The Broken Truth of Adoption

You know those adoption announcements made by adoptive parents celebrating their adoptive child’s homecoming? Most adoptees can’t stand them. It’s hard for an adoptee to watch these parents celebrate this baby coming to live with them when we know the truth. 

My precious friend Stacey Gagnon is an adoptive and foster mom and she captured the broken truth of adoption so beautifully in a recent Facebook post that I asked if I could share it and she said yes. So if you’re wondering how it really is and why adoptees dislike it when people celebrate the baby without acknowledging the trauma ~ here you go.   

“I didn’t celebrate the day the social worker called my home with an infant in need of a foster home. 

I didn’t rush through Target oohing and aching over all-the-million-things-an-infant-needs with a big sloppy grin announcing an impending arrival of a bundle of joy. 

I didn’t send out birth announcements or post a “we’re expecting” announcement. 

I didn’t drive to the DCS office with a joyful heart and dreams of my future baby. 

I didn’t unload the infant carrier and walk into a house filled with flowers, balloons, and a meal train for the new mother and baby. 

It was silent. No fanfare, no joyful welcoming...just a quiet space to settle. 

It was understanding the depths of loss for this child in my arms and the mother sitting in another town with empty arms. 

It was sitting in the 2 am silence, wondering if her heart pains matched the physical pain within her milk-laden breast. As her baby suckled the bottle, did her body wake her and remind her of this deepest loss. 

It was sitting with tears streaking down my face, as the baby’s body sagged into deepest sleep. 

It was a tragic tearing and gaping wound because I understand that this moment was not about my gain, but about a gaping hole, I could never fill. It was about a level of broken I could never heal. It was a sacred, holy space of hurt and love and tears and pain. 

This was a baby to celebrate, in a moment that we should not celebrate. 

If you wonder about the hard of foster care and adoption, it is this; my greatest gifts came with a price of deepest pain. The beauty of an innocent, milky baby grin is mixed with the ash of a mother’s bitter and broken tears. It is gain mixed with deepest loss. 

I know these things because I have sat in jail with many biological mothers of children, and we have wept together while they shared their stories of loss heaped on loss. 

I did not celebrate when they called me to bring home another mother’s greatest gift and sorrow, because I have seen the depths of this pain. 

Instead, I sit silently in that holy space rocking the baby feeling thankful for the beauty and innocence of new life, while wiping tears for things I cannot fix.”

If you're an adoptee struggling with the circumstances around your adoption please feel free to grab my guide Healing the Invisible Scars of Adoptees


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