Someone mentioned a book about a rabbit couple who adopted a squirrel and then take the squirrel to meet the other squirrels. Living in a rural area, rabbits and squirrels are everywhere. I searched but could not find it. There are some books that I did find that do not God or glorify adoption.
Pink Flamingo by Jane Porter is not about adoption per se. It is about a Lion raised by Flamingos. He meets his Lion family and ends up being the best parts of both the lions and the flamingos. Descriptions of the book say is about learning to be yourself, even if that means you are different from those around you. And truly, adoptees very often DO feel different from the rest of the family they have been embedded in.
The Mulberry Bird by Anne Braff Braff Brodzinsky seems to touch on some of the issues that tear apart some mothers and their child and end in adoption. The mother bird is looking after her baby bird in the forest, when a huge storm scatters her nest. Try as she might, she just can’t give him the protection he needs. She faces a choice: continue to struggle on her own, or give her precious baby bird to another family who can care for him in their strong, secure nest. The book addresses common issues in adoption such as the enduring force of a birth parent’s love and contact post-adoption to the importance of nurturing an adopted child in his or her new environment. It is a timeless and enduring tale of sacrifice, wisdom and love.
While not about reunion per se, a school assignment to complete a family tree can be painful for a child who was adopted. Lucy’s Family Tree by Karen Halvorsen Schreck tells the story of when Lucy comes home from school with a family tree assignment. She asks her parents to write her a note to excuse her from the task. Lucy’s adoption from Mexico makes her feel as though her family is too “different,” but her parents gently and wisely challenge Lucy to think some more about it. By the conclusion, Lucy feels better about her situation and has devised a way to create a family tree that honors both her birth parents and the parents who are raising her.
It is fairly common for adoptees to fantasized about their original parents. In Oliver, A Story About Adoption by Lois Wickstrom that issue is addressed. Oliver gets angry at his parents when he is sent to his room for playing in a tree that was too young to be climbed. Oh, if only he still lived with his birthparents! What could he do if he were with them? Be a scientist? Or a trapeze artist? Do other people wish for other parents when they are angry with their own? The adoptive parents let Oliver know that when they were children and got angry at their parents, they fantasized that they were adopted and that their natural parents were more fun to be with.
Jazzy is a transracial adoptee who is the heroine of her own story. In Jazzy’s Quest – Adopted and Amazing by Carrie Goldman and Juliet Bond issues of identity, the challenge of fitting in and seeking an answer to the question of special vs different are validated. Jazzy, loved and supported by both her birth and adoptive families but still struggles. Where do interests and talents actually come from ? Your adoptive family, your birth family or truly, from somewhere deep inside yourself.
It is possible for parents to love their children dearly but be unable to kick an addiction that endangers their ability to parent.
Nationally, neglect is the most common reason for the removal of children from their parents (62 percent). These cases often involve other underlying factors such as drug or alcohol abuse or parental mental health problems, which may not be reported or even known by child welfare agencies at the time of removal.
The threshold for indicating parent drug abuse as a reason for removal varies among, and sometimes within, states. For example, some states require a formal diagnosis of drug abuse for parental drug abuse to be listed as a reason for removal, while others maintain lower thresholds such as a positive urine screen or investigator suspicion. States also do not report data on informal arrangements in which a child stays with relatives or family friends without formally entering foster care.
In 2017, the rate of children entering foster care due to parental drug abuse rose for the sixth consecutive year to 131 per 100,000 children nationally—a 5 percent increase from the previous fiscal year and a 53 percent increase since FY 2007. Of the 268,212 children under age 18 removed from their families in FY 2017, 96,400 (36 percent) had parental drug abuse listed as a reason for their removal. 35 US states have experienced an increase in both the number and rate of children entering foster care due to parental drug abuse. Federal law does not require states to specify the type of drug abuse involved in a child’s removal from the home and so the role of opioid addiction is not quantified.
Challenges for keeping families together include a lack of resources to provide appropriate treatment for parents battling addiction and a shortage of foster homes to care for children while their parents are in treatment.
Addiction is an isolating disease. Due to the pandemic, AA and other 12-step groups have moved online, and some methadone clinics have shifted to phone meetings and appointments. The coronavirus may make it harder for parents who have struggled with addiction to stay in recovery. The pandemic has changed some long standing rules for treatment – it is recommended that clinics stop collecting urine samples to test for drug use. Many patients can now get a 14- to 28-day supply of their addiction treatment medication, so they can make fewer trips to methadone or buprenorphine clinics.
It’s too early to tell what long term effects this unprecedented time we are living through will have on families. Compassion, understanding and whatever support can be given under pandemic restrictions may be critical to the long term outcome.
As I began to learn about my own parent’s identities (they were both adopted and died knowing next to nothing about that), it very quickly dawned on me how awful it must be, to be forced to live a false identity. Most people never even consider that.
This is the statute for only one state but most states are the same regarding adoption laws.
Why is it so difficult to just love a child in a parental way without the ownership of that child? Adoption legally strips away a child’s heritage and attempts to force another one on them. Is it any wonder that adoptees struggle with identity?
When my cousin from my dad’s original mother and I discovered each other, I said I had his adoption certificate. She immediately noticed something I didn’t, his mother’s name wasn’t on the paper. Instead the Salvation Army had taken “ownership” of him.
One doesn’t own a child like they own a pet or car or house. A child is also a human being. Take away their name and the name of their original parents, what’s left?
Something that is no longer wholly real. Sadly.