Tuesday, July 4, 2017

From Foster to Adopted: A Pain I Don't Know

From Foster to Adopted Series

1. The Year to Today
2. A Pain I Don't Know
3.On the Eve of Forever
4. The Memory of Trauma
5. Finalization

On the final court date, I was able to attend. I arrived at the court house extremely nervous. I entered the humble seating area outside of the court rooms and I saw BioMom, L, and Bio-maternal grandma immediately. They looked worn. Scared and worn. I knew, in my heart, at that moment, as much as I knew previously in my head, that today was not about my family but about theirs. Something was about to be broken that never should be.

A part of me was expecting more drama on this day since the whole case has always been so unpredictable. But, we had all reached the end of the show. There was nothing left for L to fight against. There was no other path but for her to lose the rights to her son.

L left the court house before hearing from the judge. Grandma, S, stayed. The judge ruled. Done.

I will never forget my conversation with S after court. She asked me in such horrific honesty, 'How did we get here?' I could see in her eyes such confusion. How did her family get here? To the point that a judge legally severs the mother-child bond. She commented that just a few years prior everything seemed to be moving forward for her daughter. Now, there is a tear in their family that will never quite heal.

Staring at this dedicated mother who was grieving the motherhood of her daughter, I discovered a pain I don't know. A pain I hope to never know. And a pain I will strive to honour for the rest of my life.

The facts of Dare Bear's adoption are that he needed a safe home; that his family was not able to provide that for him; that we are able to; that after a year and a half together Dare Bear is attached to us and we are to him.

But adoption is not just addition; one child needing a safe home + a safe home = adoptive family. Adoption starts as subtraction. One family - one child = biological family.

This is what I witnessed on this court day. One family losing one child. And it broke my heart.

Throughout this process, I am continually reminded that there is no resurrection without the cross; there is no hope without pain. My hope is, as always, in the resurrected Christ, who rises, not despite his wounds but because of them. We are all one adopted family of God. And this global adoptive family started from loss as well. "Oh happy fault, that gained for us so great a redeemer."* When the loss inherent in adoption seems too great, I will remember that our God is Greater!

*For more in depth reading on this glorious mercy of our God, read some St. Thomas.