The thought of foster children comes to everyone at different times and for different reasons. For some it never comes - it also happens. Mother of many children Daria Moguchaya shared her experience in adopting and raising an adopted child.

Foster child: how to understand if you have the strength to love him

Adopted children: what are they

I encountered children from the system at school age: my grandparents worked in a special school and an orphanage. I came to work with them and played with these children. You, probably, at the mention of the word "orphan" imagine a sad sweet baby who really wants to go to his mother.

I saw very happy children. Many of them had parents whom they even saw occasionally. This is called social orphans, when parents are alive, but they cannot bring up. Usually the cause is alcohol addiction . Many of these guys periodically lay in psychiatric hospitals. So, as you understand, I had no illusions about the children from the orphanage.

My son Luka was 1.4 years old when I collected the documents for guardianship. We went to see the girl, about whom they said that she was a bedridden disabled person. Her name was Vasilisa and she was 2.3 years old. The head physician dissuaded us: Vasilisa did not speak, did not understand speech, did not use her hands, could barely walk. But then we were brave (and stupid, as my husband and I joke), and Vasilisa became our daughter.

It's been seven years now. Vasilisa is nine, she is in the second grade at home schooling (there are problems with socialization). She speaks beautifully, runs, jumps, and does push-ups more than I do. She has features of development, but it does not catch the eye. She has her own room, a synthesizer she plays, favorite dresses, toys, and siblings.

We have three own children, and also three years ago we took a teenage girl, she is now 18 years old. By the way, it was easier for me personally with a teenager than with a child who has peculiarities in behavior and development. At first, it was a frightened, squeezed child who opened up in the family. Now she is already a beautiful, adult girl who is studying to be a photographer, making plans and calling me mom - although I am only 16 years older. By the way, her name is also Dasha, like me.

School of foster parents: what is it

One of the prerequisites for a couple who decides to adopt is the passage of an adoptive parent school (FPS).The Foster Parent School is a free education from the guardianship of your city / locality, which usually lasts several months. SPR is a must if you plan to take a child into the family.

At the same time, it doesn’t matter whether you will adopt him, take him under guardianship or go to guest mode. There you will discover the world of orphans, they will tell you about medical, psychological and legal aspects. The PDS is indefinite, which means you can take it at a convenient time, and take the child in five years. Or never take it: this is a common practice.

Many prospective adoptive parents go there with only a vague idea of ​​what they will be faced with. Realizing that they are not ready for this, they no longer take further steps. This school is very important, and it's good that it exists. The PDS helps to reduce the number of children returned to orphanages.

A return is bad for the child, and for the guardianship, and for the failed adoptive parent. The very first question that will be asked to you in the PDS is about motivation: why do you need it. Someone takes a child because he cannot give birth, someone - after the death of his own. My husband and I decided to adopt because we agreed: children do not belong in an orphanage.

It sounds extremely unfair when irresponsible adults cannot provide a decent standard of living and safety for their child, and children have to be responsible for this. Until adulthood, they are forced to live in a system that, whatever one may say, breaks a person.

Plus, the emotional factor is included. When our son was born and was crying from  cutting teeth or a tummy, I constantly thought: who comforts the children there? Who shakes, blows on wounds, kisses? After all, there are not enough nannies for everyone. Yes, and the staff tries not to accustom to hands, so that they don’t get used to it and don’t scream later. All this together became a catalyst for the fact that we decided to take a foster child into the family.

5 challenges to be prepared for when adopting a child

1. Your inner circle may not understand you.

It's important to be prepared for this. Everyone needs support, and even in such a serious step. But it happens that, having chosen the path of a foster parent, you and your husband will be left alone. There is good news: often after the appearance of a foster child in the family, the ice melts. AND negative parents or friends change their minds. Remember that often they do this out of ignorance and fear for you.

2. Lies and gossip from the distant environment

Not everyone can accept the fact that someone takes orphans simply because he has a caring heart. These people need to somehow explain to themselves why you are doing this.

Then they come up with their own version: for the benefits that the state pays, or because you probably can’t give birth yourself. Another option is for these children to help around the house. You just have to abstract: you can’t convince such people, and you don’t need to.

