Is a child better off in a secure home environment where they are cared for, fed, educationally challenged and are offered opportunities to thrive and develop without the deep love / bond that a parent has for a birth child, for example, or should the child be allowed to "try again" in a family where they are the sole focus of the parent(s) with a view to forming that bond / attunement which may be key to their emotional development?
Post by esty (archive) on Mar 31, 2015 20:39:05 GMT
On first reading and without thinking too hard about any prior knowledge I would say the chances of having an adopted child that is as close, accepting of unconditional love and able to give it is unlikely unless said adopted child comes from a family member without any stresses. I don't think its possible. I think there can be as close ties but I don't think anything can replace the much loved/wanted baby that gets his/her bitth mother's attention and mirroring 24/7. i maybe wrong. On the other hand you can have many birth children who don't get the 24/7 who are more distant and very unattached who won't be as close as an adopted child. This doesn't really answer your question. But I don't think they'd neccessarily be better off unless the parents were as skilled up as the initial Parents if that makes sense.
It's a hard question. Love can grow. I don't think adopted children arrive in their new families and we love them, I think we grow to love them, but while we do we also do all those other things; e.g. feed them, teach them, care for them, protect them. Our children have been taken away for a reason, that reason almost always being their parents could not put the children's needs above their own.. how ever much they 'loved them' they did not put them first, they put their own needs, addictions, cravings, above the needs of their children. That isn't love.
I think its very hard to quantify the love we feel for our adopted children, its very complex. But if a child has been removed it means that love on its own was not enough. Hard question! Needs some thinking around.
Mum to DD Lapwing (13) & DS Peewit (12) Married to Mr Mudlark
Interesting...We may assume birth parents access an unconditional love reservoir through the child's life and the child'derives benefit; but really I think adopters have their own kind that is based on resiliance and permanence of a different kind, it comes bit by bit like stuff washed up on the beach.
I don't have birth children and I'm glad I dont have a personal comparison to make.i often wonder about the depth of my love and if it is total or a poor relative of it.certainly it can be unrequited and hard to discern at times.
Can or should an adoptive child be allowed to try again...Would they choose to if we offered them the opportunity? Emotional attunement can be found in a variety of other places, rehear*ed and bought home perhaps. But is the question can we give a child good enough parenting without an instinctive bond of love? Or rather does one really want to ascribe to parenting like this?
I don't really think that we can even quantify or even typify love.
I have heard so many birth parents say "but I love my child", yet are incapable of putting the child first, have little or no understanding of the child's needs or, quite frankly, just can't be bothered.
Contrast that with Adoptive parents who have often been through so much before they even start on the Adoption treadmill.
Which 'caring' is more sound?
Which caring gives the child the greater possibility of becoming a fully functioning individual (even if they never make it)?
The 'love' of the birth parent just isn't enough, it is usually superficial and 'romantic'
The 'love' of the Adopter---for that is what caring is, is a far sounder basis for that child
I did have a BS, for 15 months only, and my love for him began in the womb before he was ever born as be was a much wanted baby, but equally, I loved my ADD's from the moment I met them. I was committed to them from the off and I suppose I was also grateful that I had been given the chance to be a mother again. (There is nothing worse than being a mother but having no child).
Maybe being adopted myself has something to do with it. When I was growing up I always thought if I can't have children, I'll adopt. It seemed the most natural thing in the world to me and I was never bothered whether the children wer mine biologically or not, that was not my priority, as I knew I could love an adopted child every bit as much as a birth child as I saw the way my parents loved me and my adopted siblings so I knew it was possible as I had a fabulous upbringing surrounded by love and I always felt wanted.
I think when you adopt there is a huge commitment to a child, whether you feel the love instantly or whether it takes time to grow slowly over the years, everyone is different, but what can and does test you, is what you get back from that child. I have heard some friends with birth children say "if he wasn't mine I'd have given up on him years ago" when going through tough times with their BC, but then a few years later when all was well again, it was all forgotten as children can push us to the limit whether adopted or born to us. It's just that with adopted children there are a lot more unknowns as to why they behave the way they do and if you are getting 'nothing' back at all then that must be very hard to live with.
As they say 'it's a thin line between love and hate' and that's the problem, without specialist help and without respite or seeing some progress, how long can you continue struggling to cope with a child that sucks you dry of every emotion possible? That's what the professionals fail to grasp, everyone has their breaking point and because they take so long to get help in place a lot of adopters don't survive, especially if they have other children to protect/consider and the impact that one childs behaviour is having on the others.
It's the system that sucks. Help should be available readily as and when needed throughout the adopted childs life be that at 3, 13, or 23. Adopters should not have to use all their energy fighting a failing system that then blames them for their childs behaviour. We still have a long way to go to get the powers that be to understand this which is why they need to change the entire face of adoption and advertise it as 'Become a specialist trained parent to a traumatized child' instead of 'Do you have room in your hearts/home for another child' as they currently advertise. That way prospective adopters will know from the off that the likelyhood is their child will need help/therapy etc. Training in theraputic parenting should be compulsary BEFORE your children come home. Adoption allowance should be compulsory not on an adhoc basis of 'we only give it if you take on 3 children'. Adopters need more support from day 1 and throughout a childs life as and when they need it, if adoptions are to survive successfully these days as very few children are issue free.
