Exploring Adoption, and Adoption through Foster Parenting

We adopted our daughters from China when they were 9 1/2 months old. For the first three days, they had a heartbreakingly forlorn look on their faces.   I can only imagine what they experienced. I’ve often thought that for children  being adopted internationally, the encounter and adjustment period must feel like being kidnapped by aliens.  My husband and I didn’t look, smell or sound the same as the people our daughters were used to in China. We didn’t even eat the same foods.

As I think about it,  I’m sure most adopted and foster children must feel similarly.  Even when a child goes to a family that is not trans-cultural or trans-racial, the mere fact of being swept away from all that is familiar must be terrifying.

Why do I mention this? Only to encourage families whose child is not bonding or is having difficulty adjusting to take heart.  No matter how vehemently adoption professionals warn about the adjustment period, I think most parents hope deep down that there will be an instant “spark” and that the child will simply “take” to them.  It seldom happens that way. But your child will adapt and bond to you.  Sometimes it just takes longer than expected.

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Comments on: "Kidnapped by Aliens! Adoption and Foster Care from the Child’s Perspective" (2)

  1. Peter F. Eder said:

    From an earlier day …. When we adopted our first daughter from the New York Foundling Hospital back in 1968, she was two and a half months old. The morning we went to pick her up at the hospital, it was of course love at first sight. After we saw her and held her, my wife started to get ready to leave with her. The case worker said: “you should look her over carefully and check her out.” My reply was: “Wrap her up, she’s ours and no further inspection is needed.”

    • Finger Lakes Travel Maven said:

      Thanks for sharing, Peter. For the parents, I think it almost always love at first sight. I know when we got the photos of the twin girls who were referred to us, as soon as we opened the packet and took out the photos, they instantly became “our daughters.” The connection wasn’t quite as instantaneous for them! I laugh now when I think about their initial response when Ted and I first held them. If they could have spoken, their response would surely have been, “Arrgh! Get me out of here!”

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