3. The child will get all the "dregs" from the bottom of your soul

All your unresolved traumas, childhood grievances will surface, and something will have to be done about it. Therefore, to be in psychotherapy both before and after the adoption of a child is the right decision.

4. You can invest in a child all you want, but it's not a clean slate.

Just take and rewrite his life will not work. This is a separate person, from a different kind, with his own history and his own injuries. Your expectations and hopes may not come true at all (as with your own child, but there are more influencing factors). The phrase “do what you must, and come what may” fits well here.

5. When we take children, we still do it for ourselves.

Whatever the motives, we still cover some of our needs. Do not expect gratitude from the child, it happens that it does not follow. Of course, it is not a fact that these difficulties will overtake you.

There is no single rule or pattern in adoption. But be prepared for this at the beginning so that there is no disappointment later.

Why is it important to get the child out of the system

Returning to the question from the title, so how do you know if you have enough strength? No way. It's honest. Thousands of people marry for great love, but after a while they part, experiencing only hatred. And then there's the child you take without any feelings. But love is a verb.

You take care, invest in the child strength, time, it pays off: this is how feelings are born. Experienced adoptive mothers say: love is not the most important thing. It is important to get the child out of the system.

After all The statistics are relentless: only 10% of orphans arrange their lives after the orphanage, the rest have problems with alcohol, drugs and the law, and their children again fall into the system. We need to break this vicious circle.

To understand what it is like for them there, imagine yourself in prison, without personal space and things, where life goes according to schedule, and you cannot get out of there. By the way,a great opportunity to try on the role of a foster parent - guest mode.

This is for older kids who understand that you only take them on holidays or vacations. You show them life in society, teach them how to use a washing machine and a stove, go to the cinema and theater with them, and at the same time evaluate your strengths. Here, too, you can make a mistake.

Last summer, we went to the orphanage to look at a girl whose mother died of covid. But she refused to go to the family, she had her own plans. And yes, that happens too. But a fifteen-year-old guy wanted to go to us. We took him for the summer and everything was perfect. You know what they say: it's so good that it's bad - that was our case.

As soon as we processed the documents, the guy did not open up in the best way. No amount of talk or persuasion helped. In the end, he ran away, because living by the rules is unbearable for him. He did the same in the previous family. But we believed that he understood everything, but, alas, it did not work out. No matter how sad it is, because the guy is generally good, but our paths diverged...

How to understand that you are ready to take a child from an orphanage: 4 signs

  1. When you'd be glad not to think about it, but you can't . It is important here to separate pity, which will disappear very quickly, from the desire to try to change at least one life.
  2. It's good when you have the support of the environment . This will give you moral strength when you need it. Well, there will be an opportunity to rest when the forces run out.
  3. Of course, you should have one look with your husband on all this . Sometimes women take this step without getting the sincere consent of their husband - this is wrong.
  4. You must have some savings so that you can afford not to work for a while . While adaptation is underway, for example, or during a child’s illness.

3 steps to adoption

Step one. Find "your" child

On the website you can see the profiles of children. Previously, there were more of them - about 50 thousand, now the figure has dropped to 38 thousand. At least, that is how many profiles of children are presented there today.

Step two. Sign up for SPR

If you decide to have a foster child, you need to call your city's guardianship and ask about enrolling foster parents in the school. In order to become a guardian, it is not necessary to be married, live in your own apartment (you can also rent), have the entire white salary. When you adopt a child, there are stricter rules.

Step three. Be confident in yourself and your intention

Don't be intimidated by the guards. Yes, there are all sorts of specialists, but more often they just check potential candidates for the seriousness of their intentions. After all, sometimes there are potential adoptive parents who are completely far from reality, who, having seen enough of Angelina Jolie, also want to "save the orphan."

There are tens of thousands of orphans in Russia. Many of them will never know what a loving mom and dad are. But even if you take only one child from  the orphanage  , it's a whole life. The most important thing is, after all, the subsequent lives that this child will give, too. And that's a lot, a lot...