Adoption = The Odds

What are the odds of success for a child who was locked in a room the first few years of life?  A child so ignored, he knew ten words at age three? A child so neglected by both bio parents and foster parents that he didn’t know the alphabet at age five? A child who, in kindergarten, couldn’t recognize the word “the” on a page?

What are the odds of success for a child who was moved at least five different times because the adults in his life didn’t want to take the time to understand him, to hear beyond the angry screams, to see past the wild hyena behavior? A child who could not make it through a day in kindergarten or first grade without a one-on-one behavioral aide?

What are the odds of success for a child who was solely responsible for an infant at age two? A child locked in a room with her tiny brother? A child so malnourished her hair began falling out? A child left to her own devices in such a way that she still feels the weight of responsibility for not being able to feed herself and her brother?

What are the odds of success for a child who was unable to succeed in kindergarten because a foster family forced her to watch a toddler instead of learning? For a child who was so overlooked that no one, not even the social workers, fought for her to receive therapy or academic assistance?

At times, the odds seem to be never in our favor. There are many days, weeks and even months when we are exhausted, overwhelmed, frustrated, stressed, drained. Times when we weren’t sure we could do this. When we didn’t think we had it in us. When we were convinced this experiment of love would not end well.

Ah, but this week, we are momentarily triumphant.

This week, our daughter has been declared no longer in need of occupational therapy. She’s doing well in her mainstream classroom with minimal academic assistance. She is making more healthy choices.

This week, our son–who was reading on a kindergarten level in second grade–is finally reading on grade level. His eyes sparkled as he informed me that some of his spelling words are “fourth grade!” words. This afternoon, as we waited for his sister to finish her last OT appointment, he was the most well-behaved child in a room of many.

I’m not fooled into thinking we’re on easy street. (We’re only three years away from teenage angst…that will be fun…) I understand that there will be setbacks. I’ve not been lulled into a wondrous sense that this is the new normal.

But this week, we celebrate.

And borrowing a line from one of my favorite books, I say, on behalf of all foster and adoptive families,

May the odds be ever in your…well, you know.

About Casey

Adoption = my life. I'll give it to you straight. Success, failure, truth.

Posted on September 11, 2014, in Parent and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. My husband and I considered adoption for a few weeks. I read a lot about it and I think I would have go for what it’s called in Quebec Banque mixte, as the waiting period is shorter. However, there’s the possibility that you have to return the kid to the biological parents (4% of the cases) and that idea pulled us back.

    I’m still somehow open to the idea, but my husband isn’t and this is something I can’t see doing alone.

    In your case, did you and your husband agreed from the beginning?

