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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Meeting in Haiti

I stumbled upon this blog recently, which has been very informative from the perspective of an adoption professional in Haiti. The most recent entry deals with a Hague panel discussion at the home of Consul General Donald Moore. I share it here because I'm sure that other families adopting from Haiti will be interested in the current discussion as well.

In an entry entitled "Pointers for Adopting Families" the author makes some profound statements that were important for me to read as I prepare and long for my boys to come home soon:
Jamie and I had a good long talk. She remains concerned that parents are not hearing our message that all of these children have experienced trauma, and that trauma is going to come out in some form when they get home. Many of our children are less traumatized than most of the adopted children in the world. But still, each and every one of them has lost his parents. And when we bring them home, they lose their whole orphanage family, their culture, their country, and even their language. Our gain is very much their loss. Those losses are bound to show in some way at some time. It is so important to remember that in fact, most of the children are normal children. And if normal children lose their entire families and live in a institution with no parents for several years – even an institution as good as BRESMA – there will be damage. It is inevitable ... These children will be grieving losses that we will never have to endure at the same time as we are rejoicing that they are home at last.
She then goes on to encourage adopting parents to do their homework in preparation for bonding with and understanding their child. Finally, she lists the common characteristics she has seen in happy adoptive families, which are:
  • Flexibility

  • A sense of humor

  • Reasonable expectations

  • The ability not to take a child’s feelings personally (it’s not about us, most of the time!)

  • Faith

  • Support

  • The knowledge that love is a verb, not just a noun

  • Absolute commitment to their child

  • Eagerness to become a whole new kind of family
All of this is so helpful to me, and I look forward to putting it into practice ... hopefully someday very soon. How I miss my boys tonight!


Jenny said...

I don't know if you'll remember me, but we spoke a bit before you even began your Haiti adoptions. I have been checking every few weeks to see if your boys are home. I hope it's soon! They are truly adorable!! My little Liberians have grown so quickly. I moved my xanga blog to
Have a blessed day,

sheri wiebe said...

Your list of common charactaristics for happy adoptive families is encouraging...I think with God to help us, we can do it.