Monday, December 17, 2007

Can We Protect Too Much?

We’ve been hearing a lot of bad things in the news lately – disrupted adoptions after seven years, a Korean adoptee killed by mother, etc…. I think there is a knee jerk reaction among parents to protect our adoptees from stories like this. When I heard about the disrupted adoption, I was telling my husband about it and I realized we were whispering so that my four year old didn’t hear.

We deal with a lot of different obstacles. Stories like these make big news. The fact that the baby who was killed was a Korean adoptee overshadows the larger issue – a child is no longer with us. On top of that you have the general insensitive questions and comments from friends and neighbors. There are adoptees that are avidly against adoption. There are people who are not even affiliated with the process who are avidly against adoption. It can make you want to crawl in bed with the covers over you head, but it’s too late now. You have to deal with it.

I don’t think that all children need protected. Looking back, I realize that my parents rarely did. Oh, I suspect that there were some things that I never heard about, but there were things that I did hear about. I knew that not all adoptions went well. I knew that some adoptees did bad things. Specifically, I remember hearing that a boy about my age burnt down his school for non-adoption related reasons.

Each one of these items can be a talking point. I think it’s important that adoptees know that their world doesn’t have to be candy and roses. Bad things happen and I think there is more insecurity if we hear about the bad things from someone else or from somewhere else. I can’t even imagine what a younger child would feel after reading one of the many articles out there right now about the Dutch diplomat’s disrupted adoption. I can tell you how I felt. I was unsettled.

If we as parents are not willing to face the issues, how can we ever expect our children to come to us when they have concerns?

1 comment:

Mommavia said...

Both of those events have been a topic of discuss for my husband and I. We are saddened by the things we have read but know those articles don't reveal all the facts. I hope that the 7 year old is able to be in a home where she is loved and feels "at home."

I am grateful that my son is too small to understand all this. It gives me some time to decide how I will discuss events like these in the future (hopefully something like that won't happen again). I'd like to shield him from bad news foreve, but then he would never experience real life. Not all adoptions have fairy tale endings, and not all biological families do either...but I can keep the bad stuff hidden for a while longer.