How do we alert others (friends, teachers, etc.) about adoption related issues that occur in our household…. How to do we do it without blurting it all out, complaining, telling too much or not telling enough. My biggest concern has always been my children being labelled. No kid should be known by their past, their medical condition, their family history, etc. I don’t want my kids to be “the adopted kids” and more specifically for Makai’o “the ADHD kid”.
This was a key issue for us a family this past few months as we registered Makai’o for Junior Kindergarten at our local public school (5 full days a week) and Amaris at preschool at a local Montessori (2 full days a week). We wanted to share some of the challenges that we have had, and what the teachers could expect – but without giving too much information that would label them. Being labelled (as anything) in the public school system is bad. Just not good. In Kai’s case, we totally didn’t want to give too much info that would label him before the teachers would meet him and experience his helpfulness, caring and compassionate actions, and general loveliness along with all of his challenges!
But how do we do it? How do we “explain ourselves”? My first action is answer the question before it has to be asked, without giving away too much information…. But that’s all I’ve got. This is when I struggle, this is what I find most difficult. I hate having to explain myself, explain my child, and I hate having to figure out when it’s appropriate to go into it – or just leave it. I tend to lean towards bursting into tears and then wanting to hide in a hole. Yep. That’s my flight response back in action. So, how do I react when there are behaviours occurring that aren’t appropriate or “normal” that are obviously adoption related issues.
I read Kristen’s post at Rage Against the Minivan… And I couldn’t believe she articulated so well what I feel on a regular basis – and the kinds of behaviour that both of our sons do. Attachment Related Issues does not automatically mean an Attachment Disorder. I want to make myself clear on that – and it is very true. We’ve had a lot of input from professionals and everyone has a different opinion, but Makai’o does struggle with attachment. It’s something we’ve been working on since day 1. There’s a million reasons why this occurs, and there is a million different opinions about attachment but it is a daily challenge in the Williams Family.
I just wanted to share that. It’s where we are at. We are getting help. But everyday is tough. Everyday is a challenge.