Greetings!

We designed this site in order to keep in touch with friends and family who are far away and in order to communicate with other adoptive families from around the world.

When we first started researching this wonderful way to become a family we read everything we could get our hands on. Even though there are a lot of great books out there, nothing was as informative or touching as the blogs we found by adoptees, biological parents, and adoptive families. So we are writing this blog now in hopes of returning the favor. We hope that if you are dear to us you will enjoy keeping up with our adventures. If you are someone out there involved in a part of the adoption triad we hope you will find information and comfort here and provide us with some of your own!

If you would like to get in touch with us we can be reached at: becomingafamily@gmail.com
Feel free to stop by anytime. We're happy to share our family story.

Take care,
Brian and Rosemary

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

What does this mean?

What the heck does adoption dissolution mean? Well, I know what it means but I don't understand it. Technically the definition of adoption dissolution is: A reversal or voiding of an adoption after its legal finalization. This can occur for a variety of reasons, the most common of which are: 1) That there was not a good match of the needs of the child with the talents and capabilities of the adoptive family, and 2) That the circumstances of the child or the adoptive family have changed substantially since the finalization, which would make a continuation of the relationship impractical or impossible. However, my heart absolutely does not understand this. Just reading the definition is scary because it reminds me that a lot of people don't feel committed to their adopted children. I mean honestly, how many families formed through biology are in NO WAY a good match for one another or capable of meeting one another's needs? A lot. And yet they go slogging onward because they are simply committed to each other. Sometimes out of love, sometimes out of hate and sometimes out of inertia but they don't just dissolve all the bonds of family and disapear.

Some of you may be aware of this as it has made some small sensation in adoption-bloggy land but I, as always, am late to the party. Recently there was this terribly disturbing article about an adoption dissolution. A woman named Anita Tedaldi wrote an essay about why she chose to "unadopt" a toddler after keeping him for 18 months. If you haven't read the piece yet I would strongly encourage you to take the time. I found very little to agree with the author about. I thought her tone was self-indulgent and her vocabulary inappropriate.

Do I feel that the little boy this story tragically centers around is better off with his new family? I FERVENTLY HOPE SO. Do I think that the "adoption dissolution" and the time he spent with Anita Tidaldi did him irreparable harm? YES ABSOLUTELY. Do I think that Ms. Tidaldi is responsible for the additional developmental delays and emotional scarring of rejecting him and the lost years of bonding he could have had with his true adoptive family? YES ABSOLUTELY.

I think the thing that frustrates me most about this entire situation though is the very fact that we even have something called "adoption dissolution." When a biological parent places a child for adoption we call it by many names: relinquishment, abandonment, giving up for adoption, making a placement plan. All of those words and phrases though come with a harsh stigma for the original mother, including being referred to as a birth mom for the rest of her life. I really feel that in instances when adoptive parents make the choice to "dissolve" their child's place in the family, a child that has already been relinquished once before, we need not to lessen the weight of this act by giving it minimizing vocabulary. If first families have to face stark terminology then I think that adoptive families who make this choice need to as well.

Ms. Tedaldi should not be able to merely explain all this away to her social circle by saying that she is "dissolving her adoption" but rather she should have to tell everyone that she has made the choice to give her child up for adoption. After all, that's the truth.

--Rosemary

6 comments:

Yoli said...

This woman, for lack of a harsher word because I am typing this on your blog, should have never been allowed to adopt. There were so many red flags including her problem with her husband but until social workers are not better trained and potential adoptive families better screened, this will continue to happen.

Melissa May said...

The world is a scary place, isn't it! Saw what you commented on Robin and Kyle's blog about what the lady said to you about family names... Good grief! Don't even know what else to say about that. So sorry you had to even hear someone say that to you - even if they didn't know about Button. She's obviously one of those people who just doesn't get it.

blackbelt said...

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! And if I could make the type bigger on this ding dang thing, I would!!

"dissolution??" how about "abandonment!"

Jessica said...

I'd heard about this when it happened but I'd never read the full explaination. It's unfathomable. Thanks for pointing out the absolute contradition in language as it applies in these situations.

Yoli said...

By the way here is a copy of another article this same woman wrote a year ago:

We Can't Trade In Our Children or Husbands

Anita Tedaldi | January 04, 2008
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Hard to believe, but a Dutch couple returned their adopted Korean daughter after seven years. The parents adopted the little girl from South Korea when she was 4 months old. Reports of how the situation unfolded were contradictory but it appears that the girl was given over to the care of the Social Welfare Department in Hong Kong, where the man is a diplomat, because they could no longer care for her. The couple explained that the girl was emotionally unresponsive and all attempts at therapy failed.

As an adoptive parent, really as just a parent, I can't justify this couple's behavior under any circumstance. I don't think these people are monsters, though the result of their action is monstrous because they chose to follow their selfish and unloving side instead of choosing to tough it out and love their daughter no matter what. Sadly, the impact on this child will be devastating.

Perhaps they had good intentions when they adopted, most likely they did, but something went wrong along the way. These parents were probably unprepared to deal with some difficult aspects of adoption. It's easy to imagine only the best of a new family member, just as we do with our biological children. No one envisions mediocrity, let alone problems. I have imagined perfect things in the past only to discover the road to family or marital bliss requires lots of hard work and an effort to practice unconditional love.

Anyone can have unrealistic expectation not just parents. It's easier to envision perfect little kids who excel in everything, or a flawless husband, an exciting job, but most of the times these things require hard work.

From personal experience I can say that adoption can be challenging. But so can a biological child who has issues, or problems in marriage, or work-related difficulties. When our adopted son Matteo started having health issues we had to consult several specialist and it was hard for him to be around his sisters, it became challenging. This doesn't mean that my husband or I ever had any second thoughts about adopting Matteo, or that we considered him any different than our biological children. My husband's intense deployments have been difficult for our family, but my husband never wanted to leave the military, and I never wanted to "exchange" him after many years of marriage.

Adoptions, friendships, marriages, even the military lifestyle, are easy when things are going well. But it's much harder when the going gets rough. There's a reason we say that character is revealed by trying times.

I hope this girl can find a loving family who can help her overcome her traumatic loss and that all of us no matter in what area of life we are struggling can continue to renew our love for children and families even when it's tough.

Annie said...

When I read this, my first reaction was the same as yours- unthinkable! However, I started to think about what she was saying. She was not bonding. Okay. But was it possibly even worse than that? Some underlying potential disaster? Maybe frustration or dislike, that turns into resentment, that turns into violent thoughts? As a parent, I can't even imagine these thoughts toward my precious children. But as a Guardian Ad Litem who represents abused and neglected children in court, I see it happening, horrifically, all around my county. I always think to myself when I am working with an abused child and parents- why didn't they stop?!!! Why didn't they seek help before they took it out on the innocent child?!! How could this continue on?! Why didn't they tell someone they couldn't parent this child correctly and can't control themselves? They hide their failure and violence. Who knows, maybe she did the best thing for "D" possible, for the health of his future by admitting her failure. I don't know, but I do agree with you, it is disturbing. I especially was concerned for the sisters' lack of care when he was leaving. Something seriously wrong there.