Working Through Guilt About Adopted Child’s Health Issues

January 19th, 2008
Categories: Remorse

This week, I have been writing about medicating my adopted child for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the emotions that this process has evoked in me. One emotion I am facing is guilt.

Hub and I had a blow up this week over the medication issue. In the course of this argument, hub pointed out how I always said that I would not feel complete without a child. The reason we even adopted in the first place was because I would not rest until we had a child. All of this is true, and that fuels my guilt whenever I have regrets about the way our adoption turned out.

Let me clarify that I do not regret adopting our son. I love him with all… [more]

Dealing with the Aftermath of Adoption Manipulation

December 14th, 2007
Categories: Remorse

In my post, Adoption Regrets: Manipulations, readers shared in the comments their own stories of having important health history information withheld until after the adoption was finalized. One reader posted the following question:

I am still stumped as to how to process anger and bitterness, and grief and regret . . . Do you have any suggestions for how to "make the best of it" and get on the other side of the negative feelings? – Scrapsbynobody from Adoption Regrets: Manipulations

Nancy, our Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) blogger, and John, a longtime reader, provided some good advice, which you can read in the comments. I would like to elaborate on their advice and provide some of my own.

1. Do what you can to keep… [more]

Adoption Regrets: Not Adopting Another Child

December 7th, 2007
Categories: Remorse

Many couples wind up only adopting one child. One reason for this is the high cost of adoption. Another reason is that many adoptive couples are older when they choose to adopt, and they do not want to start over with a second child as they approach their forties or fifties. Regardless of why they only have one child, some couples wind up regretting that their child has no sibling.

The regret can run even deeper when the child is a very social kid who would likely have flourished with a sibling in the home. The adoptive parents can feel guilty or sad about seeing their child looking lonely during the holidays or while on vacation. The regret can also burn when the child has birth siblings… [more]

Adoption Regrets: Manipulations

December 6th, 2007
Categories: Remorse

Unfortunately, some people are manipulated into adoptive situations that they would not have otherwise considered. Living with the aftermath of manipulation is hard, creating anger and bitterness.

I know of one adoptive couple who considering adopting a three-year-old boy out of foster care. The information that social services provided downplayed the extent of this child's emotional issues. This couple thought that adopting a child as young as three would ensure that the child would have few emotional scars. However, reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is developed during those early years, so adopting a three-year-old does not protect you from this. The couple picked up on some red flags, hired a child psychologist to evaluate the child, and learned that he did, in fact, have RAD. They… [more]

Adoption Regrets: Health Risks

December 5th, 2007
Categories: Remorse

When people try to conceive a baby, they hope and pray for a healthy child. In most cases, the expecting mother will make changes in her lifestyle, such as ceasing to smoke or drink and eating a more healthy diet, to increase the odds of giving birth to a healthy child. While taking these steps does not ensure a healthy baby, doing these things does lower the odds of having a baby with medical problems.

Contrast this with the experience of adopting a child. It is unusual to have the opportunity to adopt a child whose prenatal care or life before entering your home was stellar. In most cases, the expecting mother was unaware of her pregnancy during the early weeks when taking prenatal vitamins could have… [more]

Adoption Regrets: Level of Openness

December 4th, 2007
Categories: Remorse

When hopeful adoptive couples are working through the home study process, they are asked to make numerous decisions, many of which have no connection to anything they have ever experienced. Being asked about levels of openness in adoption is a big area in which hopeful adoptive couples often feel like they are flying blind. Most hopeful adoptive couples do not know anyone with an open adoption, and open adoption is not something you see represented in the media. So, these couples have nothing to base their decision upon other than what the social worker tells them.

Some hopeful adoptive couples immediately say no to any level of openness, insisting upon a closed adoption. Others wind up agreeing to more openness than they really want… [more]

Adoption Challenges: Regrets

December 3rd, 2007
Categories: Remorse

Regrets are common after making big decisions, such as whether to move, where to live, or which job to take. Considering that adoption is a big decision, it stands to reason that some people will have regrets afterward.

You can feel adoption regret in a number of ways. For example, you might regret making compromises about the level of contact to which you agreed upon with your child's birthmother. You might have agreed to more contact than you really wanted because you had the opportunity to adopt a baby now, and after the dust has settled, you realize that you do not feel comfortable with the level of contact to which you have committed yourself. Or you might have been so guarded about contact that you… [more]

Adoption Remorse Conclusion

February 22nd, 2006
Categories: Remorse

Well, I decided not to let this theme drag on and on. Besides, I hope to be here blogging for quite some time to come and so I imagine some topics will resurface again and again. Even one as tough as this one has been. In my last post, I left off raising the question as to whether my adoption remorse episode made me doubt whether to follow through with the finalization of the adoption. It did not. Although I knew that if I really wanted to, I could pick up a phone and call the social worker and tell her "this is just not working out." What I found out was that I really didn't want to do that. No way. In a strange twist, I had the opportunity… [more]

Adoption Remorse Cont’d

February 21st, 2006
Categories: Remorse

Okay. Where was I? Oh here: "However...I think that there is something qualitatively different about parenting remorse when you have become a parent through adoption as opposed through (sic) giving birth to your child....I know. Because,I, have been there. Parenting remorse. Let's talk about that one first. The thing that kills me about parent remorse is that it can be triggered by the most mundane incident. That makes it even harder to comprehend. I wrote about an incident in a book I recently published where my son was relentlessly asking me for some mini-chocolate chip cookies. No matter what I did I could not stop him from askng me for the damn cookies. I don't know why I was insistent on not giving them to him (an obvious solution) but for… [more]

Adoption Remorse

February 21st, 2006
Categories: Remorse

I have been trying to figure out how to write this post. I find it "vedee ingtervesting" that I have started and stopped several times in the past couple of days. Usually when I sit down to post, my thoughts just flow. I am a motor mouth and when it comes to posting, my fingers are just an extension of my loose lips. In speaking and in writing, sometimes that is a good thing. Sometimes not. But it is who I am, who I have always been, and it is not likely to change. You can see why I am totally shocked to find that when I decided to post on the topic of adoption remorse, all of a sudden I'm struggling with writer's block? What's up with that? So… [more]