Need input on a sensitive subject

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by mstang67chic, May 12, 2008.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    This is kind of a sensitive subject and I know that only husband and I can make this decision. With that said though, I would like to get input from all of you, especially any of you that have been in similar situations.

    A little background....husband and I have been married for almost 13 years and have had difficult child since '99. We got him as a foster child and adopted him in '00. The chance of us having bio kids is pretty low as I am, according to one of the docs we've seen, a shmorgasboard of infertility issues.

    I know that no matter how you have kids, either through adoption or "homemade", there's no guarantee of health be it physical or mental. With our experiences with difficult child though, we now better know what to look for and ask about if we were to adopt another child. Still, no guarantee but we would be better educated for the process. (this would be through the foster system again as we just don't have the funds for an infant adoption)

    husband and I have talked for a few years about adopting again once we either got a bigger house or difficult child was out of the house, whichever came first. That would also depend on how difficult child was doing at the time. Now though, with the way things have gone with difficult child, we're questioning if we want to do it again. Neither one of us really have the emotional strength to handle another difficult child.

    On the other hand, however, we both love kids. Much as we do love difficult child, this hasn't been that positve of a parenting experience for us. I don't mean that to sound selfish and it's not that we would want or expect a Stepford child, so to speak. We just can't handle another difficult child like the one we have.

    I read back over what I've typed so far and it does come across as selfish and I really don't mean it that way. We do want more kids and I don't care if there are some physical issues, I'm just not sure if we could handle more mental issues. Not only have we dealt with difficult child but husband is also his mother's guardian as she is severely schizophrenic. Left to her own devices she would be completely non-compliant with medications and even now, will cheek/spit out her pills when husband or his sister give them to her. I just feel that if we were to adopt and get another difficult child, our own stress limitations would not only affect us as parents and as a couple, but I worry that it wouldn't be a good situation for the child also.

    I hope I've explained myself to where you understand what I'm trying to say. I suppose if I sat here for days, I could explain it better.

    Have any of you been in a position similar to this? Or if not, what would you do? Like I said, only husband and I can make this decision, I know, but I guess I just want input from the only people who could make sense out of my ramblings. You all know what it's like and I value your opinions.
  2. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    This won't be terribly long. Don't you worry one minute about making a post like this. This certainly is a sensitive post, sensitive to the rest of your life! While I love my difficult child, AND I have grown in a positive way personally because of our hardships, I NEVER, EVER want to have to experience this again! You know the saying, once bitten, twice shy................. OMG that's so me!

    None of us had any idea that our lives would be filled with GFGdom or all the trials and tribulations we have lived thru. One just can't imagine what the future holds. I for one am not brave enough to ask for more.

    I'm sorry if this offends, but it's MY truth.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    As you already stated, only the two of you can decide what is right for you. Even though I am a single Mom, I have thought about looking into fostering and/or adopting a child. I gave birth to my son as a single parent and would not intentionally walk into that again, but I did think I might enjoy the "other" route- that is before my difficult child issues have financially depleted me, making it impracticle now. But, I think I decided it would not be a good idea anyway, at least until I had emotionally healed from this process of raising difficult child. I would be afraid that I might see any typical teen behavior as reason to panic, blame, regret, etc. And IF the child turned out to be difficult child, I don't see how I could have the emotional strength to go through it right now. And I would never want to take that chance if I thought I might be taking the child back to the foster system. That's just me though, and I'm sure the household dynamics must be different when there are 2 parents involved. Maybe someday, if I ever recuperate from this experience, I would reconsider- but then I'll be too old and probably dealing with grandchildren!!
  4. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I have two kids. Both are our biologicals. One is a difficult child. The other is not. I would not have a third, because I cannot handle another difficult child. No way, no how. But, that's me! My husband would have more kids. Then again, he's gone for 10 hours a day or more. I don't know how I'd feel if she was 17, though. You are still fairly young to be an empty nester. Are you willing to forgo having time to yourselves, vacations by yourselves, a brandy new know all those mid-life crisis rewards? Are you willing to part with some of your retirement for another college education?

    I know those are selfish questions, but you need to think selfishly for a while. You've given so much of yourself and then some.
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Honestly, I hate people who adopt for "unselfish" reasons -- they're the ones who the first to walk away from the child if there are problems. Adoption is a selfish act -- you do it because something is missing from YOUR life, not the child's.

    That being said, the ultimate decision has to be yours but the odds of getting an emotionally healthy child are pretty slim if you're going through the foster care system. Nowadays, if you're adopting through the system, odds are even a newborn will have major problems because of the genetic, drug and alcohol issues of the biomom.

    One thing you might want to consider is semi-long-term fostering. The child has more resources available as a foster child, you can have it with you long enough to give it stability and you get more help. In many ways, it really can be having your cake and eating it, too. While you may get a child with problems, you also get the help and resources (including respite) you need. Plus, if you find that the child needs more help than you can give, you have the option of saying no before it is placed with you or saying this is more than you can deal once placed without it being a huge black mark that would prevent you from adopting in the future.

