Archive for the ‘ For Moms ’ Category

Halloween is a Holiday for All Children

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

But I feel especially winsome for the hundreds of thousands of kids who need a home, a set of parents to bring them Trick-or-Treating. Halloween is a funny holiday for my family because we’ve spent the last two Halloween seasons considering adopting a toddler from India–or then, again, adopting domestically and via the Los Angeles foster care system. And we are nowhere near settled on it.

Halloween brings up family drama! This particular letter I received from a fan of The Adoption Diaries, taking issue—yet another issue—with open adoption versus closed domestic adoptions.

My family and I have gone on the record saying we far prefer the idea of an international adoption because we have no way to meet those Indian relatives that gave our future child up for adoption; we like the idea of the biological family living far away. We may hard feelings on her behalf, for instance.

The reader agrees with me. Sarah said, “I find it interesting that everyone just defends open adoption regardless of all the problems open adoption contains … for families everywhere.”

Sarah told me her family chose a domestic, closed adoption “in the best interest of my adopted daughter.” And I agree based on the authenticity and intelligence of the biological parents. (I know I’ll hear about this from you about open adoption objections.)

Sarah’s daughter’s birth family violently assaulted the first set of adoptive parents before their own adoption ever went through. She said to me, “The adoptive husband had to have 28 stitches due to the openness pushed by their adoption agencies.”

Sometimes it just doesn’t work to be friends with the bio parents depending on the adoptive situation and personalities involved.

Sarah said, “When we agreed to adopt our daughter the adoption agency started in on us about Open Adoption everything. My husband went straight to the family court judge with the incident report and the criminal records of the birth family. Thankfully, the judge ordered no contact with the birth family.

I really don’t see how open adoption helps children if/when their birth families have these types of problems.  Violence is deeply ingrained in this birth family’s culture. Our daughter needs to escape from the influences that cause this violence.

My family does not know how to solve these problems that drove this birth family to violence  I also don’t think it is right to force adoptive parents into open adoption. Open Adoption has a lot of problems and they are mostly ignored by the adoption community by simply saying it best for the child without considering all the facts of the situation.”

I’d love to hear from adoptive parents who did both kinds of adoption!

 

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Trauma and Pain from Abuse in Foster Care

Friday, October 19th, 2012

A couple different readers of The Adoption Diaries have now recommmended a book to me to get some research under my belt and I want to share this info with all of you. This is what I’ve been reading about adoption and children who are neglected or abused in the foster care system on their way to adoption.

Adult children of addicts and children from dysfunctional families often carry silent, hidden wounds from the trauma of growing up with parental addiction, abuse, or neglect. When they remain buried and unattended, these wounds can reemerge and get played out in adult, intimate partnerships and parenting, re-creating relationship dynamics that mirror early pain.

In this authoritative guide, bestselling author and renowned psychologist Dr. Tian Dayton explains the science behind how trauma lives in the body/mind and shapes our neurobiology. The ACoA Trauma Syndrome: The Impact of Childhood Pain on Adult Relationships (HCI — $16.95) is for anyone who has lived with dysfunction and trauma related to addiction, abuse, neglect, physical or mental illness, military service, or cultural/ethnic or religious prejudice. It is about facing, processing, and healing childhood pain, marshaling strength and resilience, and taking charge of your own emotional life.

The Trauma Syndrome:  Impact of Childhood Pain on Adult Relationships

Alan Levitt, former Associate Director of the White House Drug Policy Office and Director of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign said reading this book, “Dayton’s new book should be required reading for policy and program makers at all levels of government.”

About the author: Tian Dayton, MA, PhD, TEP, has a Masters in educational psychology and a PhD in clinical psychology and is a board-certified trainer in psychodrama. She is also a licensed Creative Arts Therapist and a certified Montessori teacher. She created a model for treating trauma called Relationship Trauma Repair, which is currently in use at treatment centers across the United States.

Tell me your adoption story here:

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Father Dearly Remembers an Adopted Stepchild Who Died

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Adopting a second dog made my family realize how much more work two is than only one. Dogs and kids, two is more work than one. That’s all I meant; it’s good to be reminded of how much work/love/chores/discipline you need for two. Not one — two is so much more.

That’s what I meant when I compared domestic child adoption to a rescue dog adoption. In fact, we did rescue a second dog after long conversations and hair-pulling, arguments and opinions. Adopt a new dog (my choice) to prepare for a second child who we adopt as a toddler and save from a life of abuse and neglect (husband’s choice).

