Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bad adoptions- an honest post

There are two kinds of adoptions; good adoptions and bad adoptions. I have experienced both.  Most people, myself included, don't want to talk about the bad adoptions. We would rather pretend that every adoption is good and necessary.

I have been called courageous for being honest. I have been called anti-adoption, neither of which I am. I am simply a mother who witnessed other mothers and their children being exploited, and I knew I had to tell you the truth.

In the cyberworld since December I have met many other adoptive parents who are in the same boat as me, most of them learning too late that their adoptions were a scam. They are parenting children who were taken from loving, living and often married birth families. They have told me how lucky we are that we saw the signs and stopped before it was too late. Some of these parents are raising children who have been told they are going back to Ethiopia, who have loving parents who think they are coming back as well. I guess they are right, that we are lucky, even though most days I don't feel very lucky. My life will NEVER ever be the same. I have learned knowledge about the adoption industry that I wish I didn't know. I miss being in my little adoption oblivion. A few of these families have been truthful but most remain in the closet. They are afraid of retaliation, they are ready to move on with their lives, and they do not want the whole world to know they are parenting children who are victims of child trafficking.

It is a terrible place to be. Can you imagine? What kind of support is available for adoptive parents raising children who never should have been adopted in the first place?

One such mom has been brave and honest too. She posted a beautiful, heartfelt entry on her blog. I told her it is painful to read but it needs to be talked about, and with her permission I am sharing it here:


This morning I read a beautiful blog entry here. I follow this lady’s blog; I love reading what she writes and viewing her photos. This morning I was excited when I read the title of her latest entry, “Dear Moms Like Me“. But, just like every “adoption” book I’ve tried to read, it’s not for moms like me. Prior to the adoption, I likely would have cried reading the entry, thinking I’d be able to relate one day soon, but the truth is…I can’t. I own every adoption book on the market and have read about 20 pages of each. It doesn’t take too long to realize these books weren’t written for moms like me. They were written for moms whose kids were abused, abandoned, neglected, unloved, uncared for… orphaned. They aren’t taking about kids like mine.

Part of me wants to be that mom. When things are difficult, I want to be able to look at my child and be able to comfort myself with the knowledge that she is behaving a certain way because no one was willing to love her before, so now she will reject my love. I want to be able to find the ability to be calm in a storm, because I know she is acting up because of past abuse that I wasn’t able to stop, but now I can, and we will make it together. But that simply isn’t true. My child isn’t struggling because someone left her abused and abandoned…no, my child was nursed well into toddler age by a beautiful mother with endless unconditional love for her.

I try to read adoptive parent self help books, but they don’t apply. I try regular parenting books, they don’t apply. Nothing applies. This must be how parents of kids with RAD felt, before books on RAD were written. I want to buy a book, get home, cuddle up in my bed, and read stories ‘I’ can relate to. I want to feel like I’m reading about MY child when I read the book. I long for some written form of validation of my thoughts and emotions. I want to read a book that tells me how to get past the extreme anger I have towards an agency that lied to me and led me to adopt non-orphaned kids. I want to read a book that tells me when I’m so frustrated with a child’s behavior that I can’t think straight, that its normal to feel frustrated that the child is here to begin with, when in reality the adoption never should have happened. I want a book to tell me that its normal to feel unworthy of the compliments from one of numerous newfound family counselors. I want a book to tell me what goes on in the mind of a child who was sent away for an education program gone bad, only to discover she was adopted. I want a book to tell me how to comfort the images in my child’s mind of her dad being given money for her by an agency, whose promises have gone unfulfilled. I want the book to tell me if my child will ever stop living in survival mode (out of fear of rejection) and form any genuine discovery of herself, or ability to establish real relationships, or if she will always just be surface deep. I most of all, want a book to tell me if I’m spending so much time, energy, money, appointments, specialists, and love to fix these kids just to send them home, so their biological family can reap the benefit of all the sacrifices I’m making.

This may all sound very selfish, but it’s real. These are the thoughts of Moms like me. I’ve talked with them on the phone, as we try to wade these waters together, equally confused and frustrated. Moms like me feel alone, misunderstood and frustrated. Moms like me don’t like to be asked about our child’s adoption. We don’t like to have to tell the painful truth, but are unwilling to lie. Moms like me are sad, that the image of adoption we longed to contribute to was nothing more than a mirage. Moms like me desperately desire to know what to do with kids like ours. But no one knows. The schools don’t know. The counselors don’t know. We don’t know. The agencies don’t know (and don’t care).

I have a hunch that one day there will be books for Moms like me, because these adoptions are being finalized each day. And as more and more kids like mine are adopted, the need to know what to do increases. The agencies have an agenda, a financial one, so they will not stop these dishonest adoptions. Unless the government steps in, this will become a norm in International Adoption. So, perhaps ten years from now I can go to a bookstore and pick up a book for moms like me…

12 comments:

Julia said...

Wow! That is scary. Do you have link to her blog? Can you post it?

thedickinsonfamily said...

WOW ! My heart aches for her. I am proud of her for being honest and real. I will pray for her and the children she calls her own. There is no mistake that she is a loving mother to these children. I pray God gives her comfort and she can move forward with the children who need her. She is the one they have been given to call mom.
Blessings,
Meghan

Tina Koen said...

Wow, oh how my heart breaks for moms like you. You have become the voice for these children and families, and together your voices are being heard around the world so that something can be done to change the way adoptions are done. This is my hope and prayer. May God continue to light up His path that you should walk, and may others continue to find encouragement from your stories.

Charissa said...

Julia, let me get permission before I do that. Thanks for commenting.

JennyH said...

Wow-- It's scary and sad to think it happens.

Glad it is talked about here.

I hope she can find somewhere to fit in and have someone to talk to.

Rebecca said...

Charissa,

How can this tragedy be avoided? What can be done to assure that the child we are adopting is not in a similar position?

Charissa said...

Rebecca, I will try to answer that question soon. Julia, the mom gave me permission to share. Her blog is bedlamatthebradshaws.blogspot.com. Thanks for your comments.

Loren Stow said...

I live in South Africa, so I have some kind of idea of how (on our continent) it becomes possible for a mother and father to be so desperate for money that they will literally 'sell' their children. The poverty experienced on this continent (and in my very own country) is so insurmountable for some that there is no hope of EVER escaping the cycle of hand-to-mouth.
It breaks my heart that these poor children are in the middle, 'sold' so that their parents (and other siblings) can see another few weeks or months of the most basic neccessities...
It breaks my heart that well-meaning people on the other of the world are lured into this 'human-trade' through no fault of their own.
There ARE many orphans in Africa (mostly due to the AIDs pandemic), so I hope that those who are willing to give an African child a home do not loose hope or faith - there truly are orphans who need the love and care of real families.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that this mother had to go through someting like this. But I am annoyed by the fact that she kept referring to "agencies" and not "our agency" or even "a few agencies" Her generalized comments about "agencies" makes it seem as if EVERY agency does not care or EVERY agency is not willing to help. This type of generalization is just as harmful a sterotype as any. Please remember to do research for yourself. Don't take other people's word for it, whether good or bad.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry that this mother had to go through someting like this. But I am annoyed by the fact that she kept referring to "agencies" and not "our agency" or even "a few agencies" Her generalized comments about "agencies" makes it seem as if EVERY agency does not care or EVERY agency is not willing to help. This type of generalization is just as harmful a sterotype as any. Please remember to do research for yourself. Don't take other people's word for it, whether good or bad.
PS I am not sure how to post a comment so Ihope I do this right!

Wife to the Rockstar said...

This post is awesome. So glad people are speaking out.

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