Thursday, January 6, 2011

I Have to Ask...

This picture is one of my favorites. Our youngest son wore these goggles as a toddler every day. At the dinner table. In the bathtub. To the grocery store. Yep, I let him. Sometimes my husband would wear a pair with him at home, just to make him happy. Fond memories.

I have to ask this question because it has bothered me for a couple of years. If you are at all involved in adoption, and the adoption world, you will understand I hope. In some circles of families who adopt alot, maybe this question has already been dealt with, but for the rest of us, I think it's valid and needs to be brought up.

I believe in adoption. But I know firsthand it's a huge risk. Emotionally takes a toll. What sometimes people don't realize is the depth of pain involved in loss. Loss for the adopted child, certainly. That does get brought up, still, probably not enough, especially in foster care situations. But what about the family that adopts? I'm specifically talking about the adoption of older children, and by families with their own biological children already. What about the loss the biological children feel? Think about it; they lose their family- as it once was. It forever changes, never to be the same. We talk about that sometimes, right? But could you ever really know what it's like until it's already happening? Trust me, it's one of those things you can't anticipate if things go south. I mean badly.

And why the guilt and shame? "How could you be so selfish? That poor little child had nothing/nobody/etc. and you have always had..._________fill in the blank.
Since when is the sense of loss and abandonment of an adopted child more valid and important than that of a child who lost his/her family life to a major change. It really is a loss. Things that were a certain way are now changed, never to return. Think it through.

 Who in the world is to say that one loss is greater than the other when an adoption happens and goes wrong? From a kid's perspective some other kid comes in, takes up alot of room, and emotionally speaking maybe most of the room. The family is drastically different and this kid doesn't appreciate it and makes trouble and causes grief and the parents are focused on that one, their energies are in that direction and their time is not only divided but also mostly somewhere else. It's a loss! They no longer have the cozy family life they once had. No longer the attention, the sense of closeness and intimacy at times.

I just had to ask, who says that the biological kids in that situation should be ashamed for feeling loss? For wishing life had never been so terribly altered? That they are selfish for wishing it had never happened? I have to ask- what do you think? I'm open to an honest answer.


  1. I'm sure that's why a lot of families don't take the risk. On the other hand, a child could be born to the family (rather than adopted) and the same situation could happen. It does happen. The older kids' feelings should be considered as much as the adopted children. But once the adoption takes place, or the new baby is born, there's not much to do but love them all the best you can,right?

  2. I confess it is a big reason we have done domestic infant adoption instead. That has worked out more smoothly than we could have imagined, as the bio children see it as though I were pregnant and having a baby, while the adopted children have no recollection of another life--only the photos and stories I give them of the birthfamilies. Having been directly involved in both foster care and domestic adoption, IMHO, if you have bio kids under about 10 years old, I think domestic infant adoption is the way to go. Kids older than that or those with no kids would be better suited to foster to adopt. It reduces the stressors tremendously.

  3. I think sometimes parents forget that the children have aspirations and dreams about what life should be like too. While we can't always help the things that happen to us in life, and for sure life can be altered forever through no fault of our own... I believe that when we bring our own biological children into the world we can't forget that they are also decision makers in the family. Just as the adults wouldn't want things to change without consent, the children feel the same. I firmly believe that the biological children would feel a great sense of loss for the family unit that once was, by bringing other people into it without careful consideration for the children's feelings, family almost loses the meaning. That's not to say that you cannot care for others, and do what you can to help when needed, but the moment you bring a 'stranger' into your home to stay, no matter the age... I feel the family unit is lost.

  4. I think it would be normal to grieve over the family unit changing. The hope is that by adding a new family member the family would grow for the better.
    For some reason I think of Steven Curtis Chapman and how he adopted the three girls and one of them died. Do you think they regret adopting because of what happened? I dont think so. I think if your going to adopt you have to be willing to give up your idea of a family for the sake of a child in need. That is unconditional love at its best.

  5. May God bless you and all your children (both past and prospective) for being obedient to him. I have followed your blog for quite some time and just want to say that it is an inspiration.
    Liz @


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