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"Alarming spike in starvation of adopted children."


Brittanicals6

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Coming out of lurkdom to post this. I am wondering if the common thread in these cases can be tied to fundie beliefs? One of the cases listed refers to little Hana Grace Williams, in Skagit County.

http://heraldnet.com/article/20120118/NEWS01/701189931#State-notes-alarming-spike-in-starvation-of-adopted-children%0A

The Trebilcock case is also very disturbing.

This is just one link, it says the kids were isolated: http://tdn.com/news/local/article_5f839 ... 03286.html

This link says the kids are going to a Seventh-day Adventist school after the school volunteered to pay their tuition:

http://www.katu.com/news/local/129471988.html

The other thing that gets me (from the original article) is this:

Not all the cases listed in Meinig's report became public because, unlike the Trebilcocks, not all the parents were criminally charged. All are horrific, though, including cases where children were beaten with wooden boards embedded with nails, sexually abused and severely malnourished.

HELLO?! If the cases are horrific, why weren't criminal charges filed? At the very least, children should be removed permanently from these environments. There's probably some nice gay or lesbian couple that'd do right by these kids.

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The cases are horrific, indeed. It makes me sick that so many of them have not been prosecuted, and I worry that the combination of fundie child training and cuts in social services is the perfect set up for even more.

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That is horrifying, and too close to what happened to my daughter, except it was her bio-mom who did it; not a fundie, but a prostitute. I am doing my best to love it away, but it will take a lifetime.

Severe malnourishment can be treated physically, but the emotional trauma does not go away. I wish I could take all of these kids.

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I adopted my two as "older kids" and I can tell you very few parents get anything like the education they need to cope with the demands of formerly abused and neglected kids. This does NOT at all condone what is happening here, but the situation reeks of wanting to "save a child" and then being completely unprepared for food hoarding and other behaviors typical of such kids. Children are not going to throw their arms around you and say "I love you Mommy and thank you Jesus for my new Mommy"--adoption starts with loss. And for most of these kids it's almost brain damage from trauma. Being abused and neglected--often for years--takes a toll. Proper education in what to expect, with no sugar coating, HELPS keep this from happening.

I adopted thru a Christian Ministry that did little (then) to educate parents. Today they do several weeks of classes to expose some of the potential problems. Not all children are so traumatized, but most have some problems. It is especially difficult for legalistic Christian families with birth children to successfully adopt older children. This is based on my own antedotal evidence. The expectation of "instant obedience" is unrealistic. So is getting a kid who, understandably doesn't trust, to instantly obey, believe, etc in the same way as a birth child. Such parents are also very leery of psychiatric care and medication and of counseling--all of which can really help the child AND the parents.

I do not condone these parents at all--child abuse is just that. However, this would not happen so often if parents were properly advised and educated in the adoption process. Those poor kids did not ask for more abuse, but much of their background lets them easily inspire uneducated parents to such drastic measures to try to control them. I hope they finally land in a theraaputic foster home where they can get the structure and love they need.

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IReallyAmHopewell, do you have any recommendations as to training and such? What do you think would be most helpful and in what manner? It does seem like a no brainer that you should feed kids and not abuse them, but you make a good point as to the unrealistic expectations adoptive parents can have.

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I was damn well prepared, educated, vetted, counseled, etc. but it still is not easy. Mine was the best possible kind of adoption, but no one is ever prepared, 100%, to be a parent, adoptive or no. I do agree that there needs to be far more education, especially when people are bringing home an adopted child to a family with bio kids; I did not have that to contend with, though my cats are not sure about her yet, they think they outrank her, still.

And, my daughter DID throw her arms around me and say "You are my Mommy", but nothing about Jesus. We did not go through a Christian agency, we adopted through foster care, so, perhaps, were better able to deal with the pressures. Food hoarding is still an issue, despite all the reassurance in the world, and I cannot make her wear socks to save my life. I still don't know why, but something happened with socks, so socks= the ebil.

Here is what I've been taught and what I use to combat the food hoarding. I hate the word "train"; that sounds like a Pearlism. Training is for dogs--I teach and nurture and love my child.

