Do you ever have people ask for your advice about adoption, and then look at you horrified when you give it?
The shortest advice I can give potential adoptive parents is “Expect the child to become a wild animal at any given moment, look around your house, and make changes accordingly. Plan for the worst, and hope for the best.”
And they back away, thinking you’re a terrible person, and don’t speak to you again… for about 2 years, until their adoption is finalized and the poo-poo has hit the fan, anyway….
I’m not bitter because other people have experienced the “rainbow and unicorn” adoptions, that their kids came healthy and well-adjusted. You know why? Because their kids are healthy and well-adjusted! Of course. But what adoptive parents of the “lucky” sort need to realize, is their happy little world does not negate the other half. Living in the literal luxury we live in, here in America, in Canada, in the UK, does not negate the poverty of the 3rd world countries. “I had enough food to eat today, how can you say you didn’t?” or “I drove a car today and a drunk driver didn’t hit me, so how could one hit you?”
Just because as an adoptive parent you don’t have a trauma child, you don’t have a child with reactive attachment disorder, mental illness, emotional issues, doesn’t mean that you can’t learn, support, and be a friend to those that do. Your experience in life in no way compares to theirs. Your children in no way compares to theirs, and your apparent “parenting prowess” would fail in a second when faced with the daunting tasks some adoptive/step/foster parents face.
Whether your adopted kid shows it or not, they’ve suffered a loss, whether it be big or small. All of our kids can relate to each other in some ways. They all are part of the same sub culture called adoptees. Some of us adoptive parents are also part of that group, and were also adoptees. We have a connection, a bond. Let’s work together for those kids that need more help and support each other in that journey. Because you just never know… a drunk driver might be around the next corner and your world might come crashing down around you.