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Different story, same response…

19 Feb

By TAO

Please excuse the double posting of some of the tweets – first time trying this…

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Same old, same old response – why don’t you show the positive stories.  Note that I looked for any peep out of the adoption leading voices on the arrests at the big adoption agency just a week or so ago…could not find one mention, business as usual, all is well, rest easy, carry on as if nothing has happened.

Ask yourself in what other area of life are we only allowed to speak of the positive stories?  Especially when real human beings are the center of the story…real human beings…

…to repeat something I wrote the last time bad news hit…just change to story line from rehoming to another adoptee allegedly killed by his adoptive parent…

The automatic defensive response by some adoptive parents when bad adoption stories hit the news…

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21 Comments

Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

21 responses to “Different story, same response…

  1. Paige Adams Strickland

    February 19, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    It’s a huge challenge to find material that balances the positive and negative adoption stories. I try to stay positive and keep it real at the same time, but it isn’t easy. Adoption is such a sensitive issue filled with “triggery” terms and tales for so many. I’m a “lucky adoptee” in that my life was / is OK, although I sometimes wish (my) adoption hadn’t had to happen, and there hadn’t been so many conflicts back in the day. Now, I’m just glad to have everyone in my life.

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    • TAO

      February 19, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Paige – yes living positively is good both physically and mentally – I completely agree – but do you honestly think with the Adoption PR Media that no one ever tells a positive story about adoption?

      To me, if he is found guilty is another indication that the system has serious flaws in it – just like Washington State found out that their requirements to be a licensed homestudy provider is a joke because they hadn’t been updated since the dark ages. Every industry I ever worked in had embedded in it’s framework to assess for pitfalls, put fixes in place, keep repeating that process to improve. Adoption doesn’t have that to the child’s detriment, children like Hana, Immanuel, Lydia and countless others.

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      • Paige Adams Strickland

        February 19, 2014 at 5:18 pm

        Assuming the father did this awful crime, (and it looks pretty bad for him), the article makes it unclear that he did this because the boy is adopted. If he did this, then the father is a sick-o and could have harmed any child, bio-adopted or whatever. Sounds like he took advantage of a special needs kid who could not advocate for himself. I work w a lot of SPED students. My heart goes out to that kid and his brother, (the 7 yr old son) and the mom.

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        • TAO

          February 19, 2014 at 5:36 pm

          Paige – I agree with you that it could apply to a bio child as well. The whole thing is completely horrible…

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        • Carlee

          March 31, 2014 at 1:16 am

          Except it *wasn’t* his biological child.

          Bioparents are entitled to raise their biokids, it is a basic human right. Raising somebody else’s kid is a PRIVILEGE — why else would a homestudy, security checks, etc be required?

          Adoption done wrong kills. Kills. And if the freakin’ agencies who do home studies cannot figure out how NOT to approve people who beat three year old with disabilities to death, well, maybe, this business of plucking kids from abroad and handing them over to Americans needs to be rethought. Like, reform, seriously reform the adoption “system” or end it. The sane mistakes keep being made over and over…

          *sigh*

          (I have two kids, both if whom were *exhausting* as toddlers… and nothing, nothing at all that they did made me want to *beat* them).

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  2. kellie3

    February 19, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    How many times do we have to counter balance a story of a child being murdered with a positive story about a child being saved?
    I live in Missouri. Last night my entire family’s phones were going off with the Amber Alert issued for the little girl who was kidnapped in Springfield, MO. This morning I read that she was found dead. A tragic, horrible story. Who on this earth would respond like Rick Morton did to this girls death? Maybe it could go something like this, “Yeah that’s really sad but in (insert city name here) 10 yo (insert child name here) was saved when a neighbor reacted quickly and grabbed the little girl from the kidnappers arms. So, while it’s horrible little Hailey Owens wasn’t able to be saved from a brutal death, lets all celebrate because (insert child’s name here) has a savior in his/her neighbor!”
    And he calls himself a Christian? (I’m assuming this from the web address he gives. I refuse to go and read anything posted there.)

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    • TAO

      February 19, 2014 at 5:03 pm

      And that’s what it really boils down to – no one would even consider countering a sad story with but hey – lets talk about the one who was saved instead.

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    • Heather

      February 19, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      Well put kellie3

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  3. momsomniac

    February 19, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    An interesting aspect of the cry of “why don’t you share positive adoption stories” in this particular case is the assumption that the Dad is guilty. Because if he’s not, then this is a very different kind of adoption story than it first appears to be.

    Poor poor little guy. I hope this tragedy ends up having to do more with unknown medical needs than with yet another parent approved because none of the fees in adoption go to an intense psych screening.

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    • TAO

      February 19, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      I know Mom – there is a rush to judgement – and it will be a long time before anyone knows the full truth, or if there were any extenuating circumstances that need to be incorporated into the story. Right now it is just a tragedy.

      The intense psych screening needs to be the norm – not the rarity – some people don’t have the temperament, skills, patience, or even just the ability to actually love a child as their own without dna – which is nothing against them as human beings – they just should not be approved to adopt.

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      • momsomniac

        February 19, 2014 at 5:36 pm

        100% concur.

        Some of these folks may have hurt any child in their care – and so should not have been approved to adopt. Some of these folks potentially didn’t have the capacity for non-biological bonding, and so should not have been approved to adopt. I don’t want to live in a world where people have to be approved to breed, but living in a world where one is given hard-core screening for the privilege of parenting SOMEONE ELSE’S child – that’s not the same thing. It needs to happen.

        I like to believe we would have been approved regardless – but the intense difficulties that can arise, and an adoptee’s potentially violent resistance to bonding tend to be glossed over during the approval process. And the safety-screening – well – one can get a B- or C for bald honesty, while a good liar and/or someone who’s was trained as a child to put on a “public face” that doesn’t match private reality can get an A. I want to believe a good psych screening would see through that. I hope it would. It’s worth a try.

        This case is tragic, regardless of whether it’s about this issue or the issue of absent medical history. Kellie3 above puts it well. The rush to judgment in this case -to me- exposes that the “positive story” criers know that adoption isn’t for everyone, often isn’t easy, and that this Dad may indeed be guilty for reasons having everything to do with adoption.

        *hugs*

        As the Mom of bio-kids and a Korean adoptee, this one breaks my heart in ways I cannot begin to express.

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        • TAO

          February 19, 2014 at 5:45 pm

          And that’s why it is important to bring the conversation around to how to fix the glossing over of the reality of the challenges of what adoption can actually be like. The glossy picture book fantasy does every member a disservice and part of my angst against the positive only stories. No parent can ever be completely prepared but you can try your best to show the stark reality some families deal with in raising their child who is struggling.

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  4. dmdezigns

    February 19, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I commented elsewhere this morning, that this father noticed pink stains in the child’s bed and did NOTHING at that time. If my child fell in the tub/shower, I would be watching them for signs of trouble. If I saw a pink stain in their bed, we’d be headed to the hospital. If nothing else, he’s guilty of gross negligence in not seeking medical treatment. I keep struggling with if he fell that hard, why didn’t you get him checked out. . . especially once you saw the pink stains.

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    • TAO

      February 19, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      I didn’t read that D – and you pose very hard questions to answer. Why not be safe rather than sorry. It’s just all so tragic.

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      • dmdezigns

        February 19, 2014 at 6:22 pm

        Additionally, he saw the pink stains and mucus coming from his nose, changed the sheets and put him back to bed. Came back an hour later and found him unresponsive. At that point, he washed him off in the tub before taking him to the hospital. Again,, WTF? and WHY? I would be on the phone with 911 doing cpr until the ambulance arrived.

