Friday, July 3, 2009

Blogging About Adoption: Adopter's Guilt

I'm ready to admit that I struggle with blogging about adoption, and the struggle surprises me. I have no mixed feelings to get in my way... no ongoing grief or frustration to impede me. In fact, I have been twice-blessed with adoptions that exceeded even my wildest hopes. Twice-blessed with healthy newborns adopted domestically after meeting their birth mothers, who are two of the most fabulous young women on the planet, and an adoption attorney who is compassionate, wise, and professionally impeccable. No drama. No trauma. No hardship worth counting, other than financial, and that burden is universal among adoptive parents.

So, what's my problem? I've thought about it a lot, and I finally realize my "problem" is exactly that I have been twice-blessed with adoptions that exceeded even my wildest hopes. I call it Adopter's Guilt.

My "problem" is that when I go on the website of the adoption agency we used, I see faces and faces and faces of people waiting to adopt, eager to adopt, some desperate to adopt. Some of these faces I know personally, others I know from reading their profiles online. Though their smiling pictures beam, "Notice me! Pick us! We'd be great parents!", I know that as day after day slips away Doubt plods in with a heavy step and whispers, "Why has no one noticed you? Why has no one picked you? Perhaps you're not meant to be parents after all. Ever."

My "problem" is that adoption has brought people into my life. People like Michelle, who of everyone I know is among the most full of love and life and promise, yet she waits and waits and waits, with growing despair. People like Charlene, who waited 7 years for an adoption match and has suffered - since the day she brought her daughter home - with debilitating depression and self-doubt. People like Dara and Jeff, whose post-adoption experience has been a devastating legal nightmare. People like the birth mothers who write to me about feeling remorseful or inadequate or shut out.

My "problem" is that adoption means gain for some and loss for others. There are winners and losers, chosen and unchosen, the triumphant and the defeated. Some of us are made whole by adoption and others are broken apart by it.

My struggle to blog about adoption is really a struggle to reconcile the irreconcilable. Why me? I have no idea. Why not you? I have no idea.

I can't change anyone else's timeline any more than I could have changed my own. I do believe that everything happens in the right way at the right time (whatever that means), and that we almost never understand that until we're looking back.

I'm supremely grateful to be one of those looking back. I trust that you will be too.

Sally Bacchetta
The Adoptive Parent
My Google Profile+


michelle said...

Thanks for this....I can see the other side, and I too believe everything in this life happens for a reason...:)

Your story should be shared....the beauty of it and the happiness, believe it or not it makes me very hopeful when I hear stories like your's..

michelle :)

Mommy-in-Waiting said...

I agree with Michelle - your success story makes me hopeful. I have had two cases fall apart so far, but I've only been going through the process for a short time, so I am still hopeful for my happy ending.

I also share in your feelings of guilt though. It's hard to know that my dreams hinder on someone else's loss. The best thing to happen to me, will be the worst that happens to another woman. But I keep my focus on the child, that will be so loved, and I hope that the birthmother will be able to find peace in that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sally, and thanks for stopping by my blog. It was great to meet you on FMF. I too struggle with blogging about adoption. For me, it's the issue of keeping a public record of my daughter's feelings. Our kids know the Internet better than we do and we have to be aware of their need for privacy. I get concerned about the details written about adopted kids at times, especially when it's a tender subject like roots, searching, reunion. If I'm going to say something private, I tend to post it on another person's blog where it is hard to trace as opposed to my blog where my child could find it.

I also have the same "problems" you do. Adoption has, by necessity, brought pain as well as joy into my life. I think accepting that is part of understanding adoption. Thanks for posting this!