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Was Our Adoption a Mistake?
A family's journey through older-child adoption
November 01,2010 / Patricia Engelspeck
Untitled Document

    There have been times in these last 4 years that I have wished that we had never adopted Anna. Even now I wonder why writing that last sentence does not bring a greater waive of guilt upon me. But to understand the whys and hows, you will need to journey back to a time when our family did not have Anna and did not know the power that one 9-year-old could hold over a family.

    There was, once upon a time, a family of 5. Two parents and 3 wonderful children who had been adopted from different countries. This family was very well adjusted. They had just purchased a new home, and mother was now able to stay at home with her children. Each child was well bonded to his/her parents, and the parents counted themselves as very fortunate in being blessed with the 3 most wonderful children on earth. This was my family. Our children were ages 6, 7 and 10 when we first saw the picture of Anna, a waiting child described as happy, outgoing, witty, friendly and eager to please. Our 10 year old had been wishing for a sister closer in age to herself, and we were not opposed to adopting again. This child, being almost 9-years-old, seemed like a good match for our boisterous, energetic family.

    Although we had adopted before, and in fact our 10-year-old was age 7 at adoption, this new adoption brought me much anxiety. Part of it was the idea of upsetting the birth order of the children, and part of it was simply the unknowns involved with adopting a child of this age. Still, her beaming smile and dancing eyes in photos eased my fears and with excitement we moved forward with the adoption.

    Many months later, at the end of 2000, my oldest daughter and husband traveled to adopt our new daughter, Anna. They would be with Anna in her birth-country for nearly 3 weeks.

    Four days after leaving, my very tired husband called to say they spent the last 2 days visiting Anna at her orphanage. She was a pistol and very anxious to leave the orphanage behind and come “home” (to the hotel) with her new dad and sister. I tried to pry out of my husband what exactly our new daughter was like, but all he would say is that she was outgoing and seemed very happy. My 10-year-old summed it up to me with, “Mom, she doesn’t act 8 years old. She’s like a baby!” I really didn’t know what to make of that…

    As the days went by and Anna came to stay with my husband and daughter at the hotel, more and more I began to feel a sense of unease about this adoption. Each time my husband called, it was with a fresh and frustrated report of the days events. Anna was making phone calls from the hotel while he was in the shower, or Anna threw a fit when he wouldn’t buy her a trinket. Anna, it would seem, was a handful. The final straw came one day when Anna left the hotel room and an hour long search ensued, finally finding her “hanging out” in some shops near the hotel. She yelled at and berated her new father with an obvious scorn. Back in the hotel room a translator was called. Anna would not give any reason for her actions except to say her father was mean for not buying her the items she had wanted in the shops. The next weeks Anna was never let out of sight. The adoption was completed and a very tired little group landed at the airport in our home city.

    Through all of this, I truly felt it was just a matter of my husband being a “softy”. I am the stronger parent in our relationship and I believed it was just a matter of getting our new daughter home where I could demonstrate a loving environment with good boundaries. Boy was I in for a big surprise!

    It is to my great fortune that we had adopted another older child before Anna. Although the first older child adoption hadn’t been without wrinkles, it was a progressive and very satisfying bonding experience. Our oldest daughter had few adjustment issues and was eager to be loved and give love. However, she had demonstrated, however gently, the culture shock, language issues, and sadness that come with any older child adoption. I was well prepared for these, thank God. What I was not prepared for is some of the damaging things that had been done and said to our newest daughter while she was still in her orphanage.

    Apparently, the older children in her orphanage are led to believe that when you are adopted by Americans, your life is a golden road filled with all the toys and games you could ever desire. You will never have to go to school, do chores, and of course you will have your way in any and all things. So deeply was this belief ingrained in Anna, that the crushing reality of her new home sent her into an absolute tail-spin of despair. A trip to the grocery store could have her lying in the aisles absolutely screaming and crying because I would not buy 7 cans of beans instead of 6. Meanwhile, I would stack the other 6 cans back on the shelf, attempting to send the message that if this behavior continued to be exhibited, she would get nothing. OH! How many times I would need to repeat this process for the lesson to sink in!

