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Wish Knew Adoption

Difficulties in adoption 2

Last week we looked at the difficulties faced by Mina in the adoption of Vineeta and how she was shocked at the education and the thought processes of Vineeta. She is ambivalent about the adoption process.


Mina was shocked at the statement of being married to “wealthy husbands” as voiced by Vineeta. If one takes a depth understanding of the psychology of Vineeta and the circumstances she has gone through, the effect is blunted somewhat. Vineeta has spent her entire life in the orphanage having been abandoned by her parents at a very tender age. She has never experienced the comfort of emotions and tender care. Her emotionality is blunted. There is a constant awareness of her vulnerability. She is aware of the power of money over emotions. Her hope lies not in finding a tender but a wealthy caretaker because that is the only thing that she knows. She has probably learnt to cope with her emotions but knows that money can afford her the luxuries (occasionally only the necessities) of life. Her emotions died an unnatural death when the abandonment took place. Therefore, an invasion of those areas is fraught with tremendous resistance. She looks forward to compensate for her childhood traumas in material things. It would be cruel to term her as greedy; it is not greed but just a reaction to deprivation, which we find in all of us who have gone through a phase of deprivation. The first need for a human being is of survival, i.e. of food, clothing and shelter. Then come emotions and abstract concepts like education and its importance. Vineeta has lived most of her life around the basic need and so has yet to mature to the level of higher needs. Nevertheless, such an explanation can never be a justification for what Vineeta carries in her heart. The blame may perhaps lie at the organizational level itself. As to the response that Vineeta gave to your admonishing her sternly over the issue of education, she is using your benevolent emotions to her advantage. However, one can detect her pain behind that statement also. She know that she is going to leave behind a lot of luxuries behind when she goes back to the orphanage, she is probably going to close the tiny window of hope that had opened for her to be a part of a family, yet she has chosen to voice her wanting to go back. It probably reflects her tolerance capacity for an authority figure. She knows that it would be back to that lonely life again, but probably she has learnt how to manage there. She would rather sacrifice her needs against the efforts to do something, which she is not adept at.


You have reached the decision to send her back to the orphanage. It must have been hard for you to take that decision and that also in a matter of ten days. You also have to understand Mina, that this process was not easy for you, just as it was for Vineeta also. You probably had a need for her to take your benevolence and the vision that you had seen for her was probably a little more idealistic than what Vineeta’s limitations could permit. Her world came as a shock to you because the traumas of her life were never accounted for. It is natural for you to experience difficulties in raising her but you also have to understand that you are trying to develop a bond with somebody who not only does not have the affection (like that towards a mother), but has never had it with anybody. It would be difficult for you both to deal with each other in the initial period and because the choice exists for both of you to step back whenever you wish, your tolerance and love for each other is contingent on less of disagreements. However, perhaps the prerogative may have been with you as being able to develop the relationship. It was precisely the last statement of being married off to wealthy husbands that you needed to address. You know that such a dream will never materialize and it is always going to be an uphill task for Vineeta. You need to correct those beliefs for Vineeta. Apart from providing material comforts and a nurturing guidance, your most important role perhaps lies in being able to put a sense of hard work and self-sufficiency in Vineeta. Till now, she has always stayed at the mercy of others and that is what she expects from you also. You have to correct that belief and instill in her a confidence about herself. You first need to develop a bond with her and address education later. If she trusts you completely, she will probably be able to trust your ideas too. Remember, the phrase – I do not care how much you know until I know how much you care. You might need to lower your expectations till the time that Vineeta is capable of understanding them. As I wrote last time, most of the personality characteristics get consolidated by the age of 13, so it will take a lot of time for Vineeta to change to your way of thinking and being able to accept life at your level. Right now, in the first ten days, she is probably enjoying for the first time in her 13 years of life, she has probably started to visualize a dream. Your admonishment may have broken that dream and she has thought of going back. She will probably need to accept the realities of life and hard work but it is too soon. If you consider a small infant, we do not impress upon the baby the concept of hard work in the first ten days of life itself, the baby probably understands it from the model of his caretakers on whom he has faith. Therefore, hold your patience and let Vineeta grow, fulfill the task of providing her with a better life. All the best to you, again, for this noble deed.

Dr. Darshan Shah

Dr. Darshan Shah, a renowned psychiatrist and psychotherapist, is committed to make a difference in the area of mental health and help individuals cope with feelings and symptoms; change behavior patterns that may contribute to one’s illness and henceforth contribute to their newly improved pathway of life.

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