Are you raising adopted children who survived trauma?

We are organizing a new support network for metro Atlanta to:

befriend and support each other,

enjoy each other’s company,

affirm each other’s experiences,

find ways to help our children,

back each other up,

have each other to depend upon

in emergencies,

and for everyday help.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

When We Need Help

I have been drowning in my own sorrow and disbelief for the last week.  There comes a time when we all must look at our lives and evaluate it.  You may do it on your own or your child's behavior may escalate and force you to.  We have been forced this week.  On the outside, we can appear to be a wonderful example of how adoption works.  At home, we are run like a residential treatment facility that includes door alarms, extreme structure, and 24 hour video surveillance.    

I think we all filled out the forms saying what behaviors we knew we couldn't handle and would refuse to take children experiencing those behaviors.  They are different for everyone.  Yours may have been aggression towards animals, bed wetting, and/or something else that seemed a bit too much to imagine.  Ours was sexual predatory behaviors and fire setting.  Well, we have not had a fire setter.  I'm sure many of you had to alter your expectations along the way only to find years later you are parenting the exact child you refused in the beginning to even consider.  Welcome to older child adoption.  A life where you feel like your family is being held hostage and traumatized by another member of your family.

When is enough enough?  When do you need to protect yourself or your other children?  How much should we take?  Where do we go when we need more help?  Who do we share our secret lives with without worrying about the consequences?  What damage will it do to our family if we decide to let them go? 
Only you can decide the answer to most of those.  Having a support system in place with knowledge of the services in your area, will be extremely helpful.  Asking for help from the right person, can save your family.  Maybe just putting a few more security measures in place will restore your sanity. 

The kind of support group we are thinking of is one that meets monthly in a public venue, like a restaurant.  I can't think of a way to provide babysitting, in the beginning.  Maybe later we could take turns volunteering later or pitch in to hire someone that is trained.  I think it needs to be casual and comfortable so we can feel like normal parents just hanging out.  I'm sure many of us have long ago left that life behind.  What do you want or suggest?  Our first meeting will be March 24, 2012.  Send me an email and I will add you to our growing list privately.       

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