Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What Would You Do?

It is pretty obvious that I am currently obsessed with adoption and all things adoption related; or not all because I couldn't care less that Jillian Michaels is adopting.  Because of this obsession I have come across the illustration of getting married but the next day being told you have a different husband and then a few years later a different husband.  For some reason you do not fight this and eventually happily accept it only to have it torn from you one more time.  The point of this illustration is to help pre-adoptive families shift the focus of adoption from themselves--ie joy and love in a new eagerly anticipated child--to the child herself--total world shift for no apparent reason.  I read it with interest the first time, but now I have seen it no less than 4 times and possibly up to 7 times.  However, as is true for all analogies it only makes sense to a certain point.

The story says to imagine how you would feel.  I imagine I would feel anger, fear, grief, frustration, like maybe I'm crazy, sadness, terror, and anger, as would a child whose whole world changed in an instant.  However, it cannot go on to say imagine what you would do, because what an adult woman would do is very different from what a child would do.  I would have options that are not available for a child.  If I cannot find my original husband and demand explanations, at minimum I do not have to accept this new life.  I can leave, find a job, start over.  My grief and fear would not go away, but my anger would give me the oomph to get past it and do what needs to be done to control my life.  Okay, just thinking about this helps me see why so many adopted children have "control issues."

My point is, that as valuable as I found this illustration, it is thinking about how my two year old would respond if she was suddenly sent to China with a new family that gives me an even deeper insight into the adopted child's perspective.  I think I'll share what revelations that gave me in a different post because my husband says my posts are too long* but if you have a child, adopted or bio, or know a child try to envision what she/he would feel or do if sent to live with another family.  I think you will have a similar list to mine and a broken heart; and a heart broken with compassion for our children can only make us better parents.

* I have only posted my status on facebook about 10 times, and twice it was with a note because the status space was too short, so I switched to blogging.  What is longer than a blog?

1 comment:

Truly Blessed said...

I've read the same story/analogy and have always had an "eewwww" reaction to it. Like you, I don't know that you can completely relate the two scenarios (marriage v. adoption). Still, it was good to read the first time. But I think you've nailed it when you wrote:

"a heart broken with compassion for our children can only make us better parents."

Yes, we have to remember that their lives have been turned irrevocably upside down and inside out. And APs need to realize that just because a young child clings to you for the first few weeks or months of knowing you, does not mean that the child has "bonded" to the AP, it could just mean that he/she is terrified and clinging to the one person they know will take care of them. Bonding is not an instantaneous process in adoption...any adoption. There is no bonding "Gorilla Glue" -- it's much more like a time release glue that slowly hardens after months and months.

Anyway, I don't think your posts are too long!

TB (from WAGI)