Are we completely masochistic or just selfish?long

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by mstang67chic, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I was talking to my sister in law yesterday and a subject came up that I've mentioned to others. I've pretty much gotten the same response from everyone I've talked to and I guess I want some input from some "experts" (you all).

    I could say that I 100% don't care what people say but obviously that's not true because here I am, asking for input.

    husband and I adopted difficult child out of foster care when he was 10. He is our only child and we do want more kids. I mentioned that once difficult child is out of the house (or when we at least have a bigger house) we are planning on adopting again. (There are fertility issues that we just don't have the money to go to the next step for treatments to have a baby) We have always wanted to have more than one child, I also want a girl and while we love difficult child, our parenting experience with him hasn't been the best. We don't want this to be our only experience as parents. The next time, we plan on adopting a girl and also one that is as young as we can possibly get. (Also don't have the thousands of dollars needed to adopt an infant) We realize that there is no guarentee that we won't again get a difficult child but as we all know, difficult child's can happen by adoption or birth. Another thing, from our experience with difficult child, we now know what to ask when inquiring about children, how to read between the lines with their descriptions, etc. as our experience with adopting difficult child was filled with complete ignorance on our part. We were absolutely clueless.

    When someone hears me say these things (and I should say that after getting these reactions, I just don't tell people our plans now) the reactions usually run the way of "You're braver than I am"..."I can't believe you would WANT to do it again"...things like that. Are we totally stupid or selfish for feeling like this? We're not expecting a "perfect" parenting experience, but we just want one that's so called normal. Is that so wrong?

    I realize that this almost sounds like we'll be shopping and I truly don't mean it that way. We do want more kids and if we can't make them ourselves, there are so many out there that need homes. Also, we do understand the possibility of another difficult child is there as it could happen in any situation and we'll deal with that if it happens. I don't know if any of this makes much sense but I figure if anyone will understand what I'm trying to say it will be you.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I can understand exactly what you are saying. I almost expected the grandkids to be difficult child's. So far Keyana isnt showing any signs of it but then she is still young. We wont know about I still expect his to at least have ADHD considering the poor childs parents are both hyper to the max.

    You never know what you are gonna get with a kid like you said even if you give birth to one. There are so many out there needing homes. I think its great if you want to adopt another. Im sure you can find a young toddler who needs a home. Maybe a precious little girl who will blend right in. Go for it!
  3. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    After raising a easy child and a difficult child I can understand your wanting to see what a "normal" kid would be like. There are kids out there waiting to be adopted who are not difficult least I would think so. I don't blame you for wanting to see if you can find a kid with less "issues". I occasionally think what it would be like to foster kids, but I don't think I could do it at my age. So my feeling is go for it and you will be wiser the second time around.....

  4. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    If I didn't have easy child first, I would of thought this is "normal".
    If husband and I were in a better relationship, I would love to adopt.
    (my oven's been removed) I would feel so much more confident knowing all I know now.
    I would also love to have a girl. When I had difficult child I wanted another boy since easy child was so good, thought another boy would be just as good. Hah.
    My sister had three boys, wanting a girl each time. She adopted a little girl. I don't know what agency she went through, but the birth parents recieved letters from the adoptive parents. This birth mother was 18, my sister met her and her mother. Baby was 5 months. Birth mother said she couldn't give her daughter all she deserved, plus she wanted to go to college and have a career. She chose my sister because they were active in sports, and the baby would have three big brothers to protect her. little did she know how siblings fight regardless of it they are adopted or not. My neice is now 23 years old. College grad. has no interest in finding her adoptive parents at this time. She has a letter my sister recieved when she adopted her and was asked to give it to her on her 16th birthday. She did.
    My sister did get the medical history, met the mother and grandmother. They talked about her pregnancy and all turned out great.
    After raising a difficult child, you have more knowledge than most. I think it would be a very positive experience. in my opinion it is those parents who do NOT have the experience of difficult child's, they don't have half the knowledge that parents of difficult child's have, I can see those parents who witness our difficult child's in there gfgness that would wonder why you would want to do this again. I would love to adopt one, even if it was like difficult child. I would now know what to do and where to go.
  5. Just keep swimming

    Just keep swimming New Member


    I totally understand what you are saying. When we adopted Aly, we were ignorant, completely! We adopted privately and with an open adoption so that the birth mom could still be involved in our child's life. We were ok with either gender, any ethnicity, any mild physical impairments, but NO drug use or known mental illness. Maybe that sounds mean, but we already had 2 bio kidlets and were trying to make it safe for them as well as a good experience. mom lied about everything. And Aly was prenatally drug exposed and bio mom is bipolar and self medicates. We didn't find all this out for sure until Aly was 4 and really starting to be difficult. Now adoption is closed and Aly can contact bio mom once she is 18, if she wants.

