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Wanted: Parents

Desiree Cooper

Marc Sanchez

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Chris and Amanda
(Jen Braun)
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Desiree Cooper: So Chris, you're out of treatment. What's it like to be home now?

Chris: Well, now when I wake up, you know I have my mom and dad. Because it just used to be me and Amanda. Now I have another sister and two brothers. We argue and stuff, but that's what brothers do. And after we have a fight we laugh about it.

What it is like for you as brother and sister to be back together in one home again?

Amanda: Actually it seems to be really hard at first. Talking is just something - we're like, "Why?" when hitting is so much easier to do. We're like in toddler years, learning how to live with one another. The love is there, and it's a relief that finally we're together again, but at the same time, it's going to be a really long learning experience.

Chris: It's especially hard for me, because my parents say, you can be a kid now. And a situation comes up with Amanda, and I want to be right there, deciding her punishment or you know, what she gets, you know? And it's hard for me, because I've done seventeen, eighteen years of this, and this is the only thing I know.

You've done 17 or 18 years of parenting your sister?

Chris: Me parenting her, her parenting me. I think it went both ways, depending on what happened that day.

What advice, Amanda, would you give a teenager who is looking to be adopted?

Amanda: I'd say that, unless you give up your past, that's basically going to be the layout of your future. I was always debating whether or not I wanted to be adopted. After a failed adoption, after being abandoned, it felt as if that was not meant for me at all. And I'm like, all these arrows are pointing me towards being miserable. And I kind of feel like I owe it to myself to fight that current that pushes against me.

Chris, what advice would you have for a teenager that's thinking about being adopted?

Chris: Not to give up. And for a while, for me, I was scared of you know, having this new family. And for me, now looking back on it, you know, there was nothing to be scared about, because my worst day already happened in my life.

What was your worst day?

Chris: Probably when my mom left me. That hurt me, and caused me a lot of problems. But, to not give up and continue to try. And even if you're not thinking about, you know, not wanting to get adopted, at least have that option in the air. Most people that I met that wanted to adopt me, sent me letters, we had people do a video in their whole room, showing me their house. And so people are more than willing to go in depth about their family. And show you what you'll gain. You know, weigh out the options. If you don't think it'll work, then you can always say no.

Well, one of the things about teen adoptions, is sort of the mutuality of it. That you both have to agree that you want to be part of this family. So what advice would you give to a couple that might be thinking about adopting teenagers, as opposed to a toddler?

Chris: Things are going to happen. Something that the parent won't like. Or not agree with. It'll probably happen. Not in all cases, but it could happen. And when I think about it, before my family, they had their set rules. But now the parents think, what do we do now? We have our set rules, you know, for our kids. And we possibly might get another kid. Because it's not just the adoptive kids that need to change their surrounding, it's you know, the parents, you know they got another one they want to take care of, and you know, support. And then you got the siblings, that all want the same, you know, love.

So it could be tough for adoptive parents to bring another, a teenage child into the mix, and then have to rearrange their family dynamics.

Chris: Yeah.

Amanda: Everyday I say to myself, this is something that I don't think I could have dreamed about six, seven years ago, because I didn't know it existed. It took us a long time to realize that love is unconditional and it doesn't end. Because we thought ok, too much love, now we need to back off a little bit. And we realized that it was the exact opposite. A lot of times, we say that, and it just breaks our parents' hearts because I see in their eyes that they wish so much that they could have given us that, and I wish so much that they could have given us that. So just being there, and loving, and reassuring them all the time that "I'm not going away."

It sounds like, both of you actually have expressed this, that you have a hard time believing that someone loves you.

Amanda: Yeah. We couldn't even love each other. I mean, we could give each other hugs, but next five minutes, we'd be beating each other, just because our anger overpowered our ability to love. And it definitely showed.

Do you guys have any New Year's resolutions?

Amanda: Being together and staying together. That's basically always been our life long goal. So I might as well maintain that. What choice do we have?

That's right, you're together forever now.

Amanda: Oh joy! I'm thrilled.

You guys have been great. Thank you so much.

Chris: Thank you.

Amanda: You're welcome.

Comments

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  • By stephanie clark

    From usa, CA, 11/04/2009

    thanks for any one who wish to adopt my son becuaese i lost my husband in a motor acciendent

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