When we started this journey, I had no idea what was in store for us. We knew we wanted to add to our family, Foster Care and Adoption have provided us that ability. What we didn’t realize was that the children coming into our home needed us as much or more than we needed/desired them.
May is Adoption Awareness Month and as it comes to a close, I am truly in awe and am constantly inspired by all the amazing families we have met, and that have become such a huge part of our lives since our journey began in 2011.
Adoption is a wonderful way to start a family or in our case, a second family. It provides an answer to prayer for many families who struggle to have children but it is also predicated upon loss. Your child’s birth parents and extended family will experience loss, depending on the age of the child there may be no medical history available, and there will be emotional scars of adoption – even if it doesn’t look like there are any scars, there are.
Children that are adopted often times come with behaviors and emotions that are incredibly challenging.
Our Monkey, now 7 (adopted at age 3) came to us with a host of behavioral problems that we had to work through – the biggest of them all was his inability to attach. Just because you come to love your child you bring into your home – does not mean they will love you back. Some children also come with developmental delays, been abused verbally, physically and/or sexually and a variety of medical issues that may not be known at the time you agree to take the child into your home.
It is the above issues that can make fostering and adoption so difficult, frustrating, as well as emotionally and physically draining. You can not count on your friends and family who have not been through the process to understand everything that is going on or why you need to raise your child a certain way until there is a bond. Certainly, there is empathy but the, “if that were my child…” or ” have you tried this?” slips in from time to time.
I remember when we were in the healing stages with Monkey and still working on his bonding to us, we had a no “hugs” rule – high fives only with anyone that wasn’t mom or dad. It was very difficult for our families to grasp that concept as he acted and seemed like a normal child around them. Right! You have to be your child’s biggest protector and advocate…no matter how well-intentioned your family and friends might be – they are not the ones that are dealing with the behaviors that ensue the moment you get home.
This journey is a roller-coaster of emotions for sure but in the process, I have grown more than I probably even realize and in working with Boo’s (our 4 yo that we will adopt later this year) birth parents, I have learned the true meaning of humility, grace, and compassion. It is easy to judge those who have had their children taken away but through this process, I have learned so much through Boo’s birth mom and I am glad that one day, I will be able to share with him how hard she fought for him and loved him!!
Fostering and adoption are hard, but the payback is 10 fold!
To be able to see children flourish and heal makes all the hard days and nights worth it in the end…these kids are resilient and they can heal!
If you have been thinking about fostering and/or adoption but not sure if it is the right fit for you and your family, please feel free to CLICK HERE for a free consultation.
Big hugs to all foster/adoptive/respite families…your strength, unconditional love for our kiddos, support, and dedication is truly remarkable💙
Superman was adopted too…we are a Super Family – what’s your superpower?
Dena is the owner and founder of A Brain Fit Life. She has a passion for empowering Foster, Adoptive and Special Needs parents to embrace the messy and fill their cups. Dena also speaks on important topics related to brain health that include self-care, mindset, benefits of neurofeedback, the brain-gut connection, and brain nutrition.
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