As we know, all adoptions come from loss. It’s a sad thought, but a truism nonetheless. Many adoptions also come from traumatic early years. And every one of those situations is heartbreaking! So when we hear of adoption dissolution (that is, a child is adopted, then the adoption is dissolved when it can’t be made to work) it’s easy for those of us already hurting for the child to jump on the judgment bandwagon. Some of us get angry! Most of us can’t understand how an adult could possibly give up on an already traumatized child. I asked a handful of questions of a group of mothers who have experienced adoption dissolution. This series will open our eyes (and hopefully our hearts) to the maternal view of this horrific reality.
THIS IS THE EXPERIENCE OF MARYANN
I simply am a survivor because my heart is not jaded. I still believe wholeheartedly that my purpose is to love and nurture children regardless of the betrayal inflected by the foster care/adoption agency (they took my foster care license away when we dissolved). There are plenty of people with different perspectives, but my truth was [that] my 8-year-old daughter was dangerously sociopathic. After two failed attempts at pushing my daughter down a flight of stairs, she finally succeeded in almost killing my 2-year-old foster son, he was in a body cast for close to two months. All medical professionals warned me that her chances of reoffending were very high. It took that for me to fully process the fact that she could no longer come home. The saddest part is, people are so unaware of childhood sociopathy and worse yet; this country does not have a functioning mental health infrastructure, inclusive to all.
My daughter is sociopathic because of the extreme abuse she endured, and it started in utero (her sociopathy and fetal alcohol syndrome were not disclosed till after the adoption). I have no regrets because I know we did all we could, and who knows what might have happened had we not intervened. We got her to a place she needed to be. The complete lack of support as well as the villainization of myself and husband certainly has taken away any faith or trust I had in the system. But in the end, being a mother is who and what I am: grandmother, foster mother, and adoptive mother; nothing can change that.