LWB: Article from the Realistic Expectations series: Post Adoption Struggles

Then…the day we arrived home.



Another great article by Love Without Boundaries. Our agency and social worker were both very good about preparing us for the reality of adoption.  They told us to not be overly concerned if Alex and Lillian cried or even rejected us at first.  That it is natural for them to grieve.  Look at it from their perspective, you are living in a place with a bunch of other kids.  You get fed, everyone looks and smells like you.  You don’t know any other way of life.  Then one day, you take this train ride or van ride (maybe even your first time in a car/on a train) and you are brought a hotel where there are bunch of strangers that look different and smell different than what you are used to.  All of sudden, your nanny is gone and you are left with these people and you are not sure what is going on.  That was Alex’s story.  He did not know he was getting adopted and the orphanage did not give him his package from us or photographs.  We sent him clothes and he came to us in clothes too small and he STANK!  He didn’t know who we were and he resented us “taking” him from his comfort zone…his orphanage…everything that was familiar.  What does orphanage mean anyway?  What does mom or dad mean?  To him, mama and daddy were empty words.  He had been in the orphanage since 1 month old.  He was not brought up in a family unit.  He had no concept of family.  So telling him I was his mama meant I was another caregiver, or his new caregiver.  Fast forward a couple days and with our guide’s wonderful help, Alex started to understand that we were his family and that he was coming with us.  We were going to love him forever. (again…what is love?  what is forever?)  It seems to me that some people expect to say these things to an orphan and the child feel grateful for being adopted or grateful that they were taken from an orphanage and brought to a loving home with a family.  The reality is, the child is resentful and wants to return to what they know.  It takes a while to earn their trust and to show them that you are their permanent caregiver.  How do I know that Alex FINALLY understands this?  I asked him yesterday: “Who is your mama?” and he said “You” and pointed his finger at me and I hugged him and then, he went on to say, without me prompting him or have said this to him before, this was completely a sentence he made up on his own “No more mamas.  Only 1 mama.  You Alex mama.”  AWWEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am so happy he understands that!

Lillian was a completely different child, from a different environment and with a different story.  She had lots of one on one attention and came from a small rural orphanage.  You can scroll through older posts to read and see that she had no serious issues at all with bonding. 

So, without further ado, here is the link: LWB Post Adoption Struggles



About perpetualrenovator

Preservationist, lover of all things old, scrapbooker, mom and wife. Questions? Email me at: Awarren1802@gmail dot com
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