Teenage Violence At Home

Walk a mile in my shoes

December 10, 2014 Poster Uncategorized

Violence, adoption, violence, one does not necessarily walk hand in hand with the other but I must acknowledge that our older two children came to us with seriously dysfunctional behaviour. Neither of those children were emotionally equipped to cope with being placed for adoption. This is very much our story.  Our older children were 7 and 6 years of age when we brought them home. The children were like sponges understanding the English spoken word within their first year here. It took much longer to grasp the intent behind our words. A good example, ‘lend me your ears’, sent those kids running away covering their ears. It took ages to explain it meant ‘listen for a moment’.

Stigma we have felt as parents of adopted children, ‘Well, it’s not quite the same’. Once I was asked ‘how do you love them,’ from another ‘kindy’ mum.  Stigma attached to us as parents of difficult children who were adopted into the family, ‘what do you expect’.  Stigma attached to us as parents, BLAMED for the children’s violent and anti social behaviour, ‘you must be doing something wrong, I can do it better’ and yes, shock horror, the stigma because our skin is a different colour to our children. Does that shock you? Well I’ve never promised to be politically correct and this is the truth, it may surprise you to learn that it wasn’t our children’s darker skin that was frowned upon but we ‘rich white’ were often given dirty looks and quiet innuendos of ‘stealing’ these children. I could keep going with all of the different perceptions we have been labelled with and not because of fact but simply because our children were inter- racially adopted. There was no getting away from that even though we were imploring people to simply accept us as a family.                                                            It is worth saying that some, only some, of our worst felt prejudices came from other dark skinned people we might have crossed paths with in the street or the shopping centre.  None of it was complimentary.    We also had many people say outrageous things to us even when the children were very small. Things like ‘did it cost lots of money, how much did you pay for them’, what happened to their parents, do they still have contact with their family, how do I get one of those’. All of this in front of our children.   We also heard ‘aren’t you wonderful’, from well- meaning people once it was realised we had adopted three siblings at once. This made me feel the most uncomfortable because we hadn’t adopted our children as an act of sainthood…we wanted a family and these children had been left without parents or any other living relative we had been told. We never planned to adopt three children at once nor had we ever demanded a particular age group but we’ve even seen stories that portray us as ogres who adopted our children to ‘get a baby’.

We strongly believe after watching our children’s reactions when hearing those comments that it helped to feed into our children’s anger, resentment and sense of loss and abandonment.  It provided a foundation to justify their rage toward us, their adopted parents. No matter what we did or how much we loved them it was never going to be enough. They were not going to forgive us for adopting them.

 


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