Disruption is one of the hardest topics to talk about in adoption. Those who choose to disrupt are sometimes faced with insurmountable situations that lead them to make such a drastic decision.
This forum is created to support those who need the most support, adoptive parents who choose to disrupt.
This forum does come with some guidelines - this isnt a place for bashing ones decision - the decision to disrupt is hard enough and the guilt associated with having to make that decision is already there - attacking ones character or ability to parent will not be tolerated on this forum at all!
Everyone is welcome to participate - but you must do so in a respectful manner!
I've struggled with how I want to word what I want to say here....and I'm sure someone will flame me for being judgmental. But here goes.
With all due respect...and no, I'm not going to flame you because there was a time when *I* was JUST LIKE YOU in my thinking and boy, did I get a wake up call! Soooo sad, but true.....But I am going to try to explain to you just why some people as Penny make the decisions that they do.....
What would you do if one of your biological children, perhaps the one you are carrying now, turned out to have special needs at the same level as this child?
The thing is, as you probably know from adopting an older child.....the problems (baggage, as it's commonly referred to) come along with the child. That baggage did NOT come from the adopting parents. We, as adopting parents, are only guilty of ignorance or being too sensitive in thinking, "Love will conquer all.' Believe me when I tell you that our DCF strongly implied more than once that love WOULD conquer all....when it didn't. But by golly, did we ever try. (sigh)
We also tried every conceivable therapy known to the world. Nothing worked because our child didn't want to change. THAT'S the clincher. The older child has to WANT to change.........
Would you find them a new family and tell yourself you were meant to be their path to a better life? Or would you do whatever it took to become the parent they needed?
It's not a matter of simply thinking 'you're a path to a better life for them'.....it's a matter of 'How much risk does this child bring to the rest of the family?
You said you don't feel up to the task, and that with a baby on the way you really don't want to be. I think that statement is very telling. It speaks of a lack of committment to this child, and of putting your biological children's needs before his.
This isn't a matter of 'putting your biological children's needs before his'.....it has to do with 'the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few'. That doesn't sound fair, does it. But consider this:
Do the rest of the children have to be subjected to physical and/or sexual harm? Do they have to live with intimidation? And, in many cases, some of these children have to be 'in line of sight supervision'. That means they must be watched AT ALL TIMES and that means: AT ALL TIMES or something horrid is going to happen. Some child will be sexually assaulted; some child will be harmed; some child will be 'accidently' physically maimed or even killed.
All of our children were adopted. It became a matter of 'how do we keep everyone safe'? And, by the time we were forced to consider this, some of the kids had already been hurt in more ways than one. It wasn't a matter of a stint in residential; psychiatric hospitalization had already been done more than once; a large amount of med trials had been conducted; all attempts to keep the kid in our home had been done over the course of a year. And in another case, the damage had been quite severe....enough that it permanently scarred one child.
What does a parent do? Does everyone stay in the family unit with a very likely risk (a very strong risk) of continued harm? Is THIS the way to raise a family? Is this the way to show love----to everyone? And, as we asked one dam---ing caseworker: What would YOU do?
Her answer: She said nothing and walked out of our home! She never answered...and the reason was: There WAS no good answer. But one thing most of us know for certain: We DO Have a responsibility to keep the rest of our children *safe*. We have a responsibility to keep them from being killed, being sexually/physically harmed, and allowed to grow up in a home where they feel safe every day.
Based on that I actually don't think your adopted son should stay with you, because he deserves to be with parents that really want him there and that think of him as their son.
And this is exactly correct. Some children will never heal from their wounds. FAS is a permanent thing. The only way to deal with it is to raise a child in an environment to constantly show the wrongs and rights of how to deal with the absence of 'cause and effect'. (Some kids are more affected than others.) But, given a child is brought into an adoptive home at 5yrs old......the child has already passed the age of 'knowing how to trust'. I daresay, this child from Russia is probably a child that suffers from RAD (reactive attachment disorder). Some will say RAD children heal; and while the precentage of healers is VERY low, again, the child has to WANT that change. A five year old child---especially one who's life is permanently affected by FAS, is going to have a very hard time seeing the difference. For this reason, it would be important to place him in a home where he's the only child---or the youngest----forever. The adopting family needs to understand there's a HIGH probability they shouldn't adopt (or give birth) again, period.
But I think you need to ask yourselves some hard questions about how you got in this situation. Were you not aware that children from Russia are very high risk for special needs? What were your reasons for adopting him? To add to your family? To help a needy child?
There is a lot of evidence to show many people who adopt a child from Russia have absolutely NO preparation in terms of classes, reality checks. Oftentimes, the fact that the child is FAS is literally hidden from them and it's not known until the family brings the child home and has a confirmed dx. This also happens in domestic older child adoption. The state systems are INFAMOUS for lying to hopeful adoptive people about the conditions the child actually has. (We have actual proof in paperwork that one child was fraudulently presented to us. This paperwork is loaded with signatures, stamps, etc.....and all was hidden from us until WE found ourselves in unsafe conditions with the child, hired an attorney to search for any documentation which shocked us out of our chair!!! IF we had been given ALL of this info (and it's very significant) we'd have known the situation was FAR above our heads in what we were able to handle---especially with other children in the home.)
Unfortunately, you can't ensure him that better life by giving him up. You have no way to know what will happen in a few years. Maybe they look to you like they'd be great at meeting his needs but will actually get overwhelmed like you did. Maybe the parent who's really good with his needs will get cancer and die, or maybe they'll get divorced, or one of them will develop a drinking problem. Maybe they'll go on to have other kids whose needs get in the way. You tell yourself that you would be giving him to a new family that can give him a great life. But all you can really do is give him to a new family that you think can give him a great life. That's what the adoption agency and the Russian court thought when they gave him to you.
Actually, it's VERY possible that the Russian court knew quite well the conditions and problems this child had. It's very likely they 'passed him on' in hopes the American family would 'just deal with it'.
No, the present family can't guarantee the next family will be able to deal with him. BUT, the next family WILL Have the documentation, the information and dx from ALL sources in order to make an *informed* decision.
I'm going to guess that when you and your partner decided to adopt an older teen, you both had a lot of information, education, etc about raising older children. I'm going to guess you knew what you were getting into; that you didn't just take the first child offered to you, but took a lot of time and effort to ASSURE (Not yelling here, just emphasizing) you were making the best choice for you AND your new teen, right? And, I"m going to guess there might have been conditions you and your partner would NOT have been comfortable with? Some conditions where you knew----from the start-----you might not have been able to handle over the long term, etc?
That's the sign of prepared adoptive parents. That's the sign of an agency who was up front and did the best FOR the child AND the adopting family.
Many agencies (in and out of Russia) are known for 'just passing the kid off' because *they* don't want to deal with him/her.......so it becomes someone else's problem.
I'm sorry if I sound harsh. But you brought this child halfway around the world, away from everything familiar to him, on the premise that you would be his parents. I don't think you get to give yourselves a pass on this by telling yourself you were meant to be his path to a better life.
You are sounding harsh....but believe me, I fully understand. Like I said before, our family was just like you with the same type of comments many years ago. There was NO way I'd have thought it fair or right for any family to dissolve an adoption....I'd been known to say, "They should NEVER have adopted in the first place!!!!!"
But life has a way of showing you the other side of the coin when you least expect it. Dissolving adoptions was one of the worst times of our lives; but not as bad as having our other children (and other people's children) harmed. It wasn't a simple process. There *is* no pass here. There is only that one thing: What is best for everyone? What will keep the other children safe while assuring the child who's causing the problems will have another chance....because *our* home isn't the right one. Certainly it's not that simple. It's gut wrenching......but it's not something that can simply be ignored either.
