Sunday, December 30, 2012

Disruption

Do I have your attention now?  This topic sends chills up everyone's spine.  A dreaded word in the adoption community.  Dreaded so much, now they've come up w/ a new more 'politically correct' term....rehoming.  Either way, it's the same thing no matter what you call it.  I am going to be open, frank, honest, raw, emotional, and may step on a few toes by doing so.  However, the time has come as I've had enough of people not saying something.  So, hang on tight this is going to be one of those posts. 

Why am I writing about disruption?  Because someone has to.  Too much is going on all around me and I'm tired of people being so hush-hush.  It is NOT something to be ashamed of.  Period.  Here we go.  Years and years ago, I tried to get help for one of my sons.  He was 5yo at the time or almost 5.  I personally called well over 100 psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, etc. in the triangle/RTP area.  NOT ONE wanted to take his case.  He's going to be a sociopath.  He's not going to be able to be healed.   You should have heard what I heard.  Despair.  No hope for our family.  Get rid of him.  Yes, I was told to do that.  I was also told to dissolve the adoption.  I obviously chose a different path.  I went to the school that day, yanked him out of kindergarten and regressed him.  Will this work for every kid? Heck NO!!!  Thankfully, it worked for us.  But, I will be the first to tell you it was not easy going it on my own w/ no help.  That brings me to this conversation. 

I am not going to give out names nor countries of the many folks I've spoken with these last few months regarding possibility of respite, disruption, etc.  Just know it is not just one family.  I have personally met w/ some of these people in our home as well.  Most these folks find us either by agency recommendations to call us or through the grapevine on various FAS boards or adoption boards.  We make it clear to folks right off the bat however that we are not experts or people licensed w/ any degree whatsoever.  That is always made perfectly clear.  We are parents who've had a great deal of experience over the last 13 years w/ very difficult cases though.  FAS, RAD, PTSD, ODD(not officially dx'd-- well just on one kid officially), ADHD, OCD, anxiety, sensory issues, etc.  You name that alphabet, we have probably dealt w/ it in some capacity or another.  But the two most familiar to us and the ones people come to us for is FASD and RAD.  We have 6 w/ FASD and 2 of those also have RAD.  We have been through the ringer and back.  We have dealt w/ behaviors that should be made for tv movies.  Really, they should.  I mean who wants to deal w/ vomit b/c one of hteir kids is refusing to eat?  Who wants to deal w/ someone smearing poop on the walls?  Who wants to deal w/ someone wetting the bed and wetting themselves every night?  I could go on but you get  the picture. 

Behaviors are why folks come to ask us questions majority of the time.  That or the FASD dx.  Recently, we agreed to do respite for a family.  Again, I will not give names, countries, ages, dx's, states, etc.  It is all private information.  However, I feel it imperative to tell a few of these stories in a round about way because there are so, so many more reaching out for help but I think too afraid to say something.  And we as an adoption community do not need to downgrade them but assist them w/ resources or help.  Anyhow, we reached out and recently offered to provide respite for a family going through a difficult time of a child home for a couple of months.  Turns out we could talk them through a lot of things and things are now turning around for the family.  They do know we are there for them though if they need us in whatever capacity they decide.  I think what is important to realize here though is not every case can end happily.  I'm just being real here people. 

