxia, SPD, VPI, a G-Tube, 14q duplication, and is a delightful little pistol! I'm an English professor and a writer.
AndVeeGeeMakes3 is offline  
Old 04-16-2009, 12:09 PM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Wendy i agree with you. I check out certain sites where kids are being posted whose adoptions are disrupting, often international kids, and am surprised by kids who are being re-placed after just months home. I read one profile where a young boy was adopted from an African country along with several of his sibs, into a family with many young children, he displayed some sexual acting out and the post (written by the parent) said that he was "immediately removed from the home and has no contact with any of the other kids", and they were seeking a new home for him...while i know that must be a difficult situation, i wonder how one finds themselves in a place where they are adopting an older child from an orphanage with very little history info, into a family with young vulnerable children, and they dont even *consider* what they might do if issues crop up? That wasnt the only listing i read like that either. Another post was for teen sibs, adopted from Africa, and the children apparently werent willing to submit to the moral code of the household, and since there were many young children in the home, they couldnt allow the older kids to corrupt the younger.

From reading these profiles, written by the parents, and many more just like them, it does seem to me that there are SOME people adopting as a sort of evangelical calling to "take care of orphans" who are not taking the time to understand the many issues that may be involved.

Also, i bet there are families where women *birth* a dozen or more kids, not because they necessarily feel like they can parent that many well, but because they feel its a mandate to do so, and have regrets about having so many. Maybe its more socially acceptable if you adopt to say "it was a mistake" than if you give birth...i dont know.


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is online now  
Old 04-17-2009, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
sisteeesmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: colo spgs, co
Posts: 891
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffani View Post
yes, I'm curious what part she wouldn't do over again... surely when you've taken the time to adopt double-digits of children, it would occur to you at some point that it wasn't working for you and you would stop? There seem to be a lot of people in the Christian community who feel it is their duty to adopt, and I think that's a crappy reason to adopt, quite frankly.

everyone I've met (online) with oodles of children (funny how now the families I know IRL with 7,8 kids don't seem so large anymore, and our hopefully soon to be family of 4 feels quite compact, while it used to boggle my mind why anyone would have 4 kids!!) is quite happy with their choices -- I'm sure they have their days where they'd like to crawl under a rock and hide, like anyone with kids does, but I've never heard anyone say they regret their gigantic family...

so did she say what her reasons were? Or if she regretted any specific part of adopting so many kids?

She said that if she had her life to do over again she would not adopt. period.
She said that at first when she adopted the babies she loved it. So she did it again with toddlers and it progressed from there, over several years until she had double digits and it wasn't until even later that she started to feel the impact of her choices.
She said that they will never appreciate that she adopted them when they were not her race.
She said that they don't think of her as their parent, that they try eveything to get in touch with their parents and that they don't feel happy about the situation.

I, too wondered if she did it out of sense of service?

I can't imagine doing it and feeling that way about all the children, either. But she is such a nice lady, I wonder if she had realistic ideas of how it would be?

These were all foster/state adoptions btw
sisteeesmama is offline  
Old 04-17-2009, 09:04 PM
 
tiffani's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
She said that if she had her life to do over again she would not adopt. period.
She said that at first when she adopted the babies she loved it. So she did it again with toddlers and it progressed from there, over several years until she had double digits and it wasn't until even later that she started to feel the impact of her choices.
she obviously never considered the impact of her choices to begin with...babies and toddlers are cute and sweet, but they do grow up, and it sounds like she never considered that this might happen, and they might turn into people with their own ideas about things...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
She said that they will never appreciate that she adopted them when they were not her race.
there is so much wrong with this sentence I don't even know where to start... why would they appreciate it, they shouldn't, and she shouldn't expect them to... just ick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
She said that they don't think of her as their parent, that they try eveything to get in touch with their parents and that they don't feel happy about the situation.
they might think of her as their parent if she acted more parent-like towards them, and less like they are stray pets... they have every right to get in touch with their parents, though with such an unstable relationship with their adoptive mother, if their birthparents are rocky, it might get ugly...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
I, too wondered if she did it out of sense of service?
I can't imagine doing it and feeling that way about all the children, either. But she is such a nice lady, I wonder if she had realistic ideas of how it would be?
in a nutshell, no, she had no idea how it would be, of how she made it this way herself through her unrealistic expectations, and I will never complain about adoption training ever again!!!

