Is Adoption for You? Positives and Pitfalls Prospective Parents Need to Know
- Friday, November 19, 2010
In fact, some adoptions cause quite a bit of pain and grief in the lives of moms, dads, sisters, brothers, and other relatives. But just because there's conflict, it doesn't mean that the adoption wasn't meant to be. I believe that God uses all things, especially conflict and struggle, to work together for the good and bring about a good "end." Your understanding of God's faithfulness to you, should you find yourself in the midst of struggles in an adoption, will make all the difference in the world as you begin to understand what is happening around you. This understanding will usually determine how you respond, what you expect, and how you see the "bigger picture" of adoption in the life of your family, rather than just writing off something that was (and still is) so well-intended, as just a mistake.
But what if you have not adopted yet and are just considering it? God has a plan. And if He has a plan for some people to adopt, He might also have a plan for some not to. I have met many people who have adopted. I have met many more who I hope will adopt. And I have met people who perhaps should not have adopted. Granted, it's not my call. But it is my observation that some people have been motivated by wrong things, moved by emotion or a missionary purpose rather than logic and reason, and have made decisions about adoption that were not good choices for them. How do I know? They've told me, and these are the comments I have heard:
"Why didn't someone question what we were doing?"
"I think we got caught up in the excitement about adoption and really didn't think about all the implications."
"I never wanted this child, I was just being supportive of my wife's idea."
"This really isn't what we thought it was going to be."
"This child is destroying our marriage and ruining our family… what a mistake."
"How could something that at one time felt so right… now feel so wrong?"
And because I hear kids who have been adopted say this:
"I always thought the biggest mistake was me being born… but I now think it was that someone allowed my parents to adopt me."
"It's almost as if I went from one bad situation to another bad situation, except people expect me to be thankful."
"I'd rather go back to Ukraine (or any other country)."
"I don't think my parents were supposed to have kids."
"Every one said that this was going to be so good… what happened?"
"Something's missing, and I don't know what it is."
A little chilling isn't it? I'm sure that the parents who adopted never thought they would hear those words come out of their mouths. And I'm sure that those who were adopted (whether they were older or younger) would not ever think that they would want a different situation or family.
But in my experience, for the most part, even the worst adoption struggles tend to resolve themselves when the child turns a bit older -- when their brain is fully wired. The transitional adolescent years are when most kids rebel (if they are going to rebel at all), and adopted kids often have physical or emotional scars that can make this time of confusion many times worse.
Adoptive parents can also make it worse if not fully prepared. When rebellion comes to the surface, seemingly overnight, parents can't help but have an, "I deserve better than this" attitude. After all, they've saved the child from a less privileged life. They've given the child their love, their home, and so much more. Now the child slaps them in the face? That hurts!
It can be a time when emotions run high. That's why it is so imperative for adoptive parents to know how to act and what to expect, and to most of all not take it personally. It's not about you, it's about the teen's confusion and struggles. It requires a willingness to hang in there, even in the face of hatred and rejection. How severe or long that period is depends on the teen, but also somewhat how the parents respond to it.
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