What no one told me about adoption
No one ever told me that a child (who could remember) won't be grateful at all for your love or the life you are giving them. They will continue to feel/see that you took them away from something they didn't want to leave. No matter how bad things were - you could end up being the bad guy in their minds. I didn't want a child full of gratitude for everything - but I hoped and dreamed of a child that was happy with what we could give them and didn't grieve daily for the past painful life.
No one ever told me that I might not love them right away. I had read about attachment on the child's part - but never that MY attachment may not work out. No one told me to talk about it and find support for myself - no one gave me permission to hurt over not feeling what I wanted to feel. Only when I stepped out from complete exhaustion and fear did I hear that SO MANY others go through this too. Call it post-adoption depression or attachment disorder on my end...it's out there big time.
No one told me that physicality could play in. A child's smell or body chemistry can honestly be adverse to what you expected or are used to. Our bodies react to that also.
No one told me I'd meet people in the department of child services and the psych departments at school so that I won't go to jail for my child's false reports!
No one told me that my husband and I could come THIS close to divorce because attachment is so much more strongly placed on the mother and so much harder to understand for the father. I didn't know my marriage could/would suffer so badly.
No one told me that after 30 months - I would get my first spontaneous hug without being asked and then sit in my chair and cry.
No one told me that my daughter would look at me after 3.5 years of being home and say "I can't believe you love me" or that even today (after almost 4 years) she still shrinks away when I go to hug her.
No one told me that the odds of a child from an orphanage having RAD are so high. No one told me that while medical reports are often wrong about physical limitations, they are nearly always wrong about mental/emotional disabilities. They don’t list them…they probably don’t really even know that something is wrong because all the children there are living through the same thing.
No one ever told me how HARD I was going to have to fight the system. That people I’ve called friends for years would begin to drift away and others who are strong enough to feel my pain and help me with it would step up. No one told me that authority figures would never have heard of RAD and often totally disregard it and me and my children’s needs.
No one told me that they would have so much trouble making friends and not really understand what a friend is.
No one told me that even on the darkest days – when giving up sounds like the sweetest relief, that I would find strength anywhere I could grasp it and I would not give up on myself or them. I’m determined to beat this and bring them with me…no one told me that.