Posts Tagged ‘
child abuse ’
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
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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Monday, October 8th, 2012
We’ve occasionally dragged our heels, especially when my husband and I would disagree about adoption basics: international versus domestic adoption. Open adoption versus closed adoption.
We’ve filled out some paperwork, held up on finances, my husband has a bankruptcy in his past. Compound that with a very present danger: We are running out of time to adopt a baby. We are over 45 years old and considered, in many countries abroad, simply too old to adopt.
Maybe we could adopt an older sibling group but I don’t want to do that. Way too much work. And a new kid would have to share a room with Sam, which now that he’s age six years old, hmmm, not as fun as when we started out search.
My husband called my bluff last weekend when he urged me to put up-for-sale my bio son Sam’s (amazing little boy) newborn clothes. “If you don’t want that second baby, throw out all the clothes you’ve been saving for your un-adopted child for the last five years,” he told me in frustration.
You see, holding Sam’s baby clothes brings me to my knees. I spent a fortune for black rock T-shirts on my baby blue boy and long-legged onesies. He was styling, totally cherubic. If that crocodile tee-shirt touched Sam’s skin, I cannot give them it up today. Give all the clothes up if you really want to forget about adoption, just forget about adopting a second child for all of us, especially for Sam,” my husband meant.
Honestly, I’ve been saving these beloved, very gently used toddler duds (the flags, and the super heroes, the indignant animals and Elmo) for my next adopted baby who has not yet arrived.
Our neighbors were having a yard sale, several families also set up in front and I called his bluff. I am so over this adoption thing, I told him over a cold cup of coffee the morning of the yard sale. I can get rid of 90 percent of all these baby clothes and begin healing from not having kid number two.
OK, let’s sell them all. All the pretty boy clothes clothes laid out on my neighbor’s sunny lawn. And then my sad-momma moment happened.
At the garage sale last Saturday, a diminutive stranger was fondling Sam’s first baby apron he wore at his first birthday party, and I sprinted over to her and whipped the brown-checkered apron out of her hand. “Sorry not for sale,” I huffed madly at the abuela sympatica. “Mine, mine, mine. For my next adopted baby. Dammit.”
Then I sat in the driveway and sobbed. For, like 50 minutes.
The potential shopper understood immediately, and walked away. One of my girlfriends came and slung an arm over my shoulder and totally understood. Patted my back. Another mom made me my first Bloody Mary of the day.
Tell me your adopted kid story here:
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Monday, August 20th, 2012
If you’ve tuned in lately, you know that my family is enrolled to take a 24-hour foster care training course via the Los Angeles Country family and foster care services here in Calif. You may recall that the first time we enrolled, we had to back out because six weeks of 4-hour courses were held on Saturdays which makes it hard to finish since we have our Bio son Sam. For us to be educated, both my husband and I have to enroll together so what do we do with son Sam for six weeks of weekends?
The second time we enrolled for foster care training to foster-to-adopt a toddler or young child from the LA foster care system, there is no excuse. I bailed. I stopped planning on going. Not son Sam, or husband Darrin or anyone but me. I got a great contract job and had to travel for a few months, so I got out of it again.
Causing some friction in the marriage that I am waffling pout of taking this classes. Too busy, so terrifying, what if we get a freaky kid that harms our bio son? What if we get this emotionally scarred kid and cannot give her back? What f she ruins our life? You have to be so brave to take an older kid from foster care, but there are so many older children that need our help.
For advice I looked into the Federal government programs for foster care kids to find out real stats on how many children have been abused, sexually abused, etc. The stats are it will likely happen to kids older than 11:
“In some cases, you will not be certain that abuse has occurred, but you may suspect it. You may even be exploring becoming a foster or adoptive parent to a child in the foster care system; many of these children have been abused or neglected—physically, emotionally, or sexually—before coming into care. You may feel confused, frightened, and unsure of the impact the sexual abuse of a child may have on your child and family. It is important for you to understand that the term ‘sexual abuse’ describes a wide range of experiences.
Many factors—including the severity of abuse as well as others discussed later in this fact sheet—affect how children react to sexual abuse and how they recover. Most children who have been abused do not go on to abuse others, and many go on to live happy, healthy, successful lives. As parents, you will play an important role in your child’s recovery from childhood abuse.”
Would you ever adopt an older kid that comes from an abused background? I am having a really tough time.
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Monday, August 13th, 2012
In a small local newspaper outside of Sydney, Australia, a family obstetrician named Brian Hooloahan who is getting on in years, finally went on the record with adoption and birth mother atrocities he witnessed in the seventies, against babies and their birth mothers. During his days as a medical student at the Crown Street Women’s Hospital in Sydney, the Nowra obstetrician repeatedly saw newborns taken from their unwed teenage mothers moments after birth.
A Senate inquiry has been launched to find how thousands of young and unwed mothers were forced to give up their children for adoption between the 1940s and 1970s will hand down its findings tomorrow. One surprisingly statistic: In 1971, 10,000 children were adopted in Australia, compared to only 384 just a few years ago.
As you can tell, in the seventies, that’s a whole lot of newborn adoptions. Something smells fishy! The inquiry reported heart-wrenching tales of women who were pressured or threatened in order to secure signatures on adoption consent forms. In the great interview originally reported in the Illa Warra Mercury, Dr. Hoolahan remembered:
‘‘I remember the girls calling out ‘I just want to touch my baby, please let me see my baby’ and they were crying and howling and it was the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I was absolutely powerless… I was a young student and I expressed my opinion but nobody really listened. It was like something out of the Middle Ages.’’
He said governments were complicit with the practice because they provided the services for the children to be removed.
How terrible for all those unwed mothers, those poor young women. Tell me what you think about international adoption here:
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Monday, July 23rd, 2012
It’s long overdue, in this era of reality TV, that we peel away the layers of private, domestic adoption process to visit with families who actually rode the roller-coaster of domestic adoption. It’s about time.
In the new show, in each of six, hour-long installments, you view the journey and personality of each birth mother, and watch hurdles faced by adoptive parents. I love that you bear witness to surely one of the biggest joys in life.
On the trailer for “I’m Having Their Baby,” I watched, the common thread for each birth mother is, more than anything, she wants the very best in life for her unborn child.
Giving your beautiful baby to another family in a private adoption where they pretty much take over the care and feeding of your new baby.
“I’m Having Their Baby” shows an honest portrayal of women who are in the midst of dealing with the most difficult decision of their lives,” said Rod Aissa, Senior VP, Oxygen Media. “These human interest stories are powerful… as it reveals themes of love, hardship, and inner strength.”
The premiere episode, which airs tonight, features Amanda, a 28-year-old mother raising two boy, as well as her boyfriend’s son. Amanda shows you why placing her unborn child into another loving family and making those difficult decisions are brave and terrifying.
Another tear-jerker features Mariah, eight months pregnant, who lives with her boyfriend and 9-month-old daughter in Indiana. She doesn’t want to “turn out like girls in her community,” a too-young and struggling single mother. Brave stories of courageous women and families, such cool stuff.
“I’m Having Their Baby” is produced by Hud:sun Media. Tell me what you think about these adoption stories.
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