Movie "The Orphan" AD?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by change, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. change

    change New Member

    Has anyone seen the previews for the new movie coming out called "The Orphan"? They are really creeping me out. I know some of you know that we relinquished our very disturbed son after he violently sexually assaulted his biological sister almost 2 years ago. It nearly destroyed us. He could have killed her and we thought he might try and kill us one day too. Anyway, I am haunted by these commercials for this movie. I still miss him everyday. Probably because I've forgiven him and hope he's doing well but he was so ED that in reality, I don't know. Plus I have a ton of guilt over how we handled they whole thing. There's also the movie "The Good Son" (an old McCauley Culkin movie) that shows what life is like with a kid with attachment disorder. Of course these are Hollywood movies and they show extreme cases but still. :(
  2. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Yes they are only Hollywood movies, and not only do they show the extreme cases they are made up with tons of extra things that never really happen put in to sale more tickets. But your life is not a movie it is real. The movie commercials are disturbing because they force you to face the difficult challenges you had and open wounds.

    You made the correct decision. You had to protect your daughter, and yourself. You could not have done anything to change the way your son developed. I have not seen these two movies, but I know that movie makers usually have no clue to the lives parents lead. Blaming the parents particularly the mother is a common theme. Yet it is the parents, and usually the mother who does everything possible and must live with the child. You could not have handled it any better. Everything you did was through love and your best skills and resources available. Not only do you need to forgive your son, you need to forgive yourself.

    I don't know what kind of life your son is living. But it is a better life then he would have had if you hand not had the courage to let him go. (Life in a prison or mental hospital after killing you would not be any better.) Despite your love and willing to do anything for him (other then sacrifice the daughter) you could not change him. Here are some hugs and tissues, have a good cry, hug the daughter, turn off the TV and believe in yourself.
  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm not familiar with the new movie, nor "The Good Son" but I can understand how seeing something that closely resembles your life can be disconcerning.

    I can tell you that forgiving your son is a gift, one you have given with love and compassion. Now you must move on and forgive yourself. Loving your son is natural, loving yourself is hard work. You did the right thing. Hugs.

  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I remember watching The Good Son and in the final scene knowing she had to chose the way she did. That was before I had children. Now I understand the absolute heartbreak she felt as she made that decision -- but I still know it was the right one. Just as your decision to relinquish your son was the right decision, heartbreaking, but the right one. As far as how you handled it at the time, you were traumatized, your daughter had been assaulted, you were likely fighting the system, you did the best you could.
  5. change

    change New Member

    Thank you for the support. I have not been posting or visiting too much because I like to pretend I'm "ok" but I still think about him everyday and I even miss him sometimes. I shouldn't. Our lives are better overall. We are safe. My heart is broken though. Everywhere I go that anyone knew about him, there is a big white elephant following me around. We don't speak of this publicly and some family members don't even know what happened. Only a few close friends know and very immediate family. I am blessed with some very good friends that didn't press me for an explanation and when I said he was just gone forever and that it was very very bad they just supported me and left me alone. I work and my work is VERY fulfilling (non-profit). I am off for summers and during the summer I have a full social calendar and do things with our daughter, etc. but for example, she's off working a camp this week in the mornings and it's raining right now so it has me feeling sad. I wanted to go jogging (something that really helps me pound out my emotions) but instead I'm sitting here. I should go the gym but it's raining really hard. I hate this feeling. It's so unproductive. Every morning when my husband kisses me good-by, he tells me to have a fun day and has no idea that I have these waves of sadness.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Yesterday I read an article that adoption representatives are upset that this film distorts reality and might stop persepctive adoptions. I haven't seen the movie but I do know that many times adoption officials have sugar coated the histories of adoptees and the new family has suffered

