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In the process of adopting

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I, myself, am adopted. I came from the same sort of abuse that my soon to be adopted son went through. He is six. I cannot remember much about how my parents, who are deceased, handled the adoption transition. I am willing to take any helpful advise to make my new son as comfortable and happy as possible. I have a 3.5 year old daughter and a 7 year old son, both biologically mine and my husband's. We have explained to them at their level what is going on. My son to be suffered severe emotional and physical abuse and was described as a very shy and loving boy. He is very sensitive as well. He is quiet and withdrawn at times and can sometimes have a temper. He does well in first grade. I guess I am just wondering how best to handle discipline. I am not the type of mother that yells at her children, I am strict when it comes to following rules, but I am also understanding when it comes to making mistakes. I usually do time-outs (5 minutes at the most) and following time outs, I let my child know I love them, what they did was wrong and then try to work out a plan for a different solution the next time. How do I do this when it comes to a very sensitive and so abused child? Like to where I don't come off as being a "bad guy", if that makes sense? How can I help him to see that not all people are bad? And is it okay to share with him my story or is he too young?
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replied September 22nd, 2008
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Excellent questions!

I'd suggest a book for you called "Conscious Displicine". It sounds right up your alley...it's by a psychologist who believes that we all inherently want to do good, and that children need choices AND boundaries. She advocates a 1-minute-per-year "quiet time" for major digressions and re-directing for most situations. IT's a brilliant system!

I personally think it's too early in your relationship to tell your adopted son too much about yourself. You need to work on trust first. Aim for that, and then share more with him when his emotions have balanced out and his cognitive skills have developed more (maybe 10-11 years old). He's going through a HUGE change right now! Little by little, one day at a time...and be consistent! You'll do a great job!
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replied September 22nd, 2008
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Thank you so much! I will definitly have to buy that book...I think its all a jumble right now...I am so excited yet so...gprfraggled lol...not a word, I know but it sums it up. Smile Its a bit overwhelming and scary but I cannot wait! We have finished up the home studies and will be making visits to him at his foster home in Texas for the next 3 months. We will be actually adopting him during his school winter break or during summer break. The social worker and the foster family decided that this type of transition would be less stressful, it will give him a chance to finish up half of his first grade year there and the other half here. We are hoping all goes well but I have decided to let the social worker know that if it proves to stressful for him, we can wait until he is finished with first grade. It will be hard but we are willing to do what is best for him, what causes the least amount of emotional stress. We have finalized the process pretty much, so he is guaranteed ours, we are just working out a plan that involves his best interests for the transition. I will post pictures as soon as we arrive back from Texas...he is a DOLL.
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replied September 22nd, 2008
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Yay! Congratulations! The final few months will be difficult, I'm sure. How many visits will you make to his foster home? How does he react when you come?
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replied September 22nd, 2008
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We will be making the first visit this weekend so we don't know what his reaction will be. My husband's uncle is actually using is frequent flyer miles to get us tickets once a month until we are able to bring him back to WA with us. I will keep you posted on his reactions and behavior. He seems like a good kid that was born into the wrong family. Can't wait to see him!
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replied September 22nd, 2008
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Yes! Please let me know what happens this weekend. That is very exciting! I can sense the care and love and joy that you can already bring him. Looking forward to talking to you next week.
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replied October 22nd, 2008
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I am a little late on the update, but its been busy here. He is such a sweet, quiet little boy. He has these amazing green eyes that seem to pierce through your soul. And he is so polite. He does have some apparent emotional issues, but is working on them with his pediatric couselor. We have decided to postpone the adoption process so that he may finish first grade there and so that we may prepare to move to our new (and one room larger Smile ) home and gather all the family and such up for a small, well large, but quiet welcoming. It also allows me a bit of time to finish up some of my college so that I am allotted more free time with him.
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replied October 23rd, 2008
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That sounds so wise. I'm glad that he can finish his first years of school actually. And now he also knows what to expect for the year afterwards. I think that your continued visits and contact will reinforce the trust. How often are you calling and talking to him on the phone?

rainbow Congratulations again!
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replied October 23rd, 2008
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We try to call at least once a day. Sometimes his foster parents take the kids out on trips and whatnot so if we call and miss them, they always promptly call back. We have planned an extended Christmas down in Texas (my parents live there so we will be visiting them as well)and will be spending two weeks getting to know him better. During this time he will also get to meet his two new siblings for the first time.
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replied October 24th, 2008
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That sounds like a great trip. I'm glad for all of you. Smile In fact, I'm a little jealous as we haven't had children yet and seem to only be focusing on work for the past few years. Please send a New Year's update ... I can't wait to hear how it goes!
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