The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

'You are nobody to me': what difficulties to prepare for if you want to adopt a child

'01.09.2021'

Source: Burning hut

None of this will necessarily happen to you. However, every tenth child, for example, in Russia returns to an orphanage after adoption, because the parents had no idea what they would have to face during the adaptation period. The stories of three families who adopted children are told Burning hut.

Photo: Shutterstock

Don't expect your child to behave well out of gratitude for being "saved"

Everyone has their own reason to become foster parents. Someone's health or age does not allow them to start their own, others have a desire and resource to make someone's life better. The main thing is to remember that you are doing this for yourself.

It is rash to hope that the adopted child will perceive new parents as “saviors” who gave him a chance for a new life. Even if a child's life used to be like hell, do not expect him to obey you in everything out of gratitude.

Usually it turns out exactly the opposite. As a rule, only after getting into a new house, children try to show their best side. But as they get used to it and "thaw out", their past traumas and resentments spill out onto a new family.

Yuri Nikiforov, adoptive father of two teenagers, whose biological parents have passed away. The first year the children called him "Daddy Yura", but gradually he became just a dad.

“We took Denis and Masha into the family three years ago. The guys remember their former parents, especially their daughter, she is older. But Masha has a rather calm character, but Denis had hysterics in the first year. He refused to do what we asked, and shouted: "You are nothing to me at all!" It hurt us very much, my thoughts flashed all the time: suddenly I was mistaken, suddenly he is worse with us than without us. But I just tried not to think about it, but to focus on my role as a father. Over time, the son got used to us, and these hysterics stopped, ”says Yuri.

A child may need a lot of attention

Children abandoned by their parents see the world differently from those who grew up in a family. Even if a child lives with a dad who beats him, he feels that he belongs to this family. Breaking blood ties is a traumatic experience. After the loss of their parents, some children think that they are not worthy of love and blame themselves for everything. Others stop trusting adults for fear of attachment and then pain again.

In any case, the child will need a lot of warmth and love to regain faith in himself and others. This can manifest itself in a constant desire for bodily contact (hugs, touches), fear of letting go of parents even for several hours, constant questions about feelings.

On the subject: Children grew up: how to survive an empty nest syndrome

Anna Soshinskaya, President of the Responsible for the Future Charitable Foundation. Anna's family has five children, among them is Natasha's adopted daughter and her husband's child from his first marriage.

“My adopted daughter Natasha was four years old when we took her. In kindergarten, she did not walk with other children in the yard. She stood at the gate and waited for me, and it was impossible to distract her from this. Now she is eight, but the lack of love and contact with her mother is still felt. She worries and doubts our affection for her, constantly asks if I love her and how much. My own son may not even notice that I have gone somewhere. And Natasha is very stressed: she must be told that I am going on business and will be back in a couple of hours. She wants tactile contact: in the morning we must lie in bed together for at least five minutes. From time to time she says that she would like me to give birth to her. I answer that I would also like to, but it does not matter - we are still a family, ”Anna tells about her family.

The child can test you and provoke you to abandon him.

The fear of attachment and abandonment causes the desire to quickly break the nascent bond. Children do not know what absolute parental love is, and do not believe that someone can truly attach to them. Fearing that sooner or later they will be returned to the orphanage, they are trying to do everything to make this happen as quickly as possible.

Most often, this pushes them to major provocations - theft, aggression, outright lies, cruel treatment of other family members. Children a priori consider themselves bad and try to show their darkest sides in order not to “deceive” new parents at their own expense.

“In the first year there was a feeling that our adopted son was trying to find the boundaries of our love. He did not believe that we would not abandon him and return him to the orphanage. Teachers constantly complained about his behavior at school. And once he stole money and refused to admit guilt. I had to talk to him a lot and explain that he can grow up to be a worthy person, and admitting his mistakes is the quality of strong people, ”recalls Yuri Nikiforov.