    When Anna first came home to us, it became very apparent that she did not have the maturity of a just-turned 9-year-old. In fact, she didn’t even relate to our 7-year-old. In maturity she was closest matched to our 6-year-old child. Her personality, described as outgoing & friendly, could only be described by her new family as bossy, abrasive, destructive and sneaky. Her method of “fitting in” to the family was to divide and conquer. Since she did not like 2 of her siblings, she set up a system of ignoring them, breaking their toys and ordering her 6-year-old sister not to talk to them. Lying was as 2nd nature as breathing. Though it all, I counseled my children as best as possible, and viewed these behaviors as “orphanage survival behaviors”. Dealing with them would take more patience than I ever know I could possess. Our other children found themselves horrified when she once dropped her pants and urinated in the drive way. Her face was never more than a ½ inch above her plate as she loudly ate her food. Her incessant whining about who had what, “Why I not have? Why you not buy for me? Anna needs! Anna needs! Anna needs!”

    I knew this was all behaviors that could be dealt with. With time and patience, Anna would learn. However, it quickly became apparent that the greatest obstacle might be insurmountable. Anna appeared to have absolutely no desire to bond to us. Her complete abhorrence for her father was apparent. She couldn’t stand to be in the same room with him (and no, she was not abused in her orphanage, she just had no use for her father). She told her sisters he was big, mean, old, fat etc. I asked her one night, “Anna, what is it you want from this family? We want you to love us.” Her response was simply, “I love it when you buy me things. I like my sister.” And the truth was, as much as she did not like us…….we did not like her. I realize how horrible that sounds, but the simple fact of the matter was this: This was an extremely unlovable kid. Defiant, whiny, loud, stubborn, disobedient, and irritating. It wasn’t that hard for my husband and I to admit to each other the truth: This Adoption was a Mistake.

    Once we admitted that, the next step was asking, “What is the solution?” The answer to that question is what this story is really about. Because if you have made it this far, you may just be thinking, “What an awful family! How could they not love a child that was now their daughter??” I know what you are thinking, because I would have thought and asked the same thing before Anna became our child.

    By the time we asked this of ourselves, Anna had been home a year. We had decided to teach her English at home (it was mid-school year when she arrived) and give her time to adjust before sending her to school. Although we began with just 15 minutes her day, Anna would cry, actually sob, and repeat over and over, “Watch TV! Want to watch TV! You are mean, mean mother. Very bad! Bad!” TVs had been on all waking hours in her orphanage and Anna had never attended school. Her obsession with watching TV, I felt, contributed to her inability to tell reality from fantasy. It’s hard to explain, but she just could not tell what was real or not. By the end of the summer we were up to about the 1st grade level and Anna had learned English at lightning pace. I could tell there was a bright mind in there that had never been tapped.

    Now almost 10 years old, she was still at about a 6 year old level in maturity. With our oldest daughter struggling in school, we made the decision to keep her and Anna home for a year to give them each a chance to “catch up”. I re-doubled my efforts to show Anna affection, be fair, and bond with her. And so, after that first year, my husband and I found ourselves with the all important question: “What do we do with a child we do not love and who does not seem capable of attaching to us?”

    Our first decision was NOT to disrupt. We would raise Anna as our child to adulthood and do the very best we could with her, expecting very little in return.

    Our second was for my husband to avoid contact with her, as he had completely lost all patience with her antics.

    Our third decision was that I would continue to “pretend” to love her.

    Our 4th was to continue homeschooling her, limiting her ability to cast us aside like so much garbage for her fantasy of a “good family” that was out there somewhere.

    There is not much more to say about the next year (her 2nd year home). She learned that obeying the rules meant privileges, disobeying meant a loss of the things she found fun. She learned, though with loud wailing, to do her chores. She never failed to cry and sob while cleaning her room or putting her plate in the sink. She learned to read and do math, though the tears flowed with any attempt to have her write sentences or engage her in any school work she deemed, “NOT FUN!” The rest of us learned to ignore her fits and accept that she would always be here, regardless of our feelings.

    In her 3rd year home, the changes began so slightly, so very, very quietly, that had she not been constant with them, I very well might have squashed them without ever even knowing they were happening.