I've talked with other adoptive parents who've released their child for adoption; I've talked with parents who've adopted those children who were released for adoption from their original adoptive homes. I've actually been the 'go-between' more than once in situations like this. And, as harsh as these actions may seem to anyone 'outside of the scenario'.......there really isn't any better choice ONCE therapies, counselors, residential stints, boarding schools, etc have been exhausted. True, a five year old may seem too young to have dealt with all of the options I"ve written about; but, until you've talked/witnessed children who are quite capable of true harm to others, you really can't know how it is.
I suppose Penny could have an abortion. I suppose she should have made sure she wouldn't get pregnant.......but now that another life is preparing to be born...and her family has seen how difficult this child truly is.......she should also know the younger the child is for re-adoption, the greater his chances to BE adopted into a home.
I know you may be saying, Penny hasn't said he was dangerous. No, she hasn't. But I would be willing to bet his behaviors aren't simple. I'm willing to bet his behaviors entail much more than simply running around and being VERY hyper. Let's remember this *is* a public board (something I fear too many people forget). Let's remember she may be saving some embarrassment from the child if he were to read this at a later date, KWIM?
And with all of this...if you've read this far....please know that while you might think Penny's family is horrid and 'doesn't get a pass' on this......the embarrassment, the guilt and difficulty in making a decision like this doesn't come without serious consequences for her/ family too. One of them is just having to deal with other adoptive parents who feel they're just plain awful until they actually understand what this all means for everyone.
With respect to you,
Linny
Linny - with all due respect to you, I think you have misconstrued what I'm saying. I want to be very clear that in my response, I am not at all talking about what you are describing - a family disrupting an adoption of a child who is causing harm or danger to other family members. I actually said that in an earlier version of my post, which the computer ate. I based my response on what she presented - which is a child who has higher level needs than what she expected, but who is not dangerous or harmful.
She clearly said in her post that she was not talking about that type of situation, hence her hesitation about disrupting. Here is the exact quote: "It's just that everyone I see talking about disrupting, or who has done it, has a child that has RAD or has threatened or even harmed them or their other children. That isn't the case with us, we simply feel that we may have been the means for him to come to a better life, and that we may not be his final stop."
I have never, and would never, judge a family for disrupting in a situation like what you are talking about. I completely understand the need to protect the rest of the family from a child who poses a danger, it's a horrible position for a parent to be in. But it's not AT ALL what the poster described as her situation. As you say, it's a public board and maybe things are worse than she made them sound. But maybe they aren't - and maybe you're reading worse things into her post because of your own experiences. I felt compelled to respond to the situation as she described it, and that's what I did.
Nor am I saying that Penny or her family are "horrid" for disrupting or contemplating it. I agree that some agencies don't prepare adoptive parents well, which is a tragedy. What I'm saying is that something went really badly wrong here, and they should think about what that was and what they can learn from it. They brought the child home six months ago. If you marry someone, and within six months are looking for the phone number of a divorce lawyer, you should really think about what went wrong, because you made a major decision that turned out to be a major mistake. To avoid future big mistakes, it's a good idea to learn from the ones we make.
Thank you both for your replies.
And BJolly, you do sound harsh, but believe me when I say it's nothing I haven't thought of myself. However, we actually have some friends who have experience with children with his type of SN, who love our son and want him to become theirs. SO, I daresay if we did choose to let them adopt him, we pretty much could guarantee that he'd have a better life.
And I agree with you, he does deserve to be with people who love and want him. He needs to be watched CONSTANTLY. My last baby was very, very difficult, and the postpartum period with him was extremely hard. We do not have family that live nearby, we do not have a whole lot of support in terms of people actually able to help out, and I am frankly terrified of what is going to happen when our next child is born. And I don't know what I would do if that child were born with SN - although starting from day one with your own infant and learning as you go must be different than getting a 5yo child. At any rate we don't drink, so FAS would not be a possibility. I'm sure we'd find a way to deal with it if our child was born with sn. However, this little boy is not our Biological child, and the difficulties he has brought with him have made it really, really hard to feel toward him like I always thought I would, and that makes me feel horrible. I'm sure you'll find a way to turn that against me too, but from what I understand talking to other adoptive parents, those feelings are not uncommon.
