EMN Mailbag: 4-year-old Guatemalan special needs child needs home.

Dear Heidi,

I just wanted to let you know that on the advice of two therapists, we are trying to find a new family for our adopted 4 yo son, Paul. Both therapists told us that he should never have been placed in our home, since a child with his history is almost certainly attachment impaired and he will target our children to push us away and keep us from attaching to him.

We are so heartbroken. We were grossly deceived about the child’s history and through their negligence, our biological children were vulnerable to emotional and physical abuse. Both counselors believe John will escalate into severe physical abuse if he remains in our home and that he should have been placed in a home without other children or at the very least, with older teenagers who can assist in the attachment process, instead of being a target for the child’s behavior.

They have recommended a home without other children for him as the best chance for him to thrive and heal from his wounds. We are sad, but we’re trying to do the right thing for both Paul and our other children. If there is any Christian families you know of who might be interested in a special needs adoption of a beautiful little Guatemalan boy, by all means please send them our way.


If you would like to reach Dawn about taking Paul, please send me a note at hsaxton@christianword.com and I will forward your message. In the meantime, please join me in prayer for this hurting family, and the young boy who has so much anger and grief bottled up in his young heart. Pray that his true “forever family” will step forward.

Please also pray for Dawn, who has had to endure criticisms and unkind remarks of those who believe she is “giving up on her son.” Having lived through a similar experience, and knowing some of the details of her story, I can assure you that there are times when it is in the best interest of all concerned — including the child — to have a child moved. Some hurts are so big and deep that they can only be healed in a secure place with no other children in the home. Yes, bonding can take a long time, and adoptive parents routinely “labor” to form these bonds for months and even years to form these attachments. But each family’s journey is different … and those who attempt to assess the situation from the outside, without all the facts, are liable to be more hurtful than helpful.

Are you experiencing attachment issues with your child, and wondering if you made the wrong choice? Don’t give up yet! Remember, adoptive parents do their laboring after they receive their child, to form attachments that should last a lifetime. If you’re looking for help, pick up a copy of “Nurturing Adoption.”  Seek a counselor experienced in working with adoptive families.  Talk to your social worker, who may have ideas that can help you. 

All adoptive families go through periods of adjustment, some right away and others farther down the line. As parents, we need to do everything we can to get our children the help they need to heal from trauma and neglect, without endangering the other children entrusted to us. God bless you!

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