    In order to tolerate her hatred, my husband insisted that when he walked into a room where she was, she must say, “hello dad”. At first she refused and continued to ignore him even when he spoke to her (which she had been doing for 2 years). He would then say, “Hello Anna”. If she did not respond, she went to her room, alone, for ½ an hour, a true torture in her estimation. She finally broke and without exception would start saying, “hello dad” when she heard him even come close to a room where she was. This led him to respond, “hello, Anna, what are you doing?” It was murderous torture for her to give even a 3 word response, but she would do it. This went on for months.

    In the meantime, I had grown so accustomed to being tough on Anna, being strict, watching for her to step out of line, waiting for her to talk back, throw a fit, or defy me in some way, that when she finally, quietly made up her mind just to do what was asked and expected of her, I didn’t at first notice it. It just suddenly came to me one day when I saw her helping to do the dinner dishes (her chore 2 times a week) without complaint, that she hadn’t been whining as much….in fact, she had been completing her homework assignments without crying for…hmmmm….weeks? How could I have missed this? And so, I began to watch Anna in a different way. That is when I found out the most difficult truth of all: My heart had hardened towards this child.

    It began the next morning. The girls were getting out of bed, giving me hugs, and I just wanted the hug from Anna to end as quickly as possible. In fact, I found myself almost pushing her away! That same afternoon I found the lunch table a mess and assumed it was Anna. I was ready to start her chastisement when her brother admitted it was he who had not cleaned up the table. How quick I was to blame our “difficult child”. That night, like every night, I lay down next to each child and let him or her just speak to me…..I noticed in myself a familiar rushed feeling as I lay next to Anna….I did not like feeling her next to me. OH! What and who had I become? Could I despise this child so much as to abhor her touch? The answer was simply, yes. Yes, I could. And Yes, I did.

    Anna, it seemed, was changing. I had been pretending to love her. Telling her I did, making sure she got hugs. Making sure she was warm at night, putting concern in my voice when she was hurt. We had vacationed as a family, and in every way tried to make her feel accepted as one of the family. But yes, I was also very hard on her in other ways. Still, this pretend love was the closest thing to “real” that she had ever had in her life, and it had been going on for almost 3 years now. Anna was responding to this. And I was a fool not to see it.

    As the next months came and went, I found myself making sure that I noticed Anna’s efforts, her attempts to control her behaviors, and her shedding of negative and disrupted traits that she no longer ‘needed’ in this new family. I prayed for God to soften my heart towards her, and I shared these happening with my husband. Our conversations about Anna became more positive and we started to relax our vigilant watchfulness towards her. My husband made more of an effort to tolerate Anna’s silences and discomfort with him, and to praise her for just about anything. It didn’t happen over night, these many changes.

    It’s been over 4 years now. Anna is now 13 years old. Her maturity level is at about a 10-year-old level now. She’s independent, but willing to listen and try advice. She loves to read books and is only allowed 1 hour of TV per day. She knows why and understands (and yes, accepts) why this is, and the other children must obey the same rule. We are more open with each other now. We talk with each other about improving our relationship, about her dreams and hopes for the future. Anna is part of our family now in a real way.

    Do I love her? Yes, in a way I do. I feel a great affection and respect for her, and the love is growing over time. It wasn’t an easy love to come by. But it is rooted now in fertile soil. We have weathered the biggest storm. Anna still won’t go off and do something with her dad alone, like the other children love to do, but she enjoys “Dad night” when my husband gives me a night off and takes the kids out for dinner and to the movie rental store once a week. She makes him cards and eagerly shows him her artwork. She gives him hugs, willingly now and that is something I would never thought would happen.

    And so I will end this story as it began. There was, once upon a time, a family of 6. This family was very well adjusted. They all had helped each other to grow and stretch in new and wonderful ways. They learned together about patience, love, faithfulness, dedication, forgiveness and hope. When the storms came and the wind blew, this family learned to bend together, but did not break. And all the grafted branches made the tree that much stronger.

