If she had Cancer instead of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders -- FASD, and Reactive Attachment Disorder -- RAD, and was not the former foster child we love and adopted, everything would be completely different.
Not one person would Judge us, as her parents if we found the Best Treatment Facility and paid top dollar for her to be kept in the Safe care of a children's full service Cancer Center. No one would judge us if the Best Treatment center was someplace we didn't Sleep every night. It would be fine with everyone to hear us say, "Our little girl was staying at the Children's Cancer Center, in order to get the treatment she needs."
If our little girl had cancer instead, we would have no trouble going for visits and seeing her bald head. No one would judge that we had to come and see her--maybe even from a long distance. The Ronald McDonald house would surely open up a space for our family and provide a nice place to rest with the other families and pay only $20.00 a night. Our Friends would send cards and letters--offer to take care of the other children, make meals for the family, and ask me if I needed anything? The Doctors would talk to us about medications, treatment plans, the future--the odds... And speak to us with compassion, knowing we were Grieving Parents.
Our little girl would be seen with Love and people would feel some natural Pity for the fact such a young person faced such a horrible diagnosis. Our Church would Pray for our child. The local News might run a story, about how we mortgaged everything to pay for her care--and lost jobs because she needed us so much. People would send money, set up a back account, hold a fund raiser. The Make-A-Wish foundation might contact us to let us know if things become terminal--she can have that dream vacation to Disney.
If she lost a leg to Cancer services would jump in line. The Shriner's would give her a New Leg--a High-Tech wonderful leg that would make it possible to join the Special Olympics. And, she would get her invitation, make the news again, and have a story about surviving Cancer as a child.
My little girl is not Lucky enough to have a problem people see as being anything real like cancer. She doesn't have the disposition, appearance or understanding shown to a Downs Syndrome person or a child with a visible disability. My little girl isn't missing a limb, or all of her hair. My child doesn't have Something everyone feels sorry about.
No one can see from the outside what is hurt on her insides. No one can see the damaged caused to her brain before she was born. No one can see the damage caused to her heart when her earliest needs went unmet. No one can see the pain in her heart when she was taken from the only life she knew--and expected to live life as if she had not been someone else. No one can see the broken logic of a little girl who was attached to a life with people who abused her. The only way Love was known, the only connections she had to build on.
No one wants to even give those issues a thought and no one can see it when they look at her beautiful eyes.
"She is Lucky to have you."
"What a wonderful thing you have done." and
"If I were you I would send her back."
...words I doubt would ever be said, if our little girl was in the Cancer Center.
Who would even THINK to say words like this to the parent of a child with cancer? It would be completely inappropriate to say such things! The only words a parent would hear if their child had cancer--would be nice, supportive and filled with compassion... No one on earth would say these words--to the parent of a child with cancer, adopted or not.
It isn't the first time in my life I have been the parent of a child with Special Needs. It is the first time I have loved someone with a very Real Need and faced the stigma of not having a need that can be seen, which is caused by something no one really wants to think about--or believe can't be overcome.
...to be continued.
Stop BAD Therapy! Never forget Candice!
New Memories -- Blog Tags
abuse (1) acceptance (3) adoptee (1) Adoption (1) Adoption Committee (1) Adoptive Parent (3) AdoptiveParentsNetwork.com (3) Advocate (4) Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ARND) (18) anxiety (2) At Risk (1) Attachment (3) Attachment Disorder (2) Attachment Therapy (AT) (10) Attorney (1) Behaviors (2) Bill of Rights for Children's Mental Health Disorders and their Families (1) birth mom (5) boundaries (4) Case Worker (3) Child Identification (1) Child Rights (1) Christian (1) Christmas 2008 (1) communication (1) consequences (4) Contact (1) DHS (4) diagnosis (4) Disruption (2) Dissolution (1) divorce (3) documentation (1) domestic violence (3) door alarm (2) DSM IV (1) eating disorders (1) employment (2) Family (2) family preservation (2) FASD Resource (2) Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) (24) foster family (3) Foster Home (3) Fund Raisers (2) Funding (1) goodbye (2) grief (3) home (3) Home Study (1) honeymoon (2) impulsive behaviors (3) Individual Education Plan (IEP) (15) loss (2) Marty (4) Medicaid (1) medication (6) mental health (4) mental health services (2) Missing Children (2) Mt Hood Oregon (2) Nancy Thomas (1) negative attention (3) Neurobiology (1) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (2) oxytocin (1) Parent Advocate (2) Parental Rights (1) parenting (4) police (2) Post Adoption Family Therapy (1) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (1) processing (3) propaganda (2) RAD Cult (6) RAD Mom (7) RAD Research (2) Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) (23) Research (8) Residential Treatment Center (1) Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (3) Resource (9) Respite (1) Safety (1) School (10) Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) (1) secondary behavior (1) Services (1) sexualized behaviors (4) short term memory (1) social (2) special education (7) Special Needs (2) Statewide Action for Family Empowerment (SAFE) (1) stealing (1) symptoms (2) tantrums and rages (4) Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) (1) The Brain (2) therapist (4) time outs (4) transition (8) Triangulation (1) Trust (1) Understanding Attachment (1) Understanding FASD (6) vacation (6) violence (2) Washington (2) website (9) When Love Is Not Enough (1) wraparound (1)