June 23, 2010

Adoption attachment of our kids

    If you are not in the mood for a kinda ranting post you better skip this one.... see I warned ya...

     I have learned a lot about attachment in adoption.  I have gone from 0 knowledge to, hummm... more and still learning.  Which is where most of us adoptive parents are at I think... I read and do learn a lot from books and other parents and, of course, from those online knowledge tests we all take before we adopt internationally thanks to the Hague.  Short story is I am always wanting to learn more... and I do not think I am ever done learning there is always more to learn. This post is not about all that can be done by families to assist in attachment.  This is about those who hinder or disrupt our attachment of our children....

     With our oldest daughters adoption, (as an older child) not much was known about attachment of children in adoption.  All that was told us was too "just love her and commit to her" and all would be fine.  This adoption happened in the 80's and truth be told that was not really all we needed to know.  Big surprise!
     The one thing (of many) I have learned is that  to keep our children's  attachment  to us and our family we need to be aware of those  (well, meaning they may be) folks who decide to step in and take over parenting of our "poor children" when they decide we are not parenting correctly.  And I have been surprised lately by the number of adoptive parents who have told me some stories of their experiences with this issue.  This problem is actually very common and here I thought I was the only one? hummm....

      I have wondered why it is this  happens?  I think it has to do with  with a total lack of respect for adoption and adoptive families.  That is it pure and simple...  Adoptive families are not thought of as being as permanent as birth families in many folks opinions....   If you speak to those who try to step into  your parenting role they will act surprised and deny any wrong doing and look at you all puppy eyed as if they were  just trying to help.  Then, of course, you get a very hurt and unrepentant person, "I was only trying to do what I thought was right." WEll, guess what you were wrong... so back off...   Adoptive families are REAL FAMILIES.  I have learned  to confront and say those words making it clear what the offense is.

    If I saw a child being abused I would act!  No waiting... I would step in as most  any one would. This is not what I am talking about....   I am talking about others trying to step into your parenting role with your child. I can say I have never done that to any one else. Not to my grand kids moms either. I stay in my boundaries period.  My grand kids need to respect their parents. My role is different. I do not do any thing that would cause my grand kids to disrespect their parents.  That seems pretty clear to me.And I think I have a right to ask for that same respect from any one who steps inside my families boundaries.  Because in not doing so I risk hurt to my child by some thing that could damage their attachment.
    Here are a couple examples of this problem, (this one is mine)  a teacher of  my child's special ed class) who says, "Your child is very special and you have no idea how special they are".  Who would not like to hear this?  Sure I know my child is special and I know that... thank you.  Then the teacher started texting and calling child's cell phone, making a special relationship with child that was just between them... there were other issues like this and it grew and grew... When we removed our child from the school we were threatened that she would make sure she saw us put our child back into her classroom. How, I will not discuss but it happened...      LOUD BLAST HERE!!!  I had seen in advance that this teacher seemed to attach to much to her students and, of course, this is good but it seemed more then that. So thinking this was a good teacher and my child needed this class, I stated to her, Loud and clear and very polite...  "You are the teacher and I am the parent, I do not want you acting as the parent. I am it. Because for you to do so would hurt my child's attachment."  I asked her if she understood. ya da ya da...  sure sure...  Problems got worse and we had to remove our child.

     Second story a friend of  7 adopted kids from the state foster system had a parent of another child in the block "demand" that friends adopted  daughter  be allowed to come over to neighbors house any time child  wanted too cause she needed the attention she did not get at home because their were just too many kids at home....  Excuse me?  No thank you!

Some examples of of unattached children:
    I have also heard of children who never attached.  One older girl decided she had tried adoption and it was "fun" but now she would like to go back to her homeland and find a husband to marry. Like her adoption was some kind of summer vacation.  This after she parent shopped her way through half a small church and caused all kinds of craziness...

  Another older girl who decided her parents could not be trusted this after a very damaging person caused her to feel this way and then offered their home for this child to live in instead of the "bad" adoptive parents home.  This older girl decided to look for love some where else (since she could not trust her family) and became very promiscuous at an early age.  The other family dumped her cause she might be a bad influence on their "own"  kids....  arghhh!

     As adoptive families we have a right, just like any other family, to respect as a family.  If you are not getting it deal with it and very nicely demand it.  Do not think it will go away it will not.   Are your children not accepted at family parties?  Do you get the "real parents" question over and over again from friends and family.  I think we can do the best we can and then if it does not get better we back away from those people.  WE have experienced this first hand also in a very negative way with our older adopted daughters and this story is too long and involved but I will share it in another post.  It pays to protect your children first and we have a right and a duty to keep our children secure in the family they were placed in (my opinion) by God himself. And any one who crosses that  line and endangers your child's attachment to Her family needs to think very carefully about the children they are hurting. Every child has the right to a family of their own.....and to be secure in that family. 



Aus said...

HOORAH!! What a great post! We've had some of those issues with extended family - those that felt that prior to our first adoption they had the right to speak about us bringing 'outsiders' into the family - yeah - like all the in-laws aren't outsiders either? ;) It went on for some time - and we have simply distanced ourselves from those people - not easy and actually very painful - but our kids are way more important! As you - I could go on with many examples - even including strangers (one older woman leaps right to mind) that felt that it should be OK for her to pick up and play with our daughter (one at the time) because 'well it's not like she's your real daughter'! Well how do you know that my wife isn't Asian? Hummm?

Enough - you couldn't be more correct - and whatever is necessary for us to care for OUR KIDS is what we'll do!

hugs - aus and co.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Oh. So. True.

Been there. Done that. With older child adoption.

Laurel :)