1) Make sure meal time is a time for calm, loving talk. Nothing negative at table.

2) No forcing of foods she does not like, though we do "new food nights" where she tries something new.

3) Keeping zipper bags of long lasting snacks in her own cabinet. Allowing her to keep a coffee can of dried fruit in her room has worked wonders.

4) Involve her in shopping and preparing of food (tricky with a 4 year old, but she can wash things).

5) Allowing her to select one "Ladybug item" that she gets to "share" with us. She likes to dole out dried pineapple by the tiniest pieces.

6) Except for #5, there is no distinction between food in our house. It is "our family's food". I do keep the wine out of reach.

7) Praise, Reassure, Never scold. If I find a PB and J in her overalls, I don't yell at her. We sit down and talk about it, and I ask her why she kept it instead of eating it. She was doing so well, and we had some backslide on this recently, which is why it is in my forefront of thought.

8) love, love, love, love, and more love.

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I was damn well prepared, educated, vetted, counseled, etc. but it still is not easy. Mine was the best possible kind of adoption, but no one is ever prepared, 100%, to be a parent, adoptive or no. I do agree that there needs to be far more education, especially when people are bringing home an adopted child to a family with bio kids; I did not have that to contend with, though my cats are not sure about her yet, they think they outrank her, still.

And, my daughter DID throw her arms around me and say "You are my Mommy", but nothing about Jesus. We did not go through a Christian agency, we adopted through foster care, so, perhaps, were better able to deal with the pressures. Food hoarding is still an issue, despite all the reassurance in the world, and I cannot make her wear socks to save my life. I still don't know why, but something happened with socks, so socks= the ebil.

Here is what I've been taught and what I use to combat the food hoarding. I hate the word "train"; that sounds like a Pearlism. Training is for dogs--I teach and nurture and love my child.

1) Make sure meal time is a time for calm, loving talk. Nothing negative at table.

2) No forcing of foods she does not like, though we do "new food nights" where she tries something new.

3) Keeping zipper bags of long lasting snacks in her own cabinet. Allowing her to keep a coffee can of dried fruit in her room has worked wonders.

4) Involve her in shopping and preparing of food (tricky with a 4 year old, but she can wash things).

5) Allowing her to select one "Ladybug item" that she gets to "share" with us. She likes to dole out dried pineapple by the tiniest pieces.

6) Except for #5, there is no distinction between food in our house. It is "our family's food". I do keep the wine out of reach.

7) Praise, Reassure, Never scold. If I find a PB and J in her overalls, I don't yell at her. We sit down and talk about it, and I ask her why she kept it instead of eating it. She was doing so well, and we had some backslide on this recently, which is why it is in my forefront of thought.

8) love, love, love, love, and more love.

This.

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I was damn well prepared, educated, vetted, counseled, etc. but it still is not easy. Mine was the best possible kind of adoption, but no one is ever prepared, 100%, to be a parent, adoptive or no. I do agree that there needs to be far more education, especially when people are bringing home an adopted child to a family with bio kids; I did not have that to contend with, though my cats are not sure about her yet, they think they outrank her, still.

And, my daughter DID throw her arms around me and say "You are my Mommy", but nothing about Jesus. We did not go through a Christian agency, we adopted through foster care, so, perhaps, were better able to deal with the pressures. Food hoarding is still an issue, despite all the reassurance in the world, and I cannot make her wear socks to save my life. I still don't know why, but something happened with socks, so socks= the ebil.

Here is what I've been taught and what I use to combat the food hoarding. I hate the word "train"; that sounds like a Pearlism. Training is for dogs--I teach and nurture and love my child.

1) Make sure meal time is a time for calm, loving talk. Nothing negative at table.

2) No forcing of foods she does not like, though we do "new food nights" where she tries something new.

3) Keeping zipper bags of long lasting snacks in her own cabinet. Allowing her to keep a coffee can of dried fruit in her room has worked wonders.