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Readers Comments  (61 Comments)  View All Comments
This was a great article. I'm going through almost the same thing, only it's a family memeber that we adopted. I lay awake at night and pray I have not destroyed the family that took me years to build with just this one small child. I feel like such a horrible person for having these feelings. It's not something you say out loud. For fear of people like PART 1,2,3 and 4. Apparently we're not all saints like this perfect person. thanks for the artical it has given me hope!- Anonymous
This was a great article. I'm going through almost the same thing, only it's a family memeber that we adopted. I lay awake at night and pray I have not destroyed the family that took me years to build with just this one small child. I feel like such a horrible person for having these feelings. It's not something you say out loud. For fear of people like PART 1,2,3 and 4. Apparently we're not all saints like this perfect person. thanks for the artical it has given me hope!- Anonymous
I so often wish we had gotten our adopted daughter at 9, instead of 16. I so relate to this story, only ours did not have a happy ending. In the end, after trying everything from counseling to homeschooling to just being there to catch her when she fell, we finally had to cut ties with her for the sake of our younger children. She became so resentful, especially of me because I insisted that she respect our rules. It sounds like you are going to make all the difference to Anna.- Anonymous
Thank you for this honest article. We have two biological children who we love so deeply, and adopted a year ago. We are struggling to bond with this child, a struggle we were not prepared for. We can relate to so much of what you wrote. Your experience makes families like us feel less alone. This is a difficult subject to talk about openly because of the fear of judgement and lack of understanding by most people. Thank you for your honesty and courage.- Anonymous
This is a an honest article by a Mom who understands that adoption is a journey, not a single stop. We have adopted two kids from foster care- and with the first one, every night was a drag out scream fest while he tried to throw temper tantrums to get what he wanted. This kind of adoption tests EVERY facet of your ability to parent, and this mom' s honest accounting of their family journey should be read and understood for its ALL its parts- both good and bad. Thanks for ALL your honesty.- Anonymous
I appreciate the courage it took to write this article and admire your commitment to Anna. I hope you completely disregard the judgmental remarks made, anonymously of course, by the person who had to break her diatribe into 4 parts. We adoptive parents need to support and empathize with each other and our children. There seems to be a rule that those who are most opinionated are also the most verbose. Anyway, I wish all six of you well.~~Kathleen- Anonymous
Wow, kudos to you for telling the truth. No judgement from me at all, in fact I admire you greatly- dawn
Thank you for being brave enough to honestly tell your struggle. So often people lie to themselves and others and nothing is able to get dealt with. I firmly believe that what we reveal, the Lord can heal. I've read your second article and am so thankful that you received your answers and that you didn't give up. I have an adopted child and sometimes I ask myself the same question you did - did I make a mistake. Thanks again for giving voice to those of us who have remained silent.- Anonymous
Some people will condemn you for your "feelings". You are a true hero. You didn't let your "feelings" control you. You controled what you could that being your actions. You did what you knew was right regardless of Anna's behavior or your "feelings". Bless you!- Anonymous
Thank you. I have felt this way so many times. I actually started pushing my "biological" child and my 2 other "adopted" children away because I felt so bad about what I was feeling. Because of all the resentment/pushing away and not wanting to show favortism, I pushed them all away. That was until I talked to a counselor who said that this response was normal and it was "ok" to feel this way. Thank you for reminding us we're not alone. You guys are stronger for making it through! Bless you- Toni
I appreciate your honesty. I don't think you're awful at all. Quite the contrary. You stuck with this kid, difficult or not. I hope you continue to do better all the time.- Anonymous
An amazing, truthful story. We very much appreciate your honesty as we venture into our "older child" adoption. I anticipate these same problems and have a GREAT reality check. I can't wait to read this to my husband. God bless you for your testimony!!!- Anonymous
Your true story offers me some comfort. The commenter that was "WOWED" is actually important because compared to all the understanding, supportive and comments of gratitude, that one 4 part comment, gives value to all the others! I hope that your journey has continued well and that Anna will be able to live independently and be a positive contributer to our society as an adult! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.- Anonymous
Wow, thank you so much for sharing that incredibly honest telling of your adoption journey!- Anonymous
