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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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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In a previous post, I was honest enough to admit that if my family moved forward with this toddler daughter from India — after slogging through adoption paperwork and finances for two years — both my husband and I would prefer a physically pretty child with no developmental problems.
Reader Tee commented, “Do you really think that your Indian daughter wouldn’t be reminded of her not “belonging to (you) and (you) alone” every time she looks at her brown skin or wonders who her birth parents are and why she was adopted and what the land of her birth was like? There is no such thing as adopting a child who is “yours and only yours.”
This is a harmful myth that continues to be perpetuated by a subset of adoptive parents and the adoption industry. Adoption is not a fertility treatment… You don’t just “get” a baby who has no issues and is yours and yours alone.
You enter a complex web that involves at least one other mother and father who will always be with your child spiritually and emotionally, if not physically. In some cases there are other mothers and fathers, too (such as cases where a child is adopted after being in foster care or attached to their orphanage caretakers).
In many cases there are physical and mental health issues relating to the child’s lack of prenatal care or early life in an orphanage. If you cannot accept being part of this complex web, I think it’s fair to say it would be very hard for you to help your adopted child learn to love and understand themselves and their history. Don’t think that I don’t understand the desire to have a “no strings attached” baby — I do! As a foster-adoptive parent I sure do fantasize about having a child of my own who I never had to “share” with a dysfunctional child welfare system and the birth family most foster children are very loyal to (no matter how abusive or neglectful).
I do empathize with the feeling behind this. What I don’t empathize with is actually taking action to adopt while holding as an ideal the “perfect” adoptee who will be grateful for being “rescued” but will never remind you that she is, in fact, a person with an identity that is different from yours and which likely includes her first family. A number of my friends who are international adoptees have found their birth families (despite “closed” international adoptions).
Don’t think for a second that in the age of the internet they will be forever severed from their birth family. A number who have adoptive parents who are threatened by their desire to know/find their birth families (such as your husband) have also stopped or limited contact with their adoptive families once they reached adulthood, out of resentment and pain. Think seriously about whether adoption is the right path for you and your husband.
I wish you much luck,” Tee finished.
Tell me your adoption story below in Comments, thank you Tee for responding as a veteran foster mother.
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The Poison Prevention Week Council today announced the winners of the 2013 National Poison Prevention Week poster contest, and wants to remind parents—all parents and foster parents and adoptive parents—to discuss and highlight with your family the dangers of poisonings and how to prevent them. In honor of awareness week, the winning poster in each division will be featured on the 2013 National Poison Prevention Week posters. First, second and third place winners in each division will be posted on poisonprevention.org.
More than 150 posters were submitted from around the nation. One winner was selected in each of the three divisions: grades kindergarten through two; three through five; and six through eight.
The winners of the 2013 National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW) Poster Contest are as follows:
- Grades kindergarten through two: Colby Johnson from Mercer, Pennsylvania
- Grades three through five: Alayna Ryan from Antwerp, Ohio
- Grades six through eight: Natalie Loos from Jacksonville, Florida
Winners were selected based on creativity, design and poisoning prevention messages.
“The children, and the art teachers who inspire them, continue to impress us with their creativity and talent,” said Courtney Wilson, Poison Prevention Week Council chair. “It has been a pleasure to review all of the submissions. We are extremely proud of the winners and are excited to share their work.”
Order a poster for your classroom or a child’s bedroom. Posters can be ordered through the website.
NPPW shows how every day people can and do prevent poisonings. We invite you to review the information on our website and become actively involved in helping ensure the safety of children and adults in your home and your community. This is one of the nubers to know if you become a foster parent, which is why I follow this link now:
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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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