We adopted him fully intending he'd be our son, loving him from afar, assuming we'd love him when he got here. And at this point, my #1 reason for feeling mostly like perhaps he should go elsewhere is exactly what you said - HE DESERVES to be in a family where he is loved and wanted.
You can sit in judgment all you want, but deep in my heart I feel like the best thing I can do for HIM is to endure the hurtful words of all the people like you out there who will try to make me feel like crap for doing something that is hard, but ultimately better for him. I feel horrible that I don't feel for him what I thought I would. My husband and I discussed ahead of time what we thought we could handle in terms of special needs - his level of needs is about quadruple what we were expecting and what we felt we could handle; the reason we brought him home anyway, knowing we felt in WAY, WAY over our heads, was because what he was facing if we left him was almost certain torturous, painful death within a year or two. He was slated to be transferred to an adult institution, and the conditions there are horrible; with his needs and delays, and especially that he can't talk (at least answer questions or initiate spontaneous speech), he would almost certainly be abused and would almost certainly starve to death. We felt we could not leave him behind, even though we were terrified of what bringing him home would do to our family.
If you feel to judge me harshly, that's certainly your prerogative. We were not about to leave him to his fate there, and regardless of how this works out, we feel that his life here in America, in a home and family (even ours), with affection and siblings and food and safety, is far better than the slow, painful death he was facing.
Happily for me, you are actually the first and only person who has said anything to make me feel worse. IRL, the people who know about this situation and in particular the unexpected pregnancy and consequent change in our family dynamic, has left most people feeling like we're doing the best we can under the circumstances.
I do find it somewhat interesting that this particular thread is supposed to be for support of people in disruption/dissolution situations. Your type of response is exactly why people usually suffer in silence. I had posted here because I thought I might be able to speak honestly with people who might be able to offer support and advice, as the opening of the thread implies; the title, "Disruption Support," would lead one to believe that those who post here would be... hmm... supportive? Certainly no one approaches the subject lightly. I understand now that the PMs I've gotten were from people afraid of running into people like you.
Linny, thank you for your kind words. We are not in a situation where he brings harm to the other children at present, the only issue we're really having is his extreme hyperactivity means that I don't get a full night's sleep, ever, and that makes for difficulties after a time. It's one of our primary concerns for after the new baby comes - the sleep deprivation is already extremely difficult. I guess my primary worry at this point is that I feel I'm already not being that parent that any of the children need at this point, and I fail to see how that is going to get better when the baby arrives; it seems like it will only get worse. We are not giving up and haven't made any final decisions yet; we want to do right by him and still wish very much we felt like we ARE what's right for him. Seeing him with our friends, who are already well versed in his needs, seeing how he fits right in with them rather than being the odd man out (so to speak - our kids love him and love playing with him, it's more that he just seamlessly fits with them as opposed to us having a learning curve still).
Jenny
OKJenny
I'm wondering if anyone else has been in a similar situation, or could put me in touch with someone who has. We adopted a sweet little 5yo boy with FAS from Eastern Europe at the beginning of the summer. He is sweet, but he is a LOT to handle.
I'm going to offer a different piece of advice. Hold on. The first few months of having a severely disabled child in your home can be overwhelming....but it is very liveable. You write that the most challenging aspect is the hyperactivity and the sleep disturbance. Both of those issues can be over come with behavior management and medication. I'm not saying that disruption isn't the answer but rather that your word sound like they are coming from the whirlwind. You're panicked by this child and panicked by pregancy. But both issues can settle down into the normal flow of life.
It sounds like you're feeling kind of like a failure with this child and just don't know what to do with him. But there are resources available that could help. As a 5 year old, he should be eligible for services from the school. Medical doctors can help with medication (not an instant fix, but it can help). Get respite--there are professional respite providers. Its not cheap, but then again it's cheaper than what an international adoption cost.
