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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Grieving The Loss Of A Child Who Is Still Alive

"One of the hardest things you will ever do, my dear, is to grieve the loss of a person who is still alive."

     I am a member of a support group for parents who have disrupted an adoption. One member shared this quote and I immediately knew I wanted to share it on my FB page. But as I was going through the day, I got to thinking it would make a good blog post as I have yet to read anything on how to grieve the loss of your child, while he is still alive.

    Adoption disruption is similar to a death in some ways. Granted in disruption you "chose" to go through with it while you do not choose to loose your child through death. Everything I have read on grief after loss is so familiar the grief, numbness, sense of loss, anger, guilt and sorrow mentioned have been very much a part of our journey.

    Can you grieve for someone whom you spent years trying to love? Can you grieve the loss of a child when you have literally cried buckets of tears, begged, pleaded and yes, even bargained with God to please, please help you love him? The pint sized being who spit in your face, urinated on your floors and screamed for hours on end all because you said something as simple as, "Thank you for picking up your toys." Why would you grieve the loss of that?

Can you grieve the loss of chaos....

...The lack of fear that your child is going to lie and CPS will come knocking on your door?

The lack of judgement from well meaning people who have no clue... 

Is it possible to grieve no longer having to swallow the bile that rises in your throat when someone says they wish they could adopt a child as sweet as your child...how could you grieve something like that.

BUT....

If the chaos is gone, so is the child and so is all hope of healing..

If CPS isn't knocking on your door, then obviously no one is emotionally ill enough to make false accusations, neither is the child who needed your help to heal...

No judgement, means the child isn't in your home to bring it about....

No bile... no chaos... no CPS.... no child.... only grief, and how on earth can you process that grief, when you were unable to process the push-pull relationship your RAD child insisted upon? When you aren't even sure WHAT you are grieving?

  The answer it seems, is to separate the child from his actions but quite honestly, anyone who has a child with RAD will tell you that is well nigh impossible. Attachment disorder yes, full blown RAD however is quite another story.

 So how do you grieve, what do you grieve, should you grieve?

I grieve or maybe process, would be a better term, by talking. The trouble is, adoption disruption is one of those things people don't feel comfortable talking about. I have found that the mention of B's name is all it takes to bring a momentary halt to every conversation in the room. 

    The problem is, those of us who disrupted an adoption need to talk if we are going to heal. That is how God designed us, but what is there to say about the child that used to be yours, the child who now calls another woman mommy? The child with whom you have only a handful of good memories but who was your child nevertheless? It gets old talking about the bad times but for many of us, we have only a small handful of good memories. Remembering those good moments is hard while going over the bad moments can be devastating. So we grieve the child who could still be ours if we hadn't disrupted the adoption, all the while feeling so thankful that those dark days are behind us...

....how can you feel both grief and relief at the same time?





   
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