Out of all the gracious acts a person can perform, adopting a child has to be one of the most wonderful. But despite its undeniable merit, adoption carries its own set of risks.
Take, for instance, the difficulties that some adopted children experience with bonding, difficulties that go under a range of names, including Reactive Attachment Disorder.
It’s a struggle that 46-year-old Angela Jacobs described in heartbreaking detail while recounting the adoption of her sixth child over at Love What Matters.
“Nine years ago, I never expected to get the ‘call’ again, the call to take another foster child,” she said.
“After adopting five children already, and fostering dozens more, we had met the limit for the number of children that we could have in our house per our state’s foster care laws.”
Still, local officials knew that the boy they were trying to place would flourish in the household, particularly since the family had already adopted his biological sister years before.
But once he arrived, Jacobs realized that she and her family were in for more than they anticipated.
“When our son arrived a few days after the ‘call,’ … he was not just scared, but he was also angry, angry that he was taken away from not only his biological mother, but also his biological siblings…
“It took several months of patience, therapy, and unconditional love for our son to finally start to trust us and realize that he was in a safe place.”
Unfortunately, while the child (who Jacobs never names in her piece) developed close relationships with other members of the family, he was always “polite” but distant with his adoptive mother.
Part of the problem definitely owed to the fact that he still felt a connection with his birth mother.
So what’s an adoptive mother to do? Jacobs responded in the only way she knew how.
She stayed steady and faithful, always being available for her son. She also continued to shower him with unending, patient affection.
All that time, though, she longed to hear three words from her son that he’d never utter before. Then one day, the fateful moment came.
“I was driving him to basketball practice like I had done twice a week since basketball season started,” Jacobs recalled. “As he was getting out of the car, I said my usual ‘I love you.’
“Instead of his usual head shake in acknowledgment, he turned, looked at me, and with a smile said: ‘I love you too!’ I drove off with tears in my eyes, knowing that he knew from that moment on, I would always be his mother.”
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