I know I shouldn't, but sometimes I just cannot help myself, and I read comments. In this case, it was some of the comments attached to the article I posted about asking people to sign the petition to investigate the burdensome regulation being required for international adoption.
On the whole, there are three varieties... comments saying someone signed the petition, comments from those who are opposed to adoption of any variety, and a large number of people asking some variation of the question used in the title. I realize that in all the writing I've done about adoption, I have never addressed this particular issue. Some of you may very well be wondering why a family would choose international adoption. While I cannot speak for everyone, I can share some of my thoughts.
The first thing to understand is that the US foster care system is not an adoption program, it is a f…
If you are part of the adoption world, this phrase is probably very familiar, if you're not (and I know I have more than a few readers who have landed here who are not) it might not mean anything to you. So, in the interest of continuing education, that's what I'm going to write about today.
Indiscriminate affection is the term used to describe the behavior of children who are willing to love anyone and everyone. It is a survival mechanism born out of not having a person to permanently attach to. An orphanage is not a natural place for a child and to survive it, children cope in different ways. Learning to gain the attention and affection of the adults who are there is one of these ways. And what better way to get the attention and affection of those adults than to be charming and make them think this particular child is madly in love with them. Even if the child just happened to meet that particular adult five minutes ago. And the behavior works and so is encouraged.
I think one of the most difficult aspects to being a new adoptive parent is that you have no perspective. I actually think this is what makes raising your first or second toddler difficult as well. When you have limited experience with some aspect of parenting, it's difficult to see beyond the current issue right in front of you, whether it is the toddler wanting to do every single thing themselves... at an excruciatingly slow pace, or a newly home adoptive child whose table manners are non-existent. It is all too easy to begin to believe that this phase is your new reality forever, and that you have some sort of control over it.
If you watch an older parent who has children well past the toddler stage parent a younger child, their ability to tolerate slow or fretful toddlers can be significantly greater. They have learned exactly how fast it all goes by, and even when the toddler is being annoying can step back inside their heads and remember this is not forever. Experienced adop…