Dear Adoptive Mom Who Chose To Disrupt,
I want to begin by saying "I'm sorry". I'm sorry for every judgmental word or thought I've entertained towards you. I have not walked in your shoes and I only know snippets. I'm sorry for the criticism you've endured, to your face and behind your back. I'm sorry for every stone-faced greeting you receive in church. I'm sorry for the isolation that has been your life since bringing home your son/daughter.
Making the decision to disrupt an adoption comes at a steep cost. If you're fortunate, those closest to you will understand and be supportive. I hope you have that. I hope you've found support from the moment you brought this child into your home. It's hard to be transparent when your adoptive child is difficult. After all. you don't want to cast a bad light on adoption. But people need to know that few parents do this on a whim; Most have agonized for months and exhausted every available option. You tried counseling (that was a joke). You poured hundreds of dollars into therapies and treatments, which provided temporary changes. You have placed him/her into institutions, but it doesn't last due to their violence. You were left physically, emotionally and financially broken. Through it all, you have looked into the eyes of a child you worked so incredibly hard to bring into your family. Perhaps you crossed the ocean to provide a family for this precious life. You certainly emptied a few pens of their ink, filling out endless paperwork. And now the paperwork continues as you, yet again, have to explain why you made the painful decision to disrupt. You feel as though the very paper and ink revile you.
You are misunderstood at every turn. People commonly say snide things like, "I didn't know you could return them like a can of soup." or "Geez. The kid's already been through Hell. Why not dig the knife a little deeper." or "What part of 'parenting them as your own' confuses you? You don't just give them away when it's hard. You wouldn't do that to a biological child." None of those people know you. Please don't let them define you. You don't need further condemnation. You've already condemned yourself a thousand times.
Instead we need to be saying "I know this has been horrible for all of you. How is ________ (the child) doing? How are you doing? What do you need? How can I pray for you? Want to grab coffee next week?"
So, sweet mama, I know there will always be a part of your heart intertwined with a child that is no longer yours. I know you feel grief and guilty relief when you see their empty spot at the table and wonder what else possibly could have been done. I want you to know that I'm doing my best to help others understand you are not a bad mom. Please tell me what else I can do.