The child may have difficulties in simple everyday things

Children from boarding schools often do not know anything about the life of ordinary families. They are given clean clothes, they are fed ready-made food in the dining room. They do not participate in house cleaning, do not go to the grocery store. Many people do not even suspect that the food before cooking looks somehow different - they did not have grandparents who took them to the village to plant potatoes with them.

In orphanages, everything is subject to a schedule. Children do not have the opportunity to influence him and independently decide what to do. Once in the family and faced with new responsibilities and freedom, they sometimes do not know what to do and "rebel" against changes in the old regime.

On the subject: American Love and Marriage: 10 Facts About US Relations

Olesya Klyueva felt resistance from foster children for a year after adoption. Then I saw my habits in their behavior and realized that they were becoming “their own”.

“My husband and I have three adopted children. Actually, we were looking for two, but Cyril, Diana and Yulia are blood brothers and sisters, so we took everyone at once. We are both quite experienced parents, but in the beginning we just didn't know what to do. The children did not obey us at all. They were capricious, refused to eat or take a shower. The youngest daughter could demand something and say: "I will cry until you give it to me." The psychologist advised us to restore the regime they had in the orphanage and do everything on schedule. We got up at the same time, had breakfast, and studied. Lunch, afternoon tea, quiet hour - everything is on schedule. It helped: it became easier for children. It took about a year to adapt, ”says the adoptive mother.

The child may have learning difficulties and motivation

Any child has learning problems. But with children who grew up in closed institutions, it is often difficult. They are less independent, do not defend their "I", get used to not stand out. Without ambition and self-confidence, a child is poorly motivated to try and learn new things.

“Our kids weren't interested in learning. In the orphanage, they didn't bother at all - they were given "troikas" just like that. I didn't expect to have to spend so much time helping with homework. I have already forgotten a lot of the school curriculum, so I also had to sit down at the textbooks. It got especially hard when we switched to e-learning during quarantine. But the most difficult thing was to make them believe in themselves and explain that studying would help in life, ”says Yuri Nikiforov.

A common diagnosis among children in orphanages is mental retardation. This condition is caused by social reasons and a lack of attention to the development of the child and, accordingly, levels out over time. In other cases, delayed development is associated with health characteristics. Then parents need to be prepared for the fact that the child will have difficulties with his studies.

“Natasha’s medical card indicated“ mental retardation in question ”. I am a fan of education, but I was ready to tame parental ambitions and just help her find herself in life. Over time, it turned out that she had a high cognitive activity! She loves to study, and she also practices guitar, swimming and painting. He does not want to give up anything - he says that he is in time for everything. Now she has caught up and even bypassed her peers in her studies, and we have achieved that the diagnosis was removed, ”says Soshinskaya

The child can have any unpredictable reactions

Each child is unique - with their own fears, talents, strengths and weaknesses. But when you know him from birth, you have the opportunity to see how the world around him affects his character. This allows you to roughly understand what can and cannot be expected.

On the subject: Horror stories before bedtime, cutlets with bread and first love: how Soviet children rested in pioneer camps

With foster children, many of the difficulties are impossible to predict. Especially if they are not typical, but caused by the child's personal experience and the history of his life. A story about which you know superficially or nothing at all.

“When we first took Natasha out of the orphanage, she was afraid of everything: cars, animals, water. We have a huge kind dog at home, a favorite of the family. The daughter screamed, only when she saw her, the dog did not understand what was happening and barked loudly. We didn’t know how to calm everyone down, for the first six months we lived in hell. But the problem was not only in the dog - during the walk, the daughter was afraid of cats and pigeons. I could not bathe her, she was scared when the water was pouring. I don't know how she was bathed before, so I can't even imagine where this fear came from, ”Anna Soshinskaya recalls.

Foster parenting does not always present these challenges. The child can easily and quickly join the family, this also happens. But you must certainly be prepared for difficult situations - so as not to be completely at a loss if they come.

Follow success stories, tips, and more by subscribing to Woman.ForumDaily on Facebook, and don't miss the main thing in our mailing list