This subject was brought up in another thread but I wanted to address it separately. One of the things I have heard quite a bit over the years is kids feeling as though they were kidnapped from their birth parents. They also fear someone breaking into their home at night and hurting them or taking them away from their adoptive family. Do many of you hear these fears/feelings from your kids?
My son fears being taken from us. He was in foster care before he came home at age 4. His situation wasn't good and he fears going back. He's 12 now and while he knows that logically it won't happen, it's so ingrained in him, it can, at times, affect his every day life.
Yes, and yes.
We have always told my son the facts around his placement and how we met him and became his parents, etc. He has a lifebook that his first two foster parents kept, full of photos of himself in these homes during his first year of life.
We (and our older children) have talked with him conversationally about the day we met him, the day we picked him up from the foster home he was in, etc.
So, I was really surprised when he told me recently that when he thinks about being adopted, he usually is wondering whether he was really kidnapped.
He is 8, and for approx. the past three years he has often mentioned fear about being kidnapped.
I attributed the fear to the fact that they were always talking about Somali pirates kidnapping people on the radio, and made a point of telling him there is no ocean and no pirates here.
But (duh, Pepperminty!) I guess it makes more sense that he is afraid of being kidnapped because several times in the first two years of his life, someone he didn't know came and took him away from everyone and everything he was familiar with, and it was all never to be seen again.
My question is, how to help him resolve these fears?
I believe I had stockholms syndrome,after I was taken into custody.But I went into care when I was 6 years old,pretty much kidnapped the legal way,meaning it's just like a kidnapping,but the system did it.If your adopting an kid in fostercare,they might stockholms syndrome.I've even hear,when babies are adopted,they don't always feel like they belong.
One of my kids was actually abducted from us by his biofamily last year for 10 days. My son never showed any signs of separation anxiety or had nightmares before that. Now he is afraid whenever I leave him and has nightmares all the time. We are working on him feeling safe again, but I have to say that this is one of the things I did not expect to have to help him through when planning for adoption. He is getting better slowly. He is feeling safe enough now that he can go to sleep by him self and is now starting to want to sleep in his own room again.
I know that one day I am going to have to have a talk about all of this and he may very well think that we took him - but I'm written everything down for him to read later as well so that he can get a good picture of the events.
My son does feel like he has been kidnapped, but for him it's mostly because he believes a fantasy he has made up about both his birth parents and life in the orphanage. He was six and half and he remembers the orphanage. He knows that he never lived with his first parents. He knows that his first mom passed away. HE knows his father did not visit him. He knows his favorite nun had no plans to adopt him. He knows that his orphanage had no video games and that he did not get to do whatever he wanted there. However, he tells himself other stories. Part of it is his RAD. He did not want a family. He still does not. He does not like the idea of intimacy. He did get away with a lot in his last orphanage, as it was an understaffed adult facility.
Sounds like you all have heard this from your kids too.
Pepperminty, I think first you have to understand his feelings and negative core or self beliefs around the idea of being kidnapped. In order to resolve trauma you first have to have these two pieces of information.
... kids feeling as though they were kidnapped from their birth parents. They also fear someone breaking into their home at night and hurting them or taking them away
My daughter has never indicated that she felt kidnapped, but that might be because DHS was visiting and trying to work with her bparents for some months before they decided she needed to be removed. My daughter has said that as soon as she saw the worker at the school she knew why, so I would guess that she had heard it talked about at home and/or knew other kids that went into foster care.
But she certainly had lots of fear of someone coming in at night and taking her. She even worries about someone taking me, she almost called the police just because I went to meet a job recruiter man at a restaurant and she was afraid I was going to be abducted.
It was not fostercare/adoption that gave her the abduction fears, it was real life experience as an unprotected child in a bad neighborhood that did that.
I will say that my child has no fears of being taken from us. He is not attached to us and sadly I believe that even after five years with us he would miss the wii more than he would miss us if he were taken away. He has informed us that he plans to leave when he is 18 and only come back at Christmas (for presents, but he won't stay for dinner) He often threatens to run away and has asked other people to take him home. He is looking for a home in which he is in charge. The home must have all sorts of video games, no rules, no bedtimes an a pool and trampoline and a tv with video game systems in his room and he "needs" an iphone. He has not found this home yet, so he is staying with us for now. Yeah, this kid does not live all the way in reality but we are working on it. He has actually made huge progress, but has a ways to go.
My daughters have never expresses feeling kidnapped but they all have had fears of being kidnapped. I went to live with my Dad when I was older after being abused by in my mother's home. I remember being terrified of being kidnapped.
Do many of you hear these fears/feelings from your kids?
LG is non-verbal, so I can't say for sure...but no, I don't think he feels kidnapped. The first night he returned from reunification (5 months), he went back to his room, rolled back and forth giggling on his bed. He has also been very sure to watch to be sure I'm close when we see his parents. At visit one of the parents tried to "help" him into the car---he reacted by fighting to get the parent away from the car.
His oldest sibling has said that he wished it was possible to live with his new family 6 days a week and his birth family for 1 day a week because for 1 day a week it could be like the "good times" with his birth family and not like normal.
The middle silbing was ready to give one more chance, and intially said that DSS was the problem. After the reunification, he was more able to acknowledge the source of the family issues.
I think the world view of the kids reflects their place in the family and age at removal. The middle child was the favored child. He didn't experience quite what the other kids did, though he was definitely neglected and threatened with a weapon. LG ranked lower than the dog--even at visits the family will literally turn their backs on him when not aware they are being watched. Plus everyone was a little scared of him. The oldest child was blamed and targetted.
The middle child is still at the magical thinking age, while the oldest is beyond that developmental stage. I also think that even once a child progresses beyond the developmental stage, they remember through the lens of their experience at removal, so that a child removed during a time when kids use magical thinking, will continue to interpret that experience though that framework.....even after they mature beyond that thought pattern.
Yes, unfortunately, real life experience for some kids has added to these fears.
Momraine, I'm glad you're staying in the lead with your child even though he desperately tries to push you away.
I've always had worries of being kidnapped,but it could of been,because a girl was nidnapped,raped and killed,that went to the same school as me.Also the people that I live with brought it up all the time,also claim there were the best placed, to live.I do notice I'm always watching stories about missing people.