Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Can Anyone Hear The Cry?

Can anyone hear the cry of adoptive families?

Adoption is beautiful, it is a blessing, it creates new family's, it brings joy to empty homes and hearts, it gives a needy child a family.......


What many people don't understand about adoption, especially when children are adopted through foster care, is that these children are victims of trauma, of abuse and neglect. Many of them suffer from internal wounds that no one can see. When you bring them into your family, you are taking on that pain and you NEED outside support. Just like your child relies on you to help him find healing, you rely on outside support to hold up your weak arms while you help your child and that is where the ball is often dropped. I don't think it is intentionally. I think the general public simply has no idea what is involved in parenting traumatized children. They don't see how draining it is to do everything in your power to avert a rage. They don't see the pain the siblings endure. They don't see the hot tears coursing down a mothers cheeks when she really, truly doesn't feel able to go another day...and has been pushing through this for months and years.

Recently another adoptive mom asked me what she can do to help and I just looked at her and shrugged my shoulders. She smiled and said, "That is what we always say, isn't it?" 

I think this is part of the problem, we are in so deep and there is so much at stake that we really don't know what we need, or we fear the response if we are vulnerable.

-What we really need someone who is able to come alongside our family and willingly learn what our children need to stay regulated and bonded with us. 

-We need someone who will follow our seemingly crazy rules and be sure our children comply with them because this is the only way our children will feel safe.

-We need people trained in trauma and attachment, people who can take our raging child when we have reached the limit, people who can give us a break without further damaging the already shaky bond between us and our child.

-We need people who aren't afraid to stand their ground and will speak words of truth when a child, because of the pain in his heart, is doing his best to decimate his adoptive family.

-People who understand that our children aren't "bad" they are traumatized, they have brain damage. They need love and acceptance.

-We need people willing to show our children grace for behaviors that may appear appalling.

-We need mentors for our biological children and our adopted children who have strong bonds. Their sibling's trauma creates secondary trauma which can quickly create a traumatized family where healing is hard to find.

-We need someone to say I am going to do ___________ for you. If you ask if there is something we need, chances are we won't be able to come up with a coherent response.

-We need friends who are willing to carry one sided relationships (thanks to those of you who do this for us. You know who you are!)

The quote, "It takes a village to raise a child," is especially true when a child has experienced pain and loss. We, the adoptive parents aren't enough, we simply don't reach around. Many parents feel guilty asking for help because it was their choice to adopt. I struggle for this as well but many, if not most parents had no idea of the battles ahead when they brought their hurting child home. They thought they were enough, only to discover the void in their child's heart was deeper and more vast than they ever thought. 

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