sorry if this sounds harsh, I'm sure she is a very sweet woman, but she was obviously woefully unprepared for adoption, especially transracial adoption, but that was pretty standard at the time -- I would, however, like her to consider the fact that it isn't her kids' fault that they have a crappy relationship, and she should get her hands on current adoption literature to see if she can possibly try to heal their relationship... that is, if she has any interest in healing their relationships -- it sounds like she might just be relieved when they are grown and gone. giving her the benefit of the doubt, though, you could suggest a book or two from the sticky on this forum... If nobody else suggests any I'll be back later with a suggestion, gotta run for now...

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

tiffani is offline  
Old 04-17-2009, 09:06 PM
 
AngelBee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Brighton, MN
Posts: 19,261
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

AngelBee is offline  
Old 04-17-2009, 09:43 PM
 
Materfamilias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the hot place
Posts: 1,057
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
She said that they will never appreciate that she adopted them when they were not her race.
Just... whoa. "Race" is not even a term I think is accurate; in fact, I thought it had finally been debunked. And she's expecting gratitude? I wonder if the tables were turned, how she would feel about such a statement.

Lucky wife to DH and mom to DS (10/02) and sweet DD (7/08) and DSD (3/93) and assorted animalia
Materfamilias is offline  
Old 04-17-2009, 09:47 PM
 
SmoothieMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 222
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
Hi mamas,
I have not posted on this forum many times before, although I have read on here many times in the past.
I was recently talking to a mom from my church and she has adopted double digits of children including some babies and many older children and I was aking her for advice since DH and I have always considered adoption was in our future.
She said if she had to do it all over again she would not.
You have heard the expression 'too much of a good thing'? 'less is more'?

I think she overdid it, everyone has limits - one side of the limit you are happy, the other side is not so good.

I wouldn't worry about what she said other than to learn a lesson by her mistakes.
SmoothieMom is offline  
Old 04-18-2009, 02:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
sisteeesmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: colo spgs, co
Posts: 891
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks, you ladies have made me feel a whole lot better!

She really is a nice lady and I guess her story was woven so well when we were on the phone that when I got off I felt confused.

But I know you are all right, it is her, not anything more.
sisteeesmama is offline  
Old 04-18-2009, 05:13 AM
 
Tigerchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Seattle Eastside
Posts: 4,737
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In her defense, the meme of "the grateful adopted child" was really strong in that generation of the triad, and even worse, most of the time people were told that "nothing was different" or "love can cure anything." And adoptees were told that if they wanted to seek out biological family members, that there was something mentally wrong with them, and I don't believe adoptive parents really were even encouraged to think much about why/how to handle things if their kids decided to search.

And I do think there is a finite limit to how many children an individual person can handle. I do think that some adoptive parents of that era, especially the people who really went to the extreme like this lady sounds like she did, tend to be people pleasers/helpers (can't say no) or crave the attention and accolades--especially from their spiritual community. Sometimes those families were idolized (kind of how some folks look at the Duggars, ect.) as being very very spiritual. That's a pretty powerful thing, and it's painful when it falls apart.

I don't think that it's "all her." The truth is that probably she was not as well equiped as aparents have the opportunity to become today. She probably was not encouraged to share or have anything other than positive emotions with anyone, especially if she was receiving a lot of attention and praise for "saving all those kids."

I do think that sometimes that can happen today (there are still folks that do mega adoptions, though I'd say that more people feel that they can be real/honest about some of the struggles that come with adopting or just having doube-digit kids.

So I would not discount her experience. I think with any kind of parenting, you WILL have moments where you think "WTF was I thinking?!?!!" And I wouldn't hold older adoptive parents to the same enlightened standard that we have today. It annoys me too, the language, especially as a biracial adoptee who experienced the tail end of the "you should be grateful!" era. But on the other hand, if you don't know any better, you don't know any better.

