Mike, Uncle Bob and I sat down last week and watched the 20/20 show about difficult adoptions. There was a family featured who had adopted 2 girls 11 and 8 from Russia.
They provided every material benefit for their new children. That is, everything except for what they really needed.
The show never says if the mother was working full time or part time outside of the home, or if she was home full time. It doesn't speak about how much time Dad was home or if he traveled alot.
Those are important lost facts.
What the show DID document was two people who had everything they wanted except children. So they went and bought some. Those are HIS words, not mine. He didn't feel he got his money's worth.
After less than 1 week, 1 WEEK! he was following an OBVIOUSLY GRIEVING child around the house with a camera. How RUDE is that? He was saying things like, can you believe this? etc.
Uh, yes sir I can.
You just turned this little girl's world upside down and overwhelmed her with your stuff. You pushed AMERICA on her until she thought she would vomit. Congrats.
When she was under the bed weeping, why oh WHY didn't mom or dad kneel down and stroke her gently and tell her it was ok? Why didn't they lay next to her quietly and weep with her and mourn her loss with her? NO, instead, he pulled her from her safe place and subjected her to the "Video camera".
Several years ago when Sarah first came she had tantrums. She didn't know anything else. She had no coping tools in her toolbox. I got out a video camera and kept it hidden. I did not video tape her to tape her screaming, I got it out to tape ME, so I could see what I was doing that might be prolonging her tantrum. What I found was that she did not want to be alone. She was scared. She needed me to not hover over her, even calmly and ask her to stop crying. She needed me to quietly hug her and rock her. Once we did that, the tantrums stopped. Of course before I could do that, during her happy times I had to rock her too. She needed it. We got out lotion and I would massage her foot, her stump, kiss it, kiss her good hand and her hand with missing fingers and count them. Then I would kiss them and she would count my fingers and kiss them. She knew very well that her deformity did not bother me in the least and she could be totally open with me. Because of the good connection, when she melted down, there was a connection tool to calm her. It worked so well the first time that we did it, she didn't have another tantrum.
We did something very similar with Anna who was good for a nuclear meltdown every day for a while. Then it went to about 2x's a week and eventually disappeared altogether.
The first few weeks our Erika was home were amazing. This beautiful, smart, almost 8 year old who could not speak english, was able to turn on every appliance in the house, open the fridge, and get into EVERYTHING... she pretended to not be able to do things we knew she could do, and told our friend who speaks Russian we were treating her like a Pet Dog, making her stay in the house while her sisters go out to play. LOL
(she was mad because she had to finish her math)
The truth is: I was HAPPY to see that fighting mad spirit in her; in ALL of them. WHY? Because it showed me they had a will to live, a sense of self and a sense of injustice. It may have been warped, but it was there, Praise GOD it was there!
Our job was to love them through it. It wasn't personal, it was survival. It wasn't personal, it was fear. It wasn't personal it was being a KID, a very HURT kid, who VERY much needed to be loved.
I often hear people say that 'Love is not enough". Love IS not enough; but not enough LOVE is not enough either! LOVE and PARENTING as unto the Lord, IS enough though. It DOES pay off.
We adopted from Disruption. One of the things that was mentioned when we got Sarah was that she was not the personality type child they expected. They wanted a greatful, quiet child and they got a hyper child.
One thing I would like to say is : IF YOU ARE A POTENTIAL ADOPTIVE PARENT:
WARNING: COUNT ON THE FACT THAT YOUR CHILD, NO MATTER WHAT AGE, has been NEGLECTED, ABUSED, REJECTED and HURT no matter HOW wonderful you think their orphanage was.
BUT THE GOOD NEWS IS: God is GREATER than ALL of THAT! It doesn't have to be the end of the story.
It isn't for our girls and they have horrific beginnings;each and every one of them.
When your child comes home and lashes out, PLEASE don't take it personally. Look at their strengths and likes and desires and USE THEM to work with. Don't try to make a child different than who they are. If they are hyper, give them stuff to do. If they are quiet, let them read. LOVE THEM FOR WHO THEY ARE RIGHT THEN AND THERE! IN the moment and never EVER withhold your love.
If they act like a baby, baby them. If they want to pretend to be your baby, let them.
We fed EACH of our girlies bottles and wrapped them in blankets and rocked them like babies for months. It was not FORCED upon them, (this is VERY important) they initiated it, and we followed based upon each child's need.
ALSO: Plan on things getting broken, messed up, and your house getting messy. Plan on them not understanding hygeine. This is something they will need to learn. It isn't their fault and they should not be shamed.