    Like

    • Sorry, I just realized I hadn’t replied. I wanted to think about it first (and did) and then forgot to actually type my answer. 🙂 Yes, when we were dating, we actually talked about adoption before we talked about getting engaged. My cousin and his sister were both adopted, and for us it was a very positive experience. We wanted to give a child a chance, and planned to adopt before having bio kids so they would know they weren’t our “second choice,” as in, “We couldn’t have our own kids, so we got you.” Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to belittle the people who strongly desire to have their biological offspring, nor the people who go to hell and back and still can’t conceive. It’s just that for us, having a bio kid was never a priority. Every once in a while, we’d check in with each other (“Are you SURE you don’t want to try for a baby first?) but the answer was always the same: we want them to know we chose this.
      What we didn’t know at the time: I have Lupus, diagnosed in 2005. Technically, with a doctor’s supervision, I could carry a child, but there’s up to a 50% chance that the baby would be stillborn, and it could happen anytime (in other words, the risk does not disappear after the first trimester). To me, that sounds like, “Hey, let’s tell your toddler to go play in a 4-lane highway. There’s up to a 50% chance he could be hit by a car, but hey, he’ll have fun!” No thanks. Needless to say, this solidified our decision to adopt.
      Initially, I was very against foster care, exactly for the reason you state. I did not want to get attached to the child and have him ripped away from me. At some point, though, I heard an adoption speaker ask, “Who is this about? Are you doing this for yourself, or for the child? Whose life are you trying to affect? One night in your loving home could change a child’s life forever, but you’re not willing to provide that becaue you’re worried about your ‘feelings.'” We decided that we would open our home to respite care (providing 1 to 30 nights care for children in transition or whose foster families needed a break). We were almost through the process with the respite agency when we met our kiddos. They would be long-term foster, possibly returning to their bio family, but by this time we’d made a mental shift. They needed a home, and we had one to give. How could we say no?
      With that said…you definitely both have to be on the same page. I could not have survived this without Hubby. You also MUST have a strong relationship to begin with, because the added stress makes things very difficult sometimes. The situation in which you find yourself is pretty common–the caring wife and logical husband. 🙂 He wants to help children, too, but he sees all the logistical problems and wants to protect you from heartache. I would recommend finding ways to volunteer or even sign up for respite care only. The nice thing about respite is that you know up front the children will leave, so it’s more like having some friends come to visit. 90% of the time, the kids are on their best behavior, because it’s a new environment. I’d recommend respite for pre-school or school-age kids. We did respite for an 11 month old and it wasn’t fun, because she had a double ear infection but couldn’t tell us. She arrived on a Friday night and the doctor never called me back, so we didn’t have relief for her until Monday. Two and a half days of screaming infant will drive anyone insane. 🙂
      I will pray that if you’re meant to adopt, God will bring you both to the same realization. And, something I’ve found (now that I look back) is that thing happen when they’re supposed to happen, and not on my timeline. About 7 years ago, I wanted to adopt a sibling group of four. If we’d done that, we might not even still be married, because we were going through a rough patch at the time. Not adopting gave us time to get ourselves back to a good place in our marriage. Also, if we’d adopted then, we probably would have said no to our current kids, and it’s obvious we were meant for each other! 🙂 So…be patient. Going to an adoption conference in the meantime never hurts, though, if they have one in your area.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you very much for this Casey. Don’t worry for the time it takes you to answer my silly questions, honestly, I don’t know how you manage it all… I know that you have a lot on your plate right now.

        Thank you for keeping this journal and for taking the time of been there for your readers, You are ridiculously inspiring. I wish we could continue this conversation over a coffee 🙂

        Hugs,

        Pati

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So touching 🙂 and so good to see parents who care. The best of luck, screw the odds, just think cup half full, love your kids, hope for the best and prepare for the worse!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I guess that today is a good day to ask you: Would you do it all again? It must be really hard, but it is worth.

    Funny that you don’t know anything about people. When I first started reading you I had no clue about all what you and your husband have done. Not that I have now, but at least I can imagine how you feel a day like today.

    Her smile… I can picture that also.

    You are very brave. The four of you.

    Like

    • Pati, that’s actually a really great question. If I’m honest, I must admit that there were days he and I did not think we’d be able to succeed. Especially in the beginning, when I was required at the school almost every day, and when afternoons were filled with angry screams (for the record, they weren’t usually mine…).

      The beginning was very wearing. Our relationship with each other and God were the threads we grasped, and the longer we held on, the more they wove into something strong.

      If someone had given us detailed information about the last three years (before they happened), we probably would have been defeated at the outset. Luckily, we only saw minute by minute, and God gave grace to make it through.

      Would we do it again? Ummmm…that’s a pretty difficult question to answer, because I don’t know how we really survived the first go-round. I can say with definite certainty that we would absolutely do it all again for these kids. I can’t imagine my life without them…even on the bad days. And on the good days, they are the air I breathe.

      Thanks so much for reading! I appreciate your heartfelt comments very much.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Casey for taking the time to answer me.

        You inspire me with the kind of portrait I was searching for when we were considering adoption, heartfelt and honest.

        Happy to see you in The Commons, BTW. Have a great weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Speaking of portraits, I was just over in your murals. You are SO incredibly talented. The detail is just unbelievable. I love the girl with the lightning. She just looks so…ready to take on anything!

          You mention you were considering…is it something you still think of doing, or have you taken a different path? Just curious. Don’t feel like you have to answer.

          Like

  1. Pingback: Adoption = Irony | Adoption =

  2. Pingback: Blogging101: Introduce Yourself | Adoption =

Add your opinion here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: