Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Love Can't Always Conquer All
Last Monday I wrote about the child whose adoptive mother sent back to Russia. I tried to explain how everything being written and heard in the press might not really be 'everything.' Today I found an article in the New York Times that does a much better job of saying what I was trying to say:
In Some Adoptions, Love Doesn't Conquer All
Some of the most telling quotes in the article are:
“You can’t ever think you are getting a clean slate,” said Victoria Barrett, who lives in Tiverton, R.I., and adopted two children from orphanages in Siberia, a boy and a girl, now 8 and 7. “You can’t think that all you have to do is love the child and everything is going to be fine. It’s not like that. It takes specialized parenting.” And...
“Most of these parents are grossly, grossly ill-prepared,” said Ronald S. Federici, a developmental neuropsychologist. “Agencies saying they do all this training and support — that’s a bunch of junk. Some do, most don’t. A lot of families are uneducated at huge levels about the psychological trauma of being deprived and neglected, of under-socialized children who have had profound developmental failures.”
“I felt that I was a failure and that I condemned her to a life of hopelessness,” she said. “I knew I couldn’t help her, but I knew I didn’t want to throw her away. But sometimes as a parent you feel like you have a lot more power than you do. You say to yourself, ‘Can I make a difference in this child’s life?’ And if the answer is no, you need to walk away.” And...
“I don’t agree with what Torry Hansen did,” she said. “But I almost think there’s a certain little part of me that says, ‘You just saved yourselves nine years of torment.’ Knowing what I know now, I would have given up sooner because a lot of people got hurt.”
These quotes that I pulled out are the ones that spoke to me - a parent of a child like those described in the article. I didn't give up on my child, but I came close. Please read the article and try to understand how difficult these situations can be for families - not just the parents, not just the children - the families.