adoption, family, fostercare, parenting

Why I Wish We Hadn’t Adopted Our Children


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.



20 thoughts on “Why I Wish We Hadn’t Adopted Our Children

  1. Beautiful! We have adopted 3 children from Foster care and I could relate to every word written in this blog! Thank you for sharing your heart and your honesty! No body truly understands unless they too have experienced the journey of Adoption. God is good….and I wrote a blog called “it’s complicated but it’s worth it” and everyday this stands true for me and our family!


  2. Mable says:

    I beg to differ—not every child loves his or her biological parent and not every parent loves it offspring. The best thing that ever happened to me was to get away from parents who gave me to others to be sexually abused. There are evil people in the world and some kids get them as parents.


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  4. Anyone who chooses to love a child that for whatever reason is not their by birth i.e. adoption, foster, new marriage is an angel i know I have the best step dad/dad in the world. It has not always been easy for us both and yet I know deep in my bones the love and scarifices taken to bring me up. You do deeply powerful and loving work xx


  5. I was just wondering, in regards to the childs natural mother missing birthdays and things…did you ever reach out to her with compassion and support? Maybe she wants to but is scared, its so complicated. I admire your strength and adopting children that needed homes and not perpetuating the abuse of expectant mothers by the highly profitable newborn adoption industry.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading. How kind of you to comment. Yes, my husband and I have tried. Her older biological children have also tried. She is very against contact with anyone from her “old life.” Unfortunately, this is the point she is at emotionally. Addiction is very hard on people. I’m sure she carries a tremendous amount of hurt and guilt. In all honesty, she did not have the support and resources that our children have had when she was growing up. Trauma begets trauma and that cycle is hard to break. I hope someday she heals enough to be able to accept compassion and support. I don’t think I can blame her for being angry at all. I do wish she wouldn’t take it out on Marcus, though. He just really wants his mom and he’s only 18.


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  7. Such an honest and true post. I can relate to everything you wrote. Adopted kids come from loss and pain, and I wish they didn’t even if this means never have met my beautiful son. Birth parents are often seen as the bad people. I truly believe my son’s birth parents loved him, but their abilities to look after him weren’t enough. I’m the lucky one to have met my son, but it breaks my heart thinking that all my luck comes from a place of pain and loss. Wonderful post. XX


  8. This is really amazing and humbling to me. Your compassion and perspective is inspiring. I confess I struggle a lot with feeling sorry for myself because this isn’t how I pictured motherhood, and I envy my friends who don’t have the struggles we do. And in my own selfishness, it’s so easy to forget that my child is acting out the way she is because her pain is so deep and she can’t sort out why and I can’t relate to it. This was a wonderful reminder to me. I needed to hear this. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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