We started down the road toward adoption, and for
both pragmatic and unconscious at the time reasons, we settled
on adopting from China. Our sons were ostensibly on board,
though how in the world can pre-teen and teenage boys have
any idea what they are agreeing to when their parents are fairly
clueless on the matter? At this point in time, our parenting
journey with our sons rolled along with the mostly typical
bumps in the road. People within our circles admired our
family as they looked on from the outside. I brazenly and
naively felt fairly prepared, adequate, and up to the task of
adoption. I had this parenting thing down.
Though our adoption agency responsibly educated and
challenged us to accept that parenting children who have
experienced early relational trauma requires a special set of
skills, I still wasn’t so sure about that. “Love is enough” is a
very common misconception for adoptive parents well, that
and the parenting skills I already possessed. During a home
study visit, Mark and I both communicated that we were
mostly comfortable with the way we were raising our sons, but
we nodded assent to the possible need for change. Residing in
a place of naiveté and pride, I had no idea what was ahead.
Quite irresponsibly and arrogantly, we adopted two
toddlers within thirteen months of each other, including one
child who had significant medical needs. I have since heard an
expert in “children from hard places,” Dr. Karyn Purvis, say
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