I've been thinking about this for awhile and decided this afternoon to post about it.
Within the last few weeks, I've received some pm's from families who've found themselves in the position of needing to re-home their adopted kids. As some of us know, this isn't a position we chose--nor wanted to be in.
Adoption is supposed to be 'forever'---and we know that. But there are circumstances beyond our control---things none of us ever thought about----the normal household doesn't plan or think about. These circumstances generally have NOTHING to do with adoption. They have to do with safety, protection of younger children, protection of ourselves, and much of the time, a total-unrealistic FAILURE of the system to help with resources so that families can sometimes stay together.
Along with this, several weeks ago, I read an old blog entry someone (who frequents had written about me. It (and other replies) were blaming me for being a 'gatherer of children' and how horrible our family was for disrupting an adoption. How anyone-- who could do such a thing-- was just terrible and not deserving to be a mom, let alone an adoptive mom.
I didn't bother to reply because the blogger didn't have the facts straight. They left out the REASON our family had to disrupt. (As if we just woke up one morning to think, 'Hey, let's get this kid out of our home.")
With all of that in mind, I'm posting this because there is such a burden to families who find themselves with a violent or sexually acting out teen/kid. I mean, it's all fine and good to say, 'How horrible families are who disrupt adoptions!!!" But when the question is asked of these same people, 'What would YOU DO then????!!!"
There's silence. And, there's almost always no other solution but to get the dangerous-acting child out of the home--permanently.
I mean, what DO you do when a 2yr old is being sexually attacked in a family? When line-of-sight supervision isn't even possible. To quote one counselor, "It isn't possible to do...'
And it's not.
When a kid is plotting/planning to harm another child, how can any family justify keeping that 'harm' in the home? And so oftentimes, we're not talking about a kid who's kicking, hitting. We're talking about a kid who tries (and succeeds?) in raping another child. A child who finds knives and physically threatens or actually DOES stab the parent or another child/ren in the home.
Sometimes, these families have to keep guard---one parent who stays awake throughout the night just to keep the rest of the family safe. Alarms on doors don't do the trick. It has to be someone who'll stay awake in order to keep the sleeping ones safe.
If you think this type of situation doesn't exist...think again. It happens more often than you think. And the fact is, those who've BTDT often stay quiet for fear they'll be charged with neglect, abandonment. They've read the replies from other adoptive parents who scorn them, tell them they should just have to deal with it, etc. Really? So it's worth harming another child JUST to keep a violent, sex offender, or severely mentally ill child who physically assaults other children---in the home?
Who's being a good parent, and who's not?
Sorry......there's no excuse for putting another child in harms way. None. THERE's the neglect/abandonment. When a person adopts a child, they promise to keep them safe. Can't happen when they have to watch out for their very life.
And what about the offending child. It doesn't mean the family hates them (though the family may go through those emotions). It DOES mean they've come to the end of their rope. It DOES mean the offending child doesn't see a family as a safe place; but rather something totally different. Sexual offenders seldom (if ever?) stop their thinking patterns. Those who are violently severely mentally ill, can't simply stop...but need constant monitoring--24/7 in order to keep others AND themselves SAFE.
And to those who'd criticize, I ask again: 'What would you DO?"
The system doesn't help families with these 'problems'. They turn their heads and say, "You adopted them, you deal with them.' But the fact is, there IS no safe way to 'deal with them'. Other than jail or residential, there's no other safe place to put them---or keep them FROM innocent children/adults. Counseling has been exhausted; hospitalizations have been exhausted. The family members are in harm's way (something the system can turn around and charge the parents with too).
For those who are suffering the burden of having a child/ren who are too violent to have in your home, let me tell you that your scenario is more common than you might think. For those who have disrupted and lived to tell the tale, let me suggest that you become more vocal in what you've been through--so that those who'll walk in your shoes one day, will have someone who understands.
And for those who feel parents who disrupt are nothing more than 'children gatherers' might be wise to stop and consider the reasons families HAVE disrupted and suggest some solutions you may know about.