Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Biological Family

I can't even start to imagine how it feels, for a mother to make the decision to give her child up for adoption. To me, that is something harder than life itself. I really respect the biological parents who have the courage and love to give their children a better future. It is heartbreaking for the biological parent to come to the conclusion that they no longer have the financial means to support their child or in some cases, multiple children. We see a lot of cases where sibling groups are dropped off at once or it is the youngest child that gets put up for adoption, while the older children stay behind to help out the rest of the family. It is true that the younger the children, the higher the chance that child will be adopted sooner. Adoptive parents, worldwide, tend to go for younger children, especially babies. I think it is the human nature of still wanting to feel like they were there for the majority of that child's life. They need that connection and that bonding time to feel like they are a family. I totally understand this feeling, but it does make it that much harder for the older children or sibling groups to have a family to call their own, as well. I think many people have made that step where they can accept to adopt a child, but they are not yet ready to adopt a child who is aware of their background and can understand the difference between biological parents and adoptive parents. I hope that in the near future, people can start to see that, the older children, too, are in need of loving families. And the fact that many times, they have the exact same feelings and hopes as the younger children.

So everyday there are biological parents that come and drop off their children at the creche. Some have already made up their minds about giving their child(ren) up for adoption and some are still in the trail-and-error process of seeing how they feel about it. Regardless of the first decision, the children always stay at the orphanage until the parent's mind has been made up. So at the orphanage, there are children who are already matched with an adoptive family, children who are still waiting to be matched, those who are waiting their 6 months abandonment period to be up so we can officially file for abandoned child certificate, and then those who are just living at the orphanage because the biological parents have not made up their minds about adoption. It is quite a mix of different situations and of course there are always special cases that float around week from week. It sure makes the conversations between the children interesting, to say the least.

Whenever the biological parents come and visit their children, it is always held in the room adjacent to the Social Services Office (where my desk is located). So yesterday, a biological parent came to visit her child. The child has been at the orphanage for a while now and the mother finally made up her mind that she would like to put him up for adoption. It was quite a surprising news to learn, because everyone thought that the child was going to go back to the mother. The mother said that she has no financial means to take care of the child and that it was in the child's best interest to be adopted. Once again, I wonder how hard it was for her to come to that conclusion after months of contemplation? I am sure she had many sleepless nights on this subject. I really felt for her.

One of the Social Workers went and got the child to come meet his biological mother and brother. The child, we'll call him Babas*, slowly walked into the office with the Social Worker. Babas* is one of my favorite toddlers at the Lamardelle orphanage and we have bonded tremendously over the months that I've been here. He is a huge hugger and loves to be cuddled up in your lap. He came into the office and gave me this huge smile and said "Tatie" (Which means auntie in creole). He reached out his arms to be held and just completely molded himself into my embrace. I love Babas*, not going to lie. He is just so adorable. So I held his little hand and we walked over to the other room to meet his biological mother and brother. When we entered the room, Babas'* hand started to grip harder at my hand. He was scared. His biological mother came rushing over, saying hi, and wanting to pick him up, but Babas* refused and turned away. He grabbed my leg and turned his head away from his biological mother. Whoa! I was totally surprised by this! I have never seen him do that, at least not to the extend of that. You can tell the biological mother was hurt. I could see it on her face. She kind of froze and didn't know what to do next. I picked Babas* up and handed him over to his biological mother, but he wouldn't let go. He had these death grips on my neck and his legs wrapped completely around my waist. He wouldn't let go at all. He yelled and cried and there was no way of getting him off of me. So I ended up sitting down next to the biological mother with Babas* in my lap. It felt so awkward and I felt so bad for the mother. I didn't feel like I belong there in the room and especially felt like a slap in her face that her child would let a foreigner hold him but not her. After about 15 to 20 minutes of that uncomfortable encounter, I was able to leave the room to go do some work. About 10 minutes into my work, I see out the corner of my eyes, Babas'* brother and him, hand in hand, walking toward me. Babas* started running toward me when he saw my desk. So there I was, with Babas* in my lap and the biological brother drawing beside me. That was how I passed a big chunk of my afternoon in the office. I felt really sorry and bad for the biological mother. When she left she said that it was good he wasn't attached, because now she knows he is ready for adoption. Those words broke my heart. I am sure it did hers, as well. No mother would like it if their child rejected them. I told her that it's just been a long time since Babas* has seen her and also he's grown attached to all the caregivers here, which includes me. It was a normal reaction and for her not to think too much about it. At the end of the meeting, I put Babas* in her arm and took a family photo for her. Babas* was calmer in the photo and at least the biological mother got to hold her baby boy before we terminated the meeting. That was all that she wanted!

1 comment:

  1. i've been praying for the children in haiti, now i need to pray for the haitian moms too.........
    it's not just hard but hurt and heartbreaking to give up your children......sad!!!

    love mom+