Love Stories: Adoption in Northeast Ohio
I was moved by the story just told on your program by the young woman who was adopted when she was 14. I wish my own story of adoption had such a happy ending... My husband and I adopted a 12 year old girl in 1992. Our daughter had been SEVERELY abused in every way imaginable by the time the state took custody of her when she was three. Unlike your guest speaker, our daughter was never able to let down her guard enough to accept our love... We had just about every type of professional help that was available, but our daughter was never able to accept any of the help that was being offered.
The loss of her potential for a quality life has been heartbreaking to watch. In contrast to your guest, when our daughter reunited with her biological family after she turned 18, she turned her back on anything wholesome, and seemed to identify with them. She was totally aware of the truths in her situation, but chose to believe the fantasy she had constructed over the years that once she got back together with her biological family everything would be O.K. She became a drug addict just like her birth mother, and in short order had five children of her own. My husband and I are raising the oldest of our grandchildren. Our daughter abused each of her first three children by shaking them. When the third child was nearly killed, the state stepped in (VERY belatedly in my opinion, as we had pleaded with social workers to protect them) and took custody of the 2nd and 3rd child. My husband and I had already been granted Guardianship of our oldest grandchild. Our daughter served time in prison for Felony Child Endangering, but not before she had given birth to a 4th child. Our 5th grandchild was born in prison. So.... Ours is not a success story, but I don’t believe it is unique. PLEASE! Give your listeners a balanced view of what adoption can be! Successful or not, adoption forever changes the lives of EVERYONE involved – children and adults and extended families alike.
We have four special needs children adopted through Cuyahoga Co. a decade ago as toddlers. No one can really prepare an individual for parenting children who have been traumatized. Once you do this, it is a commitment that entails being an advocate for the children with agencies, therapists, doctors, and especially schools. The younger the child is placed in a home the better the outcome, I disagree with your guest. Two of my children were emergency placements from abusive foster care situations and two were sitting in foster care for no reason. It is not an easy road, but the kids need the help.
Holly Spencer-Trueman, Adoption Navigator, Adoption Network Cleveland
Reilly Spencer-Trueman, Adoptee
Dr. Victor Groza, Professor in Parent-Child Studies Mandel School, Case Western Reserve University
Stacy Rogers, Adoptee
Drew Goddard, Adoptive Parent