Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hardships of a Birth Mother

Adoptive parents and adoptive children have hardships, but birth parents have hardships too.....

As an adoptive parent, we sometimes can't or don't want to understand a birth parents hardships. We take the child and we love the child and sometimes bitterly think of the birth parent. Even though a birth parent may have lost or given up her child by adoption, they may have deep feelings for their child. It can sometimes be very difficult for the birth mother/ parent to let go......

I try to picture myself.....
Perhaps I am a single mother, trying to keep up with several jobs just to pay the rent and feed my several children. I come home from these jobs. I'm exhausted. These several children are all needing help with their homework. There are a couple children crying, one stomping around, and all of them nagging to eat. I close my eyes and just feel like shutting everyone out. I feel myself getting weaker. I just can't keep everything up. My children's grades are low and I can't afford nice clothes. I have no time or energy left to clean the house. The children are getting fed but the food is not nutritious. It's cheap.
Then.... I picture myself screaming as I watch a local agency take my children. I know it's not the agencies fault. I know I haven't been a great Mom, but I don't want anyone telling me this. It hurts too much.
Perhaps I have even gotten involved in drugs or alcohol to numb my pain.
The agency is telling me that I can see my kids once a week for two hours under supervision. The visits become more of a pain than a pleasure. I don't want to hear my child say that their foster parents are nice. It hurts. The kids are brought to these supervised visits right after school. It's hard to fit in around my work schedule. Since my kids came after school, they are hungry and begging for food. They are expecting me to bring food but I didn't have any money. There are visits I cannot attend.
Then, I find myself in court hearings. They want me to take parenting classes. It's easier and less painful to just block this out and go home alone. I need to get away from it all. I slip out of sight for just a little while, just to catch my breath and soak in the reality of it all. This leads into more court hearings.
I find myself months even a year into the process without gaining anything. I am now being considered for termination. My kids have been in foster care for a very long time. I am not willing to cooperate with anyone! I just want it to all go away.
They tell me that a very good family wants to adopt one of my children. I know that it's best for my child but it's breaking my family apart and it's all my fault. I know this family loves my child but it hurts too much. I refuse to cooperate. I want what's best for my child, but it scares me. I think of people talking badly about me and it tears me apart.
I hang my head and attend the hearings. My child is convinced I don't love him because I haven't done anything to get him back. I see that he is happy with this family. I hang my head at the hearings. I sit and cry quietly as I watch my life fall apart. There is nothing I can do.
I am terminated from my child. I can appeal it, but during this process of appeal, my life is a menace. I have very bad days thinking of what it might have been like to have a husband that would've supported us. I think of all the pain and neglect I have done, but there is nothing I can do to take it back or make it better. I think of my children as babies and wish I could go back and do it all over again, but it's too late. My child now resents me and loves his new family.

I let him go..............

Add to Technorati Favorites

Adopting a Special Needs Child

You are adopting a special needs child......


You are anxiously awaiting a child....
Finally, you are matched with a child. It is a joyous day fro you. You are extremely happy that this child is already calling you, "Mom and Dad." They seem very happy and comfortable with you and that is great!
You want to replace their birth parents. That is understandable. I have been there, three times, but you must know that they may want to talk about their birth parents from time to time. It's hard, but I have learned to listen. You want the child to see you as their only family. They may have some good memories of their past, whether it be their birth parent, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc... or even a previous foster family.
Sure, it can sometimes be hurtful because you are giving the child a very good life, but you need to know that from time to time, they may be hurting and missing people from their past, even if these people have hurt them. It is your job as a parent to comfort the child. It is never their job to comfort you as a parent or watch what they say, to keep from hurting your feelings. The child needs you. You can give them many new memories but you cannot take away memories, even though you may wish you could.
Kids are just little people. They have their own feelings, their own mind, and their own thoughts. They may not express them as an adult would but they know how they feel.
When a child is angry they may stomp around or even throw a tantrum. Adults do much the same only in most cases, they may have more control, but either way we are all the same people.
Kids need time to learn and grow, to express themselves in a healthy way.
Understand that they do have a past. They do have a past family. They do have feelings and they do need to share that with you from time to time.

Adopting Special Needs

What does Special Needs Mean?

I will share with you what I have learned about the term, "Special Needs."

Special needs does not necessarily mean that there are medical issues or mental issues with a child.
Some agencies refer to adoptable children as special needs because they are either over the age of five or are a part of a sibling group.
Now some may have physical, emotional, or even mental issues, but this is not the term that is used to describe their health in any way.

A child over the age of five or even below that age may still have a tremendous amount of issues. At that age, they are being adopted because they have been removed from their birth families for a particular reason or reasons. Perhaps their birth parents have passed away, or perhaps they were just found un stable. There could be many reasons for the child being adoptable. Of course there will be issues. they are considered special needs because they have special needs.
They may need a tremendous amount of attention they never had, they may have grieving issues to face and more.... but it doesn't necessarily mean that they are impaired in any way.

Adoption Hardships

There are adoption hardships that some people may never even think of.....

