Saturday, October 3, 2009

More Thoughts From The News

So, I have been hitting my favorite MSNBC.com website this week and have found stories that have really made an impact on me.

The other day they ran a story about a lady who adopted a child and gave him up after 18 months. Click HERE for the story.

The basic details are that she had three biological children, wanted to share her life with another child and adopted. The adopted child had been abandoned by the side of the road and was taken in by this lady. Taken in, after she had taken classes, researched adoption, gone through an agency that could help her, etc. And then 18 months later gave him up, because there was no connection being made.

Thoughts? Feelings?

I have plenty. But not maybe the kind you think.

After we adopted Ethan we were told through LDS Social Services that we couldn't adopt more kids. They had enacted a policy where two kids is all you got - no matter the circumstances. I was upset at the loss of control I had in choosing how many kids I could have! Being told you can have no more than 2 kids is extremely frustrating.

Jeff and I turned to foster care in the hopes we could adopt a child from there. Our first placement was a shelter care placement of 3 kids. There was a total of six siblings, but we took just three for the initial time. They were eventually placed in foster care with a sweet older couple who look all 6 kids.

From there we were given a newborn! A beautiful little baby girl, placed in my arms when she was only 24 hours old. I was in love. And in three weeks she was jerked from my arms and heart with no notice. I was heartbroken.

Next was a placement of a little 18month old boy. We were assured that this little boy would never being going home to his family. Parental rights were going to be terminated. This was our child. Drew, was his name. I was so excited, until things didn't seem to be going right. He hated me. There was no getting close, or getting through. Visitations with his mom confirmed that he was already connected, deeply, to a drug addicted mother who was unfit to be a mother. I tried. It was tearing me apart, and was hard for the boys, and Jeff. I had been told how devastating it is to return a foster care child -- we should work through it. I would be hurting Drew worse to return him than keep. But I knew, I felt, that this was not the right situation. There was NO bond - not even that of a day care worker. It was scary.

I finally took the big step and called social services to place him somewhere else. They begged me to keep him - told me we could adopt him eventually. But I knew something was missing. We took him to a new foster home. I was a failure, he stayed at the new foster home for a few months until he was returned to his mom.

We had one other placement after that. It was short and I was fine with that. But I stopped completely after that. There is something basic, primal in a connection with a child and a care giver. Without it, there is nothing. I do believe that to raise a child without that connection would be ruinous. I also don't think you can manufacture that feeling -- it's too primal to be made. Love may grow deeper and more enduring, but that connection, or the basic flicker of that connection has to be there first.

I am sorry that this lady didn't make that connection, but I'm more happy that she corrected the situation. I believe that God will step in and help both the child and the lady to heal and be better off. I also know that there is a horrible side of this story that happens all the time in America, where for No Good Reason, children are tossed aside for selfish reasons.

Maybe this whole story just reconfirms to me that we shouldn't judge too quickly or harshly without going through the same thing.

3 comments:

Kr!sty said...

wendy. all I have to say is that you are an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G woman. I honestly do not know how or if I could handle the things you have gone through. I admire your strength, endurance & honesty. I grew up in a "foster care giver" home & simply b/c of that, I had zero desire to be a part of that world. kuddos for sharing yourself, home & family. :)

Hacking it up said...

wow. What a difficult and emotional train ride you've been on. What a blessing to the world that there are people like you willing to open your home and your heart. I think your decision to return the little one was a wise one, and I agree, our Heavenly Father gets these babies to where they need to be. My brother and his wife adopted a baby 2 years ago and have begun the process again to get baby #2. It's such a trying and emotional process, but rewarding. Thanks for sharing your story!! xoxoox

Kim said...

Wendy,

The lack of attachment sounds a lot like RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) it's where the child doesn't form that bond. It is overcome-able,it takes work. That bond between an infant and their parents/mom is so important.

-Trent