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Saturday, April 1, 2017

How To Encourage A Family Who Has Disrupted An Adoption

When we disrupted B's adoption I craved empathy, I longed for a shoulder to cry on and cherished the words, "I am praying for you." Many people find it hard to relate to someone who has disrupted an adoption and rightly so, disruption is a complex thing. Something that is not easily understood even by the people who are doing the disrupting!

I remember wishing we could have a memorial service of sorts for our son because it felt like he had died....except he hadn't. Our dreams were dead, empty things now that we knew our little boy wouldn't thrive in our home and how that hurt! I remember sitting in our camper at Penn Valley (a conservative christian adoption retreat) and feeling bitter and angry about our situation. I felt like nobody understood, here was a group of people celebrating adoption and we were deep in the pain of disruption. I heartily wished we had just stayed home. I called a friend who has walked a similar path and poured out my heart to her. She assured me of her prayers and as we talked, she guided me into a better frame of mind. 

God heard and answered her prayers and that afternoon through a God ordained event, I was blessed to have a group of friends encircle me while I cried. Having someone come alongside you when you are in deep emotional pain is priceless. Those tears were the beginning of a long path to healing, something that is still a work in progress.

Why do I share this? Because I am becoming aware of just how many family's are out there facing disruption all alone. Many parents make the decision to disrupt not because they are mean or vindictive, or even because they are tired of living the restricted lifestyle necessary when parenting children with intense behaviors. They disrupt because they truly believe the child will do better in another family. Perhaps the child needs a fresh start, many of these children make life very miserable for their family and when they begin to heal, some are unable to move past what happened. Other family's run out of money, some have younger children whom their child preys upon, still others are in poor health due to years of stress and chaos. These parents love their children, in fact they love them enough to lay aside their desire's and focus instead on what is best for their child.

Chances are good that you will come in contact with a family who has disrupted an adoption sometime and when that happens, offer your support. It may not make sense to you but that is okay, we don't have to agree with the choices others make in order to support them. A hug, gift, note or a few words of encouragement may be what makes the day bearable for a family who has made a decision that they never dreamed they would have to make.
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