Sep 17, 2013

Still a little bit of sadness

My heart is breaking for my little boy tonight. 

Most nights at night-night time, we do stories. Sometimes for these stories we tell his story, our coming home story, where our two stories met, etc. Most nights he smiles and giggles as we tell about silly things we remember. Sometimes he barely pays attention as we talk about he grew in another mommy's tummy and lived with her and then later with lots of other children. 

We sometimes look at pictures or videos of our time in Russia and he happily flips through telling us what he was doing. 

And then there are nights like tonight. Nights that when he crawls into bed he's sad. 

"Where is her, Mama?"

"Where is who, baby?"

"Where is her? My other mamas, my other babushkas? My kids too? My tummy cold and sad over there, Mama."

It's night's like tonight that remind me a little too much of where he was before us. He still grieves the loss of his other mama's, the women who cared for him in the orphanage and the children he was being raised with there. He remembers being hungry and all those feelings. 

So, we talk about his other mama's and babushka's and tonight he wanted me to know one of his babushkas had black hair and she gave him candy. I'll never get to thank her for giving him good memories. Whenever he has sad nights like this, we talk about whatever it is, I don't mind. I love hearing what his little mind remembers and when he twists his memories into something more(apparently once he built a snowman with his babushka and Mr. Slick and I were apparently there too, lol). I want him to talk about it, I want him to know it's okay to talk about it. I want him to know it's okay to be sad about it. 

I'm sometimes not grateful for all I have, but my boy reminds me of the wonderful things I have, starting with him. I hate it when he's sad but I am grateful he even has some of these smidgens of memories. His sadness is part of his story but it's not who he is, not anymore.  

Sep 11, 2013

I'm about to get up on my high horse, y'all.

Pretty much everyone we meet or know has an adoption story of sorts. 

"Oh my sister's best friend was adopted!"

"Oh, my 3rd grade teacher adopted her son!"

"My next door neighbor's brother-in-law's best friend's wife was adopted!"

Ok, I may have stretched that last one but I have heard things similar. But those kind of things don't bother me. I actually love them. It reminds me and those saying it that adoption isn't super uncommon, that it isn't taboo to talk about, that it's a normal way to build a family. 

But what bothers me are all the negative stories. These stories seem to run rampant through media outlets, while the thousands and thousands of good adoption stories for each of those bad, goes unnoticed and gets no spotlight. 

I recently saw a report about international adoption disruptions. And the story was sickening. It made me literally sick to think of the poor girl at the center of that story. The one who thought she had found her forever family, only for them to realize too late that they were not well equipped to care for her. They gave her away to another couple, without involving their agency or social workers, by just drawing up paperwork and them signing it and dropping her off. They dropped her off with criminals, people who would already hurt a damaged heart. 

This story makes me so angry because it makes it sound like these "parents" had no other option, like they had tried everything. It almost painted them as victims. There was one victim in that story and it sure wasn't them. 

But they had options, much better options. Do disruptions happen? Yes. They're obviously not ideal and they are incredibly few and far between, but they happen. However, there are ways to ensure that these children go to their true forever homes. Placing agencies would be more than willing to help counsel families, provide resources, and if truly needed, help find the child's true forever family. 

Disruptions can happen for many reasons. The family may not have been truly ready to adopt. They may have misunderstood the magnitude of their child's special needs (any IA can and should be considered a special needs situation while emotional wounds heal), their agency may not have been forthcoming in the child's true needs (this is rare), or other reasons. Whatever the reason, a family shouldn't consider a disruption until they have exhausted all resources. And even if their placing agency isn't willing to help, ANY agency/social worker could be contacted and help be provided some way or another. 

Parenthood isn't easy on anyone. Everyone has their trying times with it. Some people have the delusion that when they bring this child home, that all their hurt will melt away, that they will be better instantly and that's not the case. It takes time to build trust, it takes trust to build love, and it takes love to build your family. Give it time. Bond with your new baby, even if that baby is 3 or 13. He deserves parents who will go all in and be the parents he deserves. 

If you're having a hard time with your (adopted) child, talk to your social worker, email the help desk at your agency, ask for contact information from other families who have been through similar situations (I can almost guarantee you aren't the first and won't be the last family in that situation your agency has seen), and if none of them help, keep looking!