I am not a therapist. Nor am I a parent. I am especially not a parent of adopted children. However, in my current employment I came across an instance where a child is acting out repeatedly, and injuring numerous people in the process, and no one seems to understand why. The common factor that I’ve heard from every source is that this child is the case of a recent adoption and every time he runs away, or hits someone, or acts out, he always says, “I want to call my mom.” This isn’t just a natural case of misbehavior. This is a child who is crying for help because he’s afraid she won’t come back for him. This may seem an unreasonable fear, but consider that in the best case scenario, he’s already lost everything once. I really want to send this parent a copy of “How to listen so children will talk” by Mr. Rogers and “Beyond Consequences, Logic, and Control” by B. Bryan Post and Heather T. Forbes, but due to professional boundaries, I can’t. I can’t point out that this kid is acting VERY normally considering the circumstances, and that he legitimately has some very pressing concerns. I can’t tell her all this, or his teacher, or his principal. I can’t do anything. So I’m repeating what I know to the interwebs, praying that somehow the caretakers of this child will find this. And hoping that if the general public is educated on this some more, it will find it’s way back to the children who need this.
Again, I’m not an expert. I’m not a parent. I’m not a teacher. And I’m not in this situation. But I’ve seen it happen. Again and again. My mother always says you can’t save the world and she’s right, but if I can pass this on to one person I’m doing my part.