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Old 01-23-2013, 05:41 AM
 
20 posts, read 17,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Cite me to the sections of the DSM IV which have a diagnosis of "relinquishment adoption trauma". Can't do it?
That would be a starting point at getting anyone to take a statement like this seriously.

This is what those of us who support adoption contend with daily on this board. Statements like this which represent little more than the opinion of a poster are presented as gospel truth.
Please watch this video

Lecture on Adoption - YouTube
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:59 AM
 
1,516 posts, read 1,837,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misosoup1 View Post
I take issue with many things in your post.

First of all 'awesome people'. Can you imagine how hurtful it is for a child, who has not only lost their original family, to hear their new parents are 'awesome people' for taking them in? People adopt because they want to raise kids, end of.

It's not a 'success all the way round'. These kids lost their parents. It sounds like you're dismissing their loss.
I think that you are reading too much into what Jasper said. These parents do sound awesome, very involved, very dedicated to maintaining family ties between the children, willing to adopt older kids with some serious issues, willing to have a peer support group with another family. This seems to be a very positive adoption story. Adoptive parents or not, they just sound like all around awesome people. They making the best of a sad situation and really reaching out to make things happen for this sibling group.

I'm not sure when it became politically incorrect to a knowledge people doing a great job. I compliment others all the time. That was an awesome meal, you are an awesome coach, you are an awesome mom, etc. I guess that you can come back and say, " they are just doing their job." I guess that I just look at things a bit differently.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:16 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 983,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linmora View Post
I think that you are reading too much into what Jasper said. These parents do sound awesome, very involved, very dedicated to maintaining family ties between the children, willing to adopt older kids with some serious issues, willing to have a peer support group with another family. This seems to be a very positive adoption story. Adoptive parents or not, they just sound like all around awesome people. They making the best of a sad situation and really reaching out to make things happen for this sibling group.

I'm not sure when it became politically incorrect to a knowledge people doing a great job. I compliment others all the time. That was an awesome meal, you are an awesome coach, you are an awesome mom, etc. I guess that you can come back and say, " they are just doing their job." I guess that I just look at things a bit differently.
It isn't politically incorrect to compliment people, but I will try to help you see where the POV can be different here:

When people say something like, "That person is AWESOME for adopting," it can sound a bit like they are better than parents who do not adopt. I mean you don't walk by every single person who has a family & feel the need to exclaim, "You are AWESOME for having kids," do you?

To an adoptee this extra emphasis on how "awesome" people are specifically for adopting can often bring to light the fact that adopted kids are often seen as sub-par to biological kids.

& then the emphasis on how awesome adoptive families are for doing something that yes, should just be a given for all families. Raise your kids with love, keep them in contact with their siblings & other parents (bio, step, etc). If a single mother mentions their kids have a relationship with their father, do you feel the need to say, "You are AWESOME for letting your child know their father!" If they keep in contact with their siblings, do you explain, "You are AWESOME for letting your child know their siblings!" Why should this be any different for adoptees?
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:24 AM
 
1,516 posts, read 1,837,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
It isn't politically incorrect to compliment people, but I will try to help you see where the POV can be different here:

When people say something like, "That person is AWESOME for adopting," it can sound a bit like they are better than parents who do not adopt. I mean you don't walk by every single person who has a family & feel the need to exclaim, "You are AWESOME for having kids," do you?

To an adoptee this extra emphasis on how "awesome" people are specifically for adopting can often bring to light the fact that adopted kids are often seen as sub-par to biological kids.

& then the emphasis on how awesome adoptive families are for doing something that yes, should just be a given for all families. Raise your kids with love, keep them in contact with their siblings & other parents (bio, step, etc). If a single mother mentions their kids have a relationship with their father, do you feel the need to say, "You are AWESOME for letting your child know their father?" Why is this any different for adoptive families?
Actually I would compliment a single mother or another family doing something special. I was just indeed chatting with a single mom going through a messy divorce and she was doing everything to make sure things were relatively normal for her son. I don't think I used "awesome" but I told her that she was doing a wonderful job. She really appreciated the support and praise. That is just who I am. I think in the case of this adoptive family, they are doing a wonderful job in light of the situation.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:43 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 983,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linmora View Post
Actually I would compliment a single mother or another family doing something special. I was just indeed chatting with a single mom going through a messy divorce and she was doing everything to make sure things were relatively normal for her son. I don't think I used "awesome" but I told her that she was doing a wonderful job. She really appreciated the support and praise. That is just who I am. I think in the case of this adoptive family, they are doing a wonderful job in light of the situation.
Honestly... anytime someone mentions they have kids, you literally follow that up with, "You are AWESOME for choosing to have kids!" I doubt that. I have never heard anyone respond to someone that way, while I have heard countless times that people are awesome just because they adopted.

