Sometimes I want to walk away. Why don’t I? Yes, why don’t I? This is the argument I have with myself. Especially as the days go on, in this industry and I feel the back of my legs ache as I have been fighting uphill for 20 years. Nothing, I mean nothing has been easy. Most days in fact, have been brutal. The life of an adoption coordinator at one of the largest adoption agencies in the Midwest.
This is fighting for the women and men who are vulnerable and fragile consumed with emotion. This is reminding society and all around that yes, she WANTS her baby. No, the adoptive families are not perfect, and YES, they too are vulnerable and fragile. No one in this situation ever dreamed this or desired this. And if they did, they had no idea how uphill they would be going and how it can change you inside out!
Some Monday mornings at staffing we look around the room at each other and we all have the same look on our faces. Exhaustion, adrenaline, and grit. Grit, is what I want to focus on, because this my friends, is what makes ASC stand out!
According to Wikipedia: Grit in psychology is a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a long-term goal or end state! Our long-term goal and end state are clear. An adoptee that is stable and comfortable with their identity. The questions of the where and the why and the who have been answered with open heart and arms. Once an adoptive parent feels secure in his or her role as parent, they can begin to fill the holes that are created with the trauma of adoption. Yes, there is trauma in domestic infant adoption.
The exhaustion comes in when these adoptive parents are never fully secure in their role. They then fail to be able to fill the holes. Case in point: Twelve years ago, I met a girl named Sara. She was raised in north west Indiana. Her and her twin sister, Laura were conceived out of prostitution. They were eventually placed into foster care. Unbeknownst to them or anyone else the twins older ½ brother was already in that foster home. Laura eventually became pregnant by her ½ brother and that baby was removed and placed in a different foster home.
When Sara turned 18 and aged out of the system, she was determined to never deal with DCS again. At 20 she found herself raising her two-year-old alone and in a domestic violent situation. She contacted ASC to place her daughter and help her start over. I immediately fell in love with her and her Grit. In 2007, Sara contacted me again and was pregnant. She was interested in making another adoption plan. She chose a child free family that doted on her and showed her so much respect and true love. They had a fabulous relationship. It was right after placing her baby boy that Sara decided she wanted to move away and not be contacted as the grief was too much to bear.
During this year, we did a great job of explaining the process of adoption to adoptive families. Where we fell short was educating on how to do an “open” adoption when the birth family chooses to not be involved. So today, this baby is 12 and the adoptive mom is asking for advice as he’s struggling with his identity where he came from. The mistake we made was not putting more effort into the two adoptive families connecting. So this is the time to reunite Caroline and Thomas. They share ½ of the same DNA. They both have her complexion and grin. They are both beautifully loved.
(All names referred to in this post have been changed to protect their identities.)