This is getting to be a pattern. But, since I've long past reached the point where I know what will happen when you mix baking soda and vinegar together, such things can be taken as a pleasant change of pace. A surprise, take it or leave it.
I finally got to chat up my fellow APs at church yesterday - the ones who adopted from Russia 12 years ago? Well, I got something I hadn't expected - sympathy for the woman who had put her child on a plane back to Russia alone. As in - wish I had been that smart!
Suffice it to say, my ire at what had been done to the child hadn't reached a sympathetic audience. Let's be blunt - I haven't had a chance to talk to another AP, outside of Jim, about this. She had. She'd had a whole school of parents of children like hers - an adaptive school, the short-bus variety, pick your label - to talk to about it.
Okay, I just got slapped in the face with my own privilege again - to a point. One, my kid does not have RAD, PDD or any noticeable delays to report. Matter of fact, he's ahead of the curve, adapting well and you'd be hard-pressed to pick him out of the crowd of his peers as 'that kid' these days. When we show up - that changes. Just a bit. He doesn't change from being incredibly bright, engaged, healthy and energetic. He prefers his father over me, but they do more things together, and if you want comfort - that's your guy - so none of that is concerning.
My child is not FAS, FAE. Not even a little bit. I can't tell you how devastating that is - and there is nothing to do about it once it happens. Your child is exposed in utereo to alchol and takes damage...it's worse than anything you ever imagined. And it's incremental. A kid who looks pretty much okay will have it, and it won't show up until they hit school age and then it's a clusterfuck. Particularly in an international adoption. There are guys who specialize in making educated guesses based on the photographs you get with your referral - and they're DEAD serious. Consult these guys before you sign - mean it.
Because if you aren't ready for it?
Wish I had been that smart.
They've done wonderful things with their kid - I was able to put an arm around his shoulders and give him a big hug of greeting after church which was returned with a smile and some surprise. A RAD kid? You'd have gotten too much or too little response, or something inappropriate in return - I keep telling his folks what a great kid he is and how good a job they've done with him. They have. He and my kid adore each other, it shows whenever they interact with each other. (Church provides a lot more than faith, and has more reasons for being on my schedule that good behavior. It provides a social outlet and resources - good ones. Case in point.)
God, I need to talk to them some more about this.
IMHO, I've ducked that bullet. Next kid will have the institutional-created delays in addition to any nutritionally created ones, let alone the attachment potentials you face in any adoption, based on age at placement, and the kid herself. You gotta be ready for that. If I learned nothing else in those years of parenting classes - it was this: you're here because you need to be ready for awful, terrible outcomes. You still want to do this?
I lined up titled, experienced professionals. I have books to refer back to. I loaded my long-term memory with a lot of reading. I take nothing on first or second glance, and expect things a lot of folks would rather I didn't. If bad things don't show up? WIN. But if they do? I may grieve. But I have a path to take to cope. And then - make it better.
People who only saw healthy white infants in need of adoption? I'd looked at my share of waiting children lists for Russia. Romania. And decided it was not for me. I'm not a child development degreed - mine is in popular culture, to be blunt - it shares more with a English/Public Relations function than Social Work or Education.
My agency did not do placements from Russia or Romania - or the Phillipines, India or Cambodia. They had identified needs in China and Taiwan - so that's where we went. Well established programs with some well identified (and experienced) pitfalls. Over and over. Be ready. Sure you want to do this? Be ready.
So - I'm not exactly shocked. Rocked back on my heels a bit - it's the first person I've run into who had anything but rage directed at the lady in TN who abrupted/disrupted her adoption in the most creepy, heartless, exacting way on the record so far. I *still* want to get my hands on that kid myself to see exactly what the issue was and see what I could do (no, seriously - I've been renting space in my head over this) but I'll never get a shot at it because she did what she (and her mother) did.
Happy Mothers Day.
For the record? Mother's Day stuff for me was done on Saturday - Sunday was a complete non-starter in the celebrating category. Church, lunch at McDonald's (er, yum), naps and then keeping kid occupied and out of the house while Jim came home sick and put himself to bed. It involved kid and I doing some shopping and picking up of things, but nothing more involved that that. Sis and my Mom? Well, I sent flowers to the mothers - and that was the extent of their involvement in my Mother's Day. Mom called me, we talked - but neither of us had heard from Sis.
I really wanted that mimosa, yanno. Oh well. Guess I get to make them myself at home.
I didn't get to go light the candles we did last year. But we also didn't have the misery that was dim sum last year this year either. (Poor kid wouldn't eat anything. And I was a wreck.)
This year - much improved over last year. And the outlook remains bright and unclouded. When I say my kid is adapting well, that does not mean he doesn't have processing going on (I've been hearing a lot of Taiwan-related comps lately) and knows everything is changed from what he started with. He grieves and things can trigger some real tears. That's how we know we've got a kid that is adapting - we can see the struggle. It's normal. If it didn't show up this way, it would show up in others - and they would be harder to cope with.
And like anything else with kids - once you get it all down, they outgrow it and pick up a whole new set for you to get used to.
Thanks for all your good wishes - they were greatly appreciated. And now? Now is Monday, now in progress. Did you get your Wheaties this morning?