Monday, May 23, 2005

The Primal Wound, by Nancy Verrier

I have gone on a bit of a reading binge recently. Learning more about how I can help my children survive and thrive in life.

I plan on writing a full review later, but I wanted to note now that I see this as a very important book for all those involved with adoption, or involved with someone involved with adoption. If you are an adoptee, birth parent, or adoptive parent, this book can give you a much better insight into at least some of what an adoptee goes through.

While I am not 100% convinced of everything in the book, I do agree with its basic point that an adoptee has had a major trauma that will affect them for their entire life. This book is light on answers, but the first step is to see a problem, and this book does a good job of identifying the problem.

While the main focus on the book is on infant adoption, it also briefly covers older child adoption. While some of the outcome might be different, the trauma is the same.

For adoptive parents, this book can give you some idea of why your children act (or will act) the way they do. I know the parts where I have read ahead matched my children, and made me realize that the job of adoptive parent is incredibly difficult, much more difficult than I ever realized.

The book definitely ends up discouraging infant adoption, and I myself have always questioned the overwhelming push to have an infant (my 4 children were older when they came to us). She still allows that adoption is sometimes necessary, but I have to agree with her that it is pushed in many cases.

Her follow-on book goes into much more detail, providing solutions to many of the problems raised here, pushing all those involved to control their own behavior. I have skimmed both, but I am not working my way through _The Primal Wound_ and I will repeat my recommendation: Read this book! It will start a journey that will help you to see the truth.


Thursday, May 19, 2005

Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness

I very recently purchased _Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest for Wholeness _ by Betty Jean Lifton and it is making for some very interesting reading. (And costing me some very much needed sleep, .)

Her comments about adoptees give me a whole lot more insight into my own children, and much of what she says fits what I have observed in their lives. It does explain the intense feelings an adoptee on a triad list had here earlier when she felt I should not pull away from my estranged daughter. From what I have read, even if an adoptee is acting poorly, they take withdrawal of anyone as another rejection.

The author does a fairly good job of giving multiple perspectives. Though her main emphasis is on the feelings and thoughts of the adoptee, she weaves stories and perspectives from birth and adoptive parents in many areas.

I have found that all the adoptee-written books I have read have a perspective of children not adopted at birth. This book seems no different and I could not find any stories of children adopted older than 3 to 6 months.

I will be looking for more input on children in those situations, especially those from the foster care/CPS system. While I am sure they face many of the same issues, I think looking only at those adopted at or near birth ignores some significant factors in their background. For example, is searching, especially as a minor, really as good when the birth family had abuse or neglect?

Still, I found the book to be quite worthwhile. I diligently read the first 3 chapters, but after skimming parts of the later book I suspect I will not read the rest cover to cover, since I have so many other things in my "to read" pile. I do recommend it for adoptees, and I hope my own oldest daughter (now 18) will get hooked up with it and other books to help her clear up some of her internal struggle before that struggle ruins more of her life.

If you are interested in the book, try this link to Journey of the Adopted Self



Welcome to my adoption-related blog.

I plan on using this to articulate my thoughts on the many aspects of the adoption arena, something that is not really well understood, though more and more seems to be coming out each day. (Either that, or I am just finding more of it, .)

While I plan on addressing some serious issues here, I also want to have fun and I want to make this both informative and enjoyable.

I am the adoptive parent of 4 wonderful children, a sibling group that came from "the system" over a decade ago. While my children are completely mine, the last few years have seen many shocks, including dealing with a lot of teen adoptee problems, many related to a lack of attachment I had not realized until my wife and I were in the middle of the battle.

I expect to speak quite freely here, while maintaining confidences. I will apologize ahead of time if I offend anyone. Part of my goal is to give the perspective of an adoptive parent. Those are the shoes I have walked in. While I try to have compassion on the views of others, I have not walked in their shoes. I encourage you to write me with your own perspective and comments, especially if they are constructive.

I am very interested in details about those adopted as "older children" (not as babies), primarily from the foster care system. I have found that is an area missing a lot of details.

Now, lets get started on our ride!

Brad Andrews