Today is tax day (dear IRS, I have a lot of kids. Where is my refund?).
But, it’s also a special day for us adoptive parents. Have you heard about this story? Who hasn’t, right? A seven-year-old is put on a plane ALONE to his birth country of Russia just six months after being adopted by a woman in Tennessee. Not good. It has created a veritable crap storm for U.S. parents trying to adopt from Russia. Russia, rightfully so, is wondering what the heck is going on in adoptive homes in the U.S. They have suspended adoptions to the U.S. Sad that so many will pay for the mistake of one desperate mom. Yes, I said it, the way she went about it was a mistake. Yes, I said the way she went about it, not what she did. It was a mistake to stick a traumatized seven-year-old on a plane and send him back to a place where he was institutionalized. It’s sad that she didn’t know that there is a little community of us out here with older, traumatized adopted children. I receive SO much support when I write about the things my kids go through as they learn to become part of our family.
The part that wasn’t a mistake was disrupting. I don’t really consider this a disruption, because she didn’t place the child into another home in the U.S. But, had she, it would have been understandable. I have known people who have had to disrupt their adoption. Who the heck an I to judge? There are very few people who have seen me at my parenting worst (FPD, Kara, Raelynn, my mom). They supported me through the roughest part of transitioning to actually feeling like I am “mom” to these strangers that have just been handed to me. They didn’t judge. They just supported. If you think you can’t handle it, get help. If you still can’t handle it, we’re here to lift you up, not tear you down. Please don’t put your child back on a plane. We’re here to help.
Today is the day that JCICS has declared for all of us to be able to tell the truth about our adoptions. My truth is this… adopting older children is REALLY freakin’ hard. They’re angry, they’re resentful, they’ll tell you they don’t love you. BUT, when you finally break through and get to watch them shine, it’s just about the best feeling in the world. Nothing could make me prouder than the little people who call me “mom”, even the ones who have only done it for a few weeks. I won’t lie to you and tell you that when I heard about the Tennessee mom that I didn’t think, “wow. I could TOTALLY load Bubbly up and ship her back”. Then, the crushing sadness of the thought of my life without her hit me and almost broke my heart. She’s my Bubbly. Even though she has been, and probably will always be, my heaviest little load to bear, I have to think that, someday, as I watch her walk down the aisle, or graduate college, that she will be the one that makes me the most proud. My truth is, I love my kids, more than any biological connection, more than words, and more than I ever could have imagined. No one should ever have to miss out on the opportunity that I have had.