Betsy was adopted herself as a newborn and her and her husband have adopted internationally and attempted to adopt through foster care. She has a lot of experience on all fronts, and has published a lot of great posts recently in regards to adoption. You can check out her blog here.
A Guest Post From Betsy
These two words do not belong in the same sentence, I know. It doesn’t make sense that you would work so hard, fight so long and go through so much to add a child to your family and then disrupt the adoption–or give the child up, nullifying the adoption. To say that this doesn’t make sense is an understatement. But, it happens. Sometimes, it needs to happen. If you know someone facing this decision, all I want you to take away from this is: PLEASE, please don’t judge them. Love them, tell them you don’t understand, but that you support them (even if you don’t support their decision) anyway.
I don’t expect anyone who has never thought about disruption to understand anything about it. The good news, is that you are lucky, so extremely lucky and blessed if you don’t understand anything about disruption. It is ugly, it is painful, it is heart breaking and gut wrenching. It leaves an empty space that is unable to be filled and the worst part is that no one understands and nearly everyone judges. The people who love you most will throw the biggest stones and it is not fair. It is not fair that when you are grieving the loss of a child, the outside world is just cruel.
To many on the outside, it seems like you gave up, walked away, didn’t want to deal with it anymore and that you chose to lose your child, so why would they feel badly for you or have patience for you to grieve that loss?!? And, in some disruptions all of that may be true, but it is in a small few and the majority of disruptions are the last possible option–meaning, there are NO OTHER OPTIONS. None, not one. Separating is it. For the health and safety of all involved, sometimes disruption is the only option and this is only discovered after everything else has been tried, everything.
Therapy has been tried–possibly more than one type with more than one therapist just to see if some other expert could help. Medications have been tried. God has been screamed at and begged of. Special schooling has been tried. Having the child attend respite care for an extended period has been tried. Specialists have been brought in on the conversation and even that has failed. Sometimes, a child and a family are just not safe and healthy under the same roof. Sometimes siblings are not safe and healthy in the same home. This does not indicate a lack of love or a lack of effort. Past abuse and past trauma can just be too much to overcome in certain circumstances.
If you have ever considered disruption and come back from the brink of that, you are my hero. If you think you would never, ever consider disruption and can’t even stomach the thought of it, consider yourself blessed for never having had to deal with a situation that would bring you to the point of considering adoption disruption. If you have ever gone through a disruption and you know the grief I am talking about, there are some of us who “get it”. We even understand that there are moments of relief mixed in with that grief and not everyone will judge you. Just find those you can be safe with and pour your soul out to them. For everyone out there, please don’t judge. Unless you have walked a mile in these very specific shoes, there is no possible way you can even know the complexities involved in making a decision to disrupt an adoption.
Betsy showed a lot of vulnerability in opening up in this way. Send me your thoughts on this topic, but please be kind. Pretend like it's not the internet, and you are sending messages to an actual person.