Anyway, my point is not to make a decision while you're caught in the weeds. I know with LG on the second week I called the social worker to come get him. I couldn't take one more day of 24 hours screaming a moment longer. The best thing I ever did was hit redial and say, no, I can do it. Ask your friends that are willing to adopt to take him for 2 weeks to give you a break. If they are really willing to adopt him, they should also be willing to work to keep him in his home. Regroup, then make a decision...not while you're treading water and can't see the rescue boat round the bend.
Jenny - I want you to know that in no way did I post what I did to make you feel like crap. I know that you already feel like crap, and that's not really going to help anyone. What struck me in your post is that you don't feel like you are this little boy's parents, or don't feel like he's your son. Which it sounds like you agree is the case - and which makes me wonder what went wrong, because obviously this is not how you planned for it to turn out. I meant what I said that I think it may be best for him to find another family, because you don't feel like his parents. And it sounds like that is pretty much your reasoning as well. I do believe that you are trying to do what's best for him, I just think it's very sad that may mean another disruption and loss for him.
I actually considered not posting what I did because of exactly what you said - it's a support forum. Again, my intent was not to make you feel bad. The reason that I did decide to post it is because I felt it may bring up some things you need to think about in making this decision.
I also think ladyjubilee has great advice. You are undoubtedly exhausted and you want to make sure you have a clear head before making permanent decisions. Ask your friends to give you some respite so you can sleep, breathe a little, and then decide what the best way forward is. Tell your agency how desperate and overwhelmed you are feeling and see if they can help you.
I do hope that things work out for the best for you and your little boy, whatever the best ends up to be.
OKJenny
We adopted a sweet little 5yo boy with FAS from Eastern Europe at the beginning of the summer. He is sweet, but he is a LOT to handle. We have three other kiddos (all Biological), and we found out last month that we are pregnant - surprise! Our little Russian is very, VERY hyperactive and is a big handful. He is very disruptive (not on purpose, he just is who he is), very loud, not a good sleeper, and just requiring a ton of attention. Please understand, we are giving him as much as we can - but I am very fearful of the future, especially with a new baby on the way. We are in the process of having our son evaluated for services at the local school, and they hope to have him going to special needs preschool/kindergarten next month. Mentally he is about age 2, though he is potty trained. He doesn't really speak, and he cannot seem to answer yes or no questions (like, "Do you want a drink?" - he will simply repeat the last word or two that you said).
The part I bolded in your quote is what jumped out at me. You only adopted him at the beginning of Summer this year, so I'm wondering how much English he really comprehends at this point in time or how much English he speaks. This is only October, so it hasn't been very long at all in terms of adjusting to a new culture, a new language, new parents, a new home, new siblings, etc. I can remember very clearly being 5 years old, and the thought of being uprooted from another country would have totally overwhelmed me when I was his age. I don't believe that four months is long enough for this young child to fully adjust and adapt to his new family and new country. It just feels really too soon to me to be thinking about disrupting an adoption after only a few months of having the child. Do you think that time may make a difference in how you feel?
Hey all, thanks for your responses. I appreciate that you would take the time to offer advice and ideas. I'll try to address what's been presented.
First of all, we do have good days. And we know that this takes time, and that is partly why we are still trying. We have actually had him in respite care, twice for a week at a time, with our friends that I mentioned who love him and have offered to adopt him if we decide that is the route we want to take.
Our friends that have done respite for us have a sn Biological child, adopted another one themselves, and actually just adopted a little girl from an int'l sn dissolution, and they have put us in touch with other people who've been in our shoes - some who've decided that they can and will parent their adopted child, and some who have decided to find them a new family. In any case, we've gotten a short break here and there, and our friends feel well-qualified to say that they feel our son fits in their family and they'd be happy to have him.