There is a difference in praising someone for being a good parent & doing the right thing by their kid & then putting an emphasis on adoptive families being awesome for adopting.

You & others here particularly put an emphasis on adopting older children, or children with special needs... can you see (from the children's perspective) how that can be seen as saying they are somehow sub-par to biological children, or healthy adoptable infants & that is why it is so "awesome" they were wanted by anyone at all?

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 01-23-2013 at 06:53 AM..
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:34 AM
 
1,516 posts, read 1,837,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
Honestly... anytime someone mentions they have kids, you literally follow that up with, "You are AWESOME for choosing to have kids!" I doubt that. I have never heard anyone respond to someone that way, while I have heard countless times that people are awesome just because they adopted.

There is a difference in praising someone for being a good parent & doing the right thing by their kid & then putting an emphasis on adoptive families being awesome for adopting.

You & others here particularly put an emphasis on adopting older children, or children with special needs... can you see (from the children's perspective) how that can be seen as saying they are somehow sub-par to biological children, or healthy adoptable infants & that is why it is so "awesome" they were wanted by anyone at all?
I'm reallly sorry that you are reading it this way. Will try to explain things better before I head off for lunch with my friends. Your last paragraph is dead wrong and really putting some words in my mouth that I didn't say.

Of course I'm not going to tell each parent of kids that they are "awesome," lol. I do go out of my way though to say something nice to people that I run across. That is my nature--at the gym, in a parking lot, in my neighborhood, school, etc. The mom across the street that manages 4 really busy kids and seems to juggle things much better than I would. Heck yes. In fact I've said, "I'm in awe of you guys." The example I used of the single mom that is really dealing well with a messy family situation. Heck yes I will compliment the heck out of her. Her eyes lit up and she was so happy to have a sympathetic ear. A family who is dealing with special need kids, adopted or not adopted---if the opportunity ever arose, yeah, I would give my support although this can be touchy. I would never go up to a stranger in the street and say something like, "Your kids are so lucky to have you." Yes, that would be seen as offensive. I also don't like it when people tell me how lucky my kids are to be adopted. Fortunately, few have said that but yes, it makes me uncomfortable.

I can certainly express a positive opinion here on this board in response to the story Jasper relayed. That family seems to be doing some great things in trying to continue the relationships in that sibling group and IN MY OPINION are doing an "awesome" job. Not for "taking in" adopted children but for how they are handling the adoption in their particular case. Not everyone would do this and this family seems to be handling things with dignity and grace, especially in regards to the sibling contacts. If I met this family(ies) face to face, I wouldn't gush and say how their kids are the luckiest kids being adopted. That would be tasteless. But if I did hear their story and how they are maintaining bonds between the sibling groups, I would definitely say something positive to them and probably ask them a few questions to learn a bit more about their situation.

Please don't think that I have a AP savior complex. I certainly don't and don't feel that way.

Last edited by Siggy20; 01-23-2013 at 09:02 AM..
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Warren, OH
2,748 posts, read 3,315,681 times
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Because I don't think of my self as part of a Constelation or a Triad, and because I think that it is a little strange to constantly be in a state of gratitude towards the woman who gave birth to my daughter, does not mean that I think of myself or my wife as a Savior of any sort. Or entitled.

I read the scene that Jasper described, and it sounds very nice. At the same time, I would not want to be forced to be part of such a reunion, or be put on a guilt trip for not wanting to be part of it.

I really never thing at all about my daughter's biological relations. Like most fathers in my position, I think of my family. My daughters mother is my wife.

Anything else and these invested words like "adoption constellation" and "adoption triad" sound invented and full of a lot of forced sentimentality.

I admit that I do not want anyone else involved in the parenting of my daughter, and I don't want to have strange people in my life.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:40 AM
 
10,365 posts, read 8,336,133 times
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I worked with children and families for over 25 years, and frequently complimented both children and parents for various things of all kinds. I still do, though I no longer work with children on a daily basis.

A small child pitches a tantrum, mama or papa calm them down effectively, I acknowledge it. A child expresses happiness in a new toy or in a book or movie or video they like, I reinforce their delight. The mother of toddler triplets does a great job interacting with them; I tell her so. A little girl has on a pretty new dress, I compliment her. A young boy loses a soccer game; I commiserate. The children's choir presents an excellent concert; I tell them so and praise them for their musicality.

