The below was posted originally in March 2012, prior to the adoption of our children. It is, of course, still true about them as well as our foster kids (whose future is not yet determined by CPS. The current goal is reunification with parents. They are also checking into family and some fictive kin).
More possible reasons why we would adopt these kids…a discussion jumping off of LT’s post at http://looneytunes09.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/why-do-people-adopt-hurt-kids .
1) We just didn’t know they would have issues? Well, I seriously doubt that. We do have to go through training. And we watch movies too. And we usually know a few foster kids. In our classes, they were called “Baby B.” Baby A got all the normal love and adoration all babies should get. They were fed, kept warm, given medical care, kept in a clean environment, were safe, etc. Baby B, on the other hand, often were given the short end of the stick one time after another. Maybe they were born on drugs (cigarettes, alcohol, meth, cocaine, etc). Maybe they were used as sex toys. Maybe they were stuck in a playpen in their own excrement hours on end. Maybe they weren’t fed. Maybe they were hit. Maybe they learned that crying didnt bring anything. Maybe the TV was the only thing that talked to them. Anyway, so it makes sense they have issues and may have issues for a long time to come.
2) Do we have a savior complex? Honestly, I do think I thought I could help these kids faster and to a greater degree than really reasonable. A good dose of love, a lot of discipline, some structure and predictability, safety and security. Surely they’d come along in a few weeks. At seven months, I was thinking, “what on earth? It’s been seven months!!! What’s the deal?!?!” After the TPR hearing, I came to realize seven months was NOTHING compared to what they’ve been through. But sometimes, I still think, “it’s been almost a year.” I have to remember that love and discipline and security from me isn’t a miracle cure.
However, throwing kids away simply is not an option. And I don’t think these kids are ruining my life. Will I think that occasionally? Possibly. But I will remember how great it has been also. I hope they don’t have it too tough, of course, but I know that their life is theirs to make what they wish. I’m hoping to give them every opportunity to choose healthy, even happy; but in the end, they will have to work through what they have been through. I know it won’t always be easy. But they won’t be thrown away. We will be here forever for them whether they want it or not.
3) Because we “get” the hurt? Absolutely. No one comes from perfection. Some have closer than others. I had some rough times. I struggled with abandonment, mistreatment, poor choices, anxiety issues, etc. It won’t come close to what my kids dealt with; but I have gained some understanding to a degree and feel able to pass on some good skills and tools they may be able to use. Additionally, I get that people are all different, know the resources in our area, and know how to find more opportunities in time. I’m dedicated to do so. I’m not perfect, but I sure will be willing to try anything and everything to help them. Will it work? Well, I can’t promise that.
Why am I adopting my children? I believe they deserve a good family. I believe they deserve to be “kept.” I chose to love them. I feel love for them. Honestly, I wanted to be a mom. But I just didn’t need perfect kids. Seriously, had I adopted newborns or birthed them myself, there was no guarantee of perfection. Instead, I hope to be as good as possible a parent for the kids I actually have. I’ll keep trying to do better and better with them and for them. That is all I can do. I have hope. I hope to give them hope too.