Someone mentioned the language barrier. We actually speak his native language; we can ask him questions in his first language OR in English - he cannot answer them. He did not answer questions in his orphanage; he doesn't seem to get the concept that he is supposed to respond with something from him - his response to being asked a question is to parrot back the last 1-3 words that you say. It's certainly possible that with OT and speech therapy he can learn how to answer questions. We're in the process of having him evaluated for services through the school, it's just a very, very long process. We are holding out for him to start school and see if him having that routine and that specialized help and attention can help him reach some new milestones.
As for the sleeping thing - he has been on medication since long before we met him for his hyperactivity. The docs here have changed it once, and when it seemed clear about a month ago that that wasn't helping anything, we began researching various homeopathic options as well. We are still hopeful that the herbals will kick in at a saturation point of some kind, but thus far nothing, and I mean NOTHING, seems to impact his hyperactivity and his sleep habits. He has at least learned to be quiet (usually) when he wakes in the night, although for example this weekend he woke me up at 2:44am on Saturday night, laughing and talking to himself in his room (which he also shares with our other son). I went in and told him to be quiet, that it was still night-night (he repeated, "qui. nigh."). I heard him making quieter sounds over the course of the next hour, and went in at 3:36 to tell him more sternly to be quiet, as he was rolling around and then kicking the bottom of his pack and play, which was really loud. (He sleeps in a pack & play because when he didn't, he would get out of bed and wake us up playing with toys out in the living room; we were very concerned that he would get into trouble of some kind - esp in the kitchen - if he got out of bed and somehow didn't wake us.) That time when I went in, our other son was in his bed awake with his hands over his ears because he'd been awakened by the ruckus. I was able to get to sleep awhile after that, and I have no idea how long the boys were awake. That day, Saturday, it had been crisp out and the kids played outside ALL day, including three hours at the park - you would think that it would have been a GREAT night for sleeping! I can't fathom why he awoke, and my best guess is that he was awake for at least two hours in the night; despite his lack of sleep, he was up for the day by 6:30. Then yesterday, as a result of being so overtired, he spent the better part of the day whining and throwing fits (like a typical toddler, that's how he reacts to being overtired), which unfortunately includes his spitting on any and everything and putting his mouth on virtually everything he can - the couch, the floor, the toys, the table, his plate, the chairs, the piano, etc.
Certainly four months isn't long enough to know that it won't get better. We are TRYING. We are trying to be patient, we are trying to learn how to help him, we are trying to learn how to function better as a family unit that includes him as a part of it; we are trying to love him more and better. But we are frankly scared and exhausted, and the temptation to let a family who feel his needs fit into what they already manage is certainly there.
We just want to do the right thing by him. It's a very difficult situation to be in. Thank you again for your comments.
Don't let people pressure you into trying harder or waiting longer if you know this isn't a good fit. I really don't think it helps the child nor do I think it makes the decision any easier for parents. There are people who will fully understand, those who will try to understand and those that will never understand. Do what is best for everyone in your family.
As for the sleeping-how quiet is your house? Neither of my international children could sleep without noise. A radio seemed to work for them. The older one told me the silence was too loud(was a problem for him at school as well). He said it gave him too much time to think and the things in his head needed to stay quiet(not voices, bad memories). The younger one only required about 4 hours of sleep a night but he was NOT tired the next day.
I was not the original adoptive mother of either of my children but was told by both of their fadoptive mothers that they didn't seem to have any language. One spoke a form of slang(according to the translator) and the other did not speak or seem to understand much at all. They both spoke fine by the time I got them, however, both had language processing issues and it seems one adapted to English rather then learned it-so he doesn't know as much as he seems to know or needs to know.
How are your other children reacting to the new addition?
lucyjoy
Don't let people pressure you into trying harder or waiting longer if you know this isn't a good fit. I really don't think it helps the child nor do I think it makes the decision any easier for parents. There are people who will fully understand, those who will try to understand and those that will never understand. Do what is best for everyone in your family.
I didn't realize until I read Lucy's post that I was pressuring you...but I can see how it would come across that way. Jenny, I apologize if that is how you felt when you read my reply. I didn't realize until you answered my question about the language issue that you speak Russian, so that does put a different spin on the picture. I'm sure you'll do the right thing for your family. Good luck, and keep your chin up.