    We have been foster parents for almost 4 years now and I tell you what, almost all the kids that come through our home have some exposure which we all know CAN lead to gfgness. And every single bio mom swore they never did drugs! Even after testing dirty!

    We adopted Jayme from foster care, she was nearly 4 months old when she was first placed with us. Her exposure is supposed to be minimal, but...

    And now we have a 4 yo foster son whom we would LOVE to adopt. Supposedly no drug or alcohol exposure prenatally, but was around it after his birth for a while. He is a difficult child in the making, for sure! Call us crazy, I know!!

    I don't know what to tell ya. We have a program here in our county (meth capital of USA!) for bio parents that have had their kiddo removed due to drug arrest or neglect due to drugging. This program caters to under 5 yo's and is through the county. So they place the under 5's only in those homes when ever possible because we have had "more training". LOL!! I was so not prepared when we had our first truly detoxing baby. Scary stuff I tell ya! But he is adopted out now and doing great!!

    My friend is adopting her 3 yo foster son and he truly has had NO exposure, mom was just totally unable to parent due to her age and lack of supports. This little guy has been with my friend since he was about 6 months old and is so completely "normal" it is a scary contrast to our other kiddos (difficult children!).

    I think most of my friends (what, I have friends? LOL) think we are nuts to do what we do. But we love it, most of the time. Yes, adding another difficult child to our family is a scary thought, but with what we now know through our experiences with Aly has helped us understand how these little ones tick (or tock, depending on the day, lol).

    So, go with your gut, don't listen to those who haven't walked in your shoes. You and your husband should know what you can or can't deal with. I know my sisters worry that we are taking on too much. They with their "easy child" kiddos are overwhelmed when their kids are mouthy or don't clean their rooms. UGH!! LOL!! I think, unless someone else has dealt with a difficult child before, they will be of little to no support as they just don't get it. My brother in law once asked us why the heck we keep doing foster care/adoption when we could have been "kid free" when easy child 2 moved out. I didn't even bother to answer him! OY VEY!! Needless to say I am not too thrilled with brother in law!!!

    Anyways, I have gabbered on wayyyy to long, sorry!!

    Good luck with your decision and know that you always will have support and understanding on this site!!

  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Quite frankly, I find absolutely nothing selfish about adopting, whether you "shop" or accept a child that was dropped on your doorstep.

    I think taking a child, that might not otherwise have a full life, and giving him/her one that is full of unconditional love, is one of the most selfLESS acts one can do.
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I "shopped." I said I wanted a child that could speak coherently, wasn't cruel to animals, wasn't disabled. Selfish? Maybe but I think I was being realistic. I knew I could handle a child with emotional problems. I knew I couldn't cope with a physical illness. I knew I hated changing diapers and got frustrated when little ones said things I could not understand.

    There are advantages to adoption. You do get to have some choices that a bioparent doesn't have.

    I've always felt that adoption is an incredibly selfish act. It has nothing to do with wanting to help a child, or at least it shouldn't in my mind. It has to do with wanting a child in your life and having the means to get one. My daughter wasn't "lucky" to get me as her mother. She was cute and very adoptable. I was lucky to get her and I know it. I also walked into adoption with my eyes pretty much wide open but for attachment issues. The odds of drug or alcohol use by the biomom are high in most adoptions. The odds of genetics putting an adopted child at high risk for mental illnesses is high. Sadly, those are the facts of adopting in the US.

    So, go for it! Pick the traits you can tolerate and be sure to eliminate those you can't. You have that right. No matter what, adoption is a bigger risk than having a biological child. You can control what goes into your body. You know your genetic makeup. So, even out that playing field as much as you can.

    If I could, I'd adopt another child in a heartbeat but the reality is I'm getting too old and my 20 year old really doesn't have the maturity to handle a younger child in the house. (She's jealous of the pets if they get "too" much petting!)

    I wish you the best when the time comes.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I don't think it's any more selfish than having more than 1 biological child.

