“It’s not genetics, and trauma” – 5 main features of orphans

“Foster children a cross on his fate, normal children in orphanages not to take their dangerous”, “they have bad genetics” often talking about children-orphans from children’s homes. But a behavior problem it’s not genetics, and injury, and you can work with them, I’m sure the President of the Foundation “Find a family” Elena Replic.

  • Hard luck of adoption, 1. About fears.
  • Twice abandoned. Who and why the return to the orphanage – Lyudmila Petranovskaya
  • Prison, STUMPS, standing abortion: that they waited for the orphans from the orphanage
  • “A loaf of bread with kefir than screaming mother and depression”
  • “Fools we are with you, ponabrali children!”

14-year-old Masha almost stopped going to school and constantly talked about suicide. 6-year-old Alex beat children in kindergarten, home attack the mother, brother and sister. 8-year-old Anya suddenly started acting like two-year-old child – mangled words, sucked the finger. 14-year-old Sasha ran away from foster parents and asked to take him to the orphanage, and 8-year-old twins Natasha and the Light was caught stealing at school.

Each of them behind shoulders years of his life in the orphanage, and some are still in asocial families. With past trauma the boys were in foster care. And only long work of experts helped them and their parents cope with problems.


(discussion of the article “we are Fools with you, you got that one kids!”)

Elena Replic, President of the Foundation “Find the family”:

One or another of psychological trauma is almost 100% of children from orphanages. Most of this serious traumatic experience get in the best families. After all, the guys from wealthy families, as a rule, children are not future children from orphanages live in asocial families are faced not only with adults addicted to alcohol or drugs, but with neglect, starvation, sometimes even sexual violence is a very heavy things.

The seizure of the family is also very traumatic situation. A small child loves their parents unconditionally, no matter what prosperity at home and what kind of lifestyle leads mom or dad (of course, if this is not the situation when parents of a child severely and constantly beaten). But, as a rule, the child, living not in the normal circumstances, simply does not understand that it may be otherwise, for him, that such a life is normal.

Elena Replik

Even if the mother feeds little, bad clothes, drinks a lot – for it is not a reason for rejecting the mother.

When a child is removed from family, there is a re-injury – he loses the familiar world of loved ones and finds himself one on one with the children’s homes, where strangers and orders. In orphanages too different happens, but there is no one engaged in psychological rehabilitation of children.

In the orphanage, in absolute loneliness and neglect of the system to the individual needs and particularities, the child is the process of “freezing” – he closes within himself and in this condition lives.

And then the child is in foster care with a very serious background, the injured, accustomed to total indifference from the adults. Some time a state of “frozenness” is stored, and then the child gets used to the family, to safety, warmth and affection, and he begins defrosting. And at this moment happens the most difficult story – the trauma of the past begin to emerge.

In advance it is impossible to say how this will manifest injury. Each kid has his own painful history and their own individual response. So in this period to cope with problems, foster parents need knowledge, and expertise.

5 the main features of orphans
1. Chronic disobedience

The child does not perform the most basic requests and instructions of parents, and, of course, it’s terribly annoying for adults. They feel helpless when they can’t coerce a child to the simplest things – wash hands, brush teeth, go to Breakfast.


The reason is that the child has no normal model of relations when the parent in charge, and he protects the child, cares for it, gives food, warmth, clothing. In my blood family, the child had a different model, a different coordinate system from adults were not a concern, and the danger (for example, a boy or girl could sell a dose, and we have a mentee), the child used to be responsible for themselves and now just do not understand why people should listen to. Here you need special work.


In a foster home Masha was in three years. She was 14 years old when her mother turned to the Fund for help. The girl stopped out of control – skipping school, constantly threatened shoots, talked about suicide. Parents thought that Teens in crisis, and psychologists, talking to Mary, found out she is very sensitive about the lack of knowledge about her biological family, without this information, it considers itself inferior and accuses foster mother. “Once she’s not doing anything to find my family, so it’s not enough love,” said she to specialists.

And then there was detective story. It turned out that when Anna and Oleg was taking Mary from the orphanage, they were told that her mother died and no blood relatives. Helped the case: specialist read private matter and girls found the name of the village where I came from mother. He called in the village school, and so we went for a family, and then happened to be quite unexpected: mom was alive.

The child was born out of wedlock, mother was going to abandon him, and the doctor said, “I’ll tell the family that the child died in childbirth?” And he said, mom wrote a failure, and relatives thought that the child died, and all these years prayed for the repose of the baby.

We organized and moderated the acquaintance of a girl with blood family, but Masha stayed in the waiting room, it was her choice. Now she normally communicates with the blood mother and with a foster. And internal discomfort disappeared.

