Adoption

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by newbie87, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 16, 2009

    But to be honest, if you don't get it-- if you do feel that these kids are "someone else's children"-- then adoption is NOT the right path for you. It's not right for everyone, just as in-vitro is not right for everyone.

    One of my favorite adoption/bio stories involved the kids getting vaccines. Brian had an ugly reaction to his MMR vaccine-- high fever for a few days. So when Julia was due, I asked the pediatrician to work the timing so it would be convenient for me when she had a reaction. He told me that the percentage of kids who have a reaction is tiny. I replied that, as much as I realized that, Brian had had a reaction so I assumed that Julia, as his sister, would probably react in a similar way.

    He just waited there, smiling, until I remembered that Brian was adopted and Julia wasn't.

    If it's not going to be like that with you, then adoption isn't the right path.

    No kid, ever, should feel like "someone else's child."
     
  2. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 16, 2009

    Very true, Alice. My niece was comparing her feet to my the other day and said "look! we have the same feet!" Oddly enough, we do...even though she's the daughter of one of my adopted siblings.

    We actually catch ourselves in family medical history conversations between the 3 oldest of us (1 adopted, 2 bio), having to remind each other that our oldest sister doesn't need to worry about this or that. We just flat out forget. Another funny story: Both my younger sister and I had terrible pregnancy complications. Our older sister breezed through pregnancy, and labor looked more like a yoga class that ended in a sneeze then out popped a baby (really, I hate her for that :D). Anyway, little sis and I were comparing war stories and big sis says "huh, I wonder why I had is so easy since both of you had so many problems". We just looked at her. I took her several minutes to realize the answer.
     
  3. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    Dec 16, 2009


    I think, besides for me liking certain foreign countries (their culture, having similar features to mine, ect), this one reason if I were to adopt in the years to come, I'm leaning more towards foreign adoption. I may be wrong, but I've never heard of anyone adopting from a foreign country and the parents being involved. I think in American adoptions the biological parents can get too invovled and in many cases play mind/emotion games. It might not be on "purpose", because as someone else mentioned they may be on drugs. However, that's the up part. In American adoptions you know the parents were on drugs and their medical histories. I know in someone countries they don't tell you, or don't know.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 16, 2009

    Not always on both counts.

    The reasons someone puts a child up for adoption are varied and personal. Sometimes it's disclosed, sometimes it's not. But it's never an easy choice, and just about always so the baby will have a better life. I can tell you this with absolute certainty: having had a child grow inside you and then giving it up has to be among the hardest choices a person can make.

    As to the records from foreign adoptions, it depends. Brian's bio mom told the agency that she drank a quart of booze, and smoked a pack of cigarettes a day during her pregnancy. (We've always hoped that the translation meant one bottle of booze for the whole 9 months, and not per day. The translation left it a little iffy.)

    But it really depends. In an open adoption, you may know the medical histories of both bio parents, you may not. There are lots of adoptions where there's no medical info on the bio dad, either because he's now out of the picture or he was only in the picture for long enough to get the bio mom pregnant.
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 16, 2009

    Newbie, as has been said previously, there are good things and bad things about ANY type/place of adoption. Everything from the medical history of the mother, to the child's eventual emotional reaction to finding out, and the way he comes to terms with it will be different, and needs consideration.

    You mentioned thinking foriegn adoptions would be better so you wouldn't get interference from birth parents, but what if your child grows up and is despertate to meet his birth family? Both situations have a downside. Couples considering adoption think through all of these things before deciding. The "right" answer is individual to the couple.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 16, 2009

    One of the wonderful things about our agency was that they mandated 2 days of counseling sessions.

    I've always been around kids, and I must admit I was pretty cocky walking in, just knowing that I wouldn't learn anything new.

    Boy, was I wrong!!

    They hit on everything from how and when to tell your kids they're adopted, to when to expect that killer line "You're not my REAL mom"-- and that it was a healthy, predictable part of growing up for a kid who has been adopted.

    So when Brian first got mad at me and told me he wanted to "go home" it didn't cut the way it would have otherwise.

    The right agency doesn't make it easy up front-- they make you consider and talk through all these issues before you become a parent-- and before you invest too much money into a process that may not be right for you.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Dec 16, 2009

    This isn't backlash, just thoughts.... When you adopt a child, that child becomes YOUR OWN- you are raising your child, not someone else's child. You didn't adopt this year- you had a job, as we all do. You volunteered as a 'big sister' -you HAD to know that kids enrolled in that program come with 'baggage'. I don't want to take the kids I teach or tutor home either, but I adore my children (and my son's girlfriend who is adopted, whose family loves her and views her as THEIRS-I'm positive most adoptive families feel the same way). I love my class, but I respect boundaries.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 16, 2009

    My grandmother was from Newfoundland Canada, so we grew up listening to the music of recording artist Harry Hibbs.

