Saturday, August 16, 2008

Origins Australia & Mental Health Issues Of The Adoptee

I've only discovered recently - that Origins NSW/Australia now has a new web site - and it's well worth the visit. (yep - I'm a little slow on the uptake - it's probably been up for a while now - but I've finally changed my links - so don't forget to change yours!!)

There is a great summary of research - which ALL prospective/current adoptive parents should take the time to read.
The research details studies done since 1943 - of the psychological affects of separation (from mother) and adoption on babies and children. (look under 'Mental Health Damage' in the left hand column on Origins.)
There is more research 'out there' (you know - books, articles, online) - of course - but this is a great kick start to finding further knowledge on how adoption affects the adoptee.

The articles summarized highlight not only about the effects of initial separation on the adoptee - but some also look at the ongoing problems adoptees face when their adoptive parents ignore the subject of adoption and links to one's bio family - and/or the negative affects on adoptees of ineffectual parenting post adoption - and of those adoptive parents that have not dealt with their own issues of infertility and grief from being unable to parent a bio child of their own.

Most isn't new reserach - by any means - but too often any such research gets ignored - as it doesn't fit into the 'happy-happy-rainbow' adoption hype that too many insist on believing.
Adoption agencies out-right ignore the research, I can only presume, because it doesn't fit into their money-making mission statements.
Prospective adoptive parents perhaps dismiss such research as it possibly has never crossed their radar - or - it doesn't fit into their desires of finally getting the child they always hoped for - no matter the cost (both monetarily and to the child).

It also must be said - that when we are faced with totally new information - we - as humans - tend to dismiss it outright - especially if it clashes with our internal belief system - and of what we 'want' to believe.

Adoption - for so long - has only been portrayed to the public and the unsuspecting - as 'happy-happy-rainbows' - so as a concept - this research - my words - and the words of other adoptees and first mothers - clashes - supremely - with the belief systems held by average Mr and Mrs Jones.
If new information 'feels wrong' - search into that - ask yourself WHY - do your own research - is it because you've never seen/heard it yourself - why is it clashing with what you feel is right???

As you would know - if you have been reading here for some time - I only believe in adoption when it ABSOLUTELY is the ONLY option for a child to have a loving, caring home.
(NOT with name changes, changing of OBC's and a whole host of other issues - as essentially family preservation is my greatest concern - but I think you can get where I'm coming from.)
Basically - BEFORE that 'adoption' step - I would hope that all possible means would be found for the child to live with their bio family - as long as no harm is present.
(my beliefs run very close to that of the UN Convention of Rights for a Child)

For those kids that have no other option for a loving, stable, caring family - and foster care or adoption are the best possible outcomes - special considerations for that child's well-being MUST be a priority for better emotional and psychological well-being of that child.

Adoptive parents MUST go in with their eyes wide open - and the desire and capacity to learn from many and varied sources - to be aware of ongoing issues and possible hurdles that their adoptee may face both now and into their future.

There is no - 'wham-bam-thankyou-ma'am' in adoption.
No sign the papers - get the child - live 'happily-ever-after' in adoption.

Too many think that's all it takes - but adoption to an adoptee is something that they live and breathe - THE REST OF THEIR NATURAL LIFE.
It's something that they revisit often - as they grow and mature.
It's NOT something that they can 'just get over' because everyone else they live with has had enough of it.
(WARNING: many an adoptee will outwardly portray that all is 'sunshine and roses' - if that's what they feel they must portray in order to keep their adoptive family happy - fears of rejection are very real for an adoptee - so don't be fooled by outward appearances)

Adoption to an adoptee - impacts on their relationships - their learning - their living - their being.

And to those adoptive parents that aren't supportive - aren't open minded - aren't proactive - YOU are causing even greater harm to a child that has already had their fair share of emotional and psychological damage in their very short life.

Keep reading, keep sharing, keep talking, keep learning.

The only way that the misconceptions in adoption can be removed - is for the words to get out there - for the ripple effect to take hold.

What can you do to shake out those misconceptions in adoption today???

What can you do to help your adoptee live with adoption - in the most loving and caring way???

check out this site - Quantum Parenting - just found it - looks good from what I've read so far.....

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Friday, August 15, 2008

He Called!!

Thanks to all my wonderful well-wishing peeps!!!

My father called! And it was good!!!

He just wanted to touch base - apologised profusely for not getting in touch so much over the past few months.
He's working on a letter about medical history info. (I don't know how much the letter will contain - but he's doing his best - even finding out what meds his wife/my mother is on now - and he wants to make sure I have the info - in case - "He gets knocked over by a bus tomorrow - as you never know!!!" Golly - he is an Aussie-country kid at heart!!)

As for my mother - her mental stability and physical health are not getting any better - and she abuses him verbally daily. He mentioned depression, mental issues and obsessive compulsive behaviours. Basically - I think the double dose of adoption has really f*cked with her psych.

He asked lots about my studies and about the kids. Wanted to know how MissG went in her big netball gig in July - and wanted to know how the girls were doing at school.
We talked about the Olympics - he's a sports nut too! (nice to know)

He mentioned that for now - he still thinks his kids (my sibs) will abide by their mother's wishes and not have any contact with me - but he's pretty sure they'll reach out - at least one of them - one day, after she passes on.
This makes me cranky - but I do understand the power of a mother's wishes.
My a-mum asked me not to search. I didn't. Until 15 years after her death.
We mother's have a great amount of power over our children. (note to self - use my power for good not evil!!)

He wants to stay in touch. He actually mentioned that if it weren't for his wife - he would have already been on a plane down to Canberra by now to meet me.
Bitter - and sweet.

So - it was GOOD.
It was nice to chat.
He's a really lovely man - and it's nice to know that he wants to keep in contact.
Perhaps I have to work on a way to be 'in town' where he lives - or close by - and perhaps we can meet that way.
Hmmmmmm - the brain cogs are a-turning as I write.

Thanks again for your well-wishes.
He wants to know what goes on in my life.
That's nice.
That feels good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sparkle Of Hope

This afternoon I received an email from my father.
It's been quite a while.
I guess it's hard when you're keeping contact with your first born a secret from all other family members.
Really - I'm just glad that I haven't been forgotten.
He's putting together a longer letter for me - about family and medical history.
I don't want to get my hopes up too high - but it's good to have some contact once more.
He also wants to call me this week - just to have a wee friendly chat - as it's been a long time since our last phone call. Hopefully we'll tee that up for Friday.
So - there is a spark - a faint glimmer of hope.
Fingers crossed dear friends.
Please send out your strength and happy thoughts to wee Possum this week.
I hope he doesn't break my heart like my mother/his wife has done too many times before.