    Whatever you decide, I wish you and your husband the best. It is not an easy decision.
  6. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Ditto to what everyone has said.

    Personally, after raising a difficult child, I got those darn tubes tied and said NO MORE. It's what YOU can handle and are willing to risk.

  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Interesting timing.

    Both of my bio's were "oops" babies. My difficult child 1 came as an added bonus to a marriage. I love them all.

    I always dreamed of having a "planned" baby. One that I was truly happy about (was young with the first, was being cheated on with the neither were particularly "happy" pregnancies...) When difficult child 2 was finally undeniably a difficult child, I became pretty adamant that there would be no more. I can't do it.

    Funny little thing happened yesterday, tho.

    We have a tradition in our house. We buy little wicker baskets at garage sales and Goodwill all thru the year, then on April 30, we fill them with cut flowers and deliver them in old May Day Basketing fashion - hang the basket on the door, knock, and run away. The kids love it.

    Somewhere along the way, in purchasing baskets this past year, some little pamphlets rubber banded together were in one of the baskets.

    They've laid on the kitchen table since May Day, untouched. Saturday, I picked them up. Who knows why. They were obviously spiritual/religious type little pamphlets on various subjects, but one caught my eye and I read it. It was called "Born with Wings". The topic was not obvious from the title or cover.

    The story inside was a woman who's 4th son was born without arms and her struggles and torments as this child's parent. Along the way, tho, she met a young lady who was born a quadrapalegic, but was not her parents' last child. And she said "I'm so glad my parents' world didn't end with me." She encouraged them to have the large family they always dreamed of. I think they ended up with 3 or 4 more boys.

    That little statement has been lingering in my noggin for the past 56 or so hours. I've given up a lot of dreams for my difficult children...I think I need to revisit this one.
  8. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Shari...very touching and well said. Makes you think about what you have in life.

  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I know I cannot handle another child, whether difficult child or easy child. Miss KT takes so much time and so much energy that I am drained most of the time. And I suspect that, even after she is out of the house, she will still be draining my energy. I am not even looking forward to grandchildren...just too tired.
  10. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Now that my children are all older, I often think about what I'm missing---I miss a lot about having a child around. Luckily, now I have my grandson once a month and he reminds me that I am really THAT old and what having another toddler would really be like.

    On the other hand, there are so many great teens out there. I think I would love to foster, if I could get difficult child out on his own and settled. I teach high school ---so I have seen all kinds of teens and deal with their issues everyday.

    I think in your heart you know what the answer is for you. How does husband feel? Is this something you can afford to do financially?
  11. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    At your age, it was very comforting to me to know that there would be time for me and husband to have our marriage come first. In all honesty, I don't think that it is as easy as we thought it would be.

    If it is something you both want more than anything, I say go for it. But if there are issues with it or other issues that are demanding your attention, it might not be the right time.
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You don't need to explain yourself to me either, I completely understand what you are saying and you are NOT selfish.

    I could never do this again. My difficult child has required every ounce of energy, patience, compassion, caring, love, fortitude, strength, that I have and I just couldn't start over. Going through the foster care system will be risky as you know. Those kids are in the system for a reason, not of their own doing but certainly their genes are not going to change once they leave.

    If, and I mean a big IF, I ever did this again I would ask for much more background. I would not consider a child from a birthmother that had an addiction problems, that came from a birthmother who had previous abortions indicating poor judgement and impulse control, that came from an abuse or neglect situation. This probably disqualifies most all of the children in the foster care system. I hope I don't sound horrible now but I look at our life and think how terribly naive we were to think we would have any significant impact on our difficult child's life given her genetic history. I think now how stupid I was to think we could have done anything to stop the inevitable from happening.

    I love my difficult child with all my heart. I could not fight for her as I do if I did not. It tears me apart to think what her future may be. But I could not and would not go into this situation again.

  13. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    For me, the decision is simple - I don't have the strength to raise another difficult child. I haven't found raising difficult children to be a positive experience. On the very best of days, raising them is challenging and requires much creativity. On the very worst of days, it's a living HE77.

    One of the things I hate the most is the fact that my life has become, in many ways, an open book. I used to be a very private person and resent that over the years, my personal space has been invaded by in home therapists, not to mention all the psychiatrists, tdocs, etc., that are so much a part of my difficult children's lives. I've had it!!!

    Currently, I'm doing everything I can to try to help them become successful, happy, productive adults. However, I realize that the end result is out of my hands... For the moment, I'm totally immersed in trying to get them to be as independent as possible. I look forward to the day when they will no longer be living under my roof!!!

    Having said all of the above, there have been some fun family times, some memories to cherish... However, the fun family times are just a drop in the bucket compared to the daily stress and exhaustion that has become so much a part of my life.