    One song I always remember is Nobody's Child. Here are the lyrics:

    "Nobody's Child"



    I was slowly passing an orphan's home one day
    And stopped there for a moment just to watch the children play
    Alone a boy was standing and when I asked him why
    He turned with eyes that could not see and he began to cry

    I'm nobody's child, I'm nobody's child
    I'm like a flower just growing wild
    No mommy's kisses and no daddy's smile
    Nobody wants me I'm nobody's child

    People come for children and take them for their own
    But they all seem to pass me by and I am left alone
    I know they'd like to take me but when they see I'm blind
    They always take some other child and I am left behind

    No mother's arms to hold me or soothe me when I cry
    Sometimes it gets so lonely here I wish that I could die
    I'd walk the streets of heaven where all the blind can see
    And just like all the other kids there'd be a home for me

    [spoken]
    I just can't seem to figure out
    Why the folks all pass me by
    Cause I know that it's true that god takes
    Little blind children with him in the sky
    And they tell me that I'm oh so pretty
    And they seem to like my big curls of gold
    But then they take some other little child
    And I'm left here all alone

    I'm nobody's child, I'm nobody's child
    I'm like a flower just growing wild
    No mommy's kisses and no daddy's smile
    Nobody wants me I'm nobody's child
     
  9. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Dec 16, 2009

    I know someone who's parents didn't tell him he was adopted until he was 30 years old. I guess they didn't get that counseling! :(
     
  10. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Dec 16, 2009

    Alice, when did you tell Brian? Was it an "event" or just information you offered naturally over time? What was his reaction? -If you don't mind me asking.
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 17, 2009

    I'm not Alice, but I can tell you from the siblings point of view what my parents did. The adoption of my sisters was never a secret. The three youngest kids were adopted when I was old enough to know what was going on (one when I was 13 and the other two are only 7 and 8 years old right now, so obviously that's not secret). I'll just focus on my older sister. Anyway, we always "knew" E was adopted. It was talked about openly. When we were very small, we had no clue what it meant, but as we grew, understanding dawned. There was never drama filled moment when the truth came out. It was always there. The counselors that worked with my parents during the adoption process had given my mom a story book about a princess who'd been adopted by the king of "far far away". They read that to her, along with the story of baby Moses and other stories of adopted babies, from the time they brought her home (at age 2.5). When she asked questions, they answered in an age approprate manner, never feeling like they had to hide anything.

    As I grew up, there was a moment when I was shocked to find out that other families hid the fact that a child was adopted. It just seemed so normal to me. The other bio child in my family says the same thing. The older adopted kids say something similar, the only difference is that they had more questions about who their birth mothers and fathers were.

    When it came time for those kids to ask those questions, my parents helped my siblings locate the bio families. Both of my adult adopted sisters (my older sister and the younger one who's 21) have found and met, their biological parents.

    I'm sure Alice will have a lot more to say on the matter, but I just wanted to add my perspective.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 17, 2009

    No, of course I don't mind answering any and all questions.

    Brian has always known he's adopted.

    Each year, we celebrate his "Gotcha Day"-- the day he arrived into our famiy. We go out to dinner-- he always picks Japanese. (It's a two-fer: he loves it and his sisters hate it!)

    Once, when he was about 6, he asked at that dinner why his birth mom hadn't kept him, and we talked about what it's like to have a baby you love more than anything, but not having a husband or money for diapers or toys. I suspect we'll revisit that question at some point, but that was enough of an explanation for then. At some point when he's older we would love to get him back to Korea to meet his foster mom, the woman who took care of him between being put up for adoption and traveling to us. And, in the early years I always sent her a Mother's Day letter, to reassure her that he was happy and healthy. (I figured that if those letters were in his file in Korea and his birth mom came looking, it would help her cope with her decision as well.) I'm sory to say that I stopped doing that when things got incredibly hectic as our household grew.

    But celebrating Gotcha Day is a great excuse to bring up the subject and clear the air. (The girls occasionally whine that they should have a Gotcha Day as well.)

    When Brian was in Kindergarten, I sent in a note to the teacher. I explained that Brian knew he was adopted, so any discussion of families wouldn't pose an issue. (With a Korean face and Irish-Italian name, I figured the teacher would realize it right away.) She invited me to come in on Gotcha Day and explain to the class just what we were celebrating. So I did-- I brought in cupcakes and read A Mother for Choco, a story about a bird who longs for a mom who looks just like him, but eventually discovers that love, not appearances, make a family. Another adoptive mom joined in the celebration; a third chose not to.