And her experience is a real one, and not totally uncommon. So I wouldn't blow her off or demonize her or anything. Aside from platitudes, she probably didn't get much in the way of support, and that can have serious impacts for some people.
Tigerchild is offline  
Old 04-18-2009, 06:08 AM
 
tiffani's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Tigerchild is absolutely right, as usual -- are there any current books/resources geared toward that generation of AP's, who need to see that they were misguided (not to place blame, but just because it would probably go a very long way toward healing her relationships with her children, and help her children tremendously for her to apologize for her mistakes) so they can all move forward? I was thinking '20 things adopted children wish their adoptive parents knew' or 'Primal Wound' (though I've never read it, but have been meaning to, and now it's bumped to my #1 spot after reading the tble of contents) but is there anything more specific to her situation? Most books seem geared towards new AP's, but Tigerchild maybe you know of something the OP can suggest to this lovely woman? (I don't mean that in a snarky way, I'm sure she really is lovely )

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

tiffani is offline  
Old 04-18-2009, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
sisteeesmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: colo spgs, co
Posts: 891
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When I said "all her" I meant that this situation is all her, she decided to do this and she is living her own feelings about it, it would not determine my experience, that's what I meant.

Anyway, I'm sure everything you have said is true, I'm sure she didn't have the right support, I'm sure there was a part that liked the accolades, she actually did mention that when she decided to continue after 8-9 she was doing it out of service.
sisteeesmama is offline  
Old 04-18-2009, 01:10 PM
 
RedOakMomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: A little stone house
Posts: 6,795
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When you look back a generation or two, you'll find a lot of "ick" factor...especially in how adoptive parents acted, how they were (or weren't) educated, and in how adoptees and birth parents were treated. Serious, serious ICK. And it makes it more painful, I think, to look into today's world of adoption, because a lot of the old problems haven't fully been addressed. They still lurk, and you still find echoes, or outright copies, of the same problems. Some parents still believe that race and culture don't matter. Some adoptees are still raised to feel grateful and to feel that they can only recognize one family as theirs. Birth parents are still looked down on, treated poorly, and condemned.

I wouldn't park this lady's experience or attitude entirely in the past. It's still around. I think a lot has been done to make sure more adoptive parents do better, but that doesn't mean all adoptive parents are listenting, or acting, or have the resources they need to make decisions that are best for children. Hang out on mainstream adoption boards and you'll still see her attitudes, even if they're cloaked in more PC terms.

ETA: Kitty, it's nice to see you here.

RedOak ~ Momma to DS (8) , DS (4) , DD (3) , & DD 9/10 ~
RedOakMomma is offline  
Old 04-18-2009, 03:33 PM
 
LessTraveledBy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,325
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sisteeesmama View Post
she actually did mention that when she decided to continue after 8-9 she was doing it out of service.
poor kids

Mama to a little lady and always praying for more.
LessTraveledBy is offline  
Old 04-18-2009, 09:00 PM
 
Marcimama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I had a similar talk with an older lady. Her 4th son was adopted. Her response about him, "I wish I would never have done "that" He is ungrateful, unappreciative, and really never my son!" My mouth was open! I agree that the past hasn't been kind to either parties of adoption.

From what you have said it kind of seems like the lady you spoke with was looking for something... expectations... and fulfillment by adopting and adopting so many. Perhaps that was to be a savior, to be needed or to be loved, but that she was searching for some thing that she hoped that adoptions would fill. Not that a person in her place is wrong or unstable for adopting many many children, but to do so and then feel like it was a mistake shows that she wasn't doing it with the realization that children (of any type) don't come with a grateful heart and that YOU don't fulfill them fully. Of course they want to find their "real parents" it is a piece of them they have never known or long for, of course they don't act grateful, does any child? I kind of "feel" for her. She is obviously struggling, but the problem is in her heart, not her circumstances.

