I’ve wanted to adopt children since I was a small child, so I feel more than prepared for the adoption process. What I wasn’t prepared for—what I couldn’t ever imagine—was having to decline the adoption of a child.
Unfortunately, we’ve had to make that choice three times in this process, once about a month ago, once about 3 months ago, and once about 6 months ago. All—for different reasons—were the most heartbreaking decisions we’ve ever had to make, however this last one took me out at the knees for about a month; I was definitely in mourning and just unable to even talk about it for a while. I shut myself off from all my online presences to just try to give myself time to get through it.
I decided I would share our story in the hopes that it might help other adoptive-parents-to-be who may be going through a similar experience, or to inform others considering adoption on challenges they may face in the process, especially if they are open to a wider range of children, issues, and openness with birth parents. As we have found out, being more open absolutely means that you may be facing much more difficult situations. With adoption already a bit of an endurance race, you need to be as ready as you can be.
In sharing this, I do want to make a point: I am choosing to share this information because we are not able to adopt these children. However, we did not share the children's background with others when we thought we could make them our own.
This is a point that I am passionate on: It is incredibly important that the child's story remains private until it is the right time to talk with him or her about it. Not only might a child be stigmatized by their start in life (being exposed to drugs prenatally, for instance, might make everyone think "something must be wrong with him!"), but someone also might say something to the child before you would wish them to, which can be very harming to him or her. It's important that the child is allowed to be whoever they are intended to be, free of whatever rough start they might have had in life, and that you are able to share their story with them in the best possible way at the right time.
With all of that said, here goes.
In order to make it easier to read, I’ve broken the stories down into two posts (I am only including two of the three for now). Feel free to read one or both.
And, if you are dealing with an adoption issue yourself and need support, feel free to reach out. There are a lot of us out there, but it is a journey that feels very lonely at times. I am happy to help be a resource for support.
Even better—if you have a SUCCESS story or a HAPPY story, please do share it! I really could use some good outcome stories right about now!