Thank you for writing this! This is my life!! I wanted to reach through the computer and hug you! I feel like I have found a soul mate in this respect.....thank you again. I need to see another mom with an almost IDENTICAL story. Thank you again! Alice- Alice
Thank you for being honest with your journey. It puts ours in perspective. We have been home 4 months, a very painful 4 months, and are seeing the break through already. I am so thankful that God clearly guided each step of our adoption so that we could have no doubts now that this is the right thing. If God calls you to this (for those thinking about this journey), He will give you the strength to walk through it. He didn't promise it would be easy, just right.- Anonymous
Amazing! Thank you so much for your honesty - it is hard to write exactly what is found in one's heart, and you have done that! We are all just human, and by no means are we perfect - why not speak about it openly!!! Through your preserverance you have shown this child what a true family is all about ~ staying together through the great times and definitely through the stormy times!!! Thank you once again!- Iwona
I have 7 adopted kids whos adoption disrupted. I 'm their second american family. I completely inderstand what this artical is exspressing . Heather Forbes Book "Beyond Consequences Logic and Control " has been a great resourse to help me parent children with these extreem challenges.God Bless You all in your own journey with your children.- peggythomas
Thank you so much for sharing your story in such an honest way.- Lori
Thank you so much for your honesty. I am sorry that you received some rude judgements from some "anonymous" commentors who know nothing of what you and your family have been through. We adopted a year ago and though our daughter wasn't nearly as scared as yours, I have still found it hard to love her deeply. I do have hope for our future though. Thank you.- Kelly
Thank you so much for your honesty. I am sorry that you received some rude judgements from some "anonymous" commentors who know nothing of what you and your family have been through. We adopted a year ago and though our daughter wasn't nearly as scared as yours, I have still found it hard to love her deeply. I do have hope for our future though. Thank you.- Kelly
I would love to be able to share this article with other parents who have adopted older children. It it not always easy to adopt an older child with a history. Often their past is something that we as parents only learn about as time goes on. You and your husband are to be admired for staying consistant and keeping your rules, love is not always the answer...like in the movies. It's the day to day efforting that I know must have really worn you down. Be proud of what you all have achieved.- teri
Thank you! That was beautifully written and very touching.- grtlyblesd
Love - the kind of love that God has for us and the kind He asks us to give others - is not a feeling. It's action;giving of your life for another. You have shown His true type of love in your diligent actions toward your daughter. May you be blessed in your efforts and may the lesser kind of love (the feelings) come as well as an added bonus!- gail
Thank you for your honest. As a single adoptive parent of four, I too struggle with the question of Was this adoption a mistake. I fully understand the concept of loving someone as best as you can, as bonding is not always instant especially with an older child. For those of you who dare criticize, may you never have to walk in her shoes.- Anonymous
What a beautiful story of strength. Thank you for speaking out... my daughter (international older child adoption) came home with similar expectations... she has not acted out as strongly... but I do understand. This type of behavior is very frustrating especially when coupled with temper tantrums.- Anonymous
What a beautiful story of strength. Thank you for speaking out... my daughter (international older child adoption) came home with similar expectations... she has not acted out as strongly... but I do understand. This type of behavior is very frustrating especially when coupled with temper tantrums.- Anonymous
As an adoptee myself and as someone who is currently looking into the realities of adopting children myself I found this story both disturbing and comforting. I was also a 'difficult child.' I had a very difficult time bonding with anyone around me. I can easily imagine my parents saying similar things. Even now I find bonding difficult because I EXPECT to be hurt and thrown away. Even at 30 years old the effects of my childhood linger. Now, I am grateful that my parents ACTUALLY loved me.- Amy
Thank you so much for your courage and honesty in sharing your story.- Michele
Excellent article and one that needed to be written!! I sincerely appreciate your honesty. We have adopted several older children and this is a story most of us who have gone down that road could have written. My only criticism is using your own name. Our family has gone through all the issues and emotions you have described, and we talk about them and are honest, but I don't talk about them in public. If I did, I'd use a pseudonym to protect their privacy as it is as much their story as mine.- Anonymous