    While we knew Boo had something going on, we really weren't fully informed until after we had thank you.

    My purpose in life is to be a mom. I adore every single one of my kids and if husband hadn't put his foot down after Diva, we would have had 1 or 2 more. But also, and this sounds incredibly practical, one of the considerations in having more kids after thank you was we didn't want thank you to bear the brunt of growing up with- only a sibling with- a severe disability *and* we didn't want the full responsibility of caring for Boo after we're dead to fall on thank you's shoulders (obviously, this was before we realized thank you was a difficult child). thank you was my first experience at "normal" mothering, at least in the early years. I totally got the "joy" part of it (Boo was a very sick infant, his twin died shortly after they were born, not a whole lot of joy in his early years - but he's a blast now :wink: ). I wanted more of that joy. Selfish? Probably. But I think that's ok.

    My parents think I'm irresponsible for having had children after Boo. Oh well... there's no question that we made good choices and that our kids are going to be okay. They're happy, healthy, and well-loved. They have a wide variety already of life experiences that I think will only serve them well. Who are my parents, or anyone else, to judge?

    You know better than most that there are no guarantees of a healthy well-adjusted easy child regardless of how the easy child arrives in your home (bio or adopted). *None* of us are guaranteed that. But you also do know that you and husband want to raise another child. If you're able to adopt again, there's absolutely no reason in my humble opinion why you shouldn't.

    I should add that husband and I have actually had some serious conversations about fostering once Diva is off to college (if we're still able to function, LOL). My preference would be to foster children with- disabilities, emotional or physical... why let all this life experience go to waste??? :smile:
  9. Janna

    Janna New Member

    You know, I love you with all my heart, and I think you are one of the most awesome people I have ever "met".

    And I know, I have probably said all those things to you :slap: Did I put my foot in my mouth?

    I think each person does what they do for their own reasons. Personally, in my own shoes, if Dylan was not MY child, I wouldn't even tolerate the garbage. Seriously. If he was adopted, I'd be trying as hard as humanly possible to have him put out. Yeah, I'm awfully mean.

    So, when I tell you that I don't understand why you would want to do that, just tell me to shut up :nonono: I hope you never took offense to anything I said.

    I have said before, and would not retract, that if I could go back to being 18 years old, I would have never, ever had children. I deter my children all the time to even wanting them. This world is not a pretty place. These kids are not us when we were growing up. I hear the news, and see things on TV now, that I wouldn't want to even raise anymore kids in this messed up time.

    I haven't ever been able to not have kids. I haven't ever been in your shoes. You have one kid. difficult child or not, you have one. I have a feeling if I was in your shoes, I may be willing to do it again. But I know for myself, having 3, I won't say it was a mistake because I love my children, but there is no way in he*l I'd do it over.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    It looks like difficult child is getting close to moving out (he's 17) and you like the concept of kids and family, so why not?
    You're in the throes of it now, so you have experience enough to know that another child would completely fill your time and take over your life.
    That's a good thing and a bad thing, depending upon your perspective!
    Of COURSE your s-i-l and others will disagree with-you. But it's not up to them. It's between you and your husband.

    In re: to shopping, I think it's a great idea because the more things you can weed out the better, especially since so much is left up to chance regardless of the planning that goes into adoption. (In fact, in vitro "designer babies" are bound to surprise their parents, too, by virtue of the fact that everyone is an individual.)

    I also think it's more honest to be upfront with-the adoption service. There are way too many people who wear rose colored glasses, and then when a child arrives who is way out of their league, their lives are torn apart.

    I cannot handle huge handicaps, either. I see people in the mall pushing wheelchairs with-kids' heads strapped to the back of the chair just so they can sit up and I think, Wow, that puts things into perspective with-my difficult child. He's cute, he's athletic, he's funny. (Sometimes. :biggrin:) He's only one grade level behind. We can travel with-him, he eats an assortment of exotic foods, he's good with-electronic equipment. I think of all the positives.

    We "shopped" for our difficult child. We specifically asked for a mixed-race newborn boy. ("Newborn" was the operative word... we know way too many people who have adopted older kids out of foster care or Russian and Romanian orphanages and the kids were really damaged.) The only bad part with-an open adoption is that mothers can change their minds. We went through two who did, but luckily, both instances occurred when they went into labor and we never actually met either of the babies.

