Sunday, January 08, 2012

Learn How to Manage Conflict

You will almost certainly deal with a lot of conflict as you raise children adopted from the foster care system.  Much of that is because that is what they know, so they are certain to repeat it in your house.

This makes it especially important that you learn to handle conflict in an effective manner, ideally before the trouble hits.

Note that I am not referring to the silly "anger management" classes some teach.  I am referring to learning real, practical ways to deal with the conflict you will face.  That may even mean pushing it sometimes, but you will need to learn when to stand firm and when to step back for the ultimate betterment of your long range purpose.

Learning good skills in this area is very important!

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Respect Your Husband

One of the ways adopted children can seek to create strife in the house is to turn the wife against her husband, especially when that husband is attempting to stand strong for what is right in their lives.  Creating disorder in the husband and wife relationship can make it easier for them to get away with what they want to do.  It can also make things more like the chaos they are often more used to at a deep level.

Some adoptive fathers are disconnected, but please do not hold things against those who are trying to do what is right.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A Lack of Respect

I think this is true in many adopted children.  Respect for parents is a vitally important part of family integrity.  We struggle with it as a society, but I think it is always there, to a point, even so.  In the case of someone adopted out of the foster care system that respect is likely already connected to their birth parents, no matter how good or bad they may have been.

This means that it is hard for them to then transfer that same respect to a new parent, since the old one already holds the parental role.  I am not sure how you deal with this, but knowing it is a respect issue may help you accomplish things you would not otherwise.

Ironically, the one child of ours who has any relationship now was the one who I proved my willingness to come back to over and over as he went through a very strong rebellious period.  He repeatedly tested my resolve and I was relatively consistent throughout.  I am convinced that is the reason he has any respect for me today.  I proved that I would not be shaken.  He has a ways to go, but at least has some connection.

The other three would seem to have no respect, having all reconnected to the birth father and mother, giving them respect to a great extent.

Be consistent no matter what.  You may or may not gain this respect, but you will almost certainly not get it otherwise.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Don't Back Off

It is very important that you find supports so you can stay strong in your adoption journey.  Whether you are just considering the process, in the middle of raising one or more adopted children, facing the challenging years that threaten to tear everything apart or past the point where these children are in your home; you need to make sure you never back off of core principles to get a short-term result.

This may mean being firm when it seems like giving in is the only way to keep them attached to you.  It could mean being gentle when everything in you wants to damn them and write them completely out of your life.

Neither harshness nor undue weakness is good, you must be firm in a good manner.  Some of this may go against the grain of others, but it will ultimately be the best for them, whatever the final result is.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Your Purpose in Life

It is very important that those involved with adoption not let their children become their only or even primary purpose in life, especially after those children are out of their house.  Clearly you will have a lot of focused time with them when you raise them, but learn to let go once they are adults.

I know this is a general principle for raising children in general, but it is especially important if/when those children decide you are not really a valid part of their lives.  This can happen with children who are born in a family, but those children don't have a valid alternate family to run to, while the ones we adopt do in many cases.

This makes it all the more important that you find a purpose that doesn't require them to be an ongoing active part in your life when they are adults.  It may be great if they do maintain contact and a connection, but making sure you do not rely on that is required if you want to stay sane.