PLAN ON THEM HATING AMERICAN FOOD, so get used to making borscht, cabbage, meat, oatmeal, etc. Give them comfort foods.
I always look at things as if I were them. If I were a little girl and was adopted by a family from China, what would I do if they tried to force me to eat steaming hot rice and raw fish? I would probably throw up. Then, what if they thought I was being manipulative because I threw up and tried to force me to eat. Then I would sit there and they would say I was being defiant. Then they would try to punish me and I would cry and they would say I was having a melt down. Then I would not want to be around them for fear they would make me eat that awful stuff. They would take me to a counselor who would then say I had RAD.
The counselor would recommend they hold me even if I didn't want to be held. They would expect me to love these strangers and if I didn't, they would say I needed attachment therapy.... and a new cycle of "facing my problems" would start.
It would be all my fault and I would start to question my sanity. After all, now they say I have PTSD and other things and now I need medication. Then I start having side effects from those meds, so they give me another one, and now I have RAD, ADHD, PTSD, ODD, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. and the cycle goes on...... (I'm sure you get the picture)
This scenario is not far from what plays out in homes.
Counselors can be good and give good information, but they can also be terribly damaging. Some are NUTS folks. I mean that. NUTS! If we had followed what some folks have been told to do, I don't think we'd have the kids we have now.
You know, it is a "fad" to get counseling to "face your problems", to "deal with those deep down feelings".... what ever happened to letting the CHILD deal with them in his or her own time? WHY must we FORCE things. If you work on building a trusting relationship together, which takes TIME, those things will come out. Why do we fear our kids telling US things? Why must we force things to come to the surface before our children are ready? I am so against this, with EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING! If I were forced to deal with things I wasn't ready to, it would only serve to make me angry.
And where does Christ fit into this picture? Can't we lead our children to tell Him?
Why do they need an intermediary?
The couple featured in this show also did the most OFFENSIVE thing I have ever seen.
The girl's saw their baby brother beaten to death by his grandmother. The parents found out they had a brother, so even though they were having problems with their present adoptive children, they adopted a boy, to replace their brother! NO kidding!
That is SICK! You CANNOT replace somebody brother by buying them a new one~! AND what about the poor kid that was to be the new brother? How fair was that to HIM?
No surprise, he has all the diagnosis mentioned above, even though he looked TOTALLY normal when they got him. They never mentioned the meds he was on, during the show, but I'd take a bullet that they are many.
I will stop with this:
Adoption isn't for everybody, neither is parenthood. Years of neglect and hurt will not be wiped away by bringing our children to America, fattening them up and giving them a new bike and clothes. It will take TIME, and no amount of counseling will speed up the internal heart clock of any child.
The best thing we can do is as the scripture says, "weep with those who weep, laugh with those who laugh, there is a time for each of these. It will be up to future adoptive parents to instill a sense of TRUST, and children cannot TRUST you if you do not respect them.
What I saw on this show was a total lack of respect of these children.
One thing I did notice about the little girl Leeza, featured. When the new adoptive mom and dad came into see her, they didn't stand over her, they knelt down to her and look up. This must have made her feel great. Somebody cared about her enough to not stand over her and tell her to come, but to kneel down and introduce themselves. It showed kindness to her, and gentleness.
The other MAJOR issue I had with the show was the showing of parents who had killed their children, and then showed the children's pictures, making the children out to be the problem. Especially in the case of interviewing Peggy Hilt. I won't go into detail on this, but I was so sickened they showed an interview with her. You can google her story and read the real facts. The other picture was of a child who had down syndrome and had only been home 2 months. What, are they saying he had RAD? What can an 18 month old do?
I think I have said enough. Can you tell I have an opinion on this? LOL I am not anti counseling. But I am anti FORCED counseling. I am for respecting our children's rights to be who they are. None of our children have withheld their pasts. They have all openly talked to us, but it took time to establish the trust for them to do this. No amount of counseling would have caused that to happen. But TIME, lots of time, and lovingly accepting them in their happy moods, sour moods, scared moods, moody moods, and loving moods, and respecting them as individuals is what will lead to true attachment and reciprocal love. For some it will happen faster. For others, not so fast.
For those of you waiting for your kids: PLEASE! PLEASE! EDUCATE yourself on Post Institutionalized children. One of the best parenting courses we took was through the Local Child Protective Services offices. Great classes. Read books, lots of them. Discern them, take the good, throw out the bad. And most of all Seek the Lord for His wisdom. James 1:5 says he will give wisdom to all who ask.
“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis
― C. S. Lewis
I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)