How To Create Permanency For Children Who Have Been Disrupted

The Honestly Adoption Podcast - Season 9, Episode 86

While we all wish that every adoption might lead to a healthy, thriving family, the truth is that the challenges can sometimes be more than a family can handle. What happens when a struggling adoptive family comes to the place of deciding it just isn’t going to work? Adoption dissolution, more commonly referred to as adoption disruption, is a topic that is often avoided and one we haven’t covered before on The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

This week, Mike is interviewing Lori Word, a new friend he met at CAFO this year, to talk about adopting from disruption.  Lori and her husband have been married for 29 years and have spent most of that in full time ministry.  Lori and her husband have adopted 7 children from disruptions and now have a passion for helping to equip adoptive families to find resources to help adopted children stay in their homes and avoid disruption if possible.

Listen Now:

Notes and Quotes:

“With our second son, he had been originally adopted from Ethiopia and when he walked into our house we realized, we are pretty sure he’s not 9…he told us he was 12”

“We were never looking to adopt children who had already been adopted.  We didn’t even know that that ever happened, we just didn’t know much about it. But with our second son, it really launched us into seeing the need.  He had only been adopted and in the United States for a little over a year.”

“There are people who are in great need, everywhere, and children, in particular.”

Second Chance Adoptions told us that people were struggling and needed help and support.

“I vividly remember the counselor asking us how many children we would have and we said zero or 1, and now we have 8!”

“We’ve met the families, and we understand how tough it is.  We know how much trauma it causes the kids and we want to do what we can to help the families.”

Let’s talk honestly about some of the challenges. You have the trauma but then you have the added trauma of adoption disruption. What did you face as you did this?

  • The children wonder “Why? Is it my fault?” We have to help them understand and help them carry that burden.
  • It is heartbreaking to see them miss their first adoptive family, but it is also encouraging to them to come into our home where it has also happened to other children in our home.
  • I have had to change a lot about myself.  It is about them and not about me.  The things they do are not about me, they are about their own hurt and trauma.

How have you achieved permanency in your kids understanding that this is their forever home?

  • We begin to tell them immediately that we are their permanent and forever home.
  • We tell them we love each other, we work through things.  Things are hard and we can get really upset, but we will work through it.
  • We hang up pictures of the new child immediately.
  • We tell them we will love them no matter what.  Bad decisions or good.
  • Even after they push or run, we say “hey, next time what if we…”

“They need to know that this is forever.” – Mike Berry

Any words of hope for those who are feeling hopeless right now?

“I feel that.  This is certainly not easy to do in the moment, but if we can take a deep breath and step back and try to look at that child through God’s eyes…sometimes I have to remind myself, in those hard moments, that they are precious and loved.”

Resources and Links:

Wasatch International Adoptions: Second Chance Adoptions

Question: Gotta question, or a thought after listening to this episode? Leave it in the comment section below this post. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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