Monday, May 1, 2017

To the Placing Parents in a Second Chance Adoption - A Letter To Parents Who Disrupt An Adoption

Disrupting an adoption is not something anyone ever dreams of when they adopt a child. It is an isolating, painful experience, one that calls into question your morals and everything you believe about adoption. Many times parents are condemned publicly when they make the decision to disrupt an adoption, but once in a while someone comes forward and offers hope and comfort instead of complicating the pain. 

A kind person wrote and sent this letter to the re adoption agency we used. I was thrilled to receive permission to share it on my blog.

To the Placing Parents in a Second Chance Adoption,
I know the pain you feel on a daily basis. You waited and waited for this day and now, you can’t understand why this child, who has lived with you for a long time now, still feels like a stranger in your home. Good days feel like you’re babysitting for a friend, who is never coming to get her child. There is no end in sight. Most days feel like you’re fighting a losing battle, never making any ground when it comes to the destructive behaviors your child is battling. One step forward, ten steps back.
You have worn out the knees in your pajamas, having asked the Lord so many times, “what am I doing wrong?”
 You have made the brave and difficult decision to place your adopted child in a secondary adoptive home and now, you have to endure the hurtful comments from complete strangers who have no idea what life is like for you. They know not the circumstances surrounding this decision. They certainly have not been in your shoes, for if they had, they would know that the heartbreak of losing a child is almost more than a parent can bear, lest it be compounded by the horrible words of others.
Friend, listen to these next words carefully. “This is not your choice.” A friend of mine recently faced the horrible decision of having to take her husband off life support. Her pre-teen daughter blames her for her father’s death. Was this her choice? No. There was no choice in the matter. Sure. She could have insisted that they keep him on life support, racking up millions of dollars in medical debt in order to preserve a life that was filled with pain and misery, or she could allow her husband’s time to be up, knowing the hope of Heaven. There was no choice here.
Likewise, this is not your choice. You have done so much for your adopted child. Those first few months of adjustment are difficult enough, but you threw yourselves into them. The fanfare of finally getting that child home to you was over within what felt like seconds. Rejoicing quickly turned into sleepless nights, terrors, tantrums, hoarding, stealing, biting, kicking and screaming. You knew this would happen. You were trained for this. You pray it’s short-lived. You commit yourself to getting through this with your child and helping him heal. You know it’s what God has called you to do. You quit your job to stay at home with him. You spend your days at occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, behavioral therapy, ESL classes, doctor appointments, IEP meetings and extra-curricular activities to help him build friendships.
You see enormous progress at school and with friends. All of your friends think he’s just the cutest little thing. They assure you that he is such a great kid and is doing so well for having such a tough start in life, but they didn’t see you and your husband cradling him like a baby trying to keep him from hurting himself as he raged last night. They haven’t seen the hundreds of tear-stained pages in your prayer journal. They haven’t seen the havoc this sweet child has wreaked upon your marriage and how much your other children are suffering through this disruption to their family.
 No, ignorant bystanders, this is not about other children in the family being selfish. This is about their well-being being threatened too, sometimes physically, sometimes psychologically, usually, both.
What you, the parent who has loved this child through thick and thin and let down your guard so you can throw yourself into loving this child like your own, understands is that this is not your choice because this is not what is best for your child. This life? It’s not what is best for him. Is it best for him to be in a situation in which he can hurt other children so deeply that he scars them for life? He also has to live with the choices he makes. Is it best for him to be in a family of [in his mind] villains who stole him from everything he knew? There are some wounds that time will not heal.
 So, placing parents, the same way much of society applauds a woman who has chosen life for her baby, but loves that child enough to know that she can’t give him the life that is best for him, so bravely places her child in an adoptive home, we ought to be applauding your bravery too.
I have not been in your shoes; however, I have been a foster mother who hoped to adopt a child placed in our home. It wasn’t the right fit and our family had to say, “goodbye” to the boy who we threw ourselves into loving like our own.
When you place your child for a second chance, you are suffering a loss for which there is no script. Very few understand that kind of pain. You have lost your child. You grieve that loss like a death, but there is very little support. Very few people understand that this was not your choice.
This was not your choice.
You may not be the right family for this child permanently, but you were the right family for a time. He needed you. You have done the hardest of hard. You have poured yourself into a child who may never understand or appreciate any of it and then, you did what only the bravest can do—you put your child’s needs ahead of your own. You endured heartbreaking judgment and private pain that never ends so your child could have a life that you could not give him. That, my friends, is the stuff heroes are made of!

I pray the author will be blessed for writing such a beautiful letter. It says all the things I couldn't find the words for.
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