One of our adopted sons was badly neglected, emotionally and physically abused. He had many issues to overcome. He didn't know emotions or love and usually showed angry emotions through terrible tantrums and violent rages. He had been shifted from home to home, hospitals, and a residential treatment facility.
In the past doctors had diagnosed him with Severe RADD, ODD, ADHD, IED, and bipolar disorder, because he showed every symptom.
We knew that he just had a terrible life and we knew that it would be a very long battle but the boy was just "REALLY MAD."
He was taking ten different medications when he came to our care! He was only eight years old!
In time, under doctor care, I insisted he be weaned off them all! Doctors hesitated but I was the legal parent. They did not like at all what I was suggesting, but had to please my wishes. I of course had to home school him through this process. Schools wouldn't even consider taking him un medicated. Eventually I proved to the doctors and school that this child was not ill, but just plain mad at the world!
This is not a fact but only my opinion that doctors, residential homes can often over medicate children like this. This is merely my opinion. Let me tell you why. It was indeed a hard road with this child, but I did eventually prove to everyone that he didn't need all this medication. In fact, he didn't need any at all!
As his legal parents now, we are furious at the side effects that we "know" were caused by some of these very potent medications. It caused stunts in developments both physical and mental. The heavy medications also caused nervous twitches that may be permanent. he has (much like Turret Syndrome) implosive actions causing him to stroke upwards on his nose very hardly at least 30 times per day. He is constantly twisting his ear like a nervous habit. Now this may sound strange, but it's real. This may be (I've been told) a permanent un-controllable impulse. I'm not badgering residential homes because there are some very good homes, but the one my son temporarily lived at, had a very high number of children there with some very severe illnesses. They have to keep the kids calm and safe, I agree, but in some cases, they over medicate. (I feel)
I have been very strong opinionated about this issue. Our children were all taken out of their homes and placed in foster care to be adopted, because of abuse, neglect, and more. In my opinion, there is no medication made by man that will cure this for them.
My advice is to just beware! Read side effects of medications! Ask questions, and go with your parental instincts.

Adoption Hardship Issues

Adopted children are sometimes given labels..... they are not the only ones......

In my experience of adopting, I have found that people have sen me in many different ways.
Some people have commented that we are "Special People" for doing what we do. Other people do not....
Our adopted children have been difficult to raise, as we did not get them until they were at the age of eight. They have had their share of "issues."
My husband and I have gotten the label, "UN-fit parents" by teachers, and even friends! We get the blame that it's our fault our children have behavioral issues. We've heard it said that if we were good parents that our children would be good also! They have falsely accused us of not treating them right, or not knowing how to properly discipline.
My son's teacher actually told another teacher right in front of him that he was an UN-controllable child and that it was my fault! She said that I wasn't a very good mother and that,"Some people should just not have kids!" Upon hearing this, my son went into an angry rage and his teacher ended up being kicked in the process. I was called to school to get him. He was suspended. As I entered the school, and walked into the office, I heard the secretaries saying to each other that I was an UN-fit mother! This child had only moved in with us 2 months prior to the school year. Of course there were issues! He was in an emotional support classroom! They never gave that a thought.
Plain ignorance can be a problem when people start stating their opinions.
I heard their ignorance and then they turned and saw me. Their mouths fell to the floor.
I walked right up to the counter and said, " I'm here to get my UN-controllable child! I'll bet you thought I wouldn't show since you judged me as an UN-fit mother, didn't you? and, I know that you know this child has had an abusive history and that he just came to live with us a short time ago, but ignorance is a hard thing to overcome, now isn't it?"
They never said a word! I walked out of the office, down to my son's room and just took him. I never gave the teacher a chance to explain.

Most of the time when we hear ignorance talking, we just ignore it hold our heads high, but sometimes is can be quite a struggle!

Adoption Hardships and Struggles

There are many struggles that adopted children may have to overcome....
For instance, some children that may have been taken out of their homes may be facing the "fight or flight.... fight for survival" issues. This means that perhaps in their former home home they may have had little or no parental care.
In the home of my youngest child, his crying or whining was ceased by handing him food instead of satisfying his needs to be comforted. There were no regular meals, but food was handed over in large amounts to pacify him. In our home, he tends to sneak food, though we've worked on a balanced diet with him now for almost a year. He still feels he needs food as comfort.
This "fight for Survival" may be different in other cases. In some cases they may not have been fed much or even nothing at all. They may binge just because they are worried about their next meal. Or perhaps, they may not want to eat at all. Our oldest son had an eating disorder when he came to our care. He was eight years old and weighed 35 pounds. He was very thin and weak. We had to build up his tolerance for food a little at a time. He did eventually catch up but he is still, after six years, heads below other kids his age and very, very thin.
Some of these kids have had a terrible amount of trauma in their lives, and need proper guidance to a happy healthy life style.

A parenting guide is available at the link below:

Adoption Struggles

There can be many struggles in your adoption journey....

There are many issues you may face when adopting a special needs child.

In my experience, I have found that these children come with a "Label." When getting their past profile, which is anything and everything that has happened in their lives, it can look like overwhelming when seeing all the "bad" things they may have been through or did. Often times schools, day cares and whoever get access to these profiles. they may not have their heart into the child as you do, so they give them a label and "proceed with caution."
My adopted child was given this label before ever entering school. Teachers just assumed he was a very bad child, a hopeless child and never tolerated anything from him. They already judged him with a bad reputation before they knew him. It was hard for him to prove otherwise to anyone. Things went from bad to worse as he was treated like a "problem child." They treated him no respect and so his attitude went from already troubled to terrifying very quickly. They made matters worse because they tip-toed around him and left him have full control of situations. His behaviors became so much worse and he was feeding on their negative attention. I learned that I had to fight for this child if I wanted matters to get better. No one else was going to fight for him. I had to be a very active advocate for him in school. I had to listen to him as well as what the teachers were saying to learn that mostly they did provoke him. My child often got the blame for another child because he had "issues." I have fought a good many battles for all three of my adopted boys. Sometimes they were at fault. Sometimes they were not! When it was not their fault, and I fought on their behalf, it made great changes in their behavior. They learned how to take blame as well as defend themselves.