    I am sincerely sorry that this has reopened old wounds for you. DDD
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I haven't seen either of the movies but wanted to respond to you about your guilty feelings. I think one of the most useful sayings ever is the famous one by Maya Angelou (sp) that one of the mods has in her signature. It is the one about doing the best we can with what we know at the time and doing better when we know better. It reminds me to focus on seeking better info instead of blaming myself for not knowing before. I have no doubt that you made the best decisions you could at the time with the knowledge you hada at the time. Unfortunately, our "systems" normally don't educate parents before things have gone awry.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I went and watched the trailer for The Orphan. Not my type of movie anyway but I know too many families through this board who have dealt with seriously dangerous children to want to see that movie. I am curious if Esther is able to fool everyone except her new family.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I did not see "The Good Son" when it was out, and I will not see this movie. The entertainment industry makes adoption seem both second class and horrible.
    On the other hand, I lived with a dangerous young man for three years. He had sexual relations with my three year old and five year old son AND another son we had at the time, a seven year old who had already had enough sexual abuse. He did not just do it one time. He also held a knife to the kids to force them to do things to each other. And he threatened to burn down the house if they told us, and convinced them that he was more powerful than anyone, that he was the Devil.
    The entertainment industry distorts things one way. The Adoption System distorts things another way, unless it has changed. Although we got some warnings, we were never prepared for the possibility of this child's behaviors. We were told he was "a little cognitively delayed" but "a great kid." He had no psychiatric problems. I think it's ok for people to know what they can be in for if they adopt disturbed children, who had probably been sexually abused, out of the foster care system. Too many of us think love will heal them. There are dangers to adopting older kids, especially if you have younger ones that they could hurt and, trust me, you never hear the warnings (or at least nobody mentioned them to us).
    I hate distortion and lies on both sides. I never miss the child who was once my son because of how frightened of him my other ones are. As for the seven year old that he also sexually violated, we weren't sure if he was involved or not because we had just gotten him and nobody was saying much right after it all came out, so we sent him and the abuser to seperate psychiatric hospitals and then they were transferred to different RTCs. The seven year old went to foster care, with the hope of returning to us, but he was so happy in his foster home, we agreed to relinquish our rights and let him be adopted by them. I still almost cry when I think about that child. He is doing GREAT (we get updates). The other one, the abuser--we got many updates on him too because they wouldn't let us relinquish for a long time. He continued to offend, although he got caught in the RTCs. He is eighteen or nineteen now. I am glad he is out of our lives and I'm ok with rational, realistic portrayals of some adopted children who are like him. After all, he's not the only one and people should know. BUT...they go way overboard on television and in the movies. Don't even get me started...grrrrrrrr...I guess this was partly a vent. The experience with our ex-son is a permanant scar on the family and a PTSD trigger. So maybe I babbled too much...sorry.:(
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry, Change.
    What would happen if you shared your feelings with-your husband? As you said, he has no idea that you are sometimes overcome by these feelings. He can support you with-some quiet time together, perhaps.
    I'm tempted to watch the trailer, but then again, maybe not.
  11. change

    change New Member

    MidWest are not venting. Not to me. Thank you for sharing. It helps me to feel "less crazy & naive". We DID NOT know what we were doing when we took our 2 on. We were lied to about their issues. Attachment Disorder was not properly explained to us nor the ramifications AT ALL. He was labeled unadoptable at one point yet we were never told and they had refused to separate the 2 children to make her available. It may have damaged her psyche but she is damaged NOW as a result of his domestic violence that he inflicted on her for the last 3 years that he lived with us and that we couldn't contain him properly. We had them since age 3.5 and 5 and he was the older but he began to assault other kids at age 7 before her. We were VERY strict (we felt abusive at times) and we were socially isolated and we paid out-of-pocket for all kinds of help for him but nothing worked. When it came time to go to court they didn't give us too much trouble relinquishing and no charges against us because we had so many professionals backing us up and school officials too. I WON'T see this movie either. I can barely bare the stupid commercials every time they come on. They haunt me. I had already seen "The Good Son" before he got really bad. Even our the Judge in our case called our situation a "Sophie's Choice" situation. Actually, I'm glad they did make this move. Maybe some of the people who have been judging me and my family will see it or at least the trailer and a lightbulb will go off and they will say "OH! - That could be what they were going through...!" One of my own brother's didn't speak to me for a whole year. He rarely comes around the family as it is and is just very self-righteous and judgemental. I hope he sees it.