There are many, many reasons why a child can not or should not stay with the original family that adopted them.  Many times there is a bonding issue sometimes as severe as RAD that can present itself in a variety of ways.  I also had a family new to adoption come to us w/ an FASD dx that they were not expecting.  They did not know if they could handle it.  They were unaware of what to expect.  I knew how they felt.  We'd been there.  However, if you are a new parent, you just do not understand what it all means and that can be overwhelming.  It really can.  These are the folks that we can reach out to.  Some just need a few weeks of respite to clear their heads, get things together of how they can help their child, etc.  Some are looking for something deeper such as a new family.  I know some of you are thinking how on earth can anyone want to rehome a child.  Let me tell you this, they do not WANT to do it.  They are in pain of having to make that life altering decision.   Many times though it is the ONLY option for the well being of not only  the child but the family as a whole.  Sometimes, the child w/ a myriad of dx's may do better in a family that has experience to help them heal.  Sometimes, family life is not conducive to an environment to improve the health of that child.  Say if both parents work and the child would thrive better w/ a SAH parent.  Sometimes, the child is dangerous and the new family has other children to think of.  Sometimes, there is past abuse from the orphanage that comes out in various ways and the  new family is not sure if that will ever go away.  And sometimes it does and sometimes, it doesn't.  Really, there are numerous reasons why a family has to make that gut wrenching decision to disrupt.  Please, please do not judge them.  Help them.  Reach out to them.  We were open to adoption again.  I know, I know, I said ten was IT.  And it may be.  However, we know now we are willing to provide respite and if an opportunity presents itself and we feel we are a good fit for the child, I think we'd leave our options open to adoption. 

Point is, I think maybe the reason we have so many with mental health issues and have learned so much over the years is to give back to others who may need help.  Whether it is talking to them or providing respite for them or even possibly an adoption.  Again, you just never know.  I just know I have to do something.  I want others to understand if they need help, they need to ask other adoptive families.  There are plenty of us out there and I know I'm not the only one who's gone through various challenges.  I want those who've come home and are struggling to NOT be ashamed to ask for help.  Call the agency.  Call your social worker.  Get on an adoption board.  Find some help.  I can guarantee you you are not alone.  I know this to be FACT as I have had quite a few families the last few weeks reach out and ask for help on various things.  We have all been at low points.  I am not saying all things will be rosy all the time.  And fact is, not all children that come home will thrive w/ the first family.  Sometimes, rehoming is in the best interest of the child.  Keep in mind, each situation is totally different.  You can not compare one kid to the next situational wise.  that is oranges to apples.  I want you all to listen to someone who is asking questions on a board or their blog.  Let them know where to find help or who to contact.  Offer an ear. 

Many of the families simply need a little guidance.  A buddy system of sorts would be great.  I want new families to know you are not alone for #1.  There are many in the same boat.  I want new families to know there is help out here.  People are willing to share their experiences of what has worked for them.  Goal is to get the families that need help, help.  Rehoming should be a last thought.  And I can tell you the families I have spoken to have literally exhausted ALL OTHER resources under the sun before even considering rehoming.  I know it should be a last resort and I truly believe it is.  I see the pain in their faces and in their voices.  It is so, so hard for others to ask for help.  Remember, I asked for help years ago and no one was willing to do so. I do not want that to happen to others.  I want the adoption community to lift these folks up, lend an ear, a helping hand, some guidance, resources, etc.  I am by far not saying all adoptions are this way.  But the ones that are can be turned around. 

Disclaimer here.  These are my feelings.  Each person has their own opinion regarding rehoming.  I know that. But after you personally talk to these families that are considering it, you know they are out of options and most have exhausted every outlet they can think of.  In your heart, you know it is best for the child.  And sometimes you can see some hope w/ the original family and try to give them additional resources to help w/ that.  Whatever the end result is, bottom line is we should at least try to help the adoptive families that are asking for help or needing assistance to make their new child able to heal and bond w/ the family.  Give them hope.  Give them help.  I guess what I'm trying to say, whatever your knowledge is in the adoption community, I'm sure there is someone else out there that can take a piece of it and help their situation. 

2 comments:

  1. This is one of my biggest fears and worries. I know of one family who had such a hard time with their son. They ended up having to send him off to a special school that worked with him to find out why he was so angry. He just came home after 2 years, but a MUCH different person. Fortunately, they did not have to disrupt.

    I am not experienced enough with certain diagnoses so would not know how to help or give advice. I do however send them your way. (Hope that's ok). If you know of anything I could do to help, tell me what to do or say and I'll be more than glad to do it.

    Thanks for being so blunt about such a touchy subject.

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  2. You speak sense, you speak Love but best of all you speak Christ...

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