Any recommendations for good books geared toward adoption of younger children or toddlers?
I'm really interested in getting more info on attachment issues to help with establishing the bond with her and DH.
Being two, it's hard to tell whether the other issues she has are adoption or age related. For instance, she talks up a storm at home but is pratically mute at daycare, she's aggressive with the other kids there and won't hesitate to throw a shoe at a kid. At home, her preferred method is to stick her tongue out and blow raspberries at us, call us all "bad girls" (even the boys) and hit us if she can get close to us.
You'd think that after being a mother for almost 16 years, I'd know what the heck I'm doing by now but I don't. It's like walking a tightrope in the wind, the steps I take are cautious and uncertain. Before adoption, I could have skipped across with my eyes closed. I don't want to spoil her, but I don't want to damage her even further either for not doing the right thing...sigh.
Last night we went to the annual Fall Adoption Party put on the by the state for all prospective and adoptive parents. We went last year when we were in the "waiting period". It's amazing that one year later, we're back not only with our daughter but it's a done deal and she's already adopted. Amazing.
We saw our instructor from training class so it was nice to catch up with her and show her how Addy's coming along. We met up with our friends from class and their kids, took a hayride out to the corn maze, then on the way back we picked pumpkins. Unfortunately, cameras aren't allowed to protect the privacy of the waiting children there so I don't have any pics to share. Addy looked adorable toddlering after the bigger boys in the corn maze, trying her hardest to keep up with them. She had a long pink cotton dress on and pink bows in her puppy tails.
Yesterday we had a fieldtrip to an apple orchard with Addy's daycare. She's still in the separation anxiety phase, I guess. I was the only parent that had a clingy, whiny child who wanted to be held more than enjoy the day. I felt like such an ass around all the other parents, like mine was the only brat there. I know it's not her fault but they don't.
When we first got there, we went into a tent to watch a video on how they make apple cider. All the kids dutifully sat in a semi-circle to watch the video but Addy refused and took a fit until I sat down and let her come onto my lap. She wouldn't stay put while the adults went to get the glasses of cider to bring to the kids. She only wanted me and even knocked the glass out of the hands of the parent who was trying to give her a glass. When it came time to pick apples, she wouldn't go to the trees, I had to carry her. I got more comments from parents "Oh, she must be tired", "Oh, someone's ready for a nap".
After lunch, she wouldn't play with any of the kids, she had to sit on my lap. By the time, we got back to the school, I was drained. The thing is, it's like this all the time but this is the first time around other people that I felt like I was being judged that my kid is a whiny brat.
At home, if I'm around she has to be in my arms, on my lap, hugging my knees, in her sight. That's why DH gets so aggrevated, she completely dismisses him. If he tries to hold her, she screams for me. Some days, she fine with him then I think ok, I can breathe a little easier that it's finally getting better...then she goes right back to rejecting him again.
Is this normal? I don't know, I've never adopted before. I feel sometimes like I'm sailing into unchartered waters with no map.
I love her more than life itself, but it's sooooo draining on me. The house is suffering, my marriage is suffering, the other kids are being neglected because she makes me the center of her attention constantly.
Thursday night our hot water tank blew. Our oldest son's room is in the basement so he noticed it pretty quickly and we were able to stop the gushing to a small leak. I had to call in sick on Friday to wait home for the plumber to come and replace the tank. At 10:45, Ad's daycare called that she fell at school and hit her eye on the corner of the table. I rushed to get her and it didn't look too bad, the cut didn't seem too deep but she had a good sized egg going on.
I knew it wasn't going to be easy but sometimes adoption is so hard. I became close friends with one of the girls in my adoption class. She was placed with the most gorgeous 7 month old blonde haired blue eyed baby a few months ago to foster with the intent to adopt. She had a mild condition that they thought happened in utero that they discussed ALOT before deciding to go ahead with the placement.
Last Friday, she went for a routine MRI so see about the effects of the weakness on one side. Turned out it wasn't a stroke like they thought but a fatal neurological disease. She called me yesterday morning devastated. We reseached the disease online and it seems like the children live from about one year to "early adulthood" with the effects of the disease usually beginning after the first year or two. What's going to happen in the meantime is unknown. There are so many side effects from blindless, seizures, paralysis, developmental delays, the list goes on and on... The whole family is in shock.
Her mentor and I both wondered aloud why wasn't the MRI done as soon as she was born? An overworked system, maybe. But then, why didn't the pediatrician order it when she was born just to see how much damage "the stroke" had done to her brain? Not that they could have done anything for it but....
This condition is so rare, only about 2 in every million babies are born with it. My heart is broken for that little girl and all that she has ahead of her. I've discussed this with my family and co-workers and there is definitely a line in the sand on both sides of the issue. Half are adament that the family should put themselves first and give her back to the state and the other half are of the opinion that they should put the needs of the baby ahead of their own.
Reasons for giving her back to the state: they are not equipped to handle it, it's not too late because parental rights haven't even been terminated yet, they can't expect the family who's only had her a couple of months to take on the burden of caring for a baby with a fatal condition, this is going to tear apart her family and her children caring for a child who is going to going to be most likely a vegetable before she dies. It's not fair to her biological children. She belongs with a foster family that is equipped to deal with severe medical issues. There's still time to give her back, they should do it now before they get more attached to her.
Reasons they should continue the pursuit to adopt: If she had given birth to her, she would have no choice to give her back. Too bad, it's the hand the family was dealt it, they'll just have to "deal with it". Think of the baby, God knows where she will end up if the state takes back custody of her. How could she take a baby for 2 months then just give her back like that? She doesn't deserve to adopt.
The birthparents are being told today. They already lost custody of other children and it was expected that they would lose custody of this baby as well. Under the new circumstances, I just don't see any option of the birthparents being given the baby back because they couldn't even take care of the basic needs of a healthy child, nevermind one that, while she seems normal now, will slowly and steadily go downhill.
Curious, what your opinions are on the topic. I'm sure this could start a hot debate. I'm just too close to the situation knowing the family and the baby and how unbelievably cruel and tragic this is. I would support the family in whatever decision they make. I honestly don't know what I would do if put in that situation and I am grateful I've never been in that position.