    The long and the short of it is, the more you know your own mind and your own skill and experience level, the better chance your adopted child has for a successful life.
    In fact, that's true for bio kids, too. :wink:

    What does your difficult child think of a potential sibling?
  11. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Janna, no offense taken at all. You and I have discussed this before and I understand where you're coming from. We may not agree but we understand the point of the other. And honestly, for me, it's (for lack of a better term) easier to hear that opinion from someone that's been through the difficult child experience (especially with all you've dealt with)than it is a parent of a typical kid. I hear my friends complain about things their kids do and while I completely understand their frustration and feelings, I find myself wishing that I only had to deal with typical kid stuff. Will I possibly kick myself if we do get a easy child girl when she's 15, mouthy, knows it all and too big for her britches? Probably. But at the same time, I won't have all of these medications, diagnosis's, atypical behaviors, etc. to deal with. The thought of having a child (or children) in the house and being able to keep INSIDE doors unlocked is absolute heaven for me. Or the thought of taking my child/children to other's homes and not worrying about them stealing while we are there....priceless.

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TerryJ2</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
    What does your difficult child think of a potential sibling? </div></div>

    He's ok with it. He knows I want a girl and he also knows we would at least need a bigger house before that happens. (We only have a 2 bedroom) I think there are times he enjoys being the only child and times he wishes he had siblings in the house. He actually does have 4 sibs (3 we've mom has the youngest) but he hasn't seen them in awhile.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I say if it's what you want go for it! There is no reason you shouldn't!
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Not selfish. You're just wanting to make the circumstances the best possible for getting a healthy child. No more than anyone trying to have another bio child would do. (just a bit different situation is all)

    If this is what you want, then go for it! To heck with what others think. It's not their life to live.

  14. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Not in defense of the doubters, but more as an explanation.

    I do believe that as we age our natural nurturing ways do change a bit. I think when you hear mom's (PPs)saying - I can't wait for easy child to move out and go to is because their body has started to change and that is what it's new chemical make up is telling them. It is not necessarily menopause. Perhaps premenopause? I know a friend that has gone through it read a book and one of the chapters was called 'It is All About ME!'. I recalled thinking of a few of my friends actually saying that as their kids got to the 17 and older ages. One made it her New Year resolution every year! I think it is nature's way of getting us through the empty nest thing.

    So, in my humble opinion the people that think you are crazy for even considering starting over are not trying to be mean. They are only saying what THEIR chemical make up is telling them about themselves.

    I know that I personally wanted 10 kids when I was growing up. I have never even been married! So, I guess I am lucky I have 1 child. She is a difficult child and it has not been the greatest parenting experience, but I am not willing to take a chance that I will have another difficult child provide me with another difficult parenting experience for 18 years.

    I now look forward to spending time and money on myself (not quite there yet!). I have a friend with 2 little ones and I see just how hard she works to keep patience and try to motivate to go out of the house with them. I am thankful it is not me. I guess those years are just gone for me.

    SO - now to you. I feel the need to say, after the above, that it is possible your chemistry has not changed yet - but it will someday. Perhaps in 20 years, but what if it is in 5 years? What if you are wishing it were more about you when you have a 5 year old?

    I applaud anyone who adopts. I think it is wonderful. I would be thrilled for you if that is what you decide to do. I just felt an overwhelming need to give you this theory of mine.
  15. I agree with Big Bad Kitty, adoption is a selfLESS act. I also don't think that there is anything wrong with setting parameters for the type of child you want to adopt. There is a huge need for adoptive parents in this world. My first job when I was fresh out of school was working in adoptions for a governmental welfare agency. I worked with the scared, terribly young girls who had decided to have their babies and give them up for adoption , and I also worked with older foster children whose parents had given up their parental rights either voluntarily or involuntarily. We worked very hard to disclose every bit of information we had regarding family backgrounds, kids' early life experiences, medical and psychiatric history (parents and kids), and projections about the future. Sometimes potential adoptive parents heard what we had to say, and sometimes they were just so excited about adoption that they listened, but you could tell that they didn't really hear the serious things we were passing along. Sometimes, those kids were brought back to us after a failed adoption... and that is the saddest thing in the world for a child.
    I loved potential adoptive parents like you mstang67chic.... the experience you bring to the table means that you know what it is all about. That makes all the difference in the world! I say,"Go for it"!