It's ok Raven, I didn't feel pressured.
Again, I appreciate everyone's comments.
We are doing our best and will continue to find an answer that we feel at peace about.
I think the biggest thing in all this discussion that has bothered me is the comment made that said something to the effect of, If this was your Biological child, what would you do? Well, let's be honest - this is NOT my Biological child. Ignoring the fact that often times bonding and attachment are difficult for BOTH sides of the adoption coin, and that being hit with a child that was so vastly, fundamentally different than what we thought we were prepared to deal with, has only made it harder. I do not resent our little son; however, I do lean toward thinking that if there is a family that loves him and wants him NOW in a way that we still aren't able to do, then maybe we need to let him go, as hard as that is.
On the one hand, I feel like that is a self-serving answer, because I am beyond overwhelmed dealing with this child. Already having three active kids ourselves, thinking we were done having Biological kids and then being surprised with this pregnancy, and then discovering upon arrival in Russia that the child we were meeting was not at all the child we were expecting... it's all been very, very tough. And please understand - I don't mean that as in, We wanted a cute puppy but this one is almost full grown, or any other meanness that might be inferred into that statement. It's simply that we evaluated what we felt we could handle, and then when we got there this child was WELL beyond what we felt we could handle. And yet, knowing what he was facing if we did NOT take him home, we felt we had no choice. We would not leave him to what awaited him if he was not adopted, and his time was up; transfer was imminent.
I guess what I'm saying is, I get a little frustrated when someone acts as though somehow we're doing him a wrong by getting him out of a situation that would have brought him almost certain death (and painfully) to bring him here and find him a family that feels he is ideal for them. I'm sure we could eventually make this work, but our learning curve is huge and with a new baby coming, it will be even huger. I know myself postpartum after three babies already - I am beyond intimidated at the thought of having him here AND having a newborn. I've probably said that a few times before - it's basically the overriding thought in my head.
Bottom line, I guess I feel like we will probably pursue our friends adopting him, and it will be the best of both worlds for us because we will be able to still be involved with him and contribute in a positive way toward his life, and he will have 100% of what he needs immediately.
I guess if there are those who feel that in some way that is doing him a wrong, then they are entitled to their opinion, but ultimately (as several of you have said), we have to do what we feel is best for our entire family - including our little Russian.
Thank you all a great deal for your input.
Oh, and LucyJoy - we have noise machines in our kids' rooms to help them sleep, since none of them are particularly quiet. ;)
(eek, really long, sorry for the book)
Out of the closet: My mom's friend raised her severely mentally disabled dtr probably 6ish years older than me. My bro and I had "play dates" with her. We spent time in both houses. My brother and I quickly were mentally older. By middle school I knew I couldn't do what her mother was doing. Even if Biological child. Half my cousins are adopted, perhaps that gave me the sense that adopted children child would be wanted, loved, doted on. It's a huge world, people are really different in their strengths and talents. Doesn't make me a crummy person.
After my "first family", I wanted to adopt. I walked away from an agency which said, "Any child you get could be FAS." That's a deal-breaker for me. (I know another group of families who walked away from that agency, but I digress.) I made a spreadsheet of disabilities I could/couldn't handle. Missing an arm, leg, foot, I think so. ADHD, bring it on. Violent to a certain extent, sure. Emotionally or mentally abusive, convincing other families to give up on them, fine. Prev. sexual abuse, OK. Too smart, fine. FAS or very mentally slow -- No.
Why would I want to bring a child into my home whose needs I couldn't meet? I can work wonders with Rad-type children, help ADHD kids learn to slow down, teach emotionally abusive kids to chill, I have endless patience with some children and their problems. Given skadillions of children who're damaged in ways I *can* help... why would I keep a child who I don't personally have the capacity to help?
