I just read this article about a Dutch diplomat and his wife who adopted a girl from South Korea when she was a baby (she's now 8) and are now "returning" her to foster care.
Their excuse is that Jade (their daughter) is emotionally remote and has been diagnosed with severe fear of attachment.
And dumping your daughter because she has emotional difficulties is going to what - make it better?
The father said that Jade never assimilated Dutch culture and food (and yet he never, in all their years petitioned for Dutch citizenship for her. Why not?) and that was part of why they are rejecting her now. Seriously, you want me to believe that a child living in your home since she was 4 months old doesn't eat your food?
Give me a break.
Nannies and caregivers who've worked for the family were interviewed and stated that Jade was mostly cared for by nannies and was rarely in her mother's arms and that her mother treated her as if she weren't her "real" daughter, especially after two biological children were born to her.
The family, of course, says that isn't the case but what I found telling was the father's comment in an open letter to a Dutch newspaper: "We are Jade's parents. We feel responsible for her well-being."
You feel responsible for her well-being? What about love? I can promise you that I do a whole lot more than feel "responsible" for my children's well-being. I feel responsible for my plants. I feel all-consuming love for my kids.
This is a tragedy for Jade and a blow to the cause of international adoption. Stories like this make the news where all the millions of success stories never do and an outcry goes up from the child's original nation and officials begin to cut off adoptions (Guatemala) or make them prohibitively expensive (Russia) and where does that leave the millions of orphans who have no one to love them?
A child is not a possession to be returned if they aren't easy to raise. Any child, biological or not, can have difficulty attaching, can have health or emotional issues that are challenging, can have a personality that doesn't mesh easily with yours. Guess what you do? You roll up your sleeves and meet them where they are and just love them.
You just love them.
At the heart of this (and it makes me sick) is this Dutch couple's basic belief that their adopted daughter was a trial run. Or a faulty product. Or something that they could back out of when things weren't easy.
That is abusive parenting. That is NOT adoption.
When you bring your child home, you've made a lifelong commitment to them and that doesn't waver, no matter what. You aren't a parent for what the child can bring to you. You're a parent for what you can bring to your child.
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