Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Return to Sender

I was blog stalking today....(get off my back, at least I admit it)....I came across a conversation on the woman in Tennessee who sent her adopted child back to Russia on a one way ticket with a note pinned to his jacket. I had heard about this a few weeks back and have had sometime to ponder this one.

One of my very best friends has a daughter just about to turn 6. She is a gem of a child. I frequently refer to her as my "other" daughter. This sweet little muchkin was born from another set of people, but she without a doubt is Shorty's daughter. And perhaps that is becasue she has never been looked at any other way. Shorty and her husband have always regarded Magoo as theirs. Yes, it took other people to concieve and carry her, but she is THEIRS, and no one elses. I am sure even on the most difficult of days they would not dream of sending her back. I find it amazing that this woman would send this poor boy back. Did she really expect sunshine and butterflies and angels singing in the background? He has spent his whole life in an orphanage. He was counting on his mother to help him, teach him, love him. She did none of those things. I have two children. Despite days when I have threatened to send them back from where they came (on their father not on me!!!) I would never leave them, or let them go. How can you make a commitment to that child, whether by birth or adoption and decide it is too hard? I get angry when I hear that. That it is just too hard. Giving up is not an option. This is a child we are talking about. You do everything you can to care for them, you do not throw your hands in the air and run away. If you cannot give them the help they need, you find the person who can!

Along those lines, I have another friend whose daughter has need extra attention since she was about 6 months old, she will be 2 in July. They have spent many hours in therapy and at doctors appointments and in the hospital. In fact she had major surgery yesterday. Her mother never leaves her side. She takes care of her in the middle of the night, and has had to learn to do things medically that I am sure she would never have dreamed she would be doing, especially for her own child. And despite the huge amounts of stress and the never ending care her daughter requires, when I get an email update, all that she can say is how greatful she is to be Petunia's mom. That is what being a parent is all about. It is not about the good times, it is about all those other times. The big, nasty, ugly, times. When we shake our heads and ring our hands, with worry and/or dispare. Those are truly the times when we are parents. There is no trial run with children. You cannot return them to sender. You cannot ship them back. They are a gift you are given.

If you cannot fully commit to such a process DO NOT EVEN START. Whether by birth or adoption. I love every day with my kids. I love them when they make me crazy. I love them when they are sweet. And I love them when they make me scream. I know all about not judging a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes, but in this situation it is so hard not to do just that. I think this woman was having a love affair with the notion of being a mom, and trust me, this is one hell of a job. For every amazing day there is at least one, ususally two when I would like to shove and ice pick in my eye. It is the most thankless and amazing job I have ever had. For those who have grand illusions of hugs and kisses and Disneyland, you probably ought to be aware of the day(s) when all you hear is "I want Daddy!" "Leave me alone!" "You are so mean!" and a slew of other things that have at one time or another come flying out of a child's mouth. Being a parent means the good and the bad. And if necessary the professional help to get everyone where they need to be. Sending a child back is not an option in my world.

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