Thursday, June 09, 2005

A Challenging Task

Adopting hurt children, especially a group of them, is a much more challenging task than is readily apparent at the start. I remember back when we were first seeking children to adopt. We knew we could live with a sibling group, but we wanted to avoid "serious problems". I have a revelation for you: All these children have serious problems! In our case, all 4 have ADHD, one has been diagnosed as having Asperger's Syndrome (mild autism) and one likely has it as well. Another child has gotten a bipolar diagnosis (a bit of a broad brush though). The final one doesn't have any additional things, but that is only based on what we know now, these things seep out after time.

In addition, children coming from this background will have problems attaching. Some still can, but some are much more resistant, and may never attach. I would strongly encourage new adoptive parents to really work on this issue, even if the lack of attachment is not apparent. "Minor" problems at the younger ages can blow up into serious problems as these children reach the teenage years.

I would also not that the CPS system is just as likely to accuse you down the line as it is to be helpful. An unattached child can accuse you of things that will be taken very seriously because most children do not accuse their parents. CPS workers, police, friends, and others will all immediately put you under suspicion, even though it is really the inability of the child to attach.

I still think dedicated people are desperately needed for these children, especially sibling groups of them. But it is vitally important that you get education and support. A number of materials exist that can be helpful, but the support network is very weak. I hope I can play a role in changing that!

I will talk more on this in the future.