On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Adoption Speaks?

The very astute essie the accidental mommy has blogged this extraordinary post and it needs to be read by everyone.

She of course referenced another blogger's post discussing whether or not your child might have RAD, Brenda at Living with RAD So I recommend you start with Brenda and then move on to Essie's post for sequential chronology of the blogs.

There are many excellent comments to both of these blogs which I recommend you read. My opinion as commented to Essie is thus:

this is so poignant it is almost tangible.

thank you for putting into words what all of us adoptive moms think, feel, live, grieve and struggle through every single day.

throw into that mix the fact that the professionals still consider the layman's point of view from experienced parents as inconsequential and you've got a recipe for disaster.

if this paradigm is not significantly altered within the next decade, adoptions will cease to occur because the word will be out that it's too d@mn hard to raise damaged children without significant support. The foster system will be burgeoning and in one generation, the streets and jails will be filled with unhealed, uncorraled RADishes, wreaking havoc on society.


RAD moms, we need to be as vocal as possible, a united front. Foster Abba made a good point when he wrote the following comment to one of my insane posts about the ridiculousness with IFI:

I sometimes wonder if we adoptive parents should start class-action lawsuits against the counties and states that gave us these kids in the first place. No doubt we could show financial, emotional and physical damages for what we've gone through.

(He expounded upon this opinion in THIS post , another excellent opinion.)

The professionals are stabbing in the dark, learning as they go, just as we are. It's easy to want to struggle against the machine but if instead, we work alongside one another to restore sanity and support for adoptive parents that are increasingly being asked to do more, be more, give more for these traumatized children, we have the potential to find long lasting solutions that warrants greater success rates and adult functionality for our RADishes.

GB's Mom wrote THIS post that briefly details the progression of diagnosis and the downward spiral of her daughter's illness over the last 20 years. She has a long term POV and more stories like hers need to be heard and analyzed by professionals!

As Christine wrote in THIS post there is no time-line to healing. But if I might add to her two cents, there should also be no limit of resources available to adoptive parents so we can help our RADishes achieve that healing. Has anyone read through Obama's health care plan? Have you seen how little attention is given to mental health?!? It's alarming. And furthermore, I restate my previous thought, if it were not for the grace, compassion and temerity of adopting families, these children would be squatters in the foster care system, never receiving healing. We need a leg up but instead we're getting beat down with titanium baseball bats!

Lastly, (I love all of my RAD blogging parents and I'm glad to give ya'll a shout-out today), Linda at Faith makes things possible not easy has the following quote in her sidebar:

"Adoption loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful."- Rev. Keith C Griffith, MBE

This just says it all. It's not a Hip-Hip-Hooray-I'm-Finally-a-Parent-After-Infertility reality for families that choose to parent through adoption any more than it is a Hip-Hip-Hooray-I-Have-a-New-Family point of view for the adoptee. All of that pretty, superfluous, ridiculousness only makes for good fictional television, movies and literature. But who is writing the harsh realities? Blogging moms of traumatized kids and the adult adoptees that struggled to overcome that trauma. And who is reading those stories? Certainly not enough of the powers-that-be that could be lending a helping hand through appropriate therapies, training, support, finances, health care, etc.

We need to change that.

What about starting a national organization to give voice to adoptive families of traumatized children, one that has the same kind of clout and audience of Autism Speaks?[1] I'm thinking along the lines of something that gets the ears of legislators.

It might be pie-in-the-sky hopes that we could forge this kind of organization, but it needs to happen. Period. Who's with me?

[1]for the record, i don't support Autism Speaks but they are the only organization that I could think of that has the type of advocacy attention that I'm striving for


GB's Mom said...

Autism is the current poster child of childhood disorders. I think part of it is because there is so little control over who ends up with it. FASD is 100% preventable and very few Biological parents are dealing with it. Similarly, most of the parents dealing with RAD are adoptive parents. Society doesn't consider our kids their problems because they will never make our choices. And many of those who choose infant or international adoption are looking for healthy kids. If the child turns out to be FASD or RAD, some of them just disrupt or dissolve the adoption.

Ultimately, it is a very small subgroup of us dealing with these problems and our kids are not considered part of mainstream society. A spokeperson group for our kids is just what we need, but who is good enough to sell our kids to the public?

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

I think about that a lot, what WOULD help my daughter and I guess it would probably be different for everyone but well trained therapists would be a great start.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know where you ive, but in Minnesota we are blessed to have NAMI Minnesota. Excellent parent resources there. About half of us are adoptive parents but I learned that it doesn't matter because all kids living with illness use the same resources and the parents deal with similar isues. I sure would not be where I am without my people in our NAMI parent resource group.

marythemom said...

Advocates for Children of Trauma is Texas-based, but the support, advocacy and forums are national. They are amazing and they really "get it." http://hopeforhealingtrauma.com/forum/index.php

Mary in TX