When Love Doesn’t Win

I just hung up the phone with a friend I met in Adoptionland. She’s an adoptive parent raising 4 girls, all of whom are adopted. She is attuned to their needs and actively pursuing ways to help them not only survive, but also thrive around their trauma.

She woke up to adoption truths after they adopted their fourth daughter. She describes it the same way we in Adoptionland explain ‘coming out of the fog’. For adoptees, it’s the realization about what happened to them. For mothers, maybe it’s also what happened to them, but for me it was what I had done. And, for the rare adoptive parent, it’s understanding what they had participated in. And, it’s soul crushing.

Her awareness is refreshing, especially when her perspective is in opposition to the dominant narrative surrounding adoption. One of the many topics we discussed today was the misconception that love is enough.

I have to believe that most adoptive parents deeply love their children. I know they hope that their love, in addition to a better life (ie.”stuff”) would be the necessary ingredients for their children to achieve happiness and peace. Sadly, this is far from truth.

What an adopted person needs to be whole and complete isn’t Jesus, or loving adoptive parents, or a private education, or family vacations, or prayers before bed, or a nurturing home. While each of those things have their place, the reality defies everything we are told.

What a child needs is their people.

When they are separated from family there is damage to their mental, physical and emotional well being, for the rest of their lives.

My mantra for the last 10 years has been, “Love Wins.” I believed this so deeply that I even put a sticker on my car. I don’t like stickers on cars, so that should indicate how committed I was to the idea. I no longer have that car nor would I ever apply another sticker because, see, love doesn’t win all the time. At least, not in adoption.

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3 thoughts on “When Love Doesn’t Win

  1. Reblogged this on Gazelle's Scirocco Winds and commented:
    This one statement from a Blog called Bleeding Hearts says it all:
    “What a child needs is their people.

    When they are separated from family there is damage to their mental, physical and emotional well being, for the rest of their lives.”

    Thank you Stephanie for finally understanding that no adopter of court can replace what has been stolen from we adoptees -our DNA connections.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This one statement from your Blog called Bleeding Hearts says it all:
    “What a child needs is their people.

    When they are separated from family there is damage to their mental, physical and emotional well being, for the rest of their lives.”

    Thank you Stephanie for finally understanding that no adopter or court can replace what has been stolen from we adoptees -our DNA connections. And indeed, however or whenever the severing takes place, like the phantom limb taken in amputation, the pain lingers on and on. 70 years ago I was abandoned at 2 years of age, therefore severed forever from my brother, my abandoning parents, my maternal and paternal family…Trauma doesn’t begin to describe that time in my life, just as the aftereffects almost a quarter of century later can be described. It is a grieving process that we live with, one that may finally not cause the acute pain it once did, but never-the-less one that can be evoked from a simple set of truthful words like yours or words from another who understands our life-long struggles.

    Your statement above lacks one word…. REALLY, because truly what all children-especially adoptees -really need is their people. In fact we should market this slogan on tee shirts -and wear it proudly as a mantra to let the world know what 2% of us globally have lost-OUR families. A bumper sticker would be good too,

    BarakAllahFik, Stephanie. (The Arabic phrase translate to ‘God Bless You!’

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love that you mentioned the “stuff.” I had so many clothes, vacations, and material things, only to be told I didn’t deserve any of it and was just an ungrateful wench (their words). I see so clearly now that this pile-on of gifts comes from a good but misguided place, as though more things will make up for the differences between the adoptee and their family. It was all about what I was given, but never about what was taken from me.

    Thanks for the share,

    Sunny

    Liked by 1 person

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