Shirley, why would you want to adopt again if you are struggling with one of your children? We recently adopted a child from disruption and that is exactly what that family did. Instead of focusing on the child who needed them most, they not only adopted again but brought in a foreign exchange student. I think bringing in the new child actually made it easier for them to disrupt. They had yet another child to compare the "difficult" child to.- Anonymous
Thank you for this story. It is a God-sent. I have a very difficult adopted daughter and have thought of disrupting. But, who would take her? What would become of her? I must prevail with God's help. Thank you for the encouragement.- GMH
It was like I was reading my own story. A 9 yr old emotionally at 4 breaking birth order and hating me in every way possible. Sat by her side during huge medical stays and 8 yrs later we are closer but still a long way to go but not giving up.....DS- Anonymous
Thank you for your response. We are in process of adopting an 8 yr old boy and recent reports indicate some behavior challenges(he was recently moved out from foster home due to bad behavior when informed of adoption). I am very nervous about this, especially with us both full time working. Will we have the time and energy to effectively manage things? We have another 7 yr old boy now, who looks forward to meeting his new brother. Hoping ( but nervous!) we are making good decision for all!- Anonymous
I like and appreciate your honesty. We are close to adopting an older child from asia who is nearly 8. We are hearing of behavior issues and resentment(no wonder, he was taken from his foster family for behaving badly when informed WE were adopting him). I am very nervous now. I fear with both of I'd working full time, we will not have the time to help him address his issues. On the other hand, we understand he is a nice child, just deep hurts. We have 1 other bio child close in age.- Anonymous
As a mom of another difficult to love child, I can relate so much to this mom. We too made the decision we would never disrupt, and would give what we could, and hope soemday she would be able to love us in return. After 3 years home, she is able to at least show some affection occasionally. We just keep on going, but it would be lying to say I feel for her what I do my other children who are capable of giving back love.- Anonymous
I appreciate your honesty and admire your strength. I pray your family will continue to develop a stronger relationship with your newest daughter. May God bless your efforts.- Anonymous
Excellent, honest, helpful story. I know I am not the only adoptive mother of a hard to love child that found comfort and hope in these words. I have renewed motivation to continue on in our efforts to adopt yet again. I have raised 3 biological children and now raising two adopted siblings. One is a delight and we now have hope for his brother.- Shirley
This article is absolutely wonderful and so transparent. It touches on a subject that most of us had thought of but ignored but over time our trees became very strong and we love our children more than we could have ever imagined. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us. I admire your marriage and weathering all storms together.- Anonymous
Excellent! So encouraging but honest and courageous! Thank you- sarah
It is silly to assume that this child would have done better in another family. Children who have lived years without love, don't know or trust it and have to be taught how to love, be loved and to value relationships. To keep on trying when the child rejects you and to see your other children suffer because of that child is a test of a family. This is preparation for parents adopting an older child. It is important to realise that a child not always be responsive but at time be divisive.- Anonymous
Thanks for sharing. Its nice to hear that eventually you all came to care for each other. I've struggled with my son for the first few years and now this is the first year that we're really bonding. Its surprising to see the similarities in our feelings as mothers after needing to be tough for the 1st few yrs and then changing feelings. Thanks again!- Sheree
I want to add that those who dare judge this mother for saying, "in a way" she loved her daughter need to back off. Love is a two way street, ladies. After 10 years of receiving nothing but contempt and abuse for our love, we would be dishonest to say that our daughter has the same affection that our loving children have. But we will love her always despite her wounding of us as adoptive parents. But it will always be different because of the choices SHE made.- Val
Excellent article. We adopted 2 from Eastern Europe. Our daughter who is now 15 suffers from Rad and has shown nothing but hatred and contempt for the love we have given her. She's now in a boarding school for troubled girls after 12 years of being in our home. She's still ours, but we had to place her where her needs could be met. These children are great challenges, but you do the best that you can to love them, and sometimes it's tough love to reach them.- Val
Excellent article. We adopted 2 from Eastern Europe. Our daughter who is now 15 suffers from Rad and has shown nothing but hatred and contempt for the love we have given her. She's now in a boarding school for troubled girls after 12 years of being in our home. She's still ours, but we had to place her where her needs could be met. These children are great challenges, but you do the best that you can to love them, and sometimes it's tough love to reach them.- Val