I am working through a bunch of adoption realizations, misimpressions and preconceived notions...these are many of them. My big pondering right now is: What IS a good reason to adopt? (Especially in our place). Am I the kind of person that could parent an adopted child with grace and love in the face of the heart they bring with them, the past and the future struggles? Can I NOT be like this woman and see my expectations or brokeness as the ultimate reason to adopt? Will I be opened handed, being completely accepting of the child that comes to us and accept them as I have my others? Ugh! Such hard, hard questions. We aren't there yet. And I vow not to go there until we are ready for it ALL.

Thanks for the honest discussion on the faults of adoptive parents.
Praying for those ones in her care, praying she gets a wake up call out!

Marci

knit.gif

Married to my best friend, homeschooling, gardening,

running a camp for at-risk kiddos and walking a narrow path.

 

Mom to an amazingly fun crew of 5!

hearts.gifafro.jpg  wave.gif   thumbsuck.gif     boc.gif 

Marcimama is offline  
Old 04-19-2009, 07:56 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Palm Desert, CA
Posts: 1,182
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I, too am trying to work through my reasons for adopting. I can't believe the things these people have said, but then again....I do not yet know what it is like to walk in their shoes.

One thing is I DH and I are taking our time deciding. January 2010 would be the soonest we would start the process, and we've already been thinking about it for several months.

As time progresses, I become more convinced that I DO want to adopt. I have less and less of a desire to have a natural child...which in the past made DH and I wonder if I would regret adopting. The urge to have a biological child is almost gone.

I am a Christian, and I do feel a calling...but I know it is more than that. I know reality will set it. I know I can offer all the love, acceptance, support, prayer and counseling there is to offer. And my child still could end up a dysfunctional child and/or adult. That could happen with a bio child as well, but that is despite the point. Then again the child could grow up perfectly happy about being adopted, like my friend's boyfriend. But I really think I don't have any unrealistic expectations of adoption.

I have picked the brains of a friend who is 24, the youngest of 4 bio siblings and then their parents adopted 6 through the foster system. She loves having a big family and they all get along, but she said the adopted kids have alot of problems. Sleeping around, dabbling in drugs, etc. She said her parents are the Christian types who thinking every damage is healed by prayer and love...no counseling needed. Well one child was beaten almost dead by his bio Father. He definately needs counseling.

My friend says she plans on adopting herself and believes in it, but has taken a much different approach. She is a physc major to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. She also plans to not adopt so many.

DH did set me straight on the idea of adopting a large sibling group from the foster system so we would receive enough income for me to stay at home with them. No way, he said. His parents fostered when he was a teenager, and while they all loved having the toddler and babies...he has educated me about the realities of it. They received children with their front teeth rotted out, behavioral disorders, etc. Then ofcourse, they almost adopted a baby girl they received at 2 weeks old, only to have her taken from them when she was 1.5 He said it truly was like losing his sister.

Now we are realistically considering a sibling group of 2. We have no other children to worry about, and I feel the siblings would have each other as a support network.

I still am going to seek formal counseling if we do go ahead with adoption.

Happily married to DH for 6 years, in process to foster-adopt 3 children DD4, DS3 and DS2. We may be bringing half brother age 9 one day as well! We are not infertile, we just have decided that since there are precious children who need homes there is no need for us to have biological children.

nicolelynn is offline  
Old 04-19-2009, 08:20 PM
 
tiffani's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,772
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
Hang out on mainstream adoption boards and you'll still see her attitudes, even if they're cloaked in more PC terms.
very sad, and why I only hang out on *this* adoption board anymore. People here may not be perfect, but everyone is open to learning, to figuring out how to do the right thing, and to generally being great parents. I'm not sure what exactly people on mainstream boards are after!

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

tiffani is offline  
Old 04-19-2009, 08:53 PM
 
SundayCrepes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,724
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
When I got married, we were an instant family with the two kids my husband brought from his first marriage. The years have been hard. As we struggled, everyone (from close friends to counselors) promised the kids would act in a certain way as they got older. We put up with a lot because we felt we needed to go down the path we did for the benefit of the kids. The journey was made a bit easier because we had the reward ahead of us as everyone promised.

The kids are college age now and what everyone promised has not happened yet. Maybe it will when the kids are older, but I'm thinking it may not. Our relationship with them is fine, but it's not the "reward" we were promised.

