“Thus has the LORD of hosts said, ‘Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; 10 and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another.’ (Zech. 7:9-10)
Many children in the foster system have an attachment disorder. Meaning that either from neglect or abuse they are unable to attach to a healthy adult. Bonding with a parent is so vital for children it helps them develop identity, worthiness, emotional intelligence, and many more important aspects that helps then develop into productive adults. The lack of secure attachment looks like: manipulative behavior, anxiety, authority problems, aggressiveness, hostility, poor peer relationships, poor self-esteem, and self isolation. Foster parents are told to do the following to help the child who is unattached gain some sort of healing, positive interactions, strong nurturing, allowing the child to grieve and mourn the loss of birth family, providing structure in the home. I think that we can all remember the media out pouring of stories of families who returned Russian orphans because of this exact issue. One of the most recent ones basically shut down the adoption to the United Sates from Russia (http://articles.cnn.com/2010-04-09/us/us.russian.adoption.return_1_russian-officials-adopted-orphanage?_s=PM:US) to say the least this is a serious issue. The reason why so many not only Russian babies but babies all over the world have detachment disorders is because they are in orphanages that most of the time don't have enough staff and if they do it's under paid and over worked.
Below is a blog that I thought might stir some hearts out there. http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/2012/02/if-not-usthen-who.html
This is one reason why I appreciate that we don't for the most part institutionalize our children. Even though there is significant bad press about the foster system and some see it as a bad word I think for the most part they try and put children in homes. This helps at least part of the time bond with humans and for the ones who get into homes that are so amazing and have such loving environments these kids get a chance to be the best version of themselves.
In this class they also went over what it looks like when a baby is on drugs or effected by alcohol. I won't get into all the details here because now we have google and all the information is available but I will talk about what I wasn't aware of before this class. First I had no idea that alcohol is actually more damaging than drugs. Why you may ask? Well apparently alcohol actually effects the genes of a child where it can permanently damage them and there's no cure. With drugs the infant usually takes several months, while painful and a horrible process to detox from any drug the infant could/can return to normal developmental milestones. Ways to help little ones who are detoxing is swaddling, low lights, soft sounds, and a lot of love. Now looking back on this class I'm glad that my story went the way it did. I was ready for a drug baby but I knew I couldn't handle an alcohol baby on my own. I would need a partner for that one. Many babies are put in the foster system because of drug abuse.
Tied into the drug use is birth mothers with mental problems. Those genetic tendencies can be passed down to a baby and if the mother is not diagnosed could pop up later. All of these factors go into understanding where your future child is coming from. The thing about this journey for me is I'm not picking my perfect child from a catalog. If I wanted to have a perfect child I could go through a private adoption agency and or adopt from a foreign country. Not to say children in other countries don't have problems when they come to parents. I find that the problems that make orphans in other countries is mainly poverty. In this country its abuse. Either or drugs, physical, sexual, or criminal. When considering the type of adoption you're looking for consider these different aspects. What I've found talking with parents who have adopted from here to Africa is that in the US comparatively it's easier to adopt domestically. Even my family who live in Argentina this it's a miracle that I can adopt as a single woman and so young too. There you have to be married to be able to adopt and I think even to foster. My aunt and uncle have adopted numerous kids from the foster system down there but they are a couple. I've heard of people in Europe waiting over 10 years to be approved to adopt.
All that to say I'm feeling so fortunate to be in a country where I can go after what God has placed in my heart. I can't imagine my life any different and when my story is written I want it to say she did all she could to fight for love. What kind of story do you want to leave?
Here's some recent statistics for children in foster care. It's possible that in our generation we could adopt all the orphans in the US.
Thoughts and Journal Entries
I'm glad that in this class I'm getting to meet other single mothers. There are actually a number of us. Then you have the couples straight and gay. I've been enjoying getting to connect with other people who are about adoption. Though I realized for some couples this is their last chance at a family. I'm a bit of an odd duck out of water just because of my age. I still am bewildered at the favor on my life. How is this possible that I actually made it this far? More paperwork has come my way nothing I can't handle. Starting to wonder how all my finances will work out though. I work 3 days a week at an office and I don't know if I'll be able to bring the baby with me even though I work usually by myself. God will have to work it out. My desire is to be a stay at home mom but unless He provides in some crazy way I'm going to have to afford daycare which I really don't want to have to do. Come Jesus bring your creative solutions.
Having doubts? No not really just trying to figure out how everything is going to work out. I have to put locks on all the cupboard doors and make sure all the things that I need are in place. There's still a lot more work to do. Many days I'm so exhausted from everything how am I going to have energy for a little one? That's why I'm doing it while I'm young if I was any older I don't know if I could swing it single :) I know it will all work out it always does.