If you and your partner are thinking about adopting a child this 79-yr-old orphan recommends that you allow the following considerations to enter your mind. Not to worry, any bull s _ _ _ can easily be composted.
- Premise: If you are thinking about adopting and can't or won't read this entire tip, then it's most likely that you will continually cause breakdowns in communication in your relationship.
Part of my fortune was that in 1937 my birth mother had the wisdom and compassion to put me up for adoption, thereby giving me the life I've had. Better yet, my two new parents were on the cutting edge of thinking; two Protestant women in a predominantly Catholic suburb of Boston, openly living together, adopting a Irish-Italian Catholic-born child.
It's not hard to imagine the unique communications I've experienced, beginning as the ninth child in my conflicted birth-mother's womb, and later, while being pampered by two loving single women committed to healing and service, both fussing over whose turn it was to change my diapers. Wait wait, there are even more unique conversations; one nurse-mother (the one who formerly adopted me and changed my name to the name of the family that had adopted her) had an affair. What's even more interesting, she became pregnant by a Catholic doctor, the dude who messed up my scene, my ménage à trois, changing forever all of our relationships. The heart-broken scorned nurse-mother left us to join the Army Nurse Corps and the other-mother (I love the sound of these words together) married the doctor and immediately had three children. For some reason, (duh?), the doc and I didn't get along well and I was returned to the orphanage. As you might expect, I have a few considerations about same-sex couples and adoptions in general.*
You might ask why I consider my moving life (pun intended) fortunate, specifically, being returned to the orphanage system? Time and again, as a relationship-communication-skills coach, I've seen what happened to children who had no choice other than to live with dysfunctional argumentative unethical parents, parents who were out-integrity from the very beginning; most of these children are now parents raising their own children using the same adversarial communication model taught to education majors nation-wide by all university speech-communication professors. I recall being shocked when I first heard children talk about, or talk back to, their parents; they appeared to have no sense of appreciation and respect. Now I understand the source of this disrespect. Rare is a child who is not experiencing the mind-blowing hypocrisies of today's parents; topics of death, God, heaven, religion, Santa Clause, (including the horrendous sex-education imparted non-verbally by everyone) all are being presented as truths instead of being clearly identified as beliefs (a belief is typically the end of thinking). Appropriately, most children are eventually driven away from the daily home-life interactions with their parents—unconsciously they are driven to search for and experience the exhilaration and freedom of true intercourse—to "find themselves, to discover who they are." With few exceptions, children living with birth parents withhold certain thoughts from their parents; deceit was/is the norm.
- For example: For generations parents have been hypocritically, unconsciously, teaching their children to deceive them, to withhold certain thoughts. The vast majority of parents, though they espouse truth-telling and honesty, unconsciously teach their children to deceive them and others. I refer to the fact that most all dating teens con each other into having sex behind the backs of both sets of parents; worse, they eventually abusively ignorantly blame each other when the relationship, founded upon deceit, fails. The correlation between integrity and outcomes just isn't taught to teens. (read: More Effective Communicators—men or women?)
I’m under no illusion that these tips will change anyone’s mind about adopting. Perhaps they will give pause to partners presently not in-communication with each other, a couple who have become stuck doing their imitation of communication. Suffice to say, my childhood, educations, and military experiences, prompted me to study the subject of communication, eventually to be a leadership-relationship communication-skills coach.
- Note: It wasn't until I was 32-years-old, with a B.A. and an M.A. in speech-communication, after all the above mentioned experiences with fosters, counselors, social workers, headmasters, clergy, and some of the world's finest military leaders and units—and two marriages and divorces—did I have my first experience of being in-communication with anyone. It was during Werner Erhard's est Training. Wow! What an eye opener. Up until then I had been unconscious and, like everyone I had ever interacted with, I didn't know it.
First tip: You both must have open, honest, and spontaneous communication with your parents and grandparents (zero significant withholds); they must be mutually satisfying positively supportive relationships else, no matter your resolve, you'll be teaching your child how to communicate as you did/do with your parents. You will unconsciously teach your child to treat you as you do your parents. The responsible alternative is to estrange yourself from your family/abusive relationships. Submitting a loved one to the machinations of a dysfunctional family (even if only during holidays and reunions) is not a gift of love. A well rounded child has thousands of unique conversations/interactions with both sets of grandparents; arrogance is believing you can raise a well adjusted child without these influences. It does in fact, ". . . take a village."
- 1) Do you respect and admire the way your partner treats his/her parents?
2) Would you be happy if your partner eventually treats you as he/she does their parents?
3) Do you respect and admire your partner's profession?
4) Think of something you don't respect about your father, your mother, and both in-laws.
Have you verbally communicated these thoughts to everyone concerned? —thoughts withheld do get communicated non-verbally.
Second tip: If not a communication-skills coach, find yourself an orphan. I advise you to develop a mutually satisfying supportive relationship with an adult orphan. Why? Because if you give permission to an adult orphan to communicate openly, honestly, and spontaneously with you—no significant thoughts withheld, you will discover behaviors of which you are unaware, behaviors that will eventually cause a breakdown in communication between you and your partner and eventually you and your adopted child. Notice I used the assertive word, “eventually” and the word, “will” twice—I didn’t even soften the predictions with maybe or possibly. Such arrogance—yes? Do allow that there is a such a thing as prescience. Any resistance on your part to reading these tips mirrors your own arrogance begging to be humbled; it’s about being willing to allow another to make a significant contribution to you. Eventually your adopted child will attempt to support you; usually it begins with some health factor they learn about in school (smoking/eating choices); you need to learn how to both elicit and accept support. If you’re not committed to integrity your child will simply give up on you (as in, "It's hopeless"), you will lose some of your child’s respect.
Third tip: Keep in mind that an orphan can experience when a relationship is out-integrity, when partners are withholding thoughts from each other, when they are pretending to be open and honest with each other, when in fact they are both unconsciously masterminding a divorce. When a child experiences abusive communications (verbal, non-verbal, physical, or psychic) it causes uncertainty and fear (unless, and this is extremely important), each and every abusive interaction is verbally acknowledged. This is referred to as modeling, showing by example how to acknowledge (complete) an abusive interaction. i.e. "I get that that didn't feel good." or, "That doesn't feel good?"). All divorces began with the first incident that was not cleaned up through to mutual satisfaction. That incident is referred to as an incomplete. An orphan always has in his/her mind exactly when the relationship began its downward spiral, when it devolved into mediocrity or worse, so, a good test is to ask your child these two questions: "How are your mother and I doing—are we treating each other nicely?" "What would you change about me?" Support for asking these clearing-type questions is available in The Clearing Process for a Parent and a Young Person/Teen (it's free). I've noticed during consultations with a divorced person that often the first unresolved incident (usually a stuffed make-wrong) was when they were dating. i.e. They observed that their date was, rude to a waiter, bad-mouthed their own parent, didn't acknowledge they broke a time agreement—were late for something, and the biggie, they abusively trash-talked a former relationship partner—all the incompletes were silently condoned.
Fourth tip: You must have in mind that your adopted child is yours for life, even if you separate from your partner. Why? Because an orphan can intuit when something is out within any relationship. They can tell when you are unconsciously masterminding a separation/divorce. Children, especially babies, are integrity meters; most orphans develop psychic-like abilities. That is to say, if either you or your partner hold (in the back of your mind) the option of returning your child (if he/she does . . . or, doesn't . . .) your child will know. They will unconsciously test you to see just what they would have to do to get you to give up on them as did their own parents. Children misbehave, fail, or even get sick when they experience a breakdown in communication within the family. If it’s not addressed and resolved a child will do whatever it takes to restore the experience of hugging giggling love that once was. Eventually a child will bring in teachers and social workers, even the police, so abusively disturbing are the vibrations of parents out-of-communication with each other. The absence of harmony invalidates a child and his/her way of being, their very communication skills.
