The boys always have a hard few days after visits. I was really bummed, thinking it would ruin our first Christmas together. I was thinking of them, and wanting it to be special. I was also being selfish. I really struggle with patience on visit days. It makes my heart hurt so much for them. I feel helpless, and upset they have to go through the emotional stress. I can't give any details of the case... but, CPS doesn't get involved unless they need to. So the stress of remembering their past, and then being removed from their birth mother again, and back to us.. it's all very hard and confusing for them. Needless to say, planning to send them off Christmas Eve morning made my heart ache. I miss them dearly when they are gone for the day. I worry about them, and I absolutely hate not being there to help them cope, calm them down, and protect them. Visits are a huge area I need to grow in.
Turns out, CPS got approval to close their office tomorrow. Which means, no visit for the boys!! Our family will be whole for the holidays. We are thrilled and honored to have these boys with us.
Which leads me to the point of this blog... adoption loss is real, it's hard, and it should not be overlooked. Everyone involved in this has experienced loss. We began this journey with infertility (loss), birth mothers experience great loss in mothering their kids, and adoptees lose family. fact. While the gains are obvious.. the loss is often overlooked.
We are in a healthy place with infertility, but it is still a loss. It still hurts. It is a hurt I will never forget. The emotions early on were so strong I can almost taste them. It sounds weird, but when I remember the doctor visits, the negative pregnancy tests, the charts, the medication.. I get a taste in my mouth, I can't swallow, and I get sick to my stomach. The kind of sick that takes your breath away. The feeling doesn't last long, and doesn't happen near as often as it used to. For us, grieving infertility and choosing adoption were two different things. We LOVE adoption. We are also still infertile, going on seven and a half years. I know loss, I'm not grateful we've been unable to conceive. I am thankful for the Lord's goodness. I'm thankful for learning to grieve with hope. I'm thankful for the family I have. I'm thankful I'm an adoptive mom. I'm thankful I'm a foster mom.
I pray all of our kids (lord willing we will have several!) are proud of their adoption. Carson already loves his adoption story, but he is young and will have harder questions as he's older. Not every adoptee is the same, not every adoptee will struggle the same, but they will all have questions. They all have loss. "Adoption loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful." Reverend Keith C. Griffith. Adoption loss is confilicting. While I'm not sure I agree with the word victim, I agree with the spirit of the quote. Grateful for the loss, yes and no. Without the loss we wouldn't have Carson, or the boys... Grateful to belong to a loving family, yes. Grateful for their adoption, I sure hope so. But, grateful they were removed from the only family they've known? no. Grateful for the trauma they had to endure as babies, absolutely not. So perhaps we don't insist they be grateful for everything.. how about we ask them how they feel, listen, and bravely support them as they work through their losses and their gains.
I think of Kim every day. We text often, and I will never fully understand how much she misses her son. I know she believes in her choice, she's proud of the parents we are to him, and she loves us and him very much. And I love her. I love her so much, I hurt for her. This is a strange thing to navigate, but it is good and beautiful. She chose us and we love her for that. It's hard and emotional, but it's also easy in a way. We have a relationship with her I pray helps Carson deal with the loss.
Flip over to the boys birth mother. This is ridiculously hard for me to navigate. I am so happy the boys don't have a visit. I am thankful every day we get to spend with them. I really hope we are able to adopt them. I believe it's what's best for the boys. I really do. Having said that, I can't help but hurt for her. My heart breaks for her. Her phone was disconnected, she was not informed the offices are closed. If she shows up to find nobody is there, I can only imagine the hurt and rejection she will feel. It's Christmas Eve and she will be alone. She will not have her children with her. I know she hurts and misses her boys. She continues to make poor choices, and for that I don't think she should be allowed to mother them; but, she is their birth mother. Holidays will no doubt amplify this loss for her. I continue to pray she gets the helps she needs. For her sake, and for the boys. I would love to be able to tell my sons (hopefully) their mother turned her life around. In a situation where our boys have already lost so much, their birth mother, their innocence, their trust... I'm thankful to be a part of their healing, and I hope to be the person to help them navigate the loss and celebration of their adoption.
There are many complex layers to adoption. Please ask me to coffee, look through my posts, or stay tuned for many more posts if you want to know all the many many thoughts I have about it. Adoption is absolutely something we celebrate in this house. We love it, every single part of it. I just happen to be discussing the loss aspect tonight. Adoption is not possible without loss.
I'm thankful for those of you who take time to read this. Blessings to you and yours. Merry Christmas.