Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Ugly D Word, Disruption

I have worked this over and over and over and one more time over again in my head. Still, I feel there is no easy way to write about this subject. If ever there was a hot spot in the adoption world it will come when you hear the word, "disruption." Hello Trolls, I'm glad you found me today. I figured that word would bring you to me here.

I'm going to put my heart out here for you on this. Most of you know my story. If you are new, the short version is that almost three years ago we entered adoption with the adoption of our son, almost a year ago I headed to China to bring home our two daughters. Blind, they were blind and as far as I knew, a little delayed from institutionalization. Daughter one was placed in my arms and she surpassed my expectations while still being very fragile and very delayed and needy. Daughter two came one week later and my precious, longed for daughter who walked in videos and had language skills, slumped into my arms and growled. I chose not to disrupt. I had no idea how we would do this, all while desperately grieving the loss of the girl from the videos. I chose to verbally affirm that I wanted her, that I would never leave her. She was mine.

But I thought about it in that 24 hour harmonious period. I really did. I didn't think I could do this, not at all. In this last year I have discovered that the mind is a fragile thing. I never thought mine was weak until this year. I never thought of myself as fragile, and yet I found myself confessing those very words to my husband this year. It has been a struggle to get through some of the days. But one step at a time we have made it and I regret nothing. I adore my children, all of them. 

I strive to be gracious in my words and I know moms who have disrupted in country and moms who have adopted their children to new homes stateside. There are circumstances I have heard that you would never believe, but court documents prove their truth. When it comes to choosing to disrupt or not, to re-adopt or not I believe there are hard choices surrounding everyone. 

And I have been asked what my thoughts are. So, here goes nothing.

If you have disrupted, know this, I want to hug you, have coffee with you, pray with you. I know you are in pain, that this was not an easy choice, that your heart was broken, that you have your reasons that I know nothing of and I hope I can speak with kindness and grace. I am not writing this to you, although I am sure it may feel that way. 

I'm going to speak to those coming behind all of us. There is no point in throwing a stone at the past. It's gone, but tomorrow is still coming and planes are landing on the other side of the world with scared parents. The next adopters, this is for you. 

Disruption hurts a child while saving an adult. One can protect themselves, one cannot. One can make a choice and one has never known choices.  A child who has known nothing but loss, now knows one more. One more pain, one more rejection to add one more crack to their broken hearts. I can justify the decision for you in my mind. Yes, you save yourself and possibly other children in your home. But what about the one left alone? Who is saving that one? That is where I can no longer stamp approval on it. Maybe someone else will be a better match. But maybe not. Who is to say you aren't the last one coming for that child? Who is to say that your fragility is more important than theirs?

Maybe you are there right now. You have 24 hours. That's it. I know your fear. I can still feel it in my own skin when I remember my own 24 hours. My own heart can't remember how to beat correctly when I think back to that time. I know your fear. I know your questions. I know your aching pain, your loss of every dream. I know the future is just a minefield. Still I say to you, don't do this. Say yes, please just say yes. 

What if you move forward and have the hardest next year of your life? What if it never gets better? What if your entire family suffers? Here is what I need to say to you. You should have discussed this first. Are you willing to allow your current children to suffer for another child? Are you willing to lose your entire life? What if medical expenses leave you bankrupt? Discuss. Discuss. Discuss! Know your choice and make it well. There are no guarantees in adoption. You have no guarantee that your child's file will match said child. You have no guarantee that they can walk, talk, live a healthy life.

But neither do you have that guarantee when you give birth. I am towing a wiggling line here and I know it. But listen to my words. Adoptees are not second class children. Yet, they are treated as such with every disruption. They are not puppies in a shopping mall. Humanity should not get to treat them as such. We are talking about the oppressed, the hurting, the weak ones here.

Jesus, help us to be brave, because we aren't. 

When did autism/handicaps/mental delays become a reason that a child cannot have your home, your family? When you sign that LOA, or equal documents in other programs, you better have your heart ready for the "come what may." Treat them as your biological child from the very moment your pen stroke ends your signature. Say no right then, or never consider it again. Get on that plane, and come what may bring that baby home. You will survive this. You will. One day, one moment, one expense at a time you will make it work. 

I am not so foolish as to believe that even I would not make exceptions to this. As I stated, there are stories I have heard that I can hardly wrap my head around. My own exception is going to be that if your life or your children's lives will be at risk, don't do this. Yes, walk away. As much as my stomach rolls at the thoughts that brings to mind, I would say to you, "walk away." 

I have no crystal ball here. I can't tell you what your future will look like. But history tells me theirs. Perhaps there is no good choice. Perhaps it is a choice between two evils. Choose them anyways.

***Dear Trolls, I'm glad you read this. I have no desire to be any part of your hate. Any and all comments are moderated and calling any particular situation out simply won't make the cut. Comments filled with hate can stay right on your own screen, cause they certainly won't be on mine. Find a way to speak the truth strongly but kindly or expand your vocabulary.***


  1. Not a troll. Actually, a huge supporter of adoptions. I followed the your pick-up trips and felt the pain you experienced. I wept at the loss of the "dancing daughter", who was no longer dancing. I prayed and prayed again. You are brave and strong...afraid and fragile. But, you Believe in a Father who will be with you through thick n' thin. I so admire your love for all of your babes. I've read your words when times were really tough. And, also seen photos of the joy that your children bring. I am happy for the girls you call daughters. That you followed through with the plans & promises you made, both before, during & after the adoptions.

    Having said all of that, I do believe that there are times when re-adoption is really necessary. And, NOT for the parents or children already in the home. It seems to mostly be older children, who once home just don't meet up to the expectations of the parents. I follow a few blogs where I see these children suffer, mostly silently. They try so hard and just never get it right. I see the shame and fear in the photos. These former orphans know better than anyone, when they are not loved. Not truly accepted and a part of the family unit. That is heart wrenching to see. Those children. Those children deserve to be in a family where they ARE loved and valued. And, the parent(s) need to seriously take a look at how they are causing more damage to an already deeply injured child. I read of so many who are searching for the "correct diagnosis". For a place that child can go to be fixed. They are the ones you spoke about in your post...the ones who did not prepare, who never looked at the possibility that the child may always need to be cared for. May not be able to live on their own. I feel that it is a loving person who recognizes that they cannot/will not/don't want to provide that long-term care. That lets that child go to a family who will love and accept them. I kind of compare it to a pregnant woman who chooses life for the baby who has been diagnosed with some health issue, rather than aborting it. They love that child enough to carry it to term and then allow another family to adopt that baby.

    Only my thoughts, not to be judged as right or wrong. Just my thoughts and beliefs. Thank You, for allowing a platform to talk about this often taboo subject.

    1. I agree with your response. I have unfortunately seen and dealt with a family who simply quit, didn't care about the child who was now theirs. There was no effort to do better and in my opinion it was cruel and that child needs more. It's a broken world with hard choices and sometimes tragic choices have to be made. I wish it wasn't so. ever.

  2. Oh, how much this needed to be said! When we were in the process we talked often about how we would accept the child we were referred and it was scary to say that. Because what if something was "wrong" with her? But then again, there are never any guarantees in life and who's to say that we might give birth to a child with medical or mental health problems? We certainly wouldn't leave it behind at the hospital. We felt that adoption was the same kind of commitment. I am 100% behind you on this!

  3. thanks for sharing, Katie! I love seeing Christ in your heart.