4) Involve her in shopping and preparing of food (tricky with a 4 year old, but she can wash things).

5) Allowing her to select one "Ladybug item" that she gets to "share" with us. She likes to dole out dried pineapple by the tiniest pieces.

6) Except for #5, there is no distinction between food in our house. It is "our family's food". I do keep the wine out of reach.

7) Praise, Reassure, Never scold. If I find a PB and J in her overalls, I don't yell at her. We sit down and talk about it, and I ask her why she kept it instead of eating it. She was doing so well, and we had some backslide on this recently, which is why it is in my forefront of thought.

8) love, love, love, love, and more love.

Derailing for a sec because it can't be said enough, hearing your Ladybug stories will always make me smile, even the slightly sad ones like this. You are an absolutely amazing woman and you are both SO lucky to have found each other.

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IReallyAmHopewell, do you have any recommendations as to training and such? What do you think would be most helpful and in what manner? It does seem like a no brainer that you should feed kids and not abuse them, but you make a good point as to the unrealistic expectations adoptive parents can have.

orry--I was away this morning.

1. Explain that many children have trust problems and what that means

2. Explain some unusual behaviors such as food hoarding

3. Explain that such children may be accustomed to negative attention and know how to get it

4. Explain that they may not sleep or may have nightmares or even PTSD

5. Make sure they know about the diet the child was given--the REAL one. Example--not what the orphanage director SAYS they eat, but ask the kid. Example: My son got violent over chicken! My family came up with sob stories of eating rotten chicken. Turns out it was just they got too much BOILED tough chicken in the orphanage. Once he understood the difference he was fine.

6. Children may never have been appropriately touched--especially by men. This doesn't mean always sexual abuse, but physical punishment that they may not understand why they recieved it. Spanking isn't evil in every culture.

7. Explain the damage fetal alcohol exposure, long-term neglect or abuse, poor nutrition both pre/post birth or time as street children can really do to a child. If you adopt from Eastern Europe/former USSR alcohol exposure to SOME degree should be assumed.

8. Bad behavior can be a survival skill--definitely true for my son who went postal and kept his sister with him. It worked then, why won't it work now??? He's never truly gotten over that.

9. Explain jealousy and triangulation so parents can try to avoid escalating a fight with them.

10. Consequences often won't matter. The kids have been thru worse. No desert? Who cares! There'll be cereal in the morning!

11. Do not ever say "Here's our little guy from Country X" ESPECIALLY if you also have birth children. The adopted kid already feels inferior--this makes it worse.

12. Don't expect them to do sports leagues, cub scouts or other crap like that for years. Some kids do fine, most don't. The attention isn't "right"

One thing I've found is a strong correlation between mental age or maturity level and the number of years in the adoptive home. Now, this is not true of a child who was nurtured and lost parents to, say, a car accident. Kids who were "birthed" and left to raise themselves will be way saavy in some ways and way, way behind in others. Public schools will bully, pass the buck and blame parents. Christian Schools will too. Medications really can help but the trick is finding a decent therapist who has worked with kids FROM THAT ENVIRONMENT and achieved positive results. A kid from former Soviet Union has SIMILARITIES to an American Foster Care child, but is not the same--why? CULTURE, food, parenting styles, etc.

I could go on for days!! My kids are finally thriving, but it took 4 therapists, a stint in homeschool, a few arrests and finding a talent to get my son there. His sister always had him to protect her. Still, issues are there for her, too. Happily not as much.

My big gripe is with "kid collecting" then dumping the kid when the birth children are affected (I don't mean if the adoptive kid is raping or trying to kill or poisons the dog). There are few "mixed" families that I've seen that have "made it." MONEY really, really helps. So does being a slightly older parent than the child might normally have and having older birth children. None of this is scientific. It's purely my observations. A stay-at-home parent can be a necessity if your kid is in school and gets suspended a lot. I know--I lost my career for my son.

NONE of this is said to discourage anyone. Just know what CAN happen and understand how to get the [often very expensive] help you and the child may need. Expectations may have to be wildly different than for a birth child--at least for a long time.

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