    I don't want to stress my husband out. He sees me flinch when the commercial comes on and starts talking to me and distracting me. On Mother's Day he bought me a very thoughtful, very beautiful stone pendant from James Avery full of meaning (it's our state stone and we both went to the state Univ.) and the year before I wouldn't even celebrate Mother's Day. He and my daughter made me breakfast, etc. before church. On Father's Day weekend, he brought me flowers even though it was his weekend. I know he senses something, he just doesn't ask and maybe he would rather not open the flood gates. He works full-time (a professional job), has a small business, and is also getting a mechanical engineering degree on the side. I hate to stress him out. His plate is FULL.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, Sweetie, I can feel your pain to my bones.

    I don't even think the state lied to us. I think our son was just such a good actor and so brilliant (in spite of his label of cognitively slow) that he truly fooled everyone who'd cared for him plus all the psychiatrists that foster kids see. Nobody knew what he was up to, least of all us. We were so stupid, and I feel so guilty even now that my young babies were assaulted by him over and over again. We'd had that talk about how we'd believe them if anyone ever made them do "bad touches" but the talk didn't work :(. I was told by the CPS worker who came to get him that "In all my fifteen years I've never seen a case so bad." Well, guess what? There are cases as bad as ours. We're not alone. Adopting an older child is a huge risk. They've already been thrown around, abused, probably sexually abused (we were told that over 90% of all foster kids are abused, often IN foster care) and many are way too damaged to save. But, of course, we are made to feel guilty. In my case, the guilt was from family and "friends" who thought we never should have adopted an eleven year old boy in the first place. Nobody was mad that we gave him up maybe because we spared no details to anyone. I felt I had to talk and didn't want to be judged. I told everyone who was close to us, who I trusted not to spread nasty rumors. My guilt was immense. I was a stay-at-home mom who was homeschooling while this boy was sexually abusing the other three children. I felt very stupid and like it was all my fault and I still do at times. Hub didn't know either. Yet our kids have told us that the boy liked to be daring and do things to them very close to us, just one room away. If he hadn't made an obvious blunder (killing two of our dogs in a row) we wouldn't have caught him when we did because he acted like an angel to adults, which in my opinion is worse than knowing what you have. Adults LOVED him.

    He was a danger to everyone he got close to. In school he was in a class for cognitively delayed kids, although in retrospect everyone believes he was probably very bright. One of his classmates had epileptic seizures and was slow. He latched onto this kid. Thankfully, I think he got busted before he could harm this truly special child.

    So although I will never watch a movie--EVER--about a kid that sick, I lived with one and I know they exist. And, if they are adopted, it's not OUR faults--it's a combo in my opinion of genetics AND the experiences they had before they came to our homes. I think anyone thinking of adopting ought to know that every child can't be saved. Some don't want love, it scares them. Some have a very perverted idea of love. Some are psychopaths. The psychopaths can be very charming, like our son was.

    I feel a sad kind of bond with you. If my sharing helped you, I'm glad I did. (((Hugs)))
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    My heart goes out to you who have lived this dreadful experience. I quit my volunteer work as a GAL because repeatedly "the system" ignored the statistics and "forced" foster adopt parents to take an older sibling in order to complete the adoption of their foster child. I fought (and won) in my cases but I couldn't fight "the system's methods". Reunification of the children sounds very honorable. It's not. It's a way to get rid of the kids who have major issues by blackmailing young parents.

    Two of our eight had inappropriate sexual experiences that fortunately were not repeated or physically harmful. I still feel guilty for not being 100% able to protect everyone from the world. Obviously, I read these posts with great empathy. DDD
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry this is hurting so much. Hugs.
  15. change

    change New Member

    DDD - we WERE young. 27 when we adopted. Also, naive & to this day without fertility issues. Just wanted to "help someone" etc. The agency took advantage of us but I guess we were "ripe" for the picking.

    MidWest Mom - It *****. We DO have a ridiculous bond that no one should have. It's not fair.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Change, we were in our 40's and already had four kids, three adopted. It's not just the young who get duped. We also wanted to help. The classes we took to get licensed were a joke. They never prepared us for adopting an older child.
  17. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member


    You were a good mom to your son. Deep in your heart you know that. But still.

    by the way, I saw big warnings about the "The Orphan" on an Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) board that I frequent.

    Lots of moms, fellow travelers, know what you went through. Sending blessings and comfort which you richly deserve every day for the rest of your life!!
  18. change

    change New Member

    Thanks y'all. It means the world to have some support from people who (sad as it is...REALLY) can relate.