One of my aunts/uncles adopted 2 babies, same time, same "baby mill" in USA, back in the day. One was gifted, one had apparently been oxygen-deprived at birth: mentally slow, but high functioning. Their doc said "give her back," they said NO she has the best chance with US. They met the needs of both children, holding one back in school, advancing the other, they both personally worked hours with both children and sought out specialists to help. Their dtr was far more advanced than my mom's friend's dtr... and I'm still not sure I could have effectively raised her. None of us are perfect, none of us have all the talents in the world, and wanting to be perfect doesn't help.
Recently I was fos-mom to 14-y-o boy. Paperwork and phone conversations said he was "fine, great kid," blah blah, they needed him in same school system. Shortly after arrival, I thought, "FAS." Never thought about another child. If I told him to go upstairs, get coat, it felt like he was up there for 30 minutes. By the clock, no doubt it wasn't. But it was enough time for me to get coat, come back 10-20 times. I'm sure another person would just think, "Huh, he's sure slow." I felt like ripping my hair out, like my metabolism was running backwards. He did NOT generalize, he didn't learn in important ways. Homework: saw him literally take 3-5 minutes to draw a line 3/8 inch long representing a river. Stare at book, stare at paper, move pencil tiny bit, rinse, repeat. He got angry in weird ways, a stubbornness born of lack of understanding.
From grace of God, I believe, I broke an arch early in his visit. I could barely walk. That helped. The SW couldn't believe how hard I worked for this child, how much I documented who he was, his strengths, weaknesses, and the abuse his family pushed at him. Tried to get him an IEP. I signed up to do my best for this child. Fought for a transition back to his family. One move in his life where he had closure with people he'd met here, and dignity. Learning about his life ripped my heart out, but I now know I was right, I could never live with a child like that very long.
I turned around a RAD foster child, I've had children in my home I'd have adopted after 5 days. In my personal opinion, there is zero point in continuing with a child we're not suited for. I've been surrounded by adoption all my life, and I have faith in diversity, the diversity of different families, who we are, how we parent. I know multiple families who've disrupted, some worked hard to find another family and were successful, some because of being threatened with knives... IMO, the reason doesn't matter. Being true to who we are, and who we can/can't help does matter.
In my personal opinion, there is zero point in continuing with a child we're not suited for. I've been surrounded by adoption all my life, and I have faith in diversity, the diversity of different families, who we are, how we parent. I know multiple families who've disrupted, some worked hard to find another family and were successful, some because of being threatened with knives... IMO, the reason doesn't matter. Being true to who we are, and who we can/can't help does matter.---alys1
Absolutely. Very well said and I agree completely.
Most Sincerely,
Linny
[QUOTE=Linny]With all due respect...and no, I'm not going to flame you because there was a time when *I* was JUST LIKE YOU in my thinking and boy, did I get a wake up call! Soooo sad, but true.....But I am going to try to explain to you just why some people as Penny make the decisions that they do.....
Linny, I just want to say THANK YOU!
And, unfortunately workers knowing exactly what a child's issues are and not revealing them is all too common in the US foster system as well.
We went into the adoption from foster care system EXTREMELY naive and trusting that the workers always have the best interested of the children at heart.
I could write a novella here, but, instead, I would like to just give a few of my personal observations/suggestions when potentially 'matched' with a child:
- do not accept a case worker's assessment of a child without documentation. And ESPECIALLY do not accept a case worker telling you that a written assessment of a child's behavior is 'exaggerated'. If it's in a report there is probably at least some validity to it.
- if a child has had a previous disruption, INSIST on reading the DETAILED reasons for the disruption. If the worker indicates that "oh, it was just a bad fit" - let this be a HUGE red flag!
- INSIST on spending a LOT of time with the child BEFORE they move into your home. If the child is out of state and the state does not want to spend the money to facilitate this - you are taking a HUGE risk if you proceed.
I know that there are more things that were going through my head - but, as we are right in the middle of dealing with a disruption due to these things, I am emotionally and mentally exhausted right now.