I believe my husband and I have better insight than most. Maybe we do, maybe we don't. We now look back at the choices we made. We never got to make the best choice for the kids, only the least bad choice. They don't understand that. They only see that our choices weren't the best. We know that, but we were boxed in and there was nothing we could do. Trying to explain it to them just complicates their lives and doesn't make our standing with them any better.

So I understand the woman's regrets. You think you're working towards an end that never comes. All that hard work and you don't get the reward you were promised. I'm not saying I condone her actions or her current thoughts, I only say I understand them.

My regrets are the choices I made that I now realize were misguided and how they effected the kids and our relationship with them. I think that's the difference between me and the regretting adoptive mother to many. It sounds like she regrets the adoptions and not her choices in how she raised the kids. I regret my misguided choices, but not my choice to take on two kids who had been hurt by divorce.

I'm trying to use the wisdom I hope I gained as we now raise our second batch of kids--a bio-son and an adopted daughter. I can't assume my kids will love me just because I put a roof over their head. I can't assume our adult relationship will be like all those lovely hallmark movies. I must work hard to foster our longterm relationships. And if I play my cards right and am lucky, I may win. However, this time I won't be looking for the reward at the end of the road. That's a thing I've learned along the way. We have no guarantees of who our kids will be and whether or not they like us. The circumstances are different with this batch of kids. We are not legally attached to an unhappy third parent. Our baby's birthmom is much different than my husband's ex. We also don't have anyone keeping us from making the best choices this time. That is very freeing. However, there is no guarantee of that all desired reward when they reach adulthood.

As we are starting over, I'm seeing that my kids' babyhood is my reward. No matter what happens in the future, I will be able to look back to these times and know this is all mine. My kids won't remember these days. Although these days are the foundation for my children's future, all memories of now belong to me.

So, for those of you contemplating adoption, I recommend you figure out what YOUR reward will be. If it's the outcome, there's a high probability you will be disappointed. If it's the process--and you have no idea what that will look like because that will depend on which children you get--then maybe you're ready to adopt. (Or parent in any other way.)

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

SundayCrepes is offline  
Old 04-19-2009, 11:14 PM
 
pumpkingirl71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southeastern MA
Posts: 1,287
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think lots of previous posters have made really great points. I just wanted to add that while lots of what this woman said is troubling, especially the things about race and the number of children she adopted, I can get where she is coming from. Adopting children with attachment problems blackens your soul. You are fighting so hard to love a kid that wants you to hate them. You end up thinking and feeling things you never thought you could. I once thought I would like to adopt more children. Now I feel that I could never go through this again. I am not ready to say that I wish that I never adopted. I still believe that my daughter was meant to be my daughter. But after this, I am done If things haven't gotten better in a few years, I might voice ideas as harsh as this lady.

Once again, I miss Dharmamama and wonder what perspective she might have had. She could always take a similar thing to what I was thinking and put it so well
pumpkingirl71 is offline  
Old 04-20-2009, 01:35 AM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I would hope, though, that if i adopted an attachment-disordered or otherwise "damaged" child that if i hade regrets about the adoption it would be because i wasnt able to help them (and therefore their presence caused major issues in our family), and not that they just werent grateful enough, yknow?

I just remembered a few years ago, when i first began this adoption journey, my mom was recovering from surgery in a rehab/nursing home type place, and one of the nurse's aides there said she adopted two little girls from foster care, that it was awful, and that she wishes she hadnt adopted. I can't believe i forgot about that til now! I remember being really shocked that she would tell a total stranger that she basically regrets her kids...it was like she was warning me not to adopt.

I think alot of it may have to do with not being well educated about the issues kids can face...i got the feeling she was expecting typical kids and that is not (presumably) what she got. I know my first social worker totally dismissed the idea of RAD, so i can only imagine what type of education this woman received from her agency.


