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Adaptation vs. Adoption

line Adaptation vs. Adoption

I like to refer to it as adaptation. Adoption is a legal matter. Adaptation is the process…..

My son was three when his mother failed to do the parenting classes, rehab, and move to a support home which the courts ordered her to. She was a thief, prostitute, and addict. After  a bad trip at the local gas station my little man and his half sister were removed from her custody permanently. My son was put in foster care because his extended family didn’t want him. Months later his grandmother asked for guardianship and was made his foster parent with intent to adopt. A few months later she changed her mind.

His grandmother Lela, was my father’s half sister. When my mother told her we wanted to adopt she literally brought him to us before contacting his social worker. He stayed three days with us before we got things straightened out and began the legal process. It was exciting, terrifying, and ever so fast! My son turned 4 just days after being placed with us. He had a lot of memories and grief attached to his short life.

As the months rolled on, I learned more and more about his scary, neglected, traumatic life before us. I got angry at everyone who didn’t do better by him early on… a terrible mother, a dad that walked out on him on his third day into this word, aunts, uncles, and grandma Lela who couldn’t find room for him. It was them I would curse every time he had a real problem, how do you blame a child of 4 or 5 for the repeat of sins done on them …. I came to realize it was an unhealthy attitude and gained nothing for any one. I never spoke badly or negative in any way of those few people he had called family, but at that point I realized I had to build them up for his sake. I have found my son’s father, mother, sister, and one of three brothers ( no two children have the same parents–three mothers, three fathers between them) through Facebook. When my son is older he will have the option to reach out to them.

Meanwhile, he is a drug baby. He does have significant memory, comprehension, and reasoning trouble. He is also a child of neglect and trauma. He has been labeled with ODD, RAD, PTSD, and it has been suggested that he is a ‘borderline sociopath’. He also has had every opportunity to overcome and learn to work with or around his roadblocks because we were more able and interested in providing for him. That has meant a lot of counseling, therapy, classroom intervention, special education, private tutoring, buckets of tears, and tons and tons of patience.

I respect my son’s roots and thank God everyday that I was able to provide better soil for them. He is growing to be a man of virtue and compassion, ruled by his own strong sense of self. If you haven’t had a kid like him in your life you can’t know how far he’s come just to gain a little compassion.Yes, we told him what we hoped from him but I promise you this, you cant make a child be someone they aren’t equipped or willing to be. In the life he was born to I doubt he would have been encouraged to dig out his potential, to build something from it, to rise up and be proud of himself. I hate to think he would have become a participant of the drugged, violent, unpredictable life he was born to, so instead I think of his boundless opportunities, his future wife, how much like his dad– my husband, he will be…and what he is right this very moment.

My son is by the way, the only of my four kids that isn’t biological. Does that make him stand out? Make him different? Yes. He is the only one that can say he was chosen, the girls were mere accidents.



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