Monday, August 28, 2006

Characteristic Needed by Adoptive Families

A Texas social worker, Robyn, who matches children with families on an ongoing basis says, "The ONE characteristic they need to possess is to be open minded and not expect our children to be THAT perfect child. They all come with some sort of baggage, even the young ones, and they need to realize that you can not always fix these children with just love. They might need more and parents need to be parents and stand by them through everything they go through."

Two adoptive parents of lots of kids and adoption specialists for Adopt America Terri and Phyllis, agree that patience is paramount. Terri says "My personal opinion on this one is that You should possess it would be Patience. Not only with the child but with the system itself as well. And the knowledge that you may need to be Very Very Patient with both." Phyllis adds that if she could choose two, the second would be a sense of humor. Christa, an adoption worker in Florida agrees with patience and adds the adjective tolerance. Bill, a recruiter in Texas and Jennifer and Kim, adoption workers from two other regions in Texas, also agree that patience is the key.

Gina, an adoption worker in Texas, says, "To go into the adoption in check with reality. There are adoptive families that believe that all they need to do is love the kid and they will be just fine. That is usually not the case because some of our kids have years of damage, and in some cases the child will never be what society considers as normal."

Paula writes ”Commitment, stubbornness, refusal to give up , whatever you want to call it……..without it they will never make it.“ Amanda calls this tenacity --tenacity to pursue a placement, tenacity to stick a placement out. QueenBee calls it commitment, as does Melody, an adoption worker from Texas.

Martha, another adoption worker from Texas, says that they must love being in the company of children. Alissa, a recruiter in Florida, believes that flexibility is the key.

Kari says an adoptive parents needs to "open to learning the parenting skills that are needed for kids with abuse / neglect / prenatal exposure issues."

Mary thinks the word resliency covers it all -- Resiliency. That covers it all -- the need for patience, the critical issues regarding a child/ren, the process of working with the foster care system and ICPC, and the attitudes most parents get at some point from their child/ren. It lets a parent keep on loving and caring even when it's hard to do."


Blogger Claudia said...

In putting this post together I almost laughed. Because so many people said "Patience" and I think I am one of the least patient people I know. I would agree with tenacity, commitment, etc. That might be the only quality anyone listed that I possess, and we're still alive and so are our kids. :-)

2:57 PM  
Blogger David Michael said...

One of the most important qualities parents who adopt children out of foster care need to have is being open. Open to:

1. It takes more than love
2. Some recommendations by professionals go against natural parenting tendencies
3. The child may never bond with you
4. Avoid physical punishment at all costs
5. Never threated the placement, even after the child is adopted.
6. Children may have emotional pain they need to work through.
7. Children need to be allowed to feel their feelings.
8. Foster/adopt children can be very sensitive. They can pick up on very subtle emotions such as anger, dissappointment, or depression.
9. Adoptive siblings need to know what to expect and go through some counseling or coaching regarding the new family.
10. One child can dramatically affect your family system.

7:10 AM  
Blogger Maerlowe said...

I'm still preplacement, so I don't know much, but I think patience will only get you so far. This past weekend while waiting in the ER, I was the one telling everyone that it was a good thing my father wasn't the doctors' first priority anymore, that he'd be taken care of, but I was also the one hounding the nurses when it looked like the stitching-up timeframe would close, when the pain medication made him vomit because he hadn't been fed in 16 hours, and when the man handcuffed to the bed next to him started turning blue. I can say that I have a streak of lion in my personality, and I think that will make me better at this than someone who remains passive.

So I guess I'd advocate for patience of the self, and the ability to be proactive, even impatient, for providing for your family at the same time.

2:16 PM  

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