Sorry I have gone off on a tangent as I usually do because I feel passionately about the lack of support for wonderful adopters, who by their very nature are caring people who do their very best for their challenging children with little or no support from those in authority. Now that's what I call true love, but equally I would never condem any adopter if they do decide they can no longer keep a child at home, because until you walk in their shoes you have no idea how much they have tried and how much they have endured before making that heartbreaking decision to let their child go back into care. You only have to read these boards to see how much our members still love their children even when they are no longer living at home.
Huge questions! And, I think, some big assumptions. I'd be interested in the scenarios that you're thinking of. It kind of sounds like you're thinking of a child being adopted by one family who find out that they don't love the child, so would it be best for the child to move on to another family?
I think it was Zara Phillips (not the Queen's granddaughter) who spoke at an AUK conference. She's adopted, and, if she's the person that I'm thinking of, she said that she never felt that her adoptive mum loved her. It sounded like she felt that quite profoundly.
Trouble is, can she recognise that sort of love? Or was she looking for one type of love and getting another?
Love can express itself in many different ways. There's a series of books about the Five Love Languages that are well worth a read. The central theme is that there are five essential ways of expressing love: touch, quality time, acts of service (doing things for them), presents and affirming words. Each of us have a preferred language. So if my language is touch and yours is presents, if I keep patting, hugging, cuddling and stroking you, I am expressing love in my language. But because I'm not giving presents, you're not hearing it. In the Fiddler on the Roof, the main character asks his wife if she loves him. Her response is, "I've washed your clothes, cooked your meals, cleaned the house, given you children, milked your cow". Her language is clearly acts of service, but his isn't, so he hasn't heard.
So the fact that the first family is providing "a secure home environment where they are cared for, fed, educationally challenged and are offered opportunities to thrive and develop" may be their love language.
I'm not sure what we expect from love. I was overwhelmed when my birth kids were born, but that quickly dissipated. One of them had colic. When a child has screamed at you for about 10 weeks from 4 p.m. till 1 a.m. every day, you tend not to have quite the same gooey feelings that you did when they were sweet, crumpled and sleeping! But I didn't love him any less. With Mackerel, it wasn't until 18 months in, when the prospect of disruption first raised its head, that I realised how much I loved him! I also intensely disliked him and sometimes may have even hated him, even in the midst of love.
I like some of my kids more than others, but I've fought more for Mackerel than for any of the others, even though I like him the least. To me, that indicates the depth of love that I have for him. I find it hard to be in the same room as him, but I still love him. And I don't feel any different really, in terms of "a deep love/bond", with my birth and adopted kids. I've read some parents who say there is a difference - some who feel a bigger love/bond towards their adopted kids and some towards their birth kids - as well as others who, like me, don't really discern a difference.
Doesn't really answer you question, though...
I have 1 wife, Kermit, and 7 kids. 3 of them - Mackerel, Fairy Basslet & Sprat - are adopted
Interesting point about love languages and whether or notwefeelloved regardless of whether it's true or not.
The other thing I wonder is how likely is it that a child who is cared for but not loved in their current family would manage to find that love in a different family? How many familes do they 'try out' in the search for love? The more they are moved in the search for a loving family for them the more rejected they'll feel and the less likely it is that they will let anyone get close enough to love them. I'm not suggesting that any child is intrinsically unlovable but I am aware that some children are so damaged it is difficult to love them. Their behaviour makes it difficult to get to know the 'real them' and to form any proper bond with them.
I have a BD and an AS. I definitely feel differently towards them but that is down to their personalities not whether I gave birth to them. I have far more in common with my AS and I understand him and get on far better with him than with my BD but I love them both - just in different ways.
Mom to BD (far older than I'm going to admit to - living nearby) and AS, Stig (15 - creating chaos at home). Supported by best friend (aka wonderwoman).
I have been on these forums quite a while and have seen enough posts to know that "deep love,such a parent has for a birth child. " exists and is just as deep a love in adoptive parents. Maybe even deeper because of all they have gone through to have the child / children. And not all birth parents do love their children. My son said to me, only last night " my old mum never really liked me " and his notes say he never got the reassurance he looked for ( that she loved him) at contact while in foster care. And certainly her behaviour towards him , before he came into cate, did not auggest ahe loved him, quite the opposite.
Mum to AS, Emperor (18) & AS, King (12), (10 & almost 7 at placement). Married to DH, Rockhopper.
Loved jmk reply... says it all to me...... As one of the lucky ones I did fall hopelessly in love day 1 of intros.... But I am always pondering 'what price that love'
As jmk says the constant battle for support & therapy..... 7 years on it is still as elusive as Narnia.... I am worn down & out.... The battle re-commences after Easter..... But love & adore them I do, regrets not a one.....
I am begining to fear that I will have to fund privately.... but where do I find a suitably qualified therepist.... They seem so thin on the ground....
Oh & could I, would I, love a bs more... that I doubt 200%.... In their own way they do love me of that I am sure... as for them electing to go to a new mum ? It would depend on the split second whim... long term I am 'pretty' sure they would be begging to come back pronto... but we all worry about that split second of the reddist of mists now don't we??