So I want to pose a question to the crowd. More of just an interesting thought that has crossed my mind and I'm not sure where I stand on the issue....

I am starting the process of becoming a foster parent with the ultimate goal of adopting a kid from the foster care system. While I'm not perfect - no one is - I'm very good with kids of all ages. I have my sights set and am hopeful to possibly adopt one particular young lady who will be 18 in December. I think she would fit right in with me and my son very well. She loves kids, and she wants to work in early childhood education as a career........but then I also have my sights set on a little 10 year old girl who looks cute as a button, and while she has an IEP and lots of needs, I feel that I could do it. Her biography caught my attention. My son has 2 best friends who are girls older than him, and an older cousin that is a girl, and he does well with them.... Who knows. Maybe I'll take both young ladies!!!!! LOL.....Both girls look like they could pass as my own biological children. I've already started talking to my son about it (in an age appropriate way.) He likes the idea. Although he isn't cognitively able to understand all the implications, on a 5 year old level, he seems to like the idea of having a brother or a sister. I would (probably) not adopt a boy, unless it was the right boy. My own son is very aggressive and competitive, and I also think a lot of the boys that I read about, the social workers were not looking for single mothers, but 2 parent homes - they need fathers....

Anyway........

Here's my question. I noticed a trend that a lot of these kids say things like, "he/she enjoys going to church...."

"She is a Christian,".......

"She enjoys youth group,"..........

A lot of these foster kids have been indoctrinated because a LOT of Christian families adopt foster kids and then start teaching them about "God,"........some of these kids have had years of brainwashing. For example, on one girl's profile it said, "She is definately a Christian and wants everyone to know it!" She was also a teenager, and everything else on her profile would have made me consider her too! But....I am an Atheist. Do I take in a child, expecting to keep up on church functions....and then what? Do I keep taking them? Do I teach them that what they belong is a fairytale? How does that work? How do you teach a child who has suffered from trauma, abuse, neglect, who has been taught to seek comfort in god....how do you show them the truth? How do you do that without shattering their world?

I need to know this, and really understand what I'm doing. And I don't think this will be covered in foster care parent training!!!! I am willing to bet that I'm about to enter the lion's den. I'm sure that many people who are adopting, if not most, are also people of faith. I'm also a bit worried about what they'll say when they see I'm "Non-religious/secular. (That's what I put on my application.)

What would you do? How do you take in a kid who has been brain washed, and then un-brainwash them? Lol....

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I guess the same way we un-brainwashed you --

Jajajaja!!! Pajarito! Que milagro.

No ay milagros - ¿no sabes nada, Chica?

Ay Pajarito, Que voy a hacer contigo?

No se - no puedo pensar para ti, Niña --

Ah...miracles happen all the time!

Brain washed according to who? Are you taking this child to prove that your belief is better than hers? If you truly care about the child, what does it matter what god she believes in? Allow the child to have her belief and how would that hurt you? Let your actions and your sincere concern for the child demonstrate the value of who and what you are?

"How do you teach a child who has suffered from trauma, abuse, neglect, who has been taught to seek comfort in god....how do you show them the truth? How do you do that without shattering their world?"

Um it sounds like their world has already been shattered.  Now how do you heal it?  No actually I think that's a suspicious question.  A better question would be how do you develop it, make it grow?  Well I think you let the child think for herself.  Whatever she decides to believe or not believe she can do on her own. 

But introduce her to an environment that would help her see in new perspectives, new ways of thinking, new ideas.  Sort of like what Karl Popper had in mind of his Open Society.  Show them that there are other ways of seeking comfort aside from the church.   Maybe you can take the child to the museum (art and science, etc), watch different movies, and I mean different for example a person who just watches action movies all the time is depriving his or herself of the many other varieties of movies out there,  Different kinds of music?  Rock, classical (and not just Bach or Beethoven, like maybe say the experimental Steve Reich).  Give them variety, give them alternatives. 

Classes to play music.  Dance classes where she can make friends(youth groups are not the only game in town to make friends)...etc

The same goes for intellectual pursuits.  Its good to study different subjects,  Some people just focus on one subject,  so they want to be a computer programmer but they know nothing about the law saved what little they see on TV which can very much misinform them.

I answer this way cause I ask myself a question.  This child's world is so narrow.  How do I enlarge it?

"How do you do that without shattering their world?"

ha ha with my advice you'd be shattering their world... their narrow world...if you can call it a world,  what's that a euphemism?  it sounds too generous... more like a prison, give them a real world: rich, sophisticated, variegated... and full of possibilities...

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