People seldom outright ask what it is like to go through a disruption, but we do get asked some pretty pointed questions from time to time. Let me say right here that we don't mind these questions. I would much rather people ask, than assume.
Enough of that, here are some of the things that I wish someone else would have shared, so we would have had an idea what to expect while going through the process of disruption. However, I do realize every situation is different and every parent will experience their own particular emotions and triggers.
You will feel guilty, like a failure. I can't help but think, maybe we should have tried harder, or if we would have done xyz, things might have been different.
I am tempted to feel like I failed the Christian adoption world. We, who are supposed to be the hands and feet of Christ, to love the unlovable, turn around and disrupt an adoption? What about the Bible verse, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me?"
Do you know how many people will have the same name as the child who's adoption you disrupted? Seriously, I think B's name must be the most popular name in town. I know it isn't and I only think I hear it so often because it always stirs up memories.
You will hear a child scream and break out in a cold sweat, then an intense relief will wash over you, as you realize the child isn't your responsibility.
You will need to talk about what happened, especially if you are like me, and process things best by talking through them time and again.
When you sign the papers to relinquish your parental rights, you will have emotions unlike anything you have experienced before. I remember feeling like a criminal.
Odd things, like a shirt, hole in the wall or a notice with your child's name on it, will send you into spasms of tears, fear or both.
You will let your breath out and be able to relax for the first time since you realized what you were up against. Looking back you will be amazed at the level of hyper vigilance you needed to maintain to keep everyone safe. You will wonder how you ever did it.
You will feel a huge sense of loss, something you may not anticipate. I struggled with an inner pain I couldn't identify. Dean helped me realize I was grieving the loss of dreams, the loss of hope. Before the disruption, we always had hope that things would get better, now that hope is gone.
Depending upon the situation, you will have PTSD. You will remember things that happened. Things you had forgotten because your brain was protecting you by allowing you to "forget" while to you were putting all your energy and mental power into making it through each day.
You may feel cut adrift. I felt like I was laying down in surrender after giving everything I had to win a war. It felt wrong, like I was willingly giving in to the enemy.
You will feel relief, then feel guilty for feeling relieved.
You will wonder who you are. For years I was a "RAD mom." I had a close bond with other women who were in the trenches as well, suddenly I was no longer one of them, but who was I? I still find myself wondering who I really am.
You will be tired, oh so very tired. Even though B wasn't living at home prior to the disruption, the situation weighed heavily on our minds. If your child was at home prior to the disruption, the sudden lack of need for constant supervision, the need to out think and out smart the manipulative child, will leave you feeling exhausted.
Panic will wash over you when you realize you don't know where your child is and what he is doing. Just that quickly you will remember, and the relief that washes over you will leave you feeling dizzy.