This is sad and cruel but this actually happened in a group of adoptive parents. Their answers will stagger you –
hugging a porcupine!
Or Superman holding cryptonite!
Trying to row a boat with one arm
Speaking a different language
Having a root canal with no anesthesia
Talking to a brick wall
Talking to a room of screaming monkeys who throw things at me
Talking to the wall and it doesn’t respond
Panning for gold
Reasoning with a rock
How repulsive. These women shouldn’t have any children in their care.
These comments occurred in what is termed a “safe space” for adoptive parents to vent their frustrations.
An adoptee shares in response to one I didn’t include above – “I dont know (cause thats the only response i get!)” that this is an adoption trauma response. If an adopted child doesn’t feel safe, they learn not to give opinions because that puts them at risk for abuse. To those who thought that whole experience was a lark (or a laugh) – Your adopted child is showing traits of trauma, that isn’t a funny joke.
One women admitted – I’ve joined some of the RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) groups. It opened my eyes to how much a large number of Adoptive Parents seem to really hate their children. And have zero clue how the typical child behaves. Always ranting and raving about how bad their “rad” is when half the behaviors are things my neurotypical zero trauma biological kids do. I’m so disgusted by these people but I can’t make myself leave the groups.
So . . . this is just one reason why adoptees are forever scarred by the experience.
In a private group I belong to, this story was shared –
“I’m at a loss. We have a Foster Son age 2 and a Foster Son age 5. The 5 year old will not listen at all. We ask him to do something and he acts out or does the opposite. We have had them for a week and I have cried every night I am so stressed. I have thought of everything. I reward him for being good and it doesn’t help. I need help please.”
~ desperate Foster Parent
One of the responses was this – Seriously? You’ve had them a week and you’re upset that they are having a hard time adjusting? If you don’t have the decency to understand that these kids go through absolute hell when they are removed and placed into your home you shouldn’t be allowed to foster. Who certifies these people/trains them? Who ever it is needs to be fired.
Did you know that there are hundreds of thousands of children in the US foster care system? Some recent data indicates that 690,548 children spent time in the foster care system during 2017. Many children in the foster system demonstrate post-traumatic stress like symptoms. This affects their development, coping skills, emotional regulation, relationships and attachments.
When the child has had some time to process the situation, learning meditation, relaxation and breathing techniques may be a method of learning to calm their own self, under their own control. A lack of control over their circumstances is one aspect of their acting out behavior.
Learning to replace negative thoughts with more positive ones can help the child develop a more healthy sense of self. These children need a safe play area and a nurturing environment. Over time, the children will need to learn to recognize triggers in order to gain control over their emotional states. Foster parents need discernment to ignore minor behaviors. By improving this parent-child relationship, the child may feel more supported in their everyday life.
Nothing a foster parent can do beyond patience, love, acceptance and an attempt to understand from the child’s perspective will work miracles overnight. The trauma suffered will be deep and unfortunately, to some degree, last a lifetime.