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Monday, April 12, 2010
We rarely hear about adoptive parents who notice the signs of a mental disorder, despair or disease in their adopted child, then abandon the adoptee/orphan. Abandon them? Un-Adopt them? Yes, this happens far more than we realize…
One mother in Texas blogged openly about her experience adopting a little girl from a Russian orphanage in 2005-2006. (She shall remain anonymous.)
How generous it was for her to open her heart and home to an orphan, we read. How expensive these international adoptions are, we read. When the child showed signs of distress and disrupted her home and biological children, we read her “Russian” child was “unadopted,” sent away to someone who could deal with her problems in Wisconsin.
This Texan had her illusions dashed about “saving this baby” and apparently had no idea about orphan trauma, though she read “everything” about raising children. Day after day, she blogged her difficulties - then once the girl “P” was gone, the blogging stopped. Apparently she went back to raising her biological sons.
This is an excerpt from her blog:
“I think being more informed about the probable emotional expectation possibilities for these children would have been all it took for me to know international adoption was not for us. So many professionals have NOW told me... despite any care she receives she will quite probably never be like your other children. The affects of institutional care on a baby is many times lifelong and you can never expect them to be like your other children. Why didn’t they tell me this BEFORE we adopted? I was searching for the kind of relationship I have with my boys, the kind my mom and I have. If I had known I could never even expect this child to feel close to me or identify with me, I feel I certainly would have never adopted.
"So, truth to be known- we should never have adopted any institutionalized child!
"My personal experience goes on to be complicated by a truly adored referral that we lost before we got to travel and perhaps, did not allow ourselves to grieve enough for. We traveled to meet a child who we found obviously had a major neurological problems and we had to turn down - in this country (this was traumatic and extremely hard to get through as well).
"Then the ridiculous circumstance of getting to spend one day with “P” before we made our decision and flew home to await our second trip.
"This was surely not the best way to decide on such a huge factor in your life yet we did. In order to adopt internationally YOU HAVE TO make rash decisions based on pictures and sketchy information. You have to give it to God and pray you are doing right. Didn’t you at some point too?
"Due to flight change unavailability, expenses, red tape, time factors, children waiting for us at home, orphanage visiting rules, and emotional upset, we made decisions we SHOULD NOT HAVE MADE. I DO accept responsibility for making a decision with all those factors in place but also point back to Russia’s laws on adoption and all the problematic Russian ways and secretiveness that are SO not helpful to the futures of these children or the people trying to make the best decisions for bringing them home into new families.
"As a mother I tried to base my decisions on emotional intuitiveness and gut feelings. In retrospect a more logical approach and lots of caution would have been more productive. I needed to feel right... but I mostly felt confused, afraid, lost.
"Then there was the “twinning.” Bringing home a child who was so close in age to my biological son was a HUGE folly. Again, this is mostly our fault of course. We, being bullet proof and invincible, thought we could make this work. We thought we would have it rough for a while but would pull through and live happily ever after. NOT SO. Throwing this on top of the attachment issues was just too much. We never even thought about our bio sons mental health... sure there would be some normal sibling rivalry, but what manifested was so magnified to the norm that we were shocked and scared out of our minds at the long term effects this would have on EVERYONE! Neither he, nor “P” could get the emotional support they needed because it was just too much for one Mom to be able to do. It was unfair and unhealthy for both children and “P” needed focus and diligent emotional support FULL TIME in light of her issues.
"Upon bringing “P” home, the problems continued as we found a huge deficit in the help and support we needed in our area. We found all the help we thought we had behind us turned into incompetent therapists not versed in RAD and doctors with little or no experience with post adoption issues, money-hungry therapists, and a lack of coverage for the issues “P” had from our insurance company, then perhaps the most damaging... we found RAD.
"So, obviously I have no crystal ball here but I think these bits of information, truths, and circumstantial situations and bad and hasty decisions might have created extra issues and a much different outcome for us.... They say hindsight is 20/20 but I am still putting the pieces together here. Here are some things I do believe hindered our success but perhaps there is far more I have not realized.... First, gain more perspective and educate yourselves. There is a list of disruption sites that may help many people to understand, avoid, and support this process when it is necessary. There are many common factors in an adoption that end people up in disruption. These factors should be on a neon sign at every agency!!!!”
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