So I read a story today that really bothered me. A couple adopted a baby boy from China who, it turned out, had some medical issues. They knew he had a brain tumour but he was later diagnosed with Autism. After two and a half years they decided they couldn’t cope with his special needs and decided to ‘re-home’ him.
It also turns out that the mother is a YouTube influencer whose videos are based on her journey throughout motherhood and her family life, for which she has some lucrative sponsorship deals. Her followers are now up in arms and are calling for these endorsements to end.
Now I can understand how difficult it must be when you have adopted a child and it turns out they have certain needs that you weren’t aware of. However, even with biological children, you can end up with issues and situations that you could never have foreseen. Parenting is hard, precisely because you have to step up and face whatever is thrown at you. I have a particular issue with their use of the word ‘re-home’ as if they are talking about a dog and I also wonder if one of their biological children had developed a medical need, would they have ‘re-homed’ them also. Not only has this child already been taken to a different country to live within a different culture once, he now has to contend with that all over again and at an age where he will be aware of what is going on and feel confusion and upset over being taken from his ‘family’. On top of that his Autism will make it even harder for him to cope with his feelings and emotions.
I am married to a man who was adopted and the effects of his situation continue to have an impact today, despite the fact that he was placed with a loving family who stood by him. Although he didn’t have any special needs in terms of a disability, his behaviour was extremely challenging and this made life very difficult for all involved. Fortunately, his adopted family rose to the challenge and never once contemplated ‘re-homing’ him. For a child who had been ‘let down’ by his birth family to have another family stand by him, despite the difficulties, taught him about responsibility, determination and resilience. These traits have stood him in good stead to enable him to become a hard working and dependable husband and father. It is for this reason that I wonder how this little boy is going to cope with the knowledge that, not one but two families have abandoned him. The saving grace is that, fortunately, his new mother is medically trained and so is more than capable of coping with his needs. Lets hope that he has now found the right family for him, who will love and cherish him and help him to fulfil all his future potential.