March 8th, 2012
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Reunion2Last month I posted a blog titled “What are you afraid of?” It discussed fears and how communicating these fears of adoptive parents and birthmothers is the key to building a trusting and successful relationship. My son’s adoptive mother and I often shared our fears openly and I attribute the success of our arrangement to this fact.

It was sometimes surprising to each of us to hear what the other was afraid of. So, I’d like to ask for your input here. Please comment on this and share with me your fears. Be honest, everyone has them and if we just start talking about them we can start getting past them. I want to hear what you think! This not only gives me the opportunity to address them, and find answers for you that may help, but sometimes just taking that step to acknowledge your own fears will help you get on the road to working through them.

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Are you a potential adoptive parent that’s afraid to go the open adoption route for fear it means co-parenting with the birthmother? Or a birthmother who is afraid you’ll choose a family that will change their mind about your openness and stop communicating with you? Or maybe you are an adoptive mother who is a afraid the birthmother will change her mind. Or you’re afraid your child will get to know the birthmother and then she’ll drop of his life and disappoint him? Maybe you’re afraid you agreed to more than you now feel comfortable with. Or maybe you wish you had agreed to something more.

Share with me your fears, the good the bad and the ugly. Only by putting it out there are we able to get the information that can help us overcome these fears!

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

6 Responses to “Let’s Be Honest – Share Your Fears”

  1. childforever says:

    We signed the Adoption Placement Agreement to adopt an 11 year old boy from foster care. We have two bio daughters ages 20 and 16. He has ADHD. He is a helpful, loving boy however will not do anything on his own. He has to be told everything to do. He acknowledges that he has a basket of dirty clothes in his room but refuses to bring his basket down so I can wash his clothes unless I tell him to bring them down so they sit in his room and pile up. He will run out of clothes and start pulling dirty clothes out of the basket to wear. Wearing dirty clothes doesn’t even seem to bother him unless you ask him if he likes wearing dirty clothes where he will answer. “No, but my clothes are dirty.” So I say, “Well, how do they get clean?” He will say, “I have to bring my clothes down.” but he still refuses to do it until I say, “Bring your clothes down!” Can you believe it. He knows what to do. He used to wash his clothes all the time before he came to us. We struggle with everything he does. Is it ADHD, being a boy or being a foster kid? He sneaks food and lies. On the weekends, he has been instructed when he gets up to take his pills and get dressed however he never does. He will start watching TV and purposely not take his pills. We are losing our minds. The list goes on and on. We have six months to decide if for sure we adopt him. We want to but we are so tired of the struggle and refuse to give in and do everything for him and think for him and guide him through every single daily hygiene and chore he does. We struggle with something every day though other things he does right and there is no problem so we know he has a good memory. Why is he purposely not doing what he knows he needs to do? A comment from a former foster child would be so helpful.

  2. I like that you are talking about fears. Adoption induces anxiety for everyone, as an adoptee it never goes away, and I’m sure the same goes for most birth and adoptive parents as well.

    • childforever says:

      Once we adopt him, do you think he will calm down and believe us when we tell him we are his permanent forever family? I try to talk to him about everything…..from his fears and what he must be thinking to our fears and I always give case scenerios so he can understand. For instance, my husband did not like me smoking when we were dating. He said he would not marry me if I continued to smoke. I finally quit for him and the future kids we would have because I didn’t want them to smoke and set a bad example. I quit and he kept his promise and married me. I tell our foster son that if he would show us he carried and would listen a little bit, we will keep our promise to him and adopt him. I think he gets it….or I will tell him that if he wanted to adopt a dog but the dog kept biting him would he adopt the dog. He said no. I said…yeah but if the dog promised to stop biting you once you adopt the dog would you adopt it? He said no. I said, well, I’m not comparing you to a dog, but we are scared to adopt you when you don’t do things on your own because we are afraid once we adopt you, you won’t get better. Again, I’m not sure if he understands.

      • kilgoar says:

        As a foster mom and only for a year, I do have an opinion on what you said, but please know that it is not coming from a place of judgement. I am concerned about this situation and this childs mental and emotional state and how he might process what you have told him.

