It is difficult to see the world through the eyes of a child who have spent a large part of their childhood in ‘custody’. We wonder why they look at us and say “I don’t want to be adopted”. The lack of family, relationships and connections is so foreign to the majority of us.
“David” has spent the last two and a half years in custody. He is now 15 years old and was resigned to the fact that he would turn 18 in state custody. “David” acted out in many ways at home and school. Although he has resided in the same foster home for the last year, he has continued to push his foster parents away too. “David” was adopted as an infant and was surrendered by his adoptive parents to the state. Therefore, he has experienced a lot of loss. “David” definitely had the attitude of “I am not going to let anyone else reject me”.
The last couple of months “David’s” behavior has improved. He is doing much better in school and may even get to return to public school. He has also changed a lot of his behaviors in the home and has started to act more like a family member. His foster parents have not committed to adoption because “David” is not sure about adoption.
During a recent adoption event a young lady who aged out of custody spoke and told her story of not wanting to be adopted. She continued with saying she was asked about adoption once, told them no and it was never mentioned again. She stated she now wishes she had that family to spend holidays with and just a place to call home. “David” and his foster parents were at this event. As tears spilled into her eyes the foster mother looked at some of “David’s” team standing there with her and stated “Not my son”! This was the moment that “David” and his foster parents made that verbal commitment to adoption. Although looking at all of their faces, adoption had already taken place in their hearts. They were already a family and just needed that extra push to make things legal.
It is hard to understand why a lot of our children say no to adoption. Looking at life through their eyes reveals rejection, heartache and loss. Why would anyone want to go through that again? But our children do want family. Our children want to trust, love and be loved. We just need faith and to continue advocating and fighting for what is right and what they deserve. Don’t take no to adoption as the final answer. Things are forever changing.