Not sure if any of you have heard, read, or seen this story. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/33089578/ns/today-parenting_and_family
It is about a adoptive mother who had 5 biological children then adopted a infant from South America, then relinquished her rights to the boy after only 18 months. In the Today Show interview she says that "It went both ways." In other words the child was not bonding with her.
So as a adoptive mother AND a child mental health professional here are my immediate thoughts:
1)How can you possibly blame a infant for not bonding with you?
2) You just cannot parent a adoptive child the same as your biological child.
3) Did she miss the education piece that adoption is not easy and not all roses?
4) What part of her did not understand that adoption is permanent, as in forever. She did not give away her biological children now did she?
5) Maybe adopting a 6th child when your husband is gone for long periods in the military is not such a good idea.
6) What was her reason for adopting anyways? That one question can often answer a lot when problems arise.
So maybe I am being to hard on her, maybe I would feel differently if I was her therapist. But it should not be about her, she will be fine, it should be about the child! O.k. so maybe it was best for the child to go to a new home where he could actually get the love and care that he needs rather then be messed up for the rest of his life. But come on, adoption is FOREVER. No child is perfect and we don't just give them away when there are problems (or at least in healthy functioning families we don't). So what irritates me most about this story are the statements made by Today Show Correspondent Natalie Morales. http://allday.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/10/01/2083993.aspx?p=1
Here is what she says:
"No matter how you feel about Anita's decision to terminate her adoption, her story is one almost every mother can relate to on some level. That’s because this is not necessarily about terminating an adoption as it is a story of a woman coming to terms with her emotions and accepting the fact she couldn't be the kind of mom she thought she would be to her adopted child. As much as we all like to think we can do it all, we’ve all had that humbling moment – or many humbling moments -- when we must recognize our own limitations. When was the last time you felt like you weren't a good enough parent? How often have you asked if you are doing the right thing, whether in loving or disciplining your child?"
Are you kidding me Natalie?! Yeah we all have those moments, there is no perfect parent and way to much is expected out of us as mothers in the US. But come on, I can in no way relate to Anita's story because she did not just question her parenting ability, she also blamed the child for not bonding with her and then gave him away. Gave away a child who already had come to her with loss and grief and trauma. I can sympathize with birth parents who relinquish their children for adoption as infants because they know they cannot provide what the child needs. They are making a selfless and loving decision. But to be a middle-class mother who has 5 birth children, then adopt a child because you think you can save the world and have a big family at the same time and do it on your own since your husband is in the military. Then you give the kid back when it is not the dream that you thought it would be? Nope I cannot related to Anita's story, not as a birth mother, not as a adoptive mother, not as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and not as a Psychologist.
Just a warning, if you do go to the Today Show link, the comments made by some people are out right negative and nasty towards adopted children. One of the first comments is about how a person thinks that a certain set of children should never have been permitted to be adopted. Wow, maybe she should never have been permitted to grow up with a family in a home? Uhg, I should just stop now.
Natalie Morales is now at the top of my list for worst correspondent.