A parent endures the terminal illness of a child. I cry for them and with them, offer what meager comfort I can, confirm that their child is blessed to have them.

A teacher works with children with special needs. I commiserate with her about the occasional frustration, red tape, and other things that get in the way of learning, and I celebrate when learning and progress win through, thanks to her strong commitment to her profession and to the children who are her students.

Parents, my relatives, adopt school age siblings from another country, I compliment them on their children's successes and on their own tenacity in pursuing their children's adoption through red tape and many unexpected complications. I don't tell them they are "special" or "saintly" for their dedication, but I do acknowledge their love, determination and commitment and send many emails during their lengthy adoption journey. Once the children are home, I marvel at their quick acquisition of English, foster their interests in a growing number of things like science, books, jokes and riddles, history, horses, music, the outdoors, animals, cooking, crafts and sports, and I assist their parents in nurturing these and other interests, as part of a supportive extended family. I note and celebrate the children's delightful personalities and emerging skills, intellectual curiosity and originality, enjoy their company, and am thankful they are part of our family.

I also shudder at the knowledge of what would have befallen them had they not been adopted by a loving family, as reunification with their highly negligent birth family could never have occurred, and they were well past the age of most children who are adopted domestically in their birth country when they joined our family. I do hope that anyone who cares and who is a member of the children's original family knows that they are healthy, happy, and thriving now. I also pray for their original parents, that they will overcome the conditions and behaviors which led to the loss of their children, and that they will find peace.

The children are well-aware of their past difficulties. If in the future, they want to learn more about their past, their parents will share all they know, and have discussed a potential visit back to the children's native country. One of the children hopes to return for a visit, the other has little interest in going back - at present. Their feelings may change, but will be honored in any event.

Acknowledging a sad past which preceded a happy present is realism, and has nothing to do with "enforced gratitude". Praising those involved in creating a "happy present", whatever the components of that happy present, seems to me to be situational. There are times it is appropriate - see examples above - and times in which it is not.

It makes me extremely uncomfortable to hear others praise the parents of my young relatives who were adopted as being somehow "special" for adopting their children, as in "Oh, what wonderful, saintly people they must be" - while I personally think they're pretty super in general, they are far from saints and adopting their children didn't shine up any haloes, and the unspoken subtext here would seem to be "to adopt such needy kids".

But it's okay if someone says, "Wow, that's great!" That places the praise exactly where it belongs - on the adoption itself and the ensuing and ongoing success of the children and warm relationships which were created by their adoption, rather than on their parents' supposed self-sacrifice and saintliness.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:17 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 983,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linmora View Post
I'm reallly sorry that you are reading it this way. Will try to explain things better before I head off for lunch with my friends. Your last paragraph is dead wrong and really putting some words in my mouth that I didn't say.
Actually, you did... I will bold the emphasis from your quote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linmora View Post
These parents do sound awesome, very involved, very dedicated to maintaining family ties between the children, willing to adopt older kids with some serious issues,...
Saying someone is awesome because they are "willing" to adopt is not exactly a compliment to adoptees. Actually it's pretty insulting, although I'm sure most people don't realize it or mean it to be.

Craig seems to get one of the examples I mentioned & perhaps he is a bit better at describing it if you are unable to understand what I was saying. He sums up the sentiment pretty well here:

Quote:
It makes me extremely uncomfortable to hear others praise the parents of my young relatives who were adopted as being somehow "special" for adopting their children, as in "Oh, what wonderful, saintly people they must be" - while I personally think they're pretty super in general, they are far from saints and adopting their children didn't shine up any haloes, and the unspoken subtext here would seem to be "to adopt such needy kids".

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 01-23-2013 at 11:30 AM..
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:26 AM
 
10,365 posts, read 8,336,133 times
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Threefold, while I think we're getting pretty close to some common understanding here, I also said that it was fine with me when others responded, "Wow, that's great!" when the topic of my relatives who've adopted came up, and that this sort of response places the emphasis on the successful creation of a loving family and the ongoing success of the children.

I also think those who praise adoptive parents for being "saintly" or whatever are generally well-intentioned people who don't have a great deal of knowledge about the complexities of adoption, but who are interested and who want to express their supportiveness. They do so awkwardly, but it's important to transcend their awkwardness and respond to their good intentions, I think.

A response to a "saintly" awkward but well-intentioned comment of this sort might be something like, "Nope, no haloes around here, for either the kids or us, but we love each other to pieces anyway and are so glad we're a family".

Keep it light, and don't shut the door on further conversation with more depth. You never know where such conversations might lead...
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