November is National Adoption Awareness Month. We adopted back in March and if there is one thing I would want everyone to understand it is that adoption is not the cure for childhood trauma.
Children are resilient, but that should never be said when it comes to the trauma their little bodies have experienced.
The majority of children that are or have been in foster care suffer from PTSD. We watch our sweet girl deal with this on a daily basis.
Certain sounds, smells, sights will trigger her beck to some really scary events that happened in her life and in that moment she is visualizing it all. How scary for a child to be in a safe and loving home and then be triggered not understanding what’s happening in their brain and body.
The adoption journey has been full of emotions and often all at the same time. It is exhausting mentally, emotionally, and physically. It has been happy, sad, frustrating, lonely and scary. It has changed our lives in that we plan it around a consistent schedule allowing her body the rest and routine it needs. Some days it is really hard but we look back at how far she has come and know even on the hardest days she is worth it.
Many have said that it will all be okay now she has a loving home, or kids are resilient she will forget the past.
She will never forget the past, she will learn through regular therapy how to deal with the past when it comes flooding in.
Adoption has made me realize when I see kids melting down in public that I have no idea what is going on in their body and brain. It is often more than not getting what they want. It makes my heart break for the parents trying their very best yet getting met with judging stares.
Adoption has made me realize I could have saved a lot of money on my education in mental health and just fostered. The best teacher is always life experiences.
What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce D.Perry and Oprah Winfrey is one of the best books to read to further understand the complexity of trauma.
Do not let this month go by without learning more about adoption. It is a journey we never planned to take, but I am so glad we did.