        This is from the WA post article, “At 4 p.m., O’Callaghan went to check on his younger son and saw pink stains on the bedding and mucus coming from the boy’s nose, Carin wrote. O’Callaghan told detectives that he changed the sheets, returned an hour later to check on the boy and found his condition had worsened. O’Callaghan told the detectives that the boy was unresponsive and that he washed him off in a bathtub, eventually taking him to the hospital. “Brian O’Callaghan could not provide an explanation” for the injuries, Carin wrote.”

        Whether or not this was a man who got in over his head with a special needs child, or an adoptive parent who didn’t bond properly, who knows. We may never know. But the screening for taking a special needs child should be designed to not only make sure the person can handle a special needs child but also knows where to turn when it’s overwhelming. A homestudy that doesn’t make sure that a support network in place is also useless.

        My LO wasn’t special needs by most definitions. She had severe reflux and would be inconsolable for hours each day. I can remember sitting and crying because I couldn’t make her feel better and I knew she was hurting. I felt so helpless. I sat her in her swing, strapped her in and stepped outside to release frustration in the form of a soul cleansing scream a few times when we were both miserable. It wasn’t her fault, but it was so overwhelming until we got her help. I had a support system. I had people I could call and say I’m failing, I don’t know how to do this. Those phone calls got us through. The friends that let us go to lunch with them in public even if she got upset. Those things saved both of us. They helped me have the strength to continue to hold her and fight for her to get relief. I think too often with special needs kids, it can be easy to get isolated. I don’t know if that contributed to this, but it seems too many times when these tragedies occur there’s a certain level of isolation. The village has been lost. I needed our village, I still need our village. I wish everyone had a village to call on when they need help.

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        • TAO

          February 19, 2014 at 6:29 pm

          D – and that is exactly that type of discussion that the adoption agencies should be having – especially with special needs. Who and how many are in your village AND a hotline number to call them too if you are alone – especially so early in the placement.

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          • dmdezigns

            February 19, 2014 at 6:35 pm

            Our SW and our peds both were asking about our support system during that time. My LO and me were watched out for that way. It took almost 5 months to get her relief. I can’t imagine if my SW hadn’t been asking questions and helping me by making sure I knew of people I could call. She was great about that. It speaks to the need to have more standardization in the homestudy/post placement visit process and in the requirements for SWers.

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            • TAO

              February 19, 2014 at 7:18 pm

              So how can we “the little people in adoption” make this a focus for those with the power to require hard changes to how adoption is practiced?

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  5. cb

    February 19, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    There will be those that will automatically assume that because the child is adopted, then he must have had RAD and thus it is his fault and the sympathy will be for the father. I’ve seen a few cases where, when it is frstt assumed that the father had been the biological one, there is great outrage but when it is discovered that the child was adopted, the sympatny seems to move away from te child to the parents.

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    • TAO

      February 19, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      CB I do believe some people without any real knowledge apply the RAD label as an excuse. It is noted that he was special needs – but there are so many different definitions that the info is useless. Special needs could simply be age, a medical need, or a mental need. They need a better way to define how children are grouped in adoption. It’s just all really sad and we need some way to better protect everyone post adoption. Just makes me mad – a conversation gets started but as soon as the headline is gone we go back to status quo.

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      • kellie3

        February 20, 2014 at 12:51 am

        Exactly TAO, there are varying degrees of “special needs”. I have a special needs child, and no one would be able to tell this child was special needs without really knowing them. Even when this child was 3, you would never have known.
        That being said, if I’d adopted my child at 3 with their issues, it would have been difficult. Our child was/is so different from our other 2 the parenting skills required were something we had to learn over time. Our parenting skills grew over time with our child. It’s not fair or realistic to expect someone, or expect yourself, to be able to parent a child like this with no help/training/assistance/resources overnight. I don’t care if you are already a parent; it’s different.
        Reading what I have about this poor kids death, If his adoptive father didn’t do it, I can’t imagine who did.

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