I wish we hadn’t adopted them. There, I’ve finally said it. I wish they’d never been adopted. It’s something adoptive parents think about often, but never say. The outside world expects us to be the happy smiling picture of family perfection. The outside world cannot understand that our greatest joy was their greatest grief. I wish we had never adopted our children because I wish they had never experienced that first loss. That primal wound. I wish they never had to experience the trauma that they carry to this day.
Creating our family has been the biggest joy in my life. It’s the most fulfilling and wonderful endeavor I’ve ever undertaken. It’s also the hardest. It’s hard to watch them suffer through their grief. Our greatest joy comes from their greatest pain.
No matter the level of abuse or neglect a child experiences, they are hard-wired to love and depend on their birth parents. Losing that relationship, regardless of how toxic it was, is the most painful loss a child can experience. I believe that all children love their birth parents. I believe that all birth parents love their children to the best of their abilities. Don’t we all love our children and do for them whatever we are able?
Unfortunately, for my kids, their birth parents truly were not able. It wasn’t a question of love it was a question of substance abuse and mental health concerns. It was physical abuse and neglect. It’s easy to look at all of the missed birthdays and visits and think their birth mother didn’t try. I think often she couldn’t try because she had too many problems of her own.
If I could wave a magic wand I would give them everything they have ever wanted. They would have never come into the foster care system. They would never have had to split up and move from place to place. They wouldn’t have experienced trauma and loss. They would have remained in a home that was stable with a stable birth mom that met their needs. Even if it meant I would never get to be “mom” to the best kids on earth, I would do it if I could.
Why? Because it isn’t about me. I’m a mom. It’s about my kids.
I would do it if I could, but I can’t. That is not something that I can give to them. I can give them a loving home. I can give them safety, permanancy, and love. Maybe it will never make up for what should have been or could have been in their lives.
However, it will make me whole and happy and fulfilled. They are everything I could have ever wanted. Therefore, I’m the lucky one. My husband and I got the best part of this deal.
We are the “lucky” ones.