It’s a new chapter – adoption thoughts

At some point yesterday, after a variety of conversations over the course of the week (both IRL and on twitter) it struck me how many people still see adoption as a cure all. It’s not.

And that (I think) is a huge issue.

That the nurse couldn’t understand why Boyo was terrified of having his head looked at. It wasn’t his head that was the issue, it was the unknown person asking him questions that he couldn’t answer. It was the fact that he had, had a fall at school, alongside issue with friends and trauma had not just raised it’s head, but was in that moment over-riding everything. We were in pure fight/flight mode.

He’s adopted. He shouldn’t be effected by it still.

Some teachers don’t understand. I had a conversation about a child in care and his attachment disorder at work this week. Their attitude was, but he is a good place now; why can’t he just move on. I explained. We talked trauma. We talked neurological effects. We talked better ways. We talked about giving choice and avoiding conflict. They went away to think. I have to hope for different for that pupil.

He is looked after. He is in a better place now, why is it still a problem? 

Jelly is having a rough time at school at the minute. Earlier this week he resorted to an old tactic – he bite another pupil. The boy’s mum knows he is adopted. But she can’t understand what I mean when I say ‘he gets overwhelmed’, ‘it is too much for him’. The fact he is developmentally delayed means nothing to her, I have to stop him biting.

He is adopted. But there is no excuse for biting at aged 5. 

I was talking yesterday evening to a good friend; who happens to be a KS1 teacher. Last year her school implemented one of the those behaviour systems that we all dread. She had an adopted child in her class; who survived in her class because she didn’t use the behaviour system as it should have been used. She let the child have an sensory outlet. She saw when he was getting overwhelmed and helped him. This year, his new teacher can’t cope. She doesn’t understand why when he misbehaves and get’s a red, he kicks off when it comes to the following day when he has to miss the whole playtime. My friend has and is trying; but it’s not going in.

He is adopted. He is the same as everyone else and must be treated so. 

There are serious thoughts rattling round my head at the minute. There has to be a way to change understanding. There has to be more support for us; as adoptive parents and our children.

We have to make people understand that adoption isn’t a new story, only a new chapter. A child’s life prior to adoption cannot be wiped out and their experiences ignored. Those experiences (even prenatal experiences) exist within the child and will continue to do so.


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1 Response to It’s a new chapter – adoption thoughts

  1. frogotter says:

    It’s very hard.
    I find even close family and friends struggle to understand why the boys haven’t ‘gotten over it’s yet.
    I wonder if part of the problem is that most people don’t actually know what adopted means. They think it’s about being brought up by different people, when it’s more about the trauma of being taken from a first family, plus the trauma of whatever happened before the children were removed.
    We don’t talk about the details of what happened to our boys, and I think sometimes that people imagine that means nothing all that bad did happen. Or they just don’t think about what must happen to children for them to be adopted in the first place.
    I don’t know what the solution is. But, perhaps if enough people talk about adoption as trauma, the message will eventually permeate and traumatised children, and adults, will begin to be understood.

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