Excellent article. We adopted 2 from Eastern Europe. Our daughter who is now 15 suffers from Rad and has shown nothing but hatred and contempt for the love we have given her. She's now in a boarding school for troubled girls after 12 years of being in our home. She's still ours, but we had to place her where her needs could be met. These children are great challenges, but you do the best that you can to love them, and sometimes it's tough love to reach them.- Val
I am very saddened to see the judgements made of you below. I hope comments like those will not hinder other families from getting help when they are in this situation. Thank you for your honesty and bravery.- Anonymous
Kudos to you for your bravery in writing this article. Those who are critical have no idea what it is like to parent a child you can't love. I have been in your shoes and I understand. I, too, made a decision to see it through. I, too, love my older child "in a way," ten years after the adoption. Regardless of whether you ever feel about this daughter the way you feel about your other children, she had a better life with you than she would have had otherwise.- anonymous
i gained an older child through marriage and i can relate to the "in a way" love and the time spent pretending to love when the child just seems to destroy all efforts to truely connect and bond. After a while it's just going through the motions of what you're supposed to do. I'm glad glad to see that your family was able to weather this storm and provide anna with the stability that she so dearly needed.- Anonymous
Part 4-How sad for Anna that someday she is going to read this article that her "IN A WAY" loving Mother wrote about her. Why not have waited a couple more years to write the article when she could hopefully have said she deeply loved her daughter now ????.- Anonymous
Part 3 We NEVER labeled him a difficult child. He was just himself and for whatever reason having a hard time and we just loved him through it, until his hard time was over. I really feel the Mom and Dad here were just NOT the right parents for this child. What country did they adopt from that would not require that BOTH parents spend time with a child (of this age) prior to the final adoption to make sure your compatible??- Anonymous
Part 2-It sounds to me like Anna was summed up and labeled to be a "difficult child" from the original 2 week period and she never had a chance after that to be any thing but. I brought home a child who kicked, screamed and pushed us away ALL NIGHT, EVERY NIGHT for 2 yrs. We just truly LOVED (not "in a way" loved) and held him thru it all night long for 2 yrs.- Anonymous
Part 2-It sounds to me like Anna was summed up and labeled to be a "difficult child" from the original 2 week period and she never had a chance after that to be any thing but. I brought home a child who kicked, screamed and pushed us away ALL NIGHT, EVERY NIGHT for 2 yrs. We just truly LOVED (not "in a way" loved) and held him thru it all night long for 2 yrs.- Anonymous
Part 1 WOW !!! That's all I can say right now. I actually cringed, with my mouth agape, the whole time reading this article. I can not believe a MOTHER would actually sit down and put into words the things you said. How SAD, 4 YEARS later and "IN A WAY" you love her??!!- Anonymous
Part 1 WOW !!! That's all I can say right now. I actually cringed, with my mouth agape, the whole time reading this article. I can not believe a MOTHER would actually sit down and put into words the things you said. How SAD, 4 YEARS later and "IN A WAY" you love her??!!- Anonymous
Thank you so much for your honesty. It is very encouraging that, in time, your daughter did start to change. Just as she could only adapt in the best way she knew how, so can you and your husband only bond in the best way you know how, considering the circumstances. If you write a follow-up in four more years, I'm sure you will be amazed at how things are for you. :)- Anonymous
Our daughter was three years old when we adopted her. That was three years ago and we have been through many of these same trials. I can say that finally...FINALLY...we are seeing positive changes in her. We all had to survive those 3 years to finally be able to see the happy little girl that was just waiting to join us. Orphanage life...even in a "good" orphanage is just not the same as having a family. She is worth every tear I've cried. I hope she thinks we're worth it too!- Anonymous
Just wanted to say I admire your strength and your honesty.- Anonymous
Great story! Your story would make such a wonderful move with the summary as the theme. Thanks for sharing. You guys have been through a lot but you have all grown in ways no one whould ever see possible. It is really amazing what honesty that you have and I commend you for that. May God bless your little girl and her family of six:)- Angie
My spouse and I are contemplating our 2nd international adoption of an older child. You and your family are courageous and so blessed! Your article was beautiful, but I now have mixed feelings.- Kim Knoch
I admire your strength and ability to pull your family together with such courage. Thank you for your story! It is inspiring.- Anonymous
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