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is online now  
Old 04-20-2009, 10:08 AM
 
pumpkingirl71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southeastern MA
Posts: 1,287
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
I would hope, though, that if i adopted an attachment-disordered or otherwise "damaged" child that if i hade regrets about the adoption it would be because i wasnt able to help them (and therefore their presence caused major issues in our family), and not that they just werent grateful enough, yknow?
Yeah, I would have hoped that I felt that way too. And intellectually I do. But in the day to day, I get really angry at my dd for not being grateful that I am her mom. I also hope that I would never tell anyone this. My point isn't to defend this women, but just to say you can never know how you will react to adopting a chld with attachment issues.
pumpkingirl71 is offline  
Old 04-20-2009, 11:22 AM
 
SundayCrepes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,724
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pumpkingirl71 View Post
Yeah, I would have hoped that I felt that way too. And intellectually I do. But in the day to day, I get really angry at my dd for not being grateful that I am her mom. I also hope that I would never tell anyone this. My point isn't to defend this women, but just to say you can never know how you will react to adopting a chld with attachment issues.
I don't think we can judge someone who regrets taking on a RAD kid. I don't think it's an easy life and no matter how informed they were, people are still naive and don't always realize how bad it can be. Rather than applying guilt to someone for the totally understandable regrets they have, we should be understanding of how much work they are going through and how hard their lives are. There were many times I regretted my husband's ex-wife (I'm not sure which is easier--her or a kid with RAD.) But at least I got something out of the circumstances--my husband and the kids. With a RAD kid I don't know that there are many rewards beyond, "Well, at least I didn't leave them on the streets to starve." Frankly, considering the tremendous impact on the parent's life, I don't know that that's enough a lot of times.

I don't really want to judge the original adoptive mom that took on so many kids, but geez, I'm overwhelmed by two little ones, what is someone thinking to bring on that much work for themselves over and over again?

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

SundayCrepes is offline  
Old 04-20-2009, 11:56 AM
 
gumby74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Northern Wisconsin and wish I was in Madison.
Posts: 1,896
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think I have posted this before, but I definitely would not do it again. I realize though that my situation is unique in that I adopted two siblings and was never provided much support from other family members. Although, to be perfectly honest.....it has left a sour taste in my mouth to the point that I know I will never adopt again.

That being said, I know of several families that adopted children domestically and internationally and all is well on both sides. So, I think that there are situations which make adoption more challenging, but I also think there are so many success stories as well.

Tricia, married to DH. 2MC's & 4 yrs ttc...finally mom to Andrew6/06 and Benjamin 10/09. Adopted bro & sis 2002. My 2 fav. words: Spay and Neuter! I'm an Ultimate Viewer, 2010!

 

gumby74 is offline  
Old 04-20-2009, 12:31 PM
 
junipermoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
wow i don't regret adopting my child with reactive attachment disorder at all. it's been spiritual. it's been real.

he was five when he came to live with me and now he is about to turn 13.
and he has made gains.

just last week my 8 year old said, hey, hey, do you remember all the holes j put into the walls? before? at the old house?

at one point there were like 15 holes in his bedroom wall. years ago. in the 7-9 year old range of his life when i had given up on repairing them as he went.

anyway j smiled sheepishly at my 8 yo when the comment was made and said "one of those holes wasn't on purpose. i got mad and had thrown my desk chair and it hit the wall and made a hole, but not on purpose."

anyway time heals things. you can't go back all the way, i mean, stuff happened and there was hurt and brain wiring that still holds on tight. but i hold on tight too. so there's a counter balance. it is an honor to parent him. he doesn't put holes in the wall anymore. not for 3 years now.

the problems do seem to be endless (i need to start a thread to ask about where folks think the line is between sexual reactivity and sexual offending...so yes, things are hard) but i try not to define success by the amount of presenting problems at hand.

you know, i am not religious in the sense of believing in a particular "god," per se, but i love that poem that mother theresa purportedly had hanging in her office that basically said, people will knock down what you build, build anyway, people will betray you, trust anyway, people will be hateful, love anyway, etc, etc, because in the end, it was never about those people. it was always about you and god.

that is a paraphrase.

i did read an article about adoptive parents of RAD diagnosed kids struggling with PTSD as a result of the parenting process--i think that is really valid. it is traumatizing. but not without its rewards, i think.
junipermoon is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off