    This is a horrible thing to say, but, I'm being totally honest and will say it anyway - If I didn't have my easy child (who is a typical PITA teen at the moment), I honestly would have no idea why people wanted children. Take these words for what they're worth - difficult child 2 is having a "tantrum." While I've been typing, he has been spewing verbal garbage and throwing things around his room...Just a typical day... WFEN
  14. fuddleduddledee

    fuddleduddledee New Member

    For me, this would not be a difficult decision at all. I love my son with all my heart, I remember the day he was born and the complete and utter love I felt for this small being. And I think back to all those special firsts - his first word, his first sleep through the night, his first tooth, the day he read is first word. All those wonderful firsts, the first time he attacked me and bruised my arms up and down, the first time he threw a chair at me, the first time he threw a ten pound weight at my husband, the first time he tried to jump out of a moving vehicle, the first time he threatened to kill himself. The first time the school called, the first suspension, the first..........well you get it, all those firsts they were scary enough the first time around, I don't think I could have survived a repeat performance by a younger, stronger version. I had always dreamed of two children when I was younger, a boy and a girl. Sometimes, our dreams just don't become reality. I decided when difficult child was about 4 or 5 that I didn't have the stamina, couldn't deal with the heartbreak and heartache of the possibility of having another child that could be a repeat performance of the first.

    I still love this child with all my heart but, he may always live at home, he may never be able to hold down a job and support himself, and to think of the possibility of having two at home as adults not able to take care of themselves is just too much for one person to consider. If, only having one child is a selfish thing, then call me selfish.
  15. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    WFEN you said exactly what I was thinking, every word. Yes there have been some good family times but the difficult times have far outshadowed the good ones and has done far more damage than the good a few good times has done. And I too honestly wonder at times why people want children and secretly envy some of our friends who have remained childless. My easy child is the only reason why it makes it enjoyable.

  16. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Very similar story here as well. Our difficult child child (adopted) has a kind heart, but has nearly taken every ounce of strength, energy, vitality, resources from the family. To adopt again would be unfair to everyone concerned and out of the question. I was uninformed in every way possible. Even easy child was a challenge on some days, since I have some health concerns, little experience and no family assistance. Having a difficult child in a mix was overwhelming MUCH of the time. We have learned many things (including some great things) from the experience, but it has been a long/tough road. In addition, easy child spent a year being a difficult child himself. That year was a year of total blackness that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I think everyone has to make these decisions for themselves, but of course it is imperative to take into consideration the full picture...what is already on your plate. Will this clearly effect your life (and those you love) in a positive way?
  17. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I want to volunteer time at a school when I retire - our local grade schools (not the ones my kids went to - I paid for them to go to parochial schools) are on "academic emergency" and really NEED people to be mentors, tutors, "substitute parents" etc.

    Perhaps if you feel adopting isn't quite the commitment you want, you could look into volunteering, or going back to school and becoming an advocate, or something similar?
  18. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I didn't think your post came off as selfish or unselfish. IT DID come off to me that you're not willing to take on any more difficult child behaviors.

    -I very much get that. I have one and he doesn't live at home because - well honestly? I'd like to live to see 50. With him here my stress is so high that after having that stroke last fall (DUE TO difficult child BEHAVIORS) there is no way you could get me to raise another child. My easy child is gone - and my difficult child is here but some days I just think - not really. Know what I mean??

    I had an odd thought maybe something to mull over. And no need to reply - but if you are looking for a child to take care of or adopt - why not foster? You can go through the classes that teach you, it pays, they are there from 1 night to whatever length you can handle.

    My other thought would be adoption of a Down Child or a Special needs child - I fell in love with a little Ukranian boy with no fingers, just 2 thumbs. I looked at him and wrote to the sisters at the orphanage - and I thought gosh this was so cool - and then I was hit with - how many plane fares, how much money etc....and it was all very black market to me. WE had thought about fostering - but after Dude?

    I can't type the language DF used despite a simple no that would have sufficed.

    I also know that you can go to the orphanages locally and talk with the owners/managers - and 'check' a kid out for a day - spoil them, buy them stuff, enjoy time with them - and take them back - why limit yourself to one kid in need?

    Of course you aren't going to get the total story on any kid from someone trying to place them. And there are probably scads of special needs kids that would love to have you for a MOM - but I'm talking physical needs.

    IF you are asking would I do it again with Dude? N.O. NO. There is no amount of love nor money that could get me to spend the next 12 years of my life in hell. Sign me - Scared straight.

    But......always an eye out for a kid in need. Hugs are free.

    Good luck
    oh and ps I was adopted and so was my sister - and I would venture a guess at this stage of the game if you asked my Mom should she have adopted my genius Aspie sister? Well, can't speak for her -but I would have voted NO.
  19. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Wow....thank you all for your input. Why is it that all of the big decisions are the hard ones? We still have to decide for ourselves but this did help.

    If I were to sit down and make a list of reasons why and why not, I still don't know which side would win out. I don't want to go through this again but at the same time I can't imagine living the rest of my life with this as my only experience.

    I foresee a lot of discussion and hard thinking ahead.
  20. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I like what Skeeter had to say. Perhaps you could lend some of your expertise to being a CASA or GAL, a children's aid at a school. You have a lot to offer that could still give you time of your own.