Of course, the causes of such discomfort and constant anxiety of the child usually cannot recognize (especially if it is small), and explain their behavior. Here can help only a professional psychologist.

2. Unmotivated aggression towards others

Child for no reason, or shows aggression toward parents, brothers and sisters, the animals, caregivers, teachers, classmates – to all with whom he comes in contact with. Usually it’s very frightening, and, of course, people have thought about the inadequacy of the child.


Usually, aggression is a normal protective reaction of the child to external influences. He defended himself from the adults, because he has the experience of survival in a hostile environment. When a child is severely injured (or ill, sexual violence or torture, that is, it is not just fed or forced to beg), then aggression is a splash of pain and fear.


Foundation asked the woman in a state of nervous breakdown. Six months ago the family semenovykh adopted 6-year-old Alex, and their lives “hell broke loose”. According to foster mom Eugenia, the boy was “a monster”. Beat boys in kindergarten, attacked the blood of children – 8-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son, fought with mom. And adult men – father and grandfather – he proposed… to have sex with him.

And Alex began to chat psychologists and restored his past. It turned out his blood parents are drug addicts, beaten son, was being starved, and sold for dose of drugs. Police picked up the exhausted boy on the street and handed to the shelter.

Of course, the family was not ready, that child will be so traumatica, which in its last hard sexual violence. It is generally very difficult to understand immediately. Because of the “freezing” even the staff of children’s homes may not always see a child’s injury.

Lyosha more years of working professionals has become easier, but then there was a serious rollback. The parents then lowered his hands, realized that can not cope, and decided to give up. And the specialists of the centre have started to look for another family that is ready to take the injured and inadequate child, it was important for us not to give it back to the orphanage. And this family was found. But at the moment when Alex began to prepare for another family, something switched. For the first time in almost two years of family life, he said to my mother: “don’t give me to anyone, I love you and want to be with you.” Semionov and decided to keep it.

The boy became calmer, he had the affection and confidence of parents. Experts believe that working with such a trauma it is necessary still for a long time, but there is a chance for the almost complete rehabilitation.

3. “Mental retardation” or “developmental delay” children

Often, when a child from the orphanage does not know, cannot or does not understand a large part of the absolutely basic things that for him “home” peers is perfectly natural. For example, that the dirty clothes do not throw, wash, or that the parents go to work, come with the money bought food, cooked dinner – that’s commodity-money relations. When old enough the child does not know what times of the year, all who are not familiar with the specifics of such children, I think: “the child, to put it mildly, developmental delay or mental retardation”.


It’s just a legacy of the past life, and not an organic lesion of the brain. In blood family, no one was while in the orphanage, he just didn’t see how mom goes to work and buys the groceries in the dining room gave him cooked food, he doesn’t know what it’s like to wash the dishes. But this delay in development is absolutely recommended in all the gaps, you can quickly catch up. And the foster parent must be ready.

Many people think that rocking before bedtime or request a fully grown adult children to buy bottles with nipples is another manifestation of mental retardation. This is a classic consequences of children’s loneliness, no relation to mental abilities are not available. Once in the family is the natural environment of the growing child tries to compensate for the stages, never mind in early childhood, gets Netanya hugs, caring, gets used to the feeling of security. And if a foster parent passed normal training, this period is usually experienced quite easily.


All eight years of his life, Anna spent in the orphanage. It was “otkatnye from birth”, and potential adoptive parents frightened her diagnosis, the child was diagnosed with severe pathology of the Central nervous system, which Anya could not walk and used the diapers. The main argument for her future foster mother, Larissa became employees of the orphanage: “the Girl is intellectually intact”.

The first months at home, my mother spent for advice: they wanted to understand the possibilities for treatment and rehabilitation. All visits to the doctors Anya quietly endured, never cried and shouted.

Strained Larissa two points. In the dream the daughter constantly sucked the thumb, which it has developed an open sore. But at home it dramatically deteriorated diction, Anya mangled words. When Larisa asked again, the girl was crying, it came to tantrums. Superimposed another problem – Larissa could not persuade her daughter to have educational games. Anya only painted pictures, and that much “for his age” (for children 3 years of age, is very simple and bright).

The psychologist did not reveal the girl’s underdevelopment, and any intellectual impairment and explained Larissa the cause of this behavior. Was, at home, in the family, the girl tries to “play” the period of early childhood, when she was deprived of protection and caring mother, to survive infancy and to mom it the attention have a baby. Therefore, there were too classes for children, thumb sucking at night and speech disorders.

