Saturday, December 23, 2017

Adoption = Bittersweet Moments & Memories

"Welcome to our family Kiana Faith! Her adoption is over and she is ours!!! Thank you Jesus! All that work and time only to have the court proceedings over in about three minutes. Thanks to all who came to show your support."

This came up in my FB memories today and suddenly things became clearer! Kiana had a good week about a month ago giving us hope that maybe things were getting better but then it all crashed and crashed hard, leaving me sorting through the mishmash of clues trying to find a common denominator. I was sure something was causing this angst, insecurity, self loathing and rage, but what? 

There was a time when I would have never forgotten that an adoption anniversary was coming up. I had placement dates, final visit dates, adoption dates, all our CPS trauma dates as well as the dates when B went to TAP, the date we made final plans for his future as well as his re adoption date all down. If someone was having a particularly rough time of it, I mentally went over those dates to see if any coincided with the child's meltdown, if so, I had my answer. Anymore, our family has so many trauma dates that I live from day to day and forget half of them.

This is a side of adoption that is rarely focused on. We rejoice when a child is placed with a family who will love and nurture them. We celebrate adoptions (and rightly so!) but fail to acknowledge the flip side, that of pain and loss.

I pulled out Kiana's photo album and she has been poring over it, reading the captions and looking with longing eyes at the photo's of her birth parents. This is another aspect of adoption that is rarely talked about - the longing for birth parents. Many people feel threatened when their child expresses a desire to have a relationship with their birth parents but Dean and I choose to embrace that desire and do what we can to make it possible. 

We love Kiana dearly but we know there will always be a piece of her heart that she reserves for her birth parents and that is good and right. As we explained to her last night, "The Bible says a mother will never forget her baby. We also know that children never forget their birth parents." That seemed to comfort her a wee bit. Sometimes when we are having life changing discussions with our children about things we have never experienced and as a result feel out of our depth, Dean and I are constantly praying for the right words because the wrong ones could have such a painful impact on our children. 

Bittersweet is the perfect word to describe adoption. Bitter because of the circumstances necessitating adoption and sweet for the awesome privilege calling another parents child our own. 

Kiana's adoption announcements:

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