A story of caring and strength, community, and making a difference.
With the headlines spreading news about the down side of adoption because one mother “returned” her child, I hope this balances out the negative picture.
About the Russian child returned: the mother certainly needed to handle her distress and inability better. No doubt about that. At the same time to become a foster or adoptive parent is hazardous to your dreams.
All parents have to deal with loss of the dream that somehow theirs will be the perfect child, perfectly parented. Sooner or later the nightmares come; being a parent is not possible without nightmares. So it is to be expected that when the child is “not yours” in reality and sadly “not yours” in your heart, rejection and abuse happen. Sad but a fact of life.
When I worked in adoption, a sad and distraught mother brought back a six week old baby she tried to love, but found she could not. She gave him all the right care, but the love didn’t come. One of her reasons was he had red hair. Red hair was not what she had envisioned in her dreams of mothering a child. At least she had the courage to admit her failure to love and had an out. The baby thrived in another home.
As a foster parent I learned to wonder why I dearly loved some of the teens placed in my care almost from the moment we met, but found I only liked others and disliked some. Love, even parental love, is complex. Fortunately, the act of caring and getting through the various nightmares usually become ties that bind with love.
The parents in this story of caring and strength have been given much. By giving, they have been given in return–something that should make all us more willing to give.