Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Failed Adoption

Warning: This is not a shiny happy post about Christmas cookies or Advent wreathes. I'll try to get to that next week when things are (hopefully) calmer.

So I mostly don't blog about kids and adoption and adoption issues. And even now, I'm not going to run through the litany of reasons why one of our adoptions has failed so totally. I'm just going to say right out here in public that it has. Debra Gray talks in Attaching In Adoption about adoptions that have failed but still exist in a legal sense. They are more common than you would ever dream. Most parents who have lived through it just don't talk about them. The kids grow up and move out, everyone is relieved, and questions from others are answered in vague ways. The kids find a series of new parents who are sure that they can succeed where others failed. The new parents judge the legal parents as selfish, cold hearted, and cruel. At least until they are in the position of finding themselves lied to, manipulated, stolen from, and generally used.  But when they start setting firm personal boundaries, it all blows up and a new set of kind strangers is found.

As miserable as the entire scenario is,  there is a great deal of relief when everyone finally calls a spade a spade and the pretending can stop. We're there. It's sad and yet, it's a gift. The freedom to look reality in the eye and just deal with it instead of maintaining a polite fiction and having every (supposedly) pleasant event in the cycle of the year overshadowed by guilt and ugliness is a bittersweet kind of joy and I am grateful for it.
I am grateful for the people who are currently and will in the future designate themselves substitute parents for the extremely damaged people with whom I'm unable to handle any relationship. I wish them all well- happiness, health, prosperity, salvation, a complete renewal and a joyful life. I just have to admit that they must have that life away from me and mine. One may forgive the person who harms without wanting them across the table every holiday. Some people can manage more but I'm not that special. I need to keep myself sane and healthy and fully functional to raise the kids for whom we are still responsible- and to protect those kids from negative influences or from being victimized.

If you know me (or the kids in question) and you just don't get it, consider reading some blogs where other parents have the courage to lay it all out there. Cindy  has been doing this longer and on a larger scale than I have and it's nice to know that I'm not the only one out there with PTSD- she's just nicer than I am.

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