    We also own a copy of The Tigger Movie, in which Tigger searches for "his family tree" full of other tiggers, but comes to the same realization.

    It's not something we talk about every day-- it's too much a part of the fabric of our lives for that. It's just part of our family story, as is the story of how Peter and I met or the story of how the girls were born. Every once in a while the kids will ask us to re-tell any of those stories, and at this point they all know the details of how each of their siblings came into our world. (As in "Mom, you forgot the part where Aunt Peggy met you in the hospital parking lot so daddy could be with you when Julia was born." or "Mom, you forgot the part where Brian's car seat was sized for a newborn so you had to adjust the straps in the cold and dark")
     
  13. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Dec 17, 2009

    Better than honey or haycorns,
    better even than Extract of Malt or the fine things made of it
    (some with the cooperation of a few million yeast),
    better even than chocolate,
    TeacherGroupies looooove family stories.

    Thanks, Alice!
     
  14. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Dec 17, 2009

    I LOVE the tigger movie. A different topic, I know, but my boys and I got into a great, and healing discussion about not knowing their father's half of their family after watching that movie. Besides that, I just love Tigger.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 17, 2009

    I was at a friend's house the first time I saw it. The kids were having a playdate, half watching the movie, half not. The moms were socializing too. Suddenly I realized what the movie was about, and joined the kids. And I pulled my friend Theresa, also an adoptive mom of a Korean son, in with me. We watched the rest of the movie together, then the next day I went out and bought it.
     
  16. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Dec 17, 2009

    I think I would like to adopt someday. I don't know which service I would use. It's very inexpensive through foster care and they continue to pay for some of the services for the child. I also think it would be a good way to serve the children in need locally.

    I have heard horror stories from foreign adoptions though... situations where the child may have been living in poverty, but lived with their family! There was a very sad NPR story about this situation with a family, and when they looked into it, the agency had basically been "stealing" babies. It makes me quite wary, though I am sure there are wonderful agencies.

    The final option would be open adoption or a closed adoption from within the US. I like this idea, but sadly, (and this is very sad!) from the 5 or so children I know who were adopted this way, they had very big problems. Lots of issues, lots of medication, lots of therapy, etc. This is from family friends of ours and students I have had. I don't know...
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Dec 17, 2009

    Miss Froggy, that's why it's so important to go through a reputable agency.

    New Beginnings has stopped the programs in any country in which they're not comfortable with the way things are run, as any reputable agency would.

    I know several people who were adopted domestically who faced no problems.

    And I know an awful lot of people who are NOT adopted who have all sorts of "very big problems."

    As with almost anything else, you've GOT to do your homework. And you've got to be lucky.
     
  18. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Dec 17, 2009

    I just don't think that's the case. Even most people who work in the system have no idea what we've been through. It's common for both foster kids in the U.S. and orphans in Russia to have been in many abusive situations. I find it absurd to compare people's situations like that. :(
     
  19. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Dec 17, 2009

    Excellent post, Alice!

    Nor should it feel like a "substitute" for having a birth child.
     
  20. TeaRoses4M&D

    TeaRoses4M&D Rookie

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    Dec 18, 2009

    Well, I have always been interested in adoption. I am sure it comes from the fact that my siblings are all adopted. I was planning on adopting a while back. I looked into China and the agencies had waiting lists. Then, I looked at Vietnam, I began reading about the country, culture, adoption process, and basically anything related. I thought it was meant to be when the same agency my parents used to adopt my brother opened up an office about 45 min. away and Vietnam was one of the countries. I had researched agencies for awhile and it seemed wonderful that I could adopt from the same agency my parents adopted from. I went to a seminar and then took weeks to fill out the first application. There were many questions about what I would do if... Well, before I completed the 2nd application the MOU between Vietnam and U.S. expired. So, no kids yet, but adoption is very close to my heart.
     
  21. Miss_K

    Miss_K Rookie

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    Dec 19, 2009

    resource

    This website is a great resource for people thinking of adopting or those who have/are adopted.

    http://www.adoptionsupport.org

    It's an organization in the DC area, but there is useful info on their site as well.

    I'm adopted and was recently reunited with my birthmom and went there for some counseling to help understand some of the things I was feeling. There are so many new understandings about adoption, both domestic and international, that are really important to learn about before adopting.

    Also, for anyone considering adoption I strongly advocate for an open adoption! I know it can sound scary, but I think it is for the best and that is the general opinion of most domestic adoption groups nowadays. I have a cousin who was never able to find her biological family due to sealed records -it has been very frustrating for her and her family due to some medical issues she's been having.
     

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