I was going to title this: "The Anatomy of Disruption"..... but just decided to label it part 4.
I have written 3 other posts on Adoption Disruption. Here, Here and Here. And then one more here.And yet another one here.. And then here. There are more.... but those are the main ones. :)
So, here I go with another disruption post... WHY? Because I guess I haven't covered all my thoughts on this very difficult topic .
Since I wrote those other posts, we have adopted again from Adoption Dissolution/Disruption.
Miss Alli came home almost 2 1/2 years ago.
Since that time, we have been through a lot with our sweet girl. The most recent, was the reuniting with her sister Tatyana. She has not yet reunited with her brother who is still in the first adoptive home.
Aren't they just beautiful together? :)
Tatyana is now on her own, so we could reunite.
I would like to visit this from the perspective of the child, and how things unraveled into a huge mess, but with a happy ending.
Let me start with the premise that I believe is most important. God is in control. It doesn't matter how I feel, or how I perceive things, He is in control. He chooses to allow things to happen that I do not understand, but I trust Him, that His purposes are always for our good.
I have had discussions with Alli's older sister and Alli, separately, to gain some perspective for writing this. Earlier today, for clarification, I asked Tatyana about Alli's behaviors back when she was a little girl in Russia, and then when she came home to America.
Tatyana has emphasized that all Alli's behaviors were typical kid type behaviors. She didn't feel that anything warranted what happened to her sister.
I asked Alli, "Do you remember how you behaved in Russia compared to America?" Her answer corroborated her sisters. She was a typical little girl in a very bad situation.
She was also picked for her good behavior in the orphanage to go to the store and go on a trip to the Black Sea, and to do something special at Christmas.
In watching the video given to us the the children's interview, Alli was
typically nervous being recorded but said she liked Pink, and Barbies.
She was adorable.
What Alli DID say, was that she was very afraid to come to America. "I didn't want to leave my mommy."
That broke my heart.
Her mommy didn't have custody of her, but she still felt a connection with her.
Of COURSE she did! All kids love their mothers!
But she agreed to come, because she didn't want to lose her brother and sister.
And that is PRECISELY what happened to her!
Her biggest fear, came true. :(
Alli went through a time of shock, having 2 new parents that she couldn't relate to or communicate with, and a new brother who was younger than her. This was not their fault or her fault.
She was forbidden from speaking Russian to her siblings, which was her only form of communication.
And, she lost it.
She cried and had melt downs.
As time went on, things got more and more out of control. She didn't understand what was being required of her, and didn't get why they were so mad at her.
This was a hard time for all of them. And I am sure many of us could see themselves there.
Please remember that when a child is learning English... they may speak it LONG before they comprehend it! Misunderstanding RULES!
She was afraid of the family and didn't trust them. They were afraid of her and didn't trust her. She was angry.
Since she felt she could do nothing to please her family, she gave up trying.
She began to talk back and had decided in her mind that she was apart from them.
I can picture the "talking back".... it happend here too!
Things spiraled out of control and she wound up going into respite care where she did quite well.
At the end of her stay in respite care, she was told it was time for her to go
back home. Her statement was "I'd rather die than go back to those
people," which landed her in a Unit for evaluation, and then she was disrupted.
She called her home to communicate with her brother and sister, but was told they didn't want anything to do with her. She was devastated.
A disruption occurred.
Her second adoption didn't go so well either. And by then, she really just didn't care.
She decided she would rule her own life, and acted out whenever she felt like it.
She had begun to form a habit of unwanted behaviors to hide the pain she was in.
Then came us..... She wanted to try, she really did, but the fear of failure and self judgment ruled her heart and she was full of shame.
She would try, and then give up, try and then give up. It was a cycle of shame, sadness, anxiety, and then hope once again. It was HARD for all of us!
As Alli began to help us unravel her past, and opened up more and more to us, her window of trust and tolerance began to open wide, and she began to drop her old bad habits of unwanted behaviors she had clothed herself with.
She began to let go of the grip of fear that consumed her and began to trust once again.
But, as encouraged as we were, we knew we had a long road ahead of us, because when somebody allows themselves to go into reckless abandon behavior wise, it can be easier the next time, and next time, and there is so much disconnect. It becomes a habit ; and habits are hard to break!
Today, Alli loves and trusts us. In fact, during our talk, she said that she is glad she came to America, and she is happy that she is home with us.
And she very much feels "At Home!"
I was able to tell her how much I love being her mom. :)
So why am I writing this? I am writing it because it is so wearying seeing adoptions fail. :(
Adoptive parents NEED to be prepared for the adjustment phase of children coming to America or just into a new family.
The grief process is huge. We need to educate ourselves about what grief looks like and how we can help our children loving them through it, not judging them through it.
PARENTING METHODS MATTER HUGELY!They matter, especially, for a child who comes from a Trauma Background!
While Alli came from a background of trauma inflicted upon her in Russia, there was even more trauma forced upon her by her previous families and she couldn't handle it.
She went from feeling safe in the orphanage, to being terribly frightened and alone in America.
Feeling safe in an orphanage should say alot about what her home life in Russia, was like!
Parents, do all you can to educate yourselves on Trauma. LEARN HOW TO PARENT FROM A PLACE OF SAFETY AND LOVE!!!! STAY AWAY FROM FEAR BASED PARENTING!
And for heaven's sakes, stay AWAY from groups that call themselves "support groups" when they are really more like "misery loves company" groups.
I am so thankful for our sweetie's healing in her heart. SO THANKFUL!
But I am also thankful for the process we have all gone through over the last 2 and a half years. I have learned a LOT! :)
Parents, Never stop learning! Parenting is an art form that takes practice and effort! If we cease learning.... we lose, and it can be the difference between a greatly successful bringing of a family together, a cold existence living under the same roof, but not really being family, or a traumatic disruption that has profound effects on everybody. :(
This is my last post on disruption.
This post was meant to help folks to see disruption from the Child's perspective.
My daughter is healing. She is awesome and she is strong. She is real!
There is NO DOUBT that there are situations where disruption is necessary. I do not fault parents who find themselves in sad predicaments and do end adoptions.
My goal is not to fault anybody. Please do not personalize what I write.
It isn't about you!
My goal is to let adoptive parents know there is HOPE and there is HELP!
BUT..... we must be willing to be introspective and see where we must change.
I have had to change a LOT of things in my life, in the views I once held and more.
It has been a good and LONG journey.
“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)