Could adopting "damaged" children ruin your life? One family has a heartbreaking story of what could happen when you adopt kids who have been abused, traumatized or generally displaying other markers of behavioral discontent. While some may disagree with this story, or even feel offended, it's true in this case that the "damaged" kids were beyond repair.
Cherry Willoughby and her husband adopted two little girls after several years of trying to conceive through IVF and other means. She was barren, and they desperately wanted offspring to love in their home. Who wouldn't? Cherry and her husband decided to do something that many people only wish they could do; they adopted.
The two girls, Maryann and Nicola, were "angelic" as the adoptive mother recollects. However, these kids were damaged and had come from a rough background. She was certain that they would recover as that is what the agent told them when they adopted the girls. Cherry recalls Maryann clawing the face of her foster mother, but being told that they just needed an adjusted home to come out of their trauma. Cherry believed them.
Before Maryann became a teen she was displaying terrible behavioral problems. She would lash out when she didn't get her way, violently, and would run away. She would set fires as well. When she was only 14 she asked a neighbor if he wanted to have sex with her. Cherry couldn't figure out what to do as they had given these girls a stable and loving home.
'It seems naive now but we did think time and lots of love would be enough,' she said.
Within a few years, Maryann would torture and burn another young woman, and was sentenced to 15-years in prison. Nicola also turned to crime and had even stolen from her own adoptive mother. The results of these crimes and the behavior of these "damaged" children has taken a toll on Cherry to the point that she and her husband split and she even suffered a stroke at one point.
Nature or nurture?
That's what this all boils down to, essentially. Cherry found out that the mother of these two girls was recently sentenced to prison for a horrendous crime of a similar nature, but the details of this are sealed. Some people believe that a child is the product of his or her environment and others believe that their traits are hardwired in their genes. It truly seems apparent that this Maryann child certainly inherited some concrete traits which even a loving home and stable environment (allegedly) didn't help her.
The mother in this story wants parents to take this story as a warning when it comes to adopting what she calls "damaged" kids. It certainly does seem like one hell of a warning story, but do you buy it? Do you think that maybe something else was going on in her marriage or home that affected the growth and rehabilitation of these "damaged" girls? What's more: She refers to them as "damaged" kids, so could that be an indicator of how she looked to them and treated them in the home? There are a lot of variables to consider, so it seems that maybe adoption and motherhood wasn't the best option for this woman, but on the other hand it also seems like these children would have gone on to commit crimes regardless of who adopted them.
Crime analyst and profiler Chelsea Hoffman can be found on The Huffington Post, Chelsea Hoffman: Case to Case and many other outlets. Follow @TheRealChelseaH on Twitter or click here to contact Chelsea directly.