Sunday, July 17, 2011

What is Their Real Family?

I think I have written about this before, but I want to stress again that you really should consider why you are treading the adoption path ahead of time. Some do successfully build a family, but I have heard enough stories that our experience is not all that unique.

This is especially true with a sibling group, since they will likely come already being a "family" in their own eyes, even if they have been separated from their original mother and father. Just telling them they are now in a "forever family" will not change the "truth" imprinted on their hearts and minds that their "real family" is not the one they are in now.

If this can't be changed, as I suspect, it will guide the rest of their lives, no matter what you do.

Keep this in mind.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Set Your Expectations

Be very careful of your expectations when you go into the adoption process. You will almost certainly not get the "warm fuzzies" most imply when marketing the area. A few are open and honest about the challenges, but even those tend to gloss over the deep pain that may be involved.

This is often done with the stupid remark that you don't have guarantees with children you give birth to either. While that is true, it ignores a significant part of the issues involved.

I am certainly colored by our experience, but that doesn't negate the point - You will always have to compete, outwardly or not, with another family that your child(ren) were at least once a part of. Even an infant will have had months in the birthmother's body, so develops some kind of attachment.

The questions of "what if" can also easily plague adopted children, as they do with all of us. They may have to struggle with thoughts of how their life would be different if they could have lived "forever" with their birth parents. Fair or not, this is a powerful area to consider.

The best that happens may be that you give them a better childhood than they would have had. Is that enough for you?