        I TOTALLY disagree with you telling him if he behaves that you will adopt him. Adoption should never be a dangling carrot. Adoption can be a beautiful thing, it shows that a stranger met a stranger and loved them and wanted to take them in and love them. What you have set up is a bargaining chip.

        I am sure he feels like he has to earn your love and no one really should have to do that, especially a child.

        Regarding all the other stuff about the clothes, etc, I totally get. Both of my boys have severe ADHD and their behaviors can drive me nuts sometimes!

        My 12 year old cannot do anything without being told. He absolutely has to be micromanaged, yet we are also balancing the need to step away. Of course so far, every time we step away he fails. I try to find something positive in what he did and we re-instruct him and move on.

        My thought, based on what I see is that you do not need to adopt this child. I think you care about him and want the best for him, but with the bargaining you are doing, I am not sure that unconditional, eternal love is really there. Now the hard part if you do choose not to adopt, for whatever reason, he will always think it is because he wasn’t good enough, since that is how you left the negotiations with him.

        I do with you the best.

  3. childforever says:

    I need someone to talk to. When do you know to go ahead and adopt a child who has been living with you? Social workers tell my husband and I to just take a leap of faith. We are too scared to. We know our son who has been with us over a year wants us to adopt him. He says he will be good once we adopt him. We want him to be good now so we will adopt him. It is a game. The judge is wondering why we haven’t adopted him yet. Well, we just aren’t ready. Will it ever just click and we know it is right? If the goes back into foster care because we don’t adopt him there is a strong chance he will never be adopted. We worry about this too. Here are the problems we deal with: Severe ADHD (though pills control it pretty good on 54 mg of Concerta plus Intuniv), was sexually abused (oral only), talks loud and says things that don’t make sense or things he has no idea what he is talking about, acts like a 5-6 year old, sneaks food, needs to be told everything to do, but other than this, is a very loving child who just wants to be adopted. He is good with animals and other kids, is very helpful, does not throw tempter tantrums or get angry. Our family is so torn. He sabotages everything he does. He will be good for 2-3 days and then he will sneak food or do something he knows he shouldn’t. How do we punish him when he takes food that isn’t his? He hates to read so we have him read as a punishment and he only cries and will start talking to keep from reading. We feel like we are on a roller coaster ride all the time. When he sneaks food, he will put the wrappers in the kitchen trash. We always find them and know he has been sneaking. He doesn’t know enough to put them outside in the trash. He always gets caught. Please someone tell us what to do. We have always wanted a son but am wondering if he is worth the stress. Help!! Has anyone been in our position where you didn’t know what to do? Does it get better after you adopt a child and they know you loved them enough to give them a home? Do they calm down? Does it ever get worse? He is the typical foster boy you read about in books. Sneaks food, feels he is bad because his bio family are messed up though we tell him he isn’t and is smart. We desperately need someone to talk to. Someone who has adopted and older child and not a baby. Thank you so much!!

    • kilgoar says:

      I get stuck on your sentence of “we wonder if he is worth the stress”. My answer to you is please don’t adopt this child.

      There isn’t a biological parent out there who’s child didn’t make them want to pull their hair out, but they stuck with them because they loved them and the child was totally worth it.

      To answer your question, yes, that child is completely worth the stress to nurture and needs to be taken care of.

      I am fostering to adopt 2 brothers, ages 6 and 12, both have severe ADHD and they can make me want to scream sometimes. They are so worth it, because with their bio parents they would not have had a chance, with my husband and I they now have a fighting chance. I find myself sometimes daydreaming about seeing them graduate high school and going off to college. Iknow that may not happen, especially for the older one because he was in a negative environment for a long time; old habits die hard.

      If you can’t commit to this child, someone out there most likely can. It is time to let him go and at least give him a shot at gaining some permanency.

      Also, he is mostly like stealing food, because there may have been a time that he didn’t know where his next meal would come from. I have foster parent friends that have told me they have waken their children up to find them holding a bag of chips or cookies that they must have slept with the whole night. These kids know starvation.

      I hope this helps some.

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