As November was National Adoption Month, I originally shared this video to my Facebook to raise awareness. We are currently in the process of hopefully adopting a daughter to make a sweet addition to our family, and yesterday I took a training course which stuck with me to the point of wanting to ensure adoption awareness is spread.
It will not always be happy and glamorous, most will never see the behind the scenes: the pain, trauma, loss and grief which come along with adoption. I wish we lived in a world where these children never have to experience any amount of trauma, where they would not have to have the rights of their parents terminated, but as sad as it is, this is just not the reality. I cannot tell you how many days I spend crying as I search for our daughter, scrolling through hundreds of children, tears falling as I do, and I witness endless numbers of children waiting for their forever homes. I see hundreds of 16-17 years old and wonder to myself, will they ever know what it is like to have a forever family?
What many cannot see is the perspective of these children. Even though heartbreaking, I plead with you, take the time to watch this video and keep in mind this is only a sliver of a bigger picture. I did not write this post for sympathy, or to try to convince you what wonderful parents we are, my hope is to bring a different perspective to others, even if just one person.
Maybe the next time you see a child in a store that is ten years old throwing the tantrum of a 3 year old uncontrollably, take a moment to take a step back and not judge so quickly. Maybe that child had a trigger that caused this behavior. It could be as simple as a smell of a perfume or sight of certain clothing. It could be something so small in our eyes which triggers a memory, and due to their trauma they do not know how to control how they express their feelings. Maybe the Christmas tree lighting ceremony was too much stimulation for their senses and it triggers an episode. To say these children have trauma is an understatement. I have read countless child summaries, each one bringing me to tears. How can something so terrible, so unimaginable, happen to a child over and over again? My hope is for others to be more understanding of children’s behavior in public because maybe there is a back story you are not aware of.
You do not have to be a foster parent or adoptive parent to reach out and help these children. For our situation we chose adoption as it was our calling. I understand it is not everyone’s calling. All I ask is that you take a step back and be sympathetic for a moment. If you know a foster parent or adoptive parent, maybe reach out to see if they need a respite provider. Trust me, this alone is huge for these parents. With these children they do not have trust, they have been failed over and over again. As their parents, we need to EARN their trust. They will test us to our breaking point to see just when you will give up, because that is all they ever know. There will be days where you feel you are at your breaking point and it would mean the world to a foster or adoptive parent to be able to step away for a few hours to re-collect and recharge themselves.
You don’t just have to foster or adopt, you can make welcome boxes or volunteer to take pictures of waiting children. You can make a difference in these children’s lives. Be the umbrella in someone else’s storm.
View the film ReMoved on YouTube