I’ve written the abridged story of the reversed adoption Josh and I had. It was an experience that will forever leave a hole in my heart, no matter how much I try to patch it, tape it, or glue it. That little girl, Kate, will reside there.
I want to talk about surviving the week following a reversed adoption. I almost decided on the first three days, but for me, the first three days were spent laying on the floor refusing to move, in an almost comatose state. Every part of my body wanted me to cry, but it just wouldn’t, so there I stayed.
After placing that baby back into the arms of the woman who is now her mother is truly the hardest, most painful, most gut melon-balling feeling I have ever experienced. Surely there was no survival after this. If there was a god, he would just take me right then because in my head and heart, I felt like there was no life after this. I was completely frightened that I had to go back to real life, the real life that had a little apartment with a little bedroom prepared for a little girl. Let’s just say it was a long drive home.
There are many ways to help those going through such a traumatic experience. Yes, I say traumatic experience because it IS ONE. None of this is to be taken lightly, my friends, for a reversed adoption kills a part of a woman’s soul for a time. As Josh and I arrived back in Utah, my mom had made basically every comfort food you could imagine. She knows me. Bad day? FOOD. Lasagna was Josh’s favorite. Mine was chocolate milk and any type of munchies I could get my hands on. It felt nice to come home to the embrace of people who loved us.
I understand that some people are all anti-hug. However, you hug the crap out of your friends who experience this. You hug them so tight their tears burst out. Wrap them in love and support because they are going to need it. Especially the would-be-mother. My husband navigated this trial much differently than I did. He didn’t need life support, but I did.
Like I said, the next couple days were full of texts, phone calls, and even drop-bys. I appreciated every single one, but I was so catatonic that I couldn’t take it all in. The shock from what had just happened hadn’t left my system. You know what, though? My friends knew that, and they didn’t take offense to me apathetically accepting a meal or card with a quiet and almost mouse-like sounding, “Thank you.” They knew I needed life support, and my friends didn’t give up. People brought meals, and friends stopped by for small chat, but I was indifferent to everything around me.
By day four, I had punched my fist through a wall, so, there’s that.
By the end of the week I was functioning, but it’s more like zombie functions. I’ll never forget what my dad has told me through all my trials. “Kenna, you just need to do three things. Just three things every day. You need to get out of bed. You need to make your bed. You need to shower.” His advice, while seemingly simple, was so important to my recovery through not only this trial, but all of them. If your friend makes their bed and showers, dood, get them a dirty coke stat because they deserve it.
The best advice I can give is to love them. Love them so hard you squeeze their guts out, and then squeeze harder. They may retaliate, maybe say some harsh words back, but they are in the deepest hole of grieving there is. Check on them, and if an email or text isn’t answered, you go knock on their door. If you know she is home, and the door is unlocked, well then welcome yourself in and go lay on the carpet with her.
She will come out of it. He will come out of it. This couple will survive with a little help from their friends.