And then, a miracle letter from a reader tho has gone through emotional torment when his adopted stepchild died. Read this letter about putting life into perspective.

Thanks for sending it:

“I also want to reply to this adopt a pet vs a child issue. All those getting upset about this are being silly. There are many reasons why a pet would be better off in a home than a child would. Perhaps financial constraints play a factor. The pet is much cheaper to care for. The pet and owner can provide much love for each other. Many times women get pregnant simply because they want someone to love them. They wind up making horrible mothers.  There is no requirement that you Must raise a child.

[Today, at this point ] I have no kids but I can’t afford a kid anyway. Suits me fine. I have more time and money to do the things that are important to me. If raising a child is important to you, go for it, but don’t sit there on your high horse and look down at those of us with different ideas about how life should be. That said, when I was a young man I did have a wife and a wonderful stepson.

I raised this boy for 5 years and loved him as my own. His biological father wanted nothing to do with him. Wife and stepson were killed in a car accident. That was over 20 years ago.

Took me years to get over that loss. A long, long time. You people need to get a grip and let people live how is best for them.”

Forgiveness can take forever. Leave your comments below:

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Can You Change Your Mind About Domestic Adoption?

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Well, of course you can at any point, but I did not consider it for our family. But this is taking awhile.

When my family eventually adopts a toddler from another continent, via international adoption and most likely from India, we ensure someone else’s daughter will understand about womens rights and have a right to vote, and to drive, and to pick her own husband.

We lean toward adopting an international daughter from India because so many little girls in Third World countries are sold into prostitution and slavery.

Our first route was definitely private domestic adoptions and my family started off by being informed about open adoptions, but the more he heard about it the more my husband was uncomfortable with contact with her birth family. He is a very private guy, doesn’t communicate with his own father anymore, and basically wants a child that belongs to him and him alone.

I know I’m going to hear it from all you domestic, open adoption fans but we prefer an international child who lives here with us while her poor, biological parents reside in India, 9,000 miles away, or whatever.

We know the stats as potential adoptive parents, more communicative and kinder open adoptions are better than before. Families can (and often do) sidestep the stigma of adoption to meet and establish initial communications between both families; yearly reunions or monthly letters helps the adopted child with health histories and cultural identity.

Darrin wants no part of this universe. I want to hear from adoptees who have never kept in touch with birth parents versus domestic and open newborn adoption. I think botoh sound incredibly difficult. Do you?

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My Stepmother Abused and Neglected her Foster Daughter

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Reader Claudia started off my complimenting The Adoption Diaries and telling me how great Parents.com is for bringing to light the issues surrounding foster-care, domestic adoption and busy caseworkers who stash troubled kids in homes where they might be abused or neglected.

Claudia said, “Caseworkers must look for legal proof  of convicted felonies; in order for there to be anything incriminating in your background, you have had to have been arrested, tried, and found guilty in a court of law.”

But then Claudia argued that most pedophiles are in the wings watching, fitting into society like Jerry Sandusky was able to for all those years. How are you ever to know what happens behind closed doors? As an example, Claudia told me about her deceased stepmother who terrorized one of her foster daughters.

“My step-mother (who is now dead) and father adopted two little girls out of foster care. She spoiled and over-indulged the one, but couldn’t stand the other. She was verbally and emotionally incredibly abusive to her and today she has a lot of issues. Both grown women actually have a lot of emotional problems because of their foster mother. Even my father was relieved to watch his wife — their foster mom — suffer and die from cancer.

“She was what most people would say was an evil woman. But she could certainly turn on the nice and pleasant for company, be nice when it served her purposes. Sometimes evil is carefully concealed. We as a family did help the situation, but our hands were tied legally. You must look around to help children who are begin abused because abusers lurk in the shadows.

“Keep your own eyes open to children around you,” Claudia urged. “Maybe it’s not only up to the caseworkers and government who go in and
schedule a visit so the evil people can be prepared and on their best behavior. Maybe it’s up to us, neighbors and relatives, who see the truth and act. The government can’t do everything. Maybe we need to stop looking to Big Brother and expect them to run our lives for us and come up with all of the answers. Maybe we need to do something.”

Who else agrees with Claudia? Thanks for the wise words and I’m so glad you spoke out about the abuse those foster kids received.

Tell me your adoption story here:

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