The above paragraph is so important that I’ll explain it differently. Asking you, at your age, to honor an adoption agreement is possibly asking too much. The level of integrity it takes to be a successful adopter is the same as pursuing and maintaining the experience of enlightenment; you just can’t continue operating with your high school "understanding" of integrity. The fifty-percent divorce-rate reveals that most couples can’t even be trusted to honor the vow, “. . . till death do us part . . .”. You simply don’t know how bad things can/will get. Adopters simply ignore the thousands of variables an adopted child brings with them. An unwanted, abused/drugged in the womb, child will always have engrams of being unwanted and abused, often from conception. You are considering making an agreement to accept responsibility not only for your communications that cause your child to behave as expected but also for when your leadership skills trigger (cause) his/her possible sociopathic, maniacal suicidal/homicidal behaviors—DNA/generational propensities. Choosing to adopt a rattle snake—expecting it to not bite, sincerely believing that "love" will change its programming—will reveal your arrogance. (read Shall we spank our child?) As always, your responsibility for abuse begins with whom to play with.
One doesn’t even know for certain what genes/DNA a foster child possesses that predetermines aberrant behaviors/illnesses. A child from a mother who didn't eat healthy, who did alcohol and drugs during pregnancy, requires adopters with undergraduate degrees, preferably nursing/counseling/therapy skills, and a large supportive extended family; after reading this you won't be able to say you didn't know. What you call love won't heal a dysfunctional child; trying to change anyone, especially a chemically damaged child, is not love; at best, you can be there for him/her and intend that they be the way they are and the way they are not.
Fifth tip: An adopted child will mirror your integrity. If they intuit that you're a quitter, that you will eventually give up on them, they will manipulate you into quitting on them so as to be right, that they knew all along you wouldn’t hang in there when things got really tough. An orphan’s mind remembers that once before someone did give up on them and, that they have no recollection of what they (the child) did wrong. That is to say, it could happen again any time for no apparent reason; no matter your words of reassurance, they can tell when you’re lying, to yourself and them. If at any time you withhold from your adoptee the thought that you wish you hadn't adopted them, the thought will get communicated non-verbally; such negative thoughts must be communicated verbally so as to disappear them else, you'll be teaching them to withhold the uncomfortable ("sick) thoughts from you. i.e. Read about the unacknowledged cause of Columbine.
Re: Hanging in there. We’re not talking about the usual circumstances that test ones commitment to living from integrity. The possible variables are, job loss, physical abuse, threat of loss of shelter, war, hunger, debilitating sickness, physical/mental problems, infidelity, and out-right illegal activities by a partner. Can you envision carrying on even if your partner divorces you, or dies, or ends up in jail? When one marries they can’t begin to imagine that they will intend that cheating will take place, such is their ignorance and arrogance. Read Creating a marriage vow that precludes cheating. A significant number of spouses put up with invalidating condescending abuse because of fear of no place to go; thereby submitting their child to more abuse, forcing the child to be an unconscious unwilling enabler. It teaches a child to put up with abuse which causes disrespect. Worse, it invalidates a child's ability to have a positive effect on others.
Sixth tip: You and your partner need to have professions to fall back on if and when needed. Not "about to have" or "plan to have" or even, "could have if I wanted too" but both have had one or two years of self-sufficiency, without anyone's financial help, in taking complete care of oneself. If you have in mind that you can count on welfare, food stamps or the help of others (the option to run a con on others to help you) it will ensure that you eventually fail. Manipulating another to pay you money/alimony/child support is not something you want to teach a child. All business people who have declared bankruptcy entered into business with the premeditated idea of screwing over their creditors if things got bad—most all had spouses as co-conspirators.
Seventh tip: You must be willing to reveal to your child his/her ancestry. For a child to be whole and complete he/she must be able to acknowledge the contributions of their ancestors on both sides of the family else, he/she will be unable to completely acknowledge others.
Here are several required readings (more tips) for anyone considering adopting a child. If you have questions/comment Ask Dear Gabby (free registration required, alias OK)
Shall we adopt a local child?
What can an orphan see that most others can't?
Considerations about adopting another's child.
Orphanages—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
* Same-sex adopters and the principles of yin-yang.
Last edited 11/30/16