Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Unexpected visitor

Yesterday I walked out my front door to go see my afternoon patients, and I noticed a car sitting out in the street in front of my house. When the window was rolled down, I did a the passenger seat was my daughter Leslie, whom I haven't seen for about 2 1/2 years. She lives down on the Gulf coast of Texas, so it was totally unexpected to see her sitting there! I walked over and talked a bit, but I had to get to work, so she said that she'd try to get back to visit before she left town.

So she dropped by this afternoon with her fiance. We did a little catching up...and then it was time for me to go see patients. As I thought about my unexpected visitors, I felt oddly detached. There was a time when I would have had a much different reaction when this person who had cut me out of her life, who had told me she was "divorcing" me, who now calls another woman "mom," showed up at my door with a fiance twice her age. It's funny...I used to say that ADHD was get it from your kids! (You see, I used to be a focused, fairly organized person, before living with 6 kids with ADHD.) Now I think it's fair to say that attachment disorder is catch it from your kids. After so many betrayals of trust and so many rejections, I find myself feeling very detached from the kids who cut me out of their lives. I have no desire for any drama or conflict. So it was a pleasant visit, but hardly an emotional reunion. Some may think that sounds cold or heartless, but until you've lived day in and day out with kids with attachment disorder, you probably can't understand.
In an earlier post, I said that, even though many of my kids have rejected me, I do have the consolation of knowing that I gave my kids a chance for a normal life. This was Leslie in Korea at age 3. 'Nuff said...


Pirate Aggro said...

My Aunt and Uncle adopted three kids from El Salvador in the early 80's. One, a girl, grew up, got married and never contacts them. Another, a boy, became a petty criminal and eventually wound up getting deported. My Aunt and Uncle virtually went bankrupt fighting the deportation in court for years. They have not heard from him since his deportation. A third girl grew up, got married, and lives near by and has remained close to her adopted parents.

I’ve been thinking about your experiences as they relate to my Aunt and Uncle. I can't imagine the heartache it must cause you to be treated they way you have by some of your adopted children. As you have written, though, you gave those children a second chance. A chance thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of kids in this world never get. My Aunt and Uncle saved those kids from a life of destitute poverty, and in the case of the boy, almost certain death in the civil war. You have done the world, and certainly your children, a great service. Even if some of them don't appreciate it. As a Social Worker I wish there thousands more willing to give their hearts and lives as you have.

Galen said...

Your aunt and uncle's experiences sound so familiar. When I first began adopting and got together with other adoptive parents in my area, many at that time (early 80s) had adopted older kids from Central America. Those kids turned out to have severe problems. And when I adopted my kids from Russia, it was in the earlier days of Russian adoption. The agencies were anxious to find families for those kids who had spent years and years in orphanages, especially those biracial kids fathered during the Olympics in Moscow. Obviously the folks involved had little idea of how to screen the kids for emotional and attachment issues!