Resenting the Child You Adopt - Can This Happen?Diana Stone
I understood completely what they meant, and it was a great question. One I’ve faced head on many times these past few months. One I’ve asked myself.
“Will I resent you being here because my boys died?”
The answer, for me, is no. I won’t resent a child we adopt – but part of that comes with us having wanted to adopt years before we even had Bella. In the shock and joy of finding out we were having twins, there was always a part of me that was saddened over probably not being able to adopt anymore. We had started this process so many times only to get pregnant or shy away from the unknown and what if’s. Adoption is something I’ve always wanted for us – it’s just hard to know it came about in a time of so much sorrow.
However – with all that being said, I deeply understand how resentment could happen. I think it’s a realistic thing to ponder and talk about before and during, especially if adoption comes about because of a loss, of any kind. Infertility, the loss of a child – adoption isn’t a replacement. It won’t fill the hole you have in your heart for what you didn’t get.
I worry about families I talk to that adopt as a “last resort.” I don’t pretend to understand the complexity of emotions that people go through when dealing with years of trying to get pregnant or losing a child that has lived in your home and you made memories with. I don’t judge them because I know simply a different side of their pain in losing my sons, but not their pain in particular.
It worries me because the child you adopt isn’t going to make those feelings and longings go away completely. When we were sent the pictures of our waiting child, I cried. It hit me once again how he wasn’t our sons. I mean, I knew – but it was just that smack of reality again. I cried with joy and sadness. I melted over his little fingers and toes while my heart broke for the ones I’ll never get to kiss. All of my grief is still here, along with the excitement of welcoming a child into our family in a new way.
It’s a complex thing. I know I’ll love all of our children differently and yet just as much. Yet I have to be realistic about the whole thing. This isn’t a pregnancy. Those children we are sent via email aren’t mine yet – maybe they won’t be. They will never take the place of our boys, but they’ll have such a special place in our lives in their own way.
An adopted child needs a family who recognizes it’s own unique story and celebrates that. A family who is able to grieve their loss while allowing the child to be an individual separate from the loss and the cause of it.
I’ll never resent any child we adopt. We’ll have our usual parent/child moments where I’ll think, “Let’s ship them all off to a boarding school so Mommy can have some peace” but that’s normal. They are wanted, welcomed, loved, and accepted as the unique child they are.