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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Re-Homing Disruption and Dissolution

Re-homing, disruption and dissolution article's are all over the news since Reuters published the results of their investigation. 
   First I want to inform you that those three words do not mean the same thing, there is a huge difference. 
   Re-homing means an "under the table" passing of a child. You essentially give your child to someone else, little or no legal work is done. Sometimes there are no public record's to show what has taken place.
  Disruption happens when a family has been pursuing an adoption and before the adoption is finalized, decides they are not going to adopt the child after all
   Dissolution happens when a child has been adopted and the family decides to end the adoption.
  *The terms dissolution and disruption may both be used to describe terminating an adoption.

One day I would have been among those who wonder how anyone could even consider dissolution and re adoption. What kind of person would "get rid" of their child just because he didn't fit into the family? The child was "abandoned" once by his birth family and now you are abandoning him as well?! Even after our son was diagnosed with RAD and our family was in chaos, we still didn't feel dissolution was the answer for us at that time. 
   So often we were told that God is there for us, we just need to have faith. Or, God won't give you more than you can handle. God will always provide a way of escape so dissolution cannot be the answer. I spouted those cliche's along with everyone else who didn't understand what families were going through. Until one day I was brought up short and realized that yes, God is there for us but just because he is willing to under gird us does not mean, things will be easy. 
    God DOES give us more than we can handle, otherwise we would have no need of him. 
 In the Bible we are promised there will always be a way of escape, so that we need not sin. Is dissolution sin? Maybe yes, maybe no. Each family must decide. God did not give us the right to make decisions for each other and decide if other people are doing wrong. Only God who truly knows the deepest intents of the heart has that prerogative.
      It is so easy to form an opinion on a matter when you are on the outside looking in. But remember, if the situation was as cut and dried as it appears from the outside, the parents making the decision wouldn't be struggling. Often times when we cast judgment it is because we only see half of the picture.
    For instance when Braden was still at home, we got all sorts of advice. Sometimes we were seeking advice and sometimes we needed to be reminded that our son had different needs and needed to be parented differently. Sometimes we needed others to show us where we needed to change. To often however, we were told what we should be doing differently and when we tried to explain our situation, the subject was quickly changed.
   For instance: Braden always seemed well behaved in public and I know it often appeared that we were being hard on him. What people couldn't see was that Braden was doing his best to hold it all together and things were going to fly when we were alone as a family once more. If we kept Braden calm, he was better able to control himself. If we didn't keep him calm, he quickly became over stimulated to the point where he would tantrum for hours. We did everything possible to avoid those tantrums because they hurt both us and Braden. Every time Braden had one of those tantrums, he became a little more ill. .
    Also, as Braden became more aware of what made him feel out of control, he chose to stay close to either Dean or I because new situations were very nerve wracking for him.
   When someone told us, we should allow Braden more freedom so he can learn to control himself. They had no idea what all played into our decision. They couldn't know how much we wished we could do just that.
   "You are always picking on Braden," was something we heard quite often. Children with RAD need boundaries and they need those boundaries enforced all the time. The child will push against those boundaries and act like they are the worst things in his life. The irony is that children with RAD need these boundaries to feel safe. They hate the boundaries but they are absolutely essential for healing. Children will not heal if they do not feel safe.
  Anyway, got off on a bunny trail there.....just as things are not as they appear with a child diagnosed with RAD, just so it might be with a family who is dissolving their adoption. What you see on the outside is only a small fraction of the picture.
  Parents do not adopt a child with the intent of dissolving the adoption down the road. They do not go into adoption thinking, we will try it and see how it goes, if things don't work out we can always dissolve the adoption. Neither do they suddenly decide they are tired of dealing with the child so they are going to get rid of him/her. They do not dissolve because they are mean spirited or seeking the easy way out. No one intentionally does things to cause others to doubt them.
 Usually parents reach this decision after years of therapy, thousands upon thousands of dollars, quite possibly the loss of their other childrens hearts, people will have deserted them because of their child's unacceptable behavior and complete strangers will have made derogatory remarks when they see the child tantruming.
  Some parents do drop their children off at the CPS office. I am not judging those families because I cannot imagine how hard it would be to turn your child over to the state because you cannot meet the child's needs. What is a family to do when the child is a danger and they have no where to turn? When parents return a child to CPS they are charged with child abandonment, not something anyone would choose to have on their record.
  So could it be that those who go the route of dissolution are not as mean spirited and unfeeling as they may appear? Maybe the parents know the child will thrive in a home where he can receive the level of therapeutic parenting he needs to live a productive life. Maybe they know he needs to be away from those he tormented and traumatized so he can have a fresh start.
   Sometimes parents reach the end of their financial resources. Many of these children have been in RTC's. Insurance will sometimes cover the cost of treatment but often the child needs to remain in the RTC for a longer period of time than insurance approves. If you bring a child home before they are stable they can be even worse than they were when they began treatment. 
   There is also medication, psychiatrist's and therapist bills as well. Getting mental health services is not easy and it may take months of waiting before you can get an appointment, meanwhile your family falls further and further apart. 
   The siblings and parents of the child with RAD often have PTSD. How can they heal from this trauma when the one who is responsible for their trauma is in their midst and daily causing them more pain and heart ache? If the child were healed and able to bond, they could work through the pain and trauma. However if the child was healed, they wouldn't be seeking dissolution.
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