Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hell hath no fury . . .

I just looked this up for the author and just learned it was a paraphrased quote:

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned," William Congreve

Pretty funny that the quote is even more apt now.

I am feeling a little bit lost and a lot overwhelmed today. I've been searching and searching for an online community to support me like all of you in the baby loss community have. I was looking for people that had adopted from foster care, particularly ones that already had bio children. There are unique factors to consider when you have a young child in the home with no history of abuse or neglect and then suddenly start adding traumatized children to the mix. I was hoping for some more wise, funny women that could offer advice and be a sounding board. I thought I had found that in the adoption.com forums but after today I don't think I will go back there.

I posted a brief sketch of the information I was given about out potential match with a 13 year old girl. I stated that she had 3 disruptions but very little history of severe emotional problems. I was immediately attacked for even THINKING about bringing a 13 year old from foster care home where she would have access to my 5 year old. In the eyes of this community this traumatized child had already been tried, convicted and sentenced. Here are some quotes so you can tell me if I am over-reacting.

Has no agency or cw'er talked to you about adopting out of birth order???? This is a very sensible issue and truly, most adopting families find it good practice to ahere to this unspoken rule, KWIM?

It would be VERY risky to put a 5yr old with a 13yr old...even in the best circumstances

Can you imagine your little girl coming to you and telling you that her big sister has been threatening her? That she has been pinching her hard? That she has been telling her things that make her feel uncomfortable? That she has been telling her that she hates you and wants to kill you? None of those things are sexual abuse, but believe me, can leave lasting effects on your child and can make her feel unsafe in her own home. Even just hearing arguing between her older sibling and parents (which there is with the best of 13 year olds!) can make her feel very unsafe. - This one I thought was really ridiculous. My sister and I did way worse than that and we are full biological siblings. It's not abuse, it's normal sibling rivalry and she should be teaching the young one how to handle conflict.

the bottom line was based on this experience I would not recommend adopting out of birth order and I agree that three disruptions and therapeutic foster home is scary to say the least.

I would not bring this child into my family if I had a much younger child

There was more but most of the posts were very vehement about not adopting out of birth order. The thing is, I knew there were people who had disruptions because they just couldn't parent their very traumatized children. I wanted to know if there were warning signs when they were matched so I could learn how to avoid those situations. Instead I got lots of exclamation marks and comments on how horrible and dangerous older children are. Not one of the posters made specific suggestions or told me how things went wrong. They just exploded.

I've personally known several families that have successfully adopted older children, even with younger children in the home. And foster parents mix up the ages all the time. It is not physically possible for every child over the age of 3 in foster care to be a soul-sucking demon. There ARE good kids out there and all I want are the resources to find them. I don't think I should be attacked for that choice.

I'm trying to keep in mind that all of these posts were made by women that adopted a child, expecting to love them, and the child tore their family apart. What I didn't expect was the anger directed towards the children. Yes, at a certain point people have to be accountable for their own actions. But can you really expect that of a child that has been through hell? Why should they believe you when you say they can trust you? And how can you hate them for not believing you and acting accordingly? I don't get it.


  1. I don't think you're overreacting.

    I'm glad that there are women like you out there who are willing to give children a chance.

    Good luck honey xx

  2. I think that you probably need to talk to your daughter in terms she understands about having an older sister, and you need to prepare her for all of a sudden not being the only child. But this is typical of another child coming in to the home regardless of age. You may want to run past her things that are never okay just to prep her. Usually there are reasons for the disruptions. But that's not to say that it won't work. You just need to be on guard for awhile.

    A lot of the women on adoption.com are just going to give you the worst case scenario. ALWAYS. They are def not a close group of people to give you encouragement. Its almost like they just want to scare you away.

    Good luck!

  3. When my sister was 6, I was 2.5 and my brother 1 my parents adopted a 12 year old. I don't remember a time before her, in my mind she's always been my sister, but my parents do talk about integrating her into our life and family and the difficulties of it. It required a lot of counseling and hard work on their part as well as hers (she had abuse history) but in the end she assimilated well .. so in my opinion it's not crazy to bring a 13 year old into your home even though you already have a 5 year old.