Larisa and Anya started working psychologists: mom shot increased anxiety and taught a relaxed attitude to the behavior of the child, and the girl helped to survive the trauma of abandonment and return to the age norm. In a few months, the situation normalized.

4. Runaways

Shoots is a serious problem: parents are worried for the child, and for myself as responsible before the law, but, unfortunately, for foster kids it’s a pretty typical story.


Often the grown-up child gets in a family after a long stay in the orphanage and the family he has a syndrome of frustrated expectations. Unfortunately, orphanages will never prepare children to entering foster care and the child’s view of family are influenced by very specific factors. Adults visiting children’s homes – is most often, sponsors who bring gifts and make holiday. And children sincerely believe that such a life they will be in foster care with gifts and holidays.

And when the house begins with the usual everyday life, foster parents impose some routine obligations to go to school, do homework, help around the house, the child happens to be rejection, disappointment, up until the escape from home into care or an orphanage with the words “Bring me back”.


Vassiliev family of large Russian cities have decided to adopt a teen: Olga and Andrei were already two blood daughters the doshkolnaya, but my husband really wanted an adult son. Vasilyev completed the course in the school of adoptive parents, and soon their family got Sasha. He was 14 years old.

In the orphanage he talked about “losers and bully”, but once in the family, Sasha began to study at 4 and 5, do not skip class, he helped his parents with the younger children, went with his father on a fishing trip – it would seem that everything is perfect. A year later he ran away from home.

Returned to the family of his first orphanage, then, as a second escape, already the guardianship. But he kept saying: “Tired of going to school, to learn, to do something on the farm. I want to be free to the orphanage”. Once he for a day locked himself in his room and opened the door. Then the parents turned for help to a psychologist.

Although in that situation a long time was patiently tuned, unfortunately, children from orphanages is not enough “to do the right thing” and “just love them”.

The next year, Sasha psychologists. He is now 16 years old, enrolled in College. Olga and Andrey have taken custody of two more children: 10-year-old boy and a teenage girl. They got very excited, because did, and realized that with support can raise other children.

5. Theft

Theft is also a frequent history of orphans, and the reasons for such behavior may be very much in each case it is necessary to understand individually. But stealing is in any case not a manifestation of bad genetics, which usually indicate untrained people.


The most obvious and frequent explanation – the child is not familiar with the concept of ownership. In the orphanage – the collective upbringing, all things Treasury. Children do not understand that is my thing, but there is not mine. And, unfortunately, to instill this concept is quickly impossible. None of the educational process is never confined to a single explanation. To say that it is impossible to steal, a little, the child will continue to do so, and only gradually he will begin to understand that everyone’s property is inviolable.

In addition, theft and generally anything deliberately wrong behavior – “Mama says “don’t steal”, and I’m going to steal, mom says “don’t fight”, I would fight, my mom says “don’t be rude to the teacher”, and I’ll be rude” – because, once in the family, the child does not lose an anxiety: if once adults had betrayed him, then why can’t it happen a second time? And the child is constantly provokes parents: “And this won’t turn me back? And this will love me?”

But it’s all a provocation from anxiety, from the internal insecurity that you can love, and not because you behave in a certain way.


Kindergarten for 8-year-old twins Natasha and Sveta were trying to replace their adoptive mother Elena – she wasn’t working and drove the girls to the teacher in a dance Studio. And her labours were not in vain – adoptive daughters were selected in the gymnasium. But in the first weeks of study, the unexpected happened. First, Elena found the daughters in canisters erasers, which she didn’t. Then the girls said that they gave a classmate. Then came home a stranger to handle, and after that Sparrow discovered that girls buy their own in the school cafeteria meals in unknown money. The children are always satisfied.

And once called the mother of classmate and said that after the celebration of the birthday boy were missing one of the gifts – Sparrow found it at the twins.

Then the parents tried to explain to the girls that “stealing is unacceptable, that never, under any circumstances, to take someone else’s”. Not helped by the punishment of deprivation of cartoons for the night. Relatives said, “It’s genetics”, the school was angry and didn’t understand.

Within six months, the girls worked as a psychologist at the same school professionals were asked to be patient and explained that this often happens in children from the orphanage. Gradually, the twins learned to distinguish between the concepts of “mine” and “theirs”, and to talk about their desires to parents. Now Natasha and Sveta are studying in the third class, the family says all is well.

Fund “Pravmir” opened the collection in a joint project of the Center for support of foster families “Find a family” and the foster parents Association of Saint-Petersburg called “Parental vacation”. In the framework of the “Parent vacations” parents are assisted in overcoming the crisis phenomena arising in foster families and work is also underway to prevent returns of adopted children.

Go to the page collection at the Foundation’s website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.