Adoption. The action or fact of adopting or being adopted.
Thousands of people adopt children and babies every day. It is an amazing thing to do, especially for people who can not have children. Adoption is helping a child that needs a good home, that may have a troubled background, or just a parent that can't take care of them for whatever reason may be. It is also giving the adopted parent a beautiful precious gift, a child. In many cases, the child that is adopted may not always be adopted as an infant. So many people are hesitant about taking in older children. While babies are sweet, cute, and innocent, an older child will most likely be a bit harder. When adopting an older child, you are welcoming a child that could have come from a tough background, which could lead to difficulty in bonding with that child and/or behavior problems.
I had just turned six years old when I was adopted. That is just a year and half older than my daughter. So very young and I had already gone through more than a child should ever have to.
I had been tossed around in foster homes, torn away from my most of my siblings. I am the oldest of five children and at an already young age I felt like I had to be the responsible one. The state tried to find a family to adopt all of us together, but adopting a child is already a big deal. The state knew it would be impossible to find a family willing to adopt us all together, so the best option would be to split us up. I was asked at five years old by a social worker if I wanted to go live with my baby brother, whom was two years old at the time, or live with my younger sisters, ages three and four. At just five years old, I knew I had to be the one to take care of my baby brother. I could not leave him behind, my sisters had one another, he was the baby after all. How do you ask a five year old this? I couldn't imagine asking my daughter that kind of question.
So that was exactly how it ended up. I was adopted along with my brother and my sisters were adopted by someone else. However, before the adoption. the family that was taking care of me prior to adoption, was one I would never forget. Even though it was 25 years ago, those moments are forever engraved into my head that will never be able to be discarded.
It started with my foster father. My foster mother was a nurse and worked late and worked often as nurses do. I remember my brother being asleep in his bed. My foster father asking to speak to him in the bedroom. Following him telling me to do things, that no person should ever tell a child. Forcing me to do things, no person should ever make a child do. Touching, as no adult should touch a child. This was not a one time occurrence. It happened more than it should ever have. The only reason anyone found out about it was that I just happened to tell the neighbor, who's house I use to play at. I believe she knew something was going on, but was unsure what it was. I remember she sat me on the couch, was really sweet, and asked me several questions. I remember telling her what happened, which lead to her calling the police.
This motion led to him going to jail and my brother and I going to a new foster home, whom ended up adopting us. However, this also lead to many issues for myself throughout my life. Not only did it traumatize me to where I had to go to quite a bit of therapy for it, but it also caused me to have trust issues, especially with men. It caused me to grow up immediately. My childhood felt like it had disappeared. It caused a low self-esteem and a feeling of worthlessness. How does a child come back from something so traumatizing? It's difficult.
I am only one person that was a victim of child sexual abuse. There are thousands of cases of child sexual abuse reported and even more that go unreported. If you ever sense a child is going through something so tragic, please do not ignore it. I thank the neighbor everyday that sensed that something was wrong and was brave enough to ask me what was going on. She was brave enough to stop it by calling the police, which led to him going to jail for a long time. So please, I